How to Crimp Pex without Tool-User Guide With Instructions

When working with pex pipes, you’ll require the right crimping tool for securing them in place. However, a quality pair of crimpers might seem too expensive to spend your money on, especially when you’re only looking to accomplish a few short-term projects. And since you’re reading this, we assume you are looking for a temporary solution that will save you a few bucks in that regard. That being said, let’s guide you through on how to crimp pex without tool with two of our favorite methods.

Let us get this straight, we do not recommend opting for the following methods if you need to do pex piping tasks daily. You must obtain a quality crimping tool for regular use. Our guide is only for those required to complete a small household project.

Method-1: Using Cheap Vise Crimper

For a short-term solution, vise crimpers can come real handy for you when compared to expensive crimping tools and crimping rings that cost 10x more than copper rings, which we’ll be using in this tutorial. Besides, the fact that copper rings are easily found around the corners within a much lower price, crimping them with vise crimpers can be both hassle-free and cost-effective a solution.

What Will You Need?

  1. A vise style crimper. It’ll be best if it comes with a vise pre-included.
  2. Crimping rings or copper rings (whatever size you’ll need).
  3. Pex
  4. Fittings as per necessity.
  5. Vise tightener (if necessary).

Once you’ve gathered these items, start following the steps instructed below.


Take a ring and the pex you’ll be working with. Put the pex through the ring and start pushing the ring until it stops where it’s meant to fit into.


Now to prepare for the gripping, take the clamp and attach the vise to its bottom end so that it can connect the jaws.


Place the pex having a ring around its neck into the circular opening of the clamp. Make sure the inner walls encircle the ring properly, leaving a minimal gap, so it doesn’t frustrate you when closing the jaws around the ring.


Now it’s time to apply some force. Hold the clamp with one hand. Hold it firmly, so the pex doesn’t come out of the opening. Then use your other hand to start rotating the vise. Put as much pressure as you can until the clamp gets a firmer hold around the neck of the ring. If the tightening job feels too hard on your hand, you can use a vise tightener to do it with much ease.


Clamp the vise down so long as the end tips are touching each other, and then release it a bit. Then rotate the pex ninety degrees before re-clamping it. This way, you can accomplish the later clamping attempts more comfortably than the first one.

Also, remember ‘not’ to clamp it down until the device end is flush. It’s essential for crimping the ring at one go. Otherwise, you’ll have to apply a tremendous amount of force to get the jaws touching correctly. (who knows if it’ll require you to use superhuman strength and even a hammer to do the job?)

Check Your Work

Now that you’ve done with crimping don’t forget to check your work. Take a go-no-go gauge or plate and put it around the crimped ring. You’ll see how perfectly this rotation method has got you a crimp with far less effort. The ring should fit the Go without any issues and turn it in. Also, you’ll notice that it hasn’t fit into the No-Go. Meaning, you haven’t damaged the ring.


Q: What if I get stuck while doing the Go testing?

Ans: It can cause when you follow the packaging instructions and rotate the pex as directed. Try to stick with the steps as we’ve instructed.

Q: What do I risk if the Go test fails?

Ans: You risk having leaks shortly, especially when you have too many rings crimped.

Q: What if the jaws never touch each other?

Ans: So long as you get the rings firmly crimped around the pex, it matters a little.

how to crimp pex without tool

Method-2: Making Your Own Pex Crimper

​If the heading makes your brows go up, let me assure you- making a pex crimper is a lot easier to do than the proposition itself, no matter how daunting it may sound.

Here’s how.

What Will You Need?

  1. A pair of pliers having large enough handles for better grips.
  2. Wires for making the crimp part.
  3. Crimping rings/Thin metal rings of required sizes.
  4. Pex.

Follow the steps below to make the crimper.


Begin with one end of the metal pieces of the large pliers. Start off with just one.


Then in several different spots, start wrapping the wire around the metal piece to form a tooth-like structure.


Now move onto a centimeter and start doing it anew until the end. If you’ve got a bigger pair of pliers, you should probably be able to make 2-3 teeth on both sides.


Repeat the same procedure on the other metal piece. Remember to leave the desired amount of gap between the metal pieces, and therefore, the teeth on both sides, so your crimping ring can sit firmly in the middle. Also, you’ll need to be able to squeeze them hard together.


The metal rings you’re going to use should be thicker in width and adequately thin in weight and size, so you can crimp them with a firmer hold. Also, make sure you have several different sizes of them to save yourself the frustration while securing them around the pex without leaving too much room in between.

Additionally, you can use a hot glue gun for securing the teeth in their place to make sure they do not tend to come out after a single-use.

Test Your Work

Now that you’ve made your very own crimper, it’s time to test it out. Slid a pex tube through a metal ring, and use the home-made crimper to hold the ring between its jaws. Check whether you can get a firmer grasp or not.


Q: What if I don’t have a large pair of pliers?

Ans: You can use your garden cutters as an alternative. In that case, you should be careful enough while wrapping the wire around the blades.

Q: What should I do if the jaws don’t get firm enough hold around smaller rings?

Ans: You can put an extra layer of hot glue, thick enough to encircle the ring.

On a Final Note

These processes may not work so nicely as a genuine crimper for you, neither will be the measurements as exact as they probably should. But undoubtedly, they will help you out with the general functions to get the job done for you when you’re in the situation to use an actual one.

Undeniably, of course, nothing can help you perform the pex works as perfectly as an actual crimper. And if you feel like getting one for the longer term, you can check out some of the best pex crimp tools in the market and you can also check how to use pex crimping tool  he​re.

Justin Beard

I am Justin Beard who is passionate about all things tools and automotive. Now I share my advice and experience in the tools and automotive. I recommend products and services to help you accomplish your goals and simply get the job done.

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