How To Calibrate PEX Crimp Tool: A Definitive Guideline

When working with PEX tubes, crimping is an essential part of the process that needs to be done right.

But when using a crimping tool, do you struggle to adjust it to the right size according to the size of your PEX?

Are you ending up with too many weird crimp joints? Confused about how to calibrate PEX crimp tool?

If so, then you’re in luck! Today, we are all about crimp tool adjustments in order to facilitate effortless and error-free calibration.

Along with foolproof ways to ensure if your calibration is correct, you never have to struggle with flawless calibration ever again!

How To Calibrate PEX Crimp Tool?

Though these tools are not used for measurement, they need to be calibrated to ensure that they provide you with flawlessly secure crimping action.

The ideal cycle this should be done is after around 10,000 crimps. Regardless of whether you reach this many crimps, you should calibrate them once every year.

1. How To Calibrate PEX Quick Pinch Tool?

  • Start with placing your calibration bar inside the jaws of your crimp tool.
  • Close the handles until the jaws of the tool firmly hold or bite the calibration bar in place.
  • Using that calibration bar, ensure that the size of the jaw gap lies between 0.8-1.2mm.
  • If it does not lie within this range, then in order to calibrate the jaw gap to a different size, locate its locking screw that is situated in the handle.
  • With a screwdriver, first unscrew the locking screw to loosen it.
  • Next, navigate to the adjustment screw.
  • Based on whether you intend to tighten or loosen the jaw, turn this screw either on the left or right as needed.
  • Finish up by re-tightening up the locking screw to lock in your new correct calibration and you’re done!

2. How To Calibrate PEX One Hand Pinch Clamp Fastening Tool?

  • For this tool, press on the handles of the tool until the jaws close.
  • Using your calibration tool, measure the jaw gap. The gap should lie within 1.2-1.4mm.
  • If either too wide or too narrow, navigate to the arm of your tool and locate a hex-shaped screw.
  • With the help of an enclosed Allen wrench, you need to turn this screw either clockwise or anticlockwise as necessary. clockwise rotation causes the screw to go lower and make the jaw gap narrower and vice versa.

3. How To Adjust The Crimp Diameter?

  • Start by noting down the value at which the adjustment dial is set at present.
  • Using a flat-headed screwdriver, take off the C-clip that lies parallel to the adjustment screw.
  • You now have to slip out the hexagonal dial’s head by around 0.25 inches.
  • Keep rotating the pin at the back until the dial heat aligns with your desired value on the body of the tool.
  • Reassemble everything by pushing down the dial head first and then popping the C-clip back into its place.

How To Test if Crimp Tool Has Been Calibrated Properly?

Calibrate PEX Crimp Tool

1. Using A Go/No-Gauge

This is one of the most-used methods used to ensure proper calibration of your crimp too.

It is basically like a scale with semi-circles of different sizes labeled as “Go” and “No-Go”.

To check your crimp tool with this gauge, place a crimp ring on a sample PVC pipe and use your tool to crimp it securely.

Next, take the gauge and put it on the crimp ring you just crimpled.

If it does not pass through the Go slot but passes loosely through the No-Go slot, then it indicates that the crimp is not perfect and the force of your crimping device needs to be adjusted.

2. Height Measurement Test Of Crimp

This is a measurement method that takes a bit more work and some measurements. For this method, you will basically be measuring your test crimp assembly.

To ensure if the crimp tool is properly calibrated after you have crimped the test assembly, you will need to measure the assembly and check if it matches the crimp height as specified by the manufacturer.

For this, you are in need of a point or blade micrometer. With this, once you are done crimping the test assembly, simply measure all the specified test regions of the assembly as specified by the manufacturer.

If the values are within the required manufacturer specifications, your crimping tool is good to go or else, is in need of recalibration.

3. Pull Force Test

For this method, you would be basically testing out a test crimp assembly with a pull test with the use of a Tensile Tester device, a motorized one is recommended for consistency and efficiency.

The target assembly is attached to the Tensile Tester Device with the help of numerous necessary clamps & adapters.

Next, the device applies tension on the test assembly until either of the following happens:

  • The crimp breaks/gets damaged.
  • The reading on the Tester device shows a reading 120% larger than the value specified by the manufacturer. This value shows the minimum amount of pulling force that causes the crimp to break down.
  • The wire pulls off the connector.

When performing this test, the minimum force needed to ruin the crimp force must be larger than the value specified by the manufacturer. You’d also need to conduct this test for every die of your crimp tool device.

Conclusion

No matter how much you invest on the topmost PEX tubes, all goes in vain if you can’t crimp them perfectly as it will result in faulty, leaky installations.

Hence, your crimp tool is no doubt your weapon against poor crimp jobs, which needs to be calibrated to perfection for ensuring a reliable crimping mechanism.

It does not end there of course. It is also essential that you ensure that your calibration is on point via tests.

Now that you have gone through our detailed guide on how to calibrate the PEX crimp tool, it will hopefully be a piece of cake doing it!

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