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What Kind of Wire Crimper Do I Need?

When dealing with electrical components or connections, you’re more likely to join wires and use connectors at some point. Any of these tasks will require you to do crimping (join wire to wire or wire to terminal). However, you’ll need an appropriate tool, i.e. a wire crimping tool. Using your ordinary pair of pliers as an alternative may only leave you distorting the connector, tearing the wire insulation, or cutting the wire conductor.
What exactly is a wire crimping tool? That’s what this article covers. It also discusses what to consider when choosing a wire crimper.

What is a Wire Crimping Tool?

A wire crimping tool or a wire crimper is a unique tool used to join the metal collar of a connector to the wire conductor by applying pressure to create a strong, durable electrical connection (a crimp).

How to Choose the Right Wire Crimper

As outlined earlier, choosing the proper crimping tool is important to create a secure and reliable electrical connection. While there is a wide range of wire crimpers in the market, you need one that makes your work easier and more successful. For this reason, you should consider several factors to choose the best and right wire crimping tool. They include:

1. Wire gauge 

Electrical wires come in different sizes; therefore, you must select a crimping tool with dies that match your wire gauge (AWG). It’s the most important factor when choosing a wire crimper. The good thing with wire crimping tools is that a single crimping tool’s die may be designed to work with several wire gauges, thus eliminating the need for a crimping tool for each wire gauge you work with. For instance, the iCrimp IWS-30J Ratchet Wire Crimping Tool Kit has interchangeable jaws/dies that accommodate 20 to 2 AWG wires.

2. Type of terminals being crimped 

The type of terminal being crimped also determines the crimping tool you choose: each type of terminal requires a specific crimping profile. More importantly, you must consider if the terminals are insulated or non-insulated because crimping tools’ cavities are designed differently to avoid damaging the terminal. For instance, wire crimpers for insulated terminals tend to have round-like cavities to prevent insulation damage.
Examples of non-insulated terminals include:

  • Blade terminals
  • Butt splice connectors
  • Ring terminals
  • Brass bullet terminals
  • Mate N Lok terminals

Examples of insulated (pre-insulated) terminals include:

  • Insulated ring terminals
  • Insulated spade connectors
  • Insulated piggyback connectors
  • Pre-insulated blade terminals
  • Insulated fork terminals

You may opt for a crimping tool designed only for one type of terminal or a crimping tool kit with different jaw configurations and interchangeable dies.

3. Application and volume of operation

Where and how often will you be using the wire crimping tool? Answering this question will significantly help you choose an ideal crimping tool.
For instance, when working in tight spaces, you need a compact tool, and a handheld crimping tool is a good choice as it will allow maneuverability. When doing home electrical repairs, a standard wire crimper like the iCrimp IWS-03C crimping tool or the iCrimp IWS-2412M open barrel crimping tool will get the job done.
Suppose you intend to do a high volume of crimp joints and large sizes of wires; you should use a faster or automated tool like a pneumatic crimp tool like the iCrimp AM-10 Pneumatic Crimper Machine.

You can read more on the different types of crimping tools

4. Quality

You need to choose high-quality crimping tools that can withstand high pressure. That means it should be built of quality material like hardened steel. A sturdy coating is also essential to prevent rusting. Above all, a good wire crimper should have ergonomic designs to enhance comfort when using the tool.

Bottom line

 You must not overlook several things when choosing a wire crimping tool, i.e., quality, wire gauge, type of terminal, and how you intend to use that tool. By doing so, you’re better positioned to choose an ideal crimper for your project that will enable you to create secure connections. iCrimp offers quality wire crimpers in various wire sizes and terminals (both pre-insulated and non-insulated). 





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