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When it comes to pipe maintenance, owning a press tool that is reliable and has the right features for your needs is extremely important.

But, (and there’s always a but when buying new equipment); these tools are not cheap. Rigid ProPress models start at over $1000. Other brands are priced similarly.

Deciding which model to buy can be confusing. That’s where this guide comes in.

Below you will find 5 carefully selected press tools covering a range of budgets, functions, speed and power.

For the results of our findings, just head to the table below. For a comprehensive review of each of our picks, keep on reading.

Top 5 Best Press Tools

NAME
IMAGE
DETAILS
EDITOR'S CHOICE:
RIDGID RP 340-B
Press Tool Kit
Force: 7,200 lbs
Cycle: 4-5sec
Service: 42K
BEST BUDGET:
Milwaukee
2473-22
M12 Force Logic
Force: 5,400 lbs
Cycle: 5sec
Service: 32K
Rothenberger
16002 ROPRESS
Compact Press
Force: 12,000
Cycle: 3.5secs
Service: 20K
RIDGID RP 200-B
Compact Press
Tool Kit
Force: 5,400c lbs
Cycle: 4-5sec
Service: 32K
Milwaukee
2674-22C Short
Throw Press
Tool Kit
Spring-Loaded Jaw
Cycle: 3 secs
Service: N/A

ProPress Reviews

Our testing method involves a combination of the above criteria, plus recent customer reviews and feedback on performance, as well as analysis of how each of the models fares against others on the market.

1. EDITOR’S CHOICE: RIDGID RP 340-B Press Tool Kit (43358) Hydraulic Crimping Tool With ProPress Tool Jaws

The Editor’s choice award goes to the Rigid RP 340-B. This is a premium kit that incorporates all of the best features of the Rigid Propress range.

It includes what Rigid state to be the “next generation” of pressing tool technology. What that translates to is a more lightweight device than its predecessors, yet packed with extra power and functionality and lifespan.

Taking the latter for example, the RP 340-B has the longest service interval duration in the industry at 42,000 cycles. This is a whopping 31% longer than previous models in the range.

Rigid has also brought down the weight of the unit to 8.3lbs (with battery fitted). This small, handheld device is designed to offer greater maneuverability, yet is still capable of working with the standard size ProPress tool jaws.

The specifications here come in at 30% smaller in size than older models while being 17% lighter. That’s some reduction and a good example of why the Rigid 340-B is a current market leader.

And on the subject of power, this is one of the best press tools currently available. With 7,200 pounds of hydraulic ram output, it certainly has some grunt. Add the fact that it features a 4-second cycle time your workflow speed will be increased too.

The device is battery powered too of course, meaning you can use this wherever the job takes you. This particular kit includes the standard two 18V Advanced Lithium 2 batteries.

However, this cordless hydraulic crimping tool is also compatible with premium, 18V Advanced Lithium 4aHr battery.

You will need to buy these separately, a fact that I do find surprising considering the price-point of the kit.

Mind you, once installed you’ll have 400 presses at your disposal on every full charge. That’s an excellent battery life for the working professional.

The capacity of the 340-B from Rigid is also high caliber. Capable of working from ½ -inch to 2-inch combined with the 270-degree swiveling barrel, this is a tool that will provide a watertight, permanent seal every time you use it.

Other great features include the strong LED work-light built into the unit. There’s also an LED display that provides essential diagnostic warnings.

This will alert you when the unit is working at an improper temperature. Issues such as having an open-jaw mounting pin, low battery or that maintenance is required will also be indicated.

Finally, you have the best warranty on the market with Rigid’s full lifetime offering. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Tool Compatibility
  • All RIDGID Standard Series Jaws with up to a 4 inch capacity for copper, stainless steel or 2-inch PEX.
  • ProPress
  • MegaPress
  • Pureflow
  • XL-C
  • Press Snap
Specifications
  • Capacity: ½” to 4″ for Copper and Stainless Steel, ½” to 2″ for PEX.
  • Head Rotation: 180˚ barrel/jaw swivel.
  • Hydraulic Ram Output: 7,200 lbs. (32kN).
  • Weight: 8.3 lbs./3.76 kg with Advanced Lithium 2 battery, 9.5 lbs./4.3 kg with AC power adapter.
  • Operating Temperature Range: 15˚F to 122˚F (-10˚C to 50˚C).
  • Approximate Cycle Time: 4-5 seconds.
  • Longest Service Interval in the Industry: 42,000 cycles.
Package Includes
  • RP 340 Press Tool
  • 2 x 18V Advanced Lithium 2 batteries
  • Battery Charger
  • Standard Series 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch, 1-inch and 1-1/4-inch, 1-1/2-inch and 2-inch ProPress jaws
  • Carrying Case.
Pros of the RIDGID RP 340-B Press Tool Kit - 43358 Hydraulic Crimping Tool
  • Improved, lightweight design – 30% smaller, 17% lighter
  • Long service Interval at at 42,000 cycles
  • 7,200 pounds of hydraulic ram output and 4-second cycle time
  • Compatible with wide range of tools
  • Cordless use (and AC with adaptor)
  • LED indicator alerts any issues
  • Excellent lifetime warranty
The Cons
  • The advanced 4aHr battery not being included
  • Most expensive kit in our top 5 review

Bottom Line

Overall the RIGID 340-B is a market leading compact press tool, that leaves much of the competition (including other models from Rigid) in its wake.

The new improved design, ease of use, versatility and power all go towards making this the essential tool for plumbing professionals.

If you are looking for a high quality device that will provide a watertight, permanent seal every time, this is the press to buy.

2. BEST BUDGET: Milwaukee 2473-22 M12 Force Logic Press tool Kit

If the RIGID 340-B comes in at a price-point that is over your means, or you find it difficult to justify due to the amount of use you think you’ll get out of it; the Milwaukee M12 could be your answer.

While the specifications across the board come in 2nd place to our top pick from Rigid, this is still a great machine that delivers.

Let’s take the overall design for instance; Milwaukee has reduced the size of the tool so that it weighs a mere 3.8lbs. It follows the in-line shape of the 340-B and similarly can be operated with one hand.

As they state on the website; “the M12 Force Logic Press Tool will operate nearly anywhere you can fit your arm”. A rather useful attribute considering the nature of your average piping system.

Calibration levels are good too. While they don’t match the RIGID 42,000 cycle standard, the fact it requires a service every 32,000 crimps is not to be sniffed at. That’s still a long operating shelf-life.

Furthermore, the Milwaukee M12 features an indicator that will alert you to when it needs calibration. The tool will also signal that a secure connection is made.

Other important specifications include power, at 5400 lbs. press force, and operation speed which provides a cycle time of 5 seconds.

Those that have already read the Rigid 340-B review above will see that these specs are not as impressive as you’ll get in the more premium machine. However, for the budget, we are still in good territory here.

The unit is powered by the M12™ Red Lithium battery (if you are Milwaukee fan you will already likely own these batteries, however, 2 are included in the kit), meaning you have cordless functionality as well as AC hook-up should you need.

And for peace of mind, you have the fact Milwaukee is a well-established brand in this area and that they throw in a generous 5-year limited warranty, (not quite life-time though is it).

What's Included
  • (1) M12 press tool
  • (2) M12 RedLithium batteries
  • (1) 1/2in. jaw
  • (1) 3/4in. jaw
  • (1) 1in. jaw
  • (1) 30-minute charger
  • (1) Carrying case
Specifications
  • Length: 12.6″
  • Force: 5,400 lbs
  • Approx Cycle Time: 5 Seconds
  • Jaw Warranty: 2 Year
  • Jaw Capacity: 1/2″ to 1 1/4″ CU
  • Tool Warranty: 5 Years
  • Width: 2.75″
  • Battery System: M12
  • Weight: 3.8 lbs
  • Power Source: Cordless
  • AC Volts: 12
Pros of the Milwaukee 2473-22 M12
  • Great specifications for the price
  • 5400 lbs. press force, 5-second cycle time
  • A full 32,000 cycles between calibration inspections
  • Display indicator confirming safe connection
  • 5 year limited warranty
The Cons
  • Only a 5-year warranty compared to Rigid’s lifetime (limited) warranty
  • Doesn’t match the Rigid in terms of lbs force or service cycle duration

Bottom Line

The Milwaukee 2473-22 M12 is a quality compact press kit for the money. It has the power, design and cycle life to suit the professional plumber and comes in at a lower price-point than a lot of the competition.

Yes, if you want the highest quality unit on the market right now, you should turn towards the offerings from Rigid. However, where budget is a priority you will not go wrong with the Milwaukee 2473-22 M12.

3. Rothenberger 16002 ROPRESS Compact Press Tool with 3 Copper Jaws 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″, and Case

This offering from Rothenberger is a top-quality press tool for the professional plumber.

The 16002 RoPress is, in fact, lighter than Milwaukee Propress reviewed above, coming in at only 3.7 lbs (admittedly the difference is marginal at only 0.1lbs.)

The 3.5-second crimp cycle is an impressive specification that Rothenberger has managed to pack into the device. In fact, this does make it one of the fastest compact press tools currently available.

The one-handed operation design is similar to other models in our top 5. One trigger is able to control all of the tools’ functions. The handle features an over-molded grip area enabling greater stability as you work.

As with other press tools reviewed here, it is comfortable to use and will allow you to access the areas where the pipes are. For low light conditions, there’s also a useful LED work light built-in.

The kit includes a long-lasting 18 volt Makita Li-Ion battery. This takes just 15 minutes to recharge and will provide 50 crimps on each charge. (Fit the 16002 RoPress with a 3v battery and you will get 100 crimps from a single charge.)

3 copper jaws are also included in the kit. These are 1/2″, 1″, 3/4″ in size.

The device also has a sophisticated alert system built-in. The LED monitor will notify you of the battery charge level and maintenance status. A handy alarm will sound if a crimp has not completed successfully.

Finally, Rothenberger include a limited lifetime/1 year electrical warranty

Kit Includes
  • Durable Case
  • 3 x Copper Jaws
  • 1.5 amp battery
  • 120V charger
Specifications
  • Length: 15-3/4″ (438 mm)
  • Width: 2-7/8″ (73 mm)
  • Weight: 6-1/2 lbs (3 kg)
  • Battery: 18V 1.5 Ah Li-Ion
  • Battery Charge Time: 15 minutes
Pros of the Rothenberger 16002 ROPRESS
  • lightweight, compact design at only 3.7lbs
  • Extremely fast crimp cycle at only 3.5 seconds.
  • Includes 18V Lithium battery that takes only 15 minute recharge
  • 50 crimps per charge on 1.5amp battery (100 cycles with 3 amp battery)
  • 3 copper jaws (1/2″, 1″, 3/4″) come with the kit
The Cons
  • Similar to the top pick Rigid, this isn’t shipped with the most superior batteries

Bottom Line

Overall the Rothenberger is a worthwhile entry in our top 5. That fast speed cycle is a real draw and will please many pros. There’s also that quick 15 minute charge time.

Similar to our top pick from Rigid, it is a shame they expect you to pay more for the superior batteries (the 3amp batteries will give you the 100 cycles on one charge), however, this fact doesn’t stop the RoPress being a recommended purchase.

4. RIDGID RP 200-B Compact Press Tool Kit (43433); Hydraulic Crimping Tool with ProPress Jaws

Another Rigid ProPress makes our top 5, this time in the form of the 200-B.

As the model number would indicate, this is a few steps down from the 340-b that is our editor’s choice, however for those looking to become part of the Rigid family at a lower price-point, this could be the tool for you.

Similar to the 340-B we have an inline design incorporated into this tool, the device also has a 270 degrees rotating swivel barrel.

This, of course, makes it extra versatile while working with hard to reach areas.

As with the Milwaukee M12 reviewed above, you will get an impressive 32,000 cycles out of the unit before needing to check it in for recalibration. (As a reminder, the top pick 340-B offers 42,000 – the current leader on the market in this regard).

The tool doesn’t disappoint in terms of power either. It packs a punch of 5,400 pounds (24kN) of hydraulic ram output.

Versatility is good too, especially if you are familiar with the Rigid line of press tool equipment. The 200-B is compatible with all compact series jaws with up to a 1-1⁄4 inch capacity, (when working with copper, stainless steel or 1-1/2 inch PEX).

The unit is battery powered of course. Similar to its 340-B sibling, the kit includes 2 x 18V Advanced Lithium 2 batteries.

Fully charged, these beasts will produce 200 presses per charge. That’s an amount any working professional should be satisfied with.

Once again, even better batteries are available (the Lithium 4s will provide 400 cycles), but you will need to purchase these separately – Rigid! Come on! These should be made part of the kit!

Kit Includes
  • Cordless RIDGID RP200-B Compact Press Tool,
  • 4 RIDGID ProPress Jaws (1/2, 3/4, 1 inch),
  • 2- 18V Lithium 2aHr batteries,
  • Cordless Tool Battery Charger,
  • Heavy-duty Case.
Specifications
  • Capacity: 1/2″ – 1 1/4″ (Copper & Stainless Steel), 3/8″ – 1 1/2″ (PEX)
  • 270° Barrel/Jaw Swivel
  • Battery: 18V, Li-Ion 1.1Ah
  • Battery Charger 120V
  • Hydraulic Ram Output: 5,400 lbs. (24kN)
  • Weight: 6.0 lbs. with Battery
  • Operating Temperature Range: 15°F to 122°F
  • Approximate Cycle Time: 4-5 seconds
  • Compatible with all RIDGID® Compact Series Pressing Attachments
Pros of the RIDGID RP 200-B Compact Press Tool Kit
  • More affordable than the 340-B
  • 32,000 cycles before recalibration required
  • 5,400 pounds of hydraulic output
  • 200 presses on a single charge (400 on superior batteries)
The Cons
  • The Rigid premium price point
  • For not too much more you can purchase the 340-B with the superior specifications

Bottom Line

For those looking to purchase a top quality Rigid ProPress, the 200-B is an excellent way to get started. This is a powerful tool with some great features.

However, there is no getting away from the fact that the 340-B is a superior model. If you want to buy the best tool currently available, your money is better placed there instead.

5. Milwaukee 2674-22C Short Throw Press Tool Kit w/ PEX Crimp Jaws

If the compact propress tools reviewed above are all above your available budget, (we are talking low 4 figures for each of them), this short-throw press from Milwaukee may be of interest to you.

The functionality is a bit different of course; using the 2674-22c you will only be able to Crimp F1807 and F2159 rings up to 1” in size.

That being said, accuracy levels are very good, with the spring-loaded jaws gripping the ring for precise alignment.

The tool also features an auto-cycle function that helps to ensure you create a full press every time. An LED indicator will make it clear that a press cycle has been completed.

The 3-second cycle duration makes this a fast tool to use too.

Optimized for residential installs, there is enough power in the Milwaukee to provide consistent, quality connections every time you use it.

Furthermore, the device does not require calibration services in the same way the other tools in our top 5 need. This eliminates potential downtime.

That’s some pretty useful benefits there.

The hand-tool is cordless and runs off of 18-Volt Lithium-Ion batteries. (One M18™ REDLITHIUM CP2.0 battery is included in the kit.)

It also has a built-in battery check so that you can check levels before or during your work.

Finally, there’s that good old 5-year warranty (complete with 2-year jaw warranty) provided by the ever-reliable Milwaukee. Another great reason this tool should pique your interest.

Kit Includes
  •  2 x M18™ REDLITHIUM™ CP2.0 Battery
  • M18™ & M12™ Multi-Voltage Charger
  • M18™ 1/2″ PEX Crimp Jaw
  • M18™ 3/4″ PEX Crimp Jaw
  • M18™ 1″ PEX Crimp Jaw
Specifications
  • Length: 13.5″
  • Width: 3.80″
  • Weight: 4.8 lbs
  • Height: 3.00″
  • Approx Cycle Time: 3 Seconds
  • Battery: M18™ REDLITHIUM™
  • Capacity: Up to 1″
  • Jaw Warranty: 2 Year
  • Auto Cycle: Built-in
  • Battery Warranty: 3 Year
  • Tool Warranty: 5 Years
  • Power Source: Cordless
Pros of the Milwaukee 2674-22C Short Throw Press
  • Spring-loaded jaw for precise alignment
  • Fast speed cycle of 3 seconds
  • Crimps all F1807 and F2159 rings up to 1 in.
  • No calibration intervals required
  • Optimized for residential installs
  • Comes with a 5-year tool warranty, (and 2-year jaw warranty)
The Cons
  • Only a 5-year warranty with only 2 years on the jaws

Bottom Line

If the specifications available here suit your needs, the Milwaukee 2674-22C Short Throw Press is definitely worth a look.

It comes in at a fraction of the cost of the ProPress tools reviewed above, yet the features and functionality are great. Highly recommended for the price.

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