Mil3 Crimpmaker™ compact crimping tools for PEX pipe are the only compact PEX pipe tools invented and built in USA, for 26 years. Mil3 patented the compact PEX crimping tools to let plumbers get into tight spaces for one-hand crimps on PEX pipe and fittings. Mil3 Crimpmaker™ compact crimping tools have been approved and sold for years by practically all of the major manufacturers and distributors of PEX tube, PEX rings and PEX fittings. These include Zurn (Qest), Bow, IPEX, NIBCO, Viega, Watts, Uponor, Sioux Chief, CB Supplies, Ferguson Enterprises and other leading companies in the PEX plumbing field, including the installation of PEX for radiant floor heat.
All Crimpmaker™ PEX crimping tools conform to the ASTM 1807 standard for PEX pipe, PEX rings and PEX fittings. Mil3 was a participant in the development of the ASTM standard for PEX crimping tools, PEX tubing, PEX fittings and PEX rings, and each Crimpmaker™ PEX crimping tool is tested at special stations that duplicate crimping of a copper ring to within ± 0.001 inches.
The 1-inch (1”) Crimpmaker™ is the only compact 1” PEX crimping tool on the market. This tool greatly reduces the force needed to crimp 1” PEX rings by crimping the PEX ring in three fast stages.
The 1/2” and 3/4” PEX compact crimping tools have been the PEX crimping workhorses of PEX plumbing contractors for many years. These easy-to-use PEX plumbing tools are recognized by professional plumbers as the best PEX crimping tools on the market, saving time and trouble during PEX pipe installations. These compact crimping tools can reach into tight spaces between drain lines, cabinet walls, and floor joists to crimp rings. Mil3 PEX crimping tools ensure a tight PEX crimp in spec every time you crimp.
The 3/8” Crimpmaker™ is ideal for installing plumbing in mobile homes, on special PEX tubing manifolds and wherever a small diameter PEX tubing makes sense.
All Crimpmaker™ PEX crimping tools come with a GO/NO-GO gauge and written instructions.
The CrimpLube™ lubricant for PEX plumbing and crimping tools is the only food-grade lubricant for PEX crimping tools on the market. This lubricant is used by the food-processing industry to maintain machines used in production of packaged foods. It will not harm PEX pipe, PEX rings or PEX fittings and is completely safe for potable water.
All Crimpmaker™ PEX crimpers can be repaired and refurbished at the factory by trained technicians.
PEX Pipe Resources
PEX, which stands for cross-linked polyethylene pipe, was invented in the 1960s, and patented in Europe. There are several processes for creating the “cross-linking” of long chain hydrocarbons which are the building units of the original polyethylene pipe. Once finished, PEX pipe has characteristics that make it ideal for plumbing. PEX is flexible and stable, even at high temperatures. Externally, PEX pipe is tough and wear-resistant, but will deform under the pressure of PEX crimping rings to make a leak-proof seal with appropriate PEX crimp fittings. PEX is the one of the most tested materials in the world, and manufacturers must meet strict standards. PEX manufacturers are scrutinized by independent labs and professional plumbing organizations.
In 1984, PEX began to be used for hot and cold potable water plumbing and radiant floor heating systems in the US. Two billion feet of PEX have been installed in US and in Canada. For those who want to know more about PEX pipe and its technical properties, and about PEX fittings and PEX crimping.
Advantages of PEX
Galvanized steel and copper, once widely used for potable water, have two things in common: they are expensive and hard to install. Galvanized steel fittings and pipe must be threaded. They can cross-thread, gall, and in use, build up interior mineral deposits. Soldered copper requires using a torch, which is not always feasible in tight spaces. Threaded copper, being soft, can also cross-thread. Copper will also harden over time and can break under mechanical stress or burst if water freezes within it.
PEX, installed with slip-on PEX fittings and PEX crimp rings, has none of these issues. Water freezing in PEX pipe will not break or split the pipe. PEX pipe and tube has built-in mechanical compliance: PEX pipe can be bent to conform to joints in hard to reach places or form angles other than 90°. Properly crimped joints, installed with PEX crimpers that conform to the ASTM 1807 standard, will not leak, and can be completed in seconds.
Taking advantage of the superior properties of PEX tube requires use of PEX crimping tools that have been tested in the field. Crimpmaker™ PEX crimping tools have fulfilled this requirement since 1991, and are the only compact crimping tools invented and built in the USA. Mil3 helped to develop the ASTM standard governing PEX plumbing PEX pipe, PEX fittings, PEX crimp rings and PEX crimp tools and our tools always work to that standard.
To make bigger profits, some big PEX companies took advantage of a mistake by the US Patent office to send our tool design off to China to make cheap knockoffs of our PEX crimping tools. The knockoff crimping tools look like Mil3 Crimpmaker compact PEX crimping tools without the Mil3 logo on the side. The knockoff artists even copied our box and instructions. But evidence from testing and use by plumbers shows the knockoff PEX crimping tools wear out faster and do not have the PEX crimp tool quality control and calibration that Mil3 does. Mil3 tests of the cheap knockoff PEX crimping tools showed they were out of spec on the first crimp. The money saved on the cost of these tools disappears with the first leaking crimp joint. Companies promoting knockoff PEX crimpers make a lot more money off the cheap knockoff PEX crimpers but the savings are not passed on to plumbers.
Some of the same companies that promote knockoff PEX crimpers are the people responsible for the polybutylene pipe and fittings fiasco of years ago. At least one of those PEX pipe companies is now being sued again for providing China-made fittings that do not conform to the ASTM standard, and cause leaks. Bad PEX crimping tools and bad PEX crimp fittings mean lost money for plumbers. Most companies pushing the China-made PEX crimp tools and fittings are owned by foreign and NY holding companies, they aren’t plumbers, and don’t care about making problems for plumbing contractors.
Other PEX crimper tools that pros should avoid use vise-grips to crimp a set of jaws around a PEX ring. Crimping tools like this will cost more in time and aggravation than the purchase price of a Crimpmaker compact PEX ring crimper. The PEX crimping tool with vice grips takes a lot of refitting and several squeezes and may not align the jaws on the crimp ring. Resetting the crimping tool with vice grips during each crimp can cause the tool to move on the ring, and the crimp rings are not crimped in the same place each time giving a bad PEX crimp and violating ASTM 1807. Vice grip crimpers will not fit in close to a joist or stud like the nose of Crimpmaker™ PEX crimping tools.