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Crimping battery cable

How to Crimp a Battery Cable

Battery cables are helpful in the automotive industry, where they connect a battery to the electrical systems. One thing about battery cables is that they need to be terminated on the ends to allow easy connection with a battery. Therefore, you need a reliable and convenient way to connect battery cable lugs/terminals to the ends of a cable. The best method is crimping.
What exactly is crimping? Crimping is a process that entails compressing a battery terminal/lug onto the cable’s conductor to create a mechanically sound electrical connection that is resistant to gas, corrosion, and moisture. This post is a complete guide on how to crimp a battery cable using a battery cable crimper.

Tools and Materials Needed

1- Battery cable

Choose a battery cable with the required gauge/size.

2- Battery lugs/battery terminals

Select cable lugs that fit your selected battery cable and are suitable for the intended application.

3- Battery cable crimper/ battery cable crimping tool

It helps you make secure, tight, and reliable connections between a battery cable and cable lug. Consider choosing a battery cable crimper with an interchangeable set of dies like the iCrimp HX-50BI Battery Cable Crimping Tool. It allows you to crimp cable lugs of various sizes using a single tool.

4- A stripping tool

It helps remove insulation from the end of a battery cable.

5- Wire cutter

It helps cut battery cables properly without causing damage to the insulation or internal conductors of a cable.

6- Heat shrink tubing & heat gun (optional)

It helps insulate the crimp connection to prevent it from external factors that might damage the lugs or cable’s conductor.

Step-by-Step Process

A. Measure and cut the cable

Start by measuring the cable length you need and use your cable cutter to make a clean cut. However, it’s important to measure a little bit of extra length to allow flexibility while installing the cable.

B. Strip the cable ends 

Measure the depth of your battery cable lug to determine how long you should strip the cable end. Then, use a wire stripper to remove the insulation on the cable. Ensure you don’t have frayed wire after stripping.

C. Insert the lug onto the stripped battery cable

The next step entails inserting the cable lug onto the stripped end of the battery cable. Ensure that all the wire strands fit in the lug.

D. Crimp the cable lug 

Align the cable lug with the stripped wire end on the appropriate jaws of your battery cable crimper. Now squeeze the handles of the crimping tool firmly to apply force to crimp the cable lugs onto the wire strands. You should only release the handles when the jaws of the crimping tool are entirely closed (make a full crimp).
Depending on the size of the cable lug, you can crimp more than once.
Here is a video on how to use battery cable lug crimping tool.

E. Inspect the crimp connection 

After crimping, you should inspect the quality of the connection you created. A good crimp connection should be tight and secure. You can confirm this by pulling the cable lugs. Also, ensure that there are no visible gaps or loose wires on the connection.

F. Insulate the crimp connection 

Insulation of crimp connections on battery cables isn’t required, but you may consider it if you want extra protection and prevent corrosion on your connection. To insulate your crimp connection, insert heat shrink tubing to cover the cable lug and battery cable. Then, use your heat gun to shrink the tubing evenly over the crimp connection.

Bottom Line

Crimping a battery cable is easy, especially when you have the right tools for the task. For this reason, iCrimp offers professionals and DIY enthusiasts all the necessary tools, from battery cable crimpers and cable cutters to wire stripers for various sizes of battery cable and cable lugs (light and heavy-duty lugs). We have a variety of battery cable crimping tools that are reliable, user-friendly, and come in different designs.


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