Stuff We Love: Plumbers Tool Up
Gear up with these 3 plumbing tools
PEX water supply piping has become a predominant choice for plumbers. Recognizing that, major tool manufacturers have come up with some great new products that increase the efficiency and ease of installing PEX. Today on Stuff We Love, Marty Dyck reviews two great cordless PEX install tools, along with a new adjustable wrench you'll want to have in your toolbox. Watch the following video for Marty's take on these must-have plumbing tools. Then read on for greater product detail, and to learn where to buy them.
Ryobi PEX Clamp Tool
Those of you with experience installing PEX using clamps know how difficult it can be to get your two-handed clamp tool into a tight space to make the proper connections. This first-of-its-kind tool from Ryobi makes clamp ring connections easy with its one-handed operation. Two bright LED lights allow you to clearly see the clamp head of the tool engage with the clamp ring. When the tools clamp cycle is complete, there's an indicator light at the bottom of the grip that lights up green for a successful clamp, or red for a gap fault. The head and handle is just shy of 2-1/2 in. wide, and with the battery and base at just 3 in. it's easy to use in confined spaces. With a 4.0 amp hour 18V battery, you can make up to 400 connections in one charge.
Ryobi has a massive inventory of other cordless tools that run on this same ONE+ battery. You might not think of Ryobi as a pro-grade tool, but if you've got a bunch of PEX to run, this one will change your mind. It comes highly-rated and at an affordable price, too.
The Proffered Adjustable Wrench
This is not your average adjustable wrench. The jaws open up about 50 percent wider than a traditional wrench. Our 12 in. wrench has a max opening of 2-1/4 in. The depth of the jaw is deeper as well, ours was about 1-1/2 in. deep. In addition to these larger capacities, the overall thickness of head is thinner than most, making it easier to slip into tight spaces.
This slimmer feature is more pronounced on the smaller six-, eight- and 10 in. versions also available. The handle has a solid anti-slip grip and is very comfortable in hand. This is a great wrench for not only plumbers but also auto mechanics, pipe-fitters and just about anybody else who's got a tough nut to crack.
Dewalt Pex Expander Tool Kit
For those using a PEX expansion system to make your connections, you know what a godsend this tool is if you've been using a cumbersome and time-consuming manual expansion tool. This tool expands PEX type-A tubing from 3/8 to 1 in. and uses Dewalt's 20V max lithium ion battery system. The head automatically rotates, creating an even expansion for your fittings, and the easy-to-grab trigger with the rubber-wrapped body ensures a comfortable one-handed operation. There are two bright LED lights, which along with a narrow body make it easy to use in tight and dark spaces.
If you need to hang the tool while you're up on a ladder, there's a heavy-duty integrated hanger hook on the side, and a second belt clip that you can mount on either side of the battery. This kit comes complete with two batteries, charger, 3/8, 1/2 and 1 in. expander tips, expander grease and a sturdy box. Dewalt doesn't mess around. This is a great tool that will pay for itself in no time with its convenience and efficiency.
About Marty Dyck
Marty is a professional woodworker and the owner of Good From Wood, a custom woodworking shop located in Stillwater, Minnesota. Specializing in unique, vintage barn doors, custom skateboards and other innovative wood products, Marty hopes to always build the piece that everyone talks about. Click the links below to learn more about Marty.
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