𝟭. 𝗙𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝘂𝘁. Start off by picking a pair of decent wire cutters. Cable cutters will work the best here and a good cut is one that will strip well and then slide into the terminal with no "stray" wires. The right tool, for the right job, is always worth the expense.
𝟮. 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗪𝗶𝗿𝗲. Before stripping the wire, always be aware of the AWG and SAE markings on the stripping dies. No matter which stripper tool you use, always examine the wire after the strip very closely to check for damage. If the wire will carry any sort of high current, a clean strip with all strands intact is absolutely critical.
𝟯. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗿𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗼𝗼𝗹. Insert the stripped wire for a dry fit test first. Next, select the right tool. Look for a “universal” single, not double, crimping tool that covers the bulk of typical crimps, those with wire gauges ranging from 22 to 10 AWG, standard insulation and barrel thickness. It needs to be designed specifically for use with heat shrink connectors. It does not need to be a pro-level tool, but at least a middle-of-the-range one. This is far better than using the wrong tool on these terminals, which would easily damage the heat shrink.
𝟰. 𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗿𝗶𝗺𝗽. To make the crimp itself, insert the connector, centering the jaws over the barrel, and then tighten down faintly until you hear the first ratchet click. The terminal will be held in place, so next you can insert your wire. When you have the wire properly placed, continue squeezing until the ratchet mechanism on the crimper releases. With a ratcheting crimp tool, the results can be repeated easily even by someone with little training.
𝟱. 𝗔𝗽𝗽𝗹𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝘁. After the crimping, it is time to melt the adhesive lined heat shrink. Use your heat gun but not on the highest setting. Adhesive lined heat shrink can melt too, so a slower melt produces better adhesion.
When examining the final result, make sure you are seeing evenness in color and transparency. By following these easy steps, we hope you'll have a new outlook on crimping and will avoid some common mistakes in the future. Keep practicing until your connections are pristine.
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