If you are in the process of doing some much-needed home improvement work, you’ve probably come across wires and other electrical components. The most popular approach to attach wires together is to use electrical connectors at the end of the wire.
However, adding electrical connectors can be tricky without the appropriate tools. Expert electricians recommend using wire crimping tools for the job. As a DIY enthusiast, crimping tools need to become part of your must-hand hand tool kit.
Never heard of wire crimping tools or unsure how to use them? No panic; we’ve developed this beginner’s guide to take you through the step-by-step process of wire crimping and how to choose the right tool for the task at hand.
What Are Wire Crimping Tools?
Crimping tools or crimper tools are specific devices that are used to join components or materials by pressing them together to create a crimp (or a seal).
Crimping tools are frequently used to add the attachment of electrical connectors onto the end of cables. However, it is important to note that these devices are multi-function and can be used to work on a vast range of materials, including wiring cables, pipes, gauge elements, etc.
Professional electrical engineers use crimping tools when replacing or installing wires.
Yet, regardless of the materials they work with, all crimping tools cover one essential use, the creation of a reliable and firm bond providing a full connection.
How To Use Wire Crimping Tools
Depending on the type of materials you are working with, you will need to apply a variety of crimping process techniques. However, for the purpose of this guide, we are going to focus on coaxial wire, which is a wire that comes with a form of insulation designed to protect signals that are sensitive to external interference.
For this purpose, the wire crimping process requires specific step-by-step instructions to preserve the coaxial cable integrity.
Wire Crimping Process
First of all, it is important to note that while crimping tools are one of the devices required for this process, safe and effective crimping will also require other tools.
- Select the appropriate crimp terminal based on the wire size and type, as well as the application.
- Strip the insulation off the wire to expose the desired length of bare wire for crimping.
- Insert the bare wire end into the crimp terminal barrel until it reaches the end.
- Place the crimp terminal with the wire end into the crimping tool, making sure that the terminal is correctly positioned in the crimping die.
- Apply pressure on the crimping tool handles to compress the crimping die, which in turn compresses the barrel around the wire to create a secure connection.
- Release the pressure on the crimping tool, and inspect the crimp connection for any signs of damage, such as deformation or insulation damage.
- Repeat the process for any additional wire connections
- If necessary, shrink the connector following the best-recommended method, such as heat shrink connectors.
- Always test the crimped wire before you install it. If you use a manual crimp tool without a ratcheting mechanism, your crimp could go wrong or not be uniform.
Wire Crimping Tools - Different Applications
Electrical work: Wire crimping tools are commonly used in electrical work for making secure connections between wires and terminals. They can be used to crimp ring, spade, and butt connectors onto wire ends, among others.
Automotive work: Wire crimping tools are widely used in automotive work for connecting wires and terminals in vehicle wiring systems. They can be used to crimp terminals onto battery cables, spark plug wires, and other electrical components in the vehicle.
Networking and telecommunications: Wire crimping tools can be used in networking and telecommunications applications for crimping connectors onto Ethernet cables, phone cords, and other wiring systems.
Plumbing and HVAC: Wire crimping tools can be used in plumbing and HVAC work for crimping connectors onto pipes and tubing used in various systems, such as air conditioning and refrigeration systems.
Jewelry making: Wire crimping tools can be used in jewelry making for crimping beads, clasps, and other components onto jewelry wire.
Overall, wire crimping tools are useful for any application that requires a strong and secure connection between wires and terminals or other components.
Choosing The Right Crimping Tool and Die
Choosing the right crimping tool and die is crucial for achieving a reliable and secure electrical connection. At Wirefy, we offer a variety of crimping products to fit your needs. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the right crimping tool and die for your project.
Wire Gauge: The size of the wire you're working with is the most important factor in choosing the correct crimping tool and die. Our Wirefy crimping products are designed to work with a wide range of wire gauges, from 10 AWG to 22 AWG. Be sure to choose a crimping tool and die that matches the wire size you're using.
Terminal Type: Different types of terminals require different crimping tools and dies. Our Wirefy crimping products are compatible with a wide range of terminal types, including ring, spade, and butt connectors. Make sure to choose a crimping tool and die that is specifically designed for the terminal type you are working with.
Application: Consider the specific application you'll be using the crimping tool and die for. For example, if you're working in a tight space, you may need a crimping tool that is compact and easy to maneuver. Alternatively, if you're working with a high-volume of wire terminations, you may need a tool that is designed for faster crimping speeds.
Quality: The quality of the crimping tool and die is important to ensure a reliable and long-lasting connection. At Wirefy, we offer crimping products that are made with high-quality materials, including hardened steel dies and ergonomic handles for comfortable use.
Compatibility: Finally, make sure that the crimping tool and die you choose is compatible with your existing wire stripping and cutting tools. Our Wirefy crimping products are designed to work seamlessly with our wire stripping and cutting tools, ensuring a consistent and reliable connection every time.
Accessories & Connectors For Crimping Tools
Crimping tools need to fit wire and cables of different widths, which in turn must be attached to connectors. For best results, we recommend matching the connector to the crimping tool. Connectors are built using malleable materials so they can be compressed with a crimping device.
Wire connectors are typically malleable through pressure and heat. Many of Wirefy’s crimping tools are designed for heat shrink connectors, ensuring best results and connection. You can also find specialist heat shrink connectors among Wirefy’s selection of tools for wire crimping.
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