I think my 3-star "it's OK" rating is fair for this expander for a couple of reasons:
- For the DIYer, such as myself, there are certainly less expensive expansion tools to choose from, some of which require manual action. This Milwaukee tool is preferable to grip squeezing, but at a price. I've already bought in to Milwaukee's 12 volt system, so it wasn't much of a stretch to give this tool my consideration.
- For the pro, or at minimum the daily user, I can see where this tool would be frustrating, especially on the 3/4" and 1" PEX. While it's more efficient than a hand tool, it's most definitely slow.
- While I'm touching on the negatives, I had to purchase a 3/8" head, which isn't included with the kit (a 1/2", 3/4", and 1" head are in the box). I realize not many folks are going to use 3/8" PEX in their systems, so it's understandable Milwaukee doesn't include this size, but it's another $50 out of my pocket.
The good news is this tool is a cinch to use, and perhaps because of its relatively relaxed operating speed, I haven't had a bad connection yet. In fact, short of forgetting to slip on a ring, it's about foolproof.
It was a little easier to make this purchase knowing Milwaukee will be there to support it if it needs work down the road at some point, and batteries shouldn't ever be scarce.
Despite all that, I probably clicked the "Buy It" button in a time of weakness -- I'm pretty sure I'd go with a different tool if I had it to do over again. But for my house project, and for very occasional future use, I'm happy to have it.