Manual Pex Expander Tools

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Twowaxhack

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Anyone have a recommendation for a pex expansion tool ?

I’d like to have one just because.
 

Bird Doo Head

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I use the Upnor Wirsbo manual expander because it was the only one available when Engle Method PEX (Type A) was first available in the U. S.. I've never had a problem with it or the heads. The expander heads' ridges grip the pipe very well & it's light weight. (I'm not a plumber. I only used mine for hydronics, motor & transformer cooling loops, plus lots of stuff around my house.)

There are unbranded aftermarket ones sold at home centers, such as Orange Depot. A couple of plumbers that I've spoken to at work use the Big Depot aftermarket ones & like them fine. Most use electric ones.

Hint: When you buy rings, getting the ones with the stop inside keeps the ring from slipping down the tube while expanding. Otherwise, holding the ring in place can be clunky sometimes. Also, keep the cone on the tool lightly greased.
 

Twowaxhack

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I don’t want to spend the money for an electric one and I feel the manual expander would be more durable for my use.

I’m only going to use it for repairing and installing water services. 3/4 and 1”.

I use copper crimp rings for most everything else.
 

Wren

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I've been very happy with my Dewalt 20V expander, but it wasn't cheap. I used it today.
 

Wren

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Probably, but I had some fittings to install in some tight places and was concerned that I wouldn't be able to use a manual expander.

I've had good luck with DeWalt cordless tools and finally switched over to their 20V/60V lines and wish I would have done it sooner.

I’m thinking a manual expander would last longer. What do you think ?
 

Twowaxhack

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I plan to pull the pipe up, expand it and then quickly assemble down in a hole or trench.

I’m not a big fan of the stainless cinch bands.

Copper crimp rings require the tool to fit into the trench, they open wide.

I dont like the compact hand crimpers and they also require room to work.

It’s a specialty tool I want, not necessary need.
 

Twowaxhack

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On the subject of cordless tools.

I’ve found Milwaukee makes the best batteries. Far better than the dewalt batteries.

Dewalt tools are lighter weight, I like that sometimes.

I own dewalt and Milwaukee 18v crap. A lot of it.

My Milwaukee hammer drill has lasted 3 yrs, I barely got a year out of dewalt, 3 of them.
 
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hdtvkeith

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I will be honest, I am amazed how anyone did Expansion pex with a manual tool and was successful or productive. The thought of doing manual expansions and turns then getting the fitting in seems like hushed effort. Heck the power tool and 1/2 you get 3-4 seconds max before it is almost impossible to get the fitting in before it closes up too much. 3/4 much easier, I can take my time putting the tool down and putting on a 3/4 fitting. I wanted the Dewalt tool, but was out of stock everywhere back in February until May while the Milwaukee was readily available. Depending on how much use I think the Milwaukee is solidly built and will last a along time. You just need to use their grease (as it is potable water safe) and clean the tool and tips after each use. They say the tips should be soaked in degreaser every month when in use, but I have not done that yet and been using tool 2 months.
 

Twowaxhack

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I will be honest, I am amazed how anyone did Expansion pex with a manual tool and was successful or productive. The thought of doing manual expansions and turns then getting the fitting in seems like hushed effort. Heck the power tool and 1/2 you get 3-4 seconds max before it is almost impossible to get the fitting in before it closes up too much. 3/4 much easier, I can take my time putting the tool down and putting on a 3/4 fitting. I wanted the Dewalt tool, but was out of stock everywhere back in February until May while the Milwaukee was readily available. Depending on how much use I think the Milwaukee is solidly built and will last a along time. You just need to use their grease (as it is potable water safe) and clean the tool and tips after each use. They say the tips should be soaked in degreaser every month when in use, but I have not done that yet and been using tool 2 months.
3-4 seconds is plenty of time for me. I appreciate the post.
 
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