I am not asking for shopping advice or recommendations, just want to know whether the tool I have in mind actually exists in the real world, and if so what it is called. It's not something professional plumbers would use, they'd spend the $2200 for the battery-powered one.

I bought a hedge-clippers style press-fittings crimping tool. You cannot really extend your arms and reach out for the fitting with that tool and then crimp, at least I can't, not when working with 3/4 or 1" copper pipe. You'd need biceps like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I can only manage to squeeze the tool shut around 3/4 copper fittings when my arms are in close to my torso so the chest and shoulder muscles can help out the arms.

Is there such a tool that consists of the jaws-head and a T-shaped wrench that squeezes the jaws shut around the press-fitting by turning?

press fit crimping tool

  • So, like a C clamp?
    – JPhi1618
    Nov 17, 2021 at 17:40
  • Anything threaded that uses the torque to gradually crimp.
    – mr blint
    Nov 17, 2021 at 20:08
  • I would not bother - I can set up and solder joints and have the chance to take them apart afterwards.
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 17, 2021 at 20:12
  • @SolarMike : I do solder but there are times when being able to work when the pipe is still dripping is a big help. I've never mastered the techniques of soldering dripping pipes.
    – mr blint
    Nov 17, 2021 at 20:17
  • @mrblint then you need to try the freezing systems available.
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 17, 2021 at 20:25

4 Answers 4


FRAME CHALLENGE: Try a clamp. Use it on your existing tool instead of your biceps.

They come in a wide variety of styles:

c-clamp from Home Depot

Bar clamps come in a wide variety:
F-Style bar clamp from Harbor Freight

Quick-Grip/Trigger clamp:
Trigger clamp from Harbor Freight

Screw-handle/Quick-release clamp:
Quick release clamp from Harbor Freight

I could go on...

First image from Home Depot, the rest from Harbor Freight. Click to embiggen.

No idea if exactly what you described exists (to me it feels like it would be really cumbersome to use in cramped spaces). However,you can definitely get a ratcheting/hydraulic manual crimping tool, where you just need to pump the handles multiple times with a considerably smaller force (random example I just found,no endorsement).

  • Yeah, I did see that one. Some reviews said it had trouble with 3/4 Tee fittings because the thick jaw stock got in the way, so I was wondering if there was a tool with a skinnier jaw that used twisting torque like in the crude mockup in my picture.
    – mr blint
    Nov 17, 2021 at 20:13

I looked up the tool you are describing and it looks like it should work on 1/2", 3/4", and 1" pro-press and similar fittings. I can't tell you how how much strength it takes to operate this tool but it should work on those sizes. On the one I looked at the handles extend for more leverage. If your tool has handles that extend, make sure that you extend them for the larger sizes. I do not think that you are supposed to use this tool with your arms extended. They are probably for use with your arms close to your body for better leverage. These pro-press type fittings are great for the novice or for those that can't or won't use a soldering torch safely. My 2 cents.

  • Right, I have to keep the tool close to my body even with the telescoping arms extended for greatest leverage. It's hard to work on overhead pipes which are not directly accessible from below (equipment in the way, say) and you have to be on a small step ladder with the arms of the tool at shoulder height rather than chest height. I saw some plumbers working with their $2000-$3000 battery-powered press fitting tools and man oh man does that tool make things easier.
    – mr blint
    Nov 18, 2021 at 13:59
  • Tools with 18" handles, I'll stick one handle in my armpit and use both hands on the other one, until it closes enough to use my stomach instead. W/o the power tool (which can be had for ~$800) I wouldn't even think of using these. They're called Copper Press Tools. Found a hand one for less than $200 but it's probably straight from China.
    – Mazura
    Nov 19, 2021 at 2:24

It is a swage, it must exert very high forces to plastically deform the outer fitting to clamp the inner component. Seems like a tool used in a factory not for a journeyman plumber, I suspect, when applied in the field there is a chance of liquid leaking from the joint. Somewhat like a crimping tool for applying end fitting to steel cables.

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