DeWalt DCE400 PEX Expander

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Today we’re looking at the DeWalt 20V MAX 1” brushed PEX expander, model DCE400. DeWalt says it’s the fastest 3/8″-1″ PEX-A expander on the market.

Specs

Capacity3/8″-1″ PEX-A
Weight – without battery and expansion head4 lbs
Power Source20V
DCE400 weight

Features

  • SUPER BRIGHT LED work light
  • Reversible/removable belt hook
  • Rubber overmold grip
  • Compatible with Milwaukee and Uponor expansion heads.

The DCE400B B for bare tool comes with the case, the 1/2″, 3/4″ and 1″ expansion heads, and a tube of expansion cone grease.

DCE400

Above is the DCE400D1, which only comes with the 1/2″ and 3/4″ heads but I think they discontinued it and now only offer the D2, which comes with everything the DCE400B comes with plus two 2 amp hr batteries and a 4 amp charger.

Vs. Milwaukee’s 2532

Both the DeWalt DCE400 and Milwaukee 2532 feel the need for speed and claim to be the fastest 3/8″-1″ PEX-A expanders on the market.

Using 3/4″ PEX-A we did three runs, ten expansions each, with the same results: the Milwaukee was a little faster and the DeWalt opened the pipe up wider by 3/32″ or so. So they seem pretty equal.

I did notice that the faster the expansion the faster the contraction seems. If that’s true, given the same expansion width, the DeWalt would give you a couple more seconds to insert a fitting.

And since the manual calls for wiping any potential expansion-cone grease out of the tube before inserting a fitting (which I doubt anyone does) a few more seconds could make the difference if you run best-practice mode.

You only get 5-7 seconds to insert a fitting with either tool and that’s with an extra few pumps. Both tools recommend 11-12 pumps for 3/4″ but at the same time say to only expand until the tube hits the base of the cone, which in the warm whether above was only six expansions so…

What’s Up with the Light?

The light is crazy bright on the DeWalt.

It stays at full brightness for 2.5 minutes before switching to a lower brightness for another 30 seconds, where the Milwaukee, for my eyes, is right under the point of being too bright and shuts off after 11 seconds. And there’s nothing in the manual that I could find to adjust the brightness on either tool. 

Bottom Line


Aside from the crazy bright light the DeWalt seems to have a better build quality than the Milwaukee. I have two brushed and one brushless Milwaukee expander and all three have play between the head and the body where the DeWalt has no play.

So there is guys, if you get one of these I hope it works out for you.

See the tools in action here:

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