Best wire crimper



    The calibration on AMP crimpers consists of closing it until it is just before the last click which will release the ratchet, and then checking the crimp area with go and no-go gages of specific diameter pins.
    This detects both wear in the crimp surfaces and in the various pins which make up the compound linkage which gives you lots of mechanical advantage.
    The same applies to the hydraulic ones, except that there is no wear in the mechanical linkage -- just in the die's crimp surfaces.
    Wear in either place can give you weak crimps. Not a problem for an individual user, but for those used in production assembly, the calibration is truly needed over time.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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What's your standard pull test?
IIRC the Boeing test is 50 lbs. I never saw anyone actually use the wire pull tester at MITRE, we just yanked on the wire.
Jim Wilkins
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    *I* don't have one. The quoted text above is from someone up-thread from me whose attribution has been snipped out.
    What I mentioned was how AMP says to calibrate their crimpers, with a pair of gauge pins as go/no-go tests.
    If the go won't fit, it is crimping too tight and crushing the wire, leading to early failure in pull conditions.
    If the no-go fits, it is too loose, and just as likely to have a wire pull out.
    Of course, it is important to use the *right* size wire as well as the right size terminal and the right size crimper dies. Any one of those wrong will allow pull-out or other failures. This is why the dies mark the crimped terminal so you can tell whether it was crimped with the proper dies. (Alternating one-dot two-dots through the colors until you get large enough so readable size numbers can be crimped into the insulation.

    50 pounds down to what minimum gauge wire? Without checking it, I would consider 22 ga likely to break outside the terminal at 50 pounds, and smaller wires certainly so.
BTW --    I was lucky at the hamfest today, and got a couple of bags of the     small yellow (26-22 Ga) terminals -- a quite rare size in either     eBay auctions or hamfests. And unless you are doing serious     aviation work, you probably don't want to pay the new price for     AMP terminals. :-) Even at hamfest prices, the sizes from 1-0     through 4-0 often cost $1.00 per terminal. :-)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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That was me that mentioned the pull test. And I think the pull test is done to have a calibration sticker applied. The adjustment with the go and no go pins is to adjust the crimpers if necessary. And then the pull test done again to verify that the adjustment was done correctly. I did not say what the standard is because it would vary with the size and because I never knew the values. I think the pull test was done until there was a failure with something like 5 samples and all samples had to fail above some value. At least that is how I would make the calibration test, until someone pointed out a better way.
Dan
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    [ ... ]

    The AMP ratchet hand crimpers have no provisions for adjustment. Everything is fixed, from the travel of the ratchet bar through compound linkages (so you can apply sufficient force by hand) to the final closing of the crimp jaws. The places where the "adjustment" would be are only going to change by wear of the pivot pins and the holes in which they operate. When it wears that much, the gauge pins show it, and it is time to replace it -- not simply adjust something. The crimper has a *long* life before it wears that much -- but on a production line it will eventually wear that much.
    Granted -- the newer ones which look more like vise-grip pliers with replaceable jaws can be adjusted by shims, but the PIDG crimpers which I use don't have replaceable jaws -- at least until you get to the hydraulic ones, in which case the proper depth of crimp is determined by shoulders on the dies which limit the travel. With this style, the only place where wear could occur is the rather seriously hardened and polished crimp surfaces themselves. (No, I'm not going to take one of my dies and test it with a Rockwell hardness gauge -- that would render it incorrect for the crimping job -- and apparently these dies sell *new* for over $1400.00 per size. And the prices on eBay, while not that high, are higher than anything which I paid for them in the past. :-)

    If the wire pulls out before the wire breaks between the crimp terminal and the puller, it has failed. If the break occurs first, it has passed. (And one *likely* cause of failure is using the wrong gauge wire, wrong terminal size, or wrong crimper or die set.)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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Are you aware that there are different die shapes for insulated vs uninsulated terminals? Could it be that you have the rignt crimper for the wrong job?
Pete Stanaitis -------------------
Karl Townsend wrote:

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wrote:

Karl
Klein 1006 is good. McMaster-Carr #7289K1. I have the older model which has lasted 40 or so years. A new one is probably in order but it can wait. A good electrical supply will have the Klein brand also.
Don't get the other Klein that was mentioned. Don't get the McMaster- Carr 7007K92. They are trash.
Bob AZ
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On the subject, I own 7754K1 -- air powered crimper. I should use it more often.
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    My favorites are made by AMP, and for that range of sizes, three crimpers -- or one of the newer ones with multiple size dies in one assembly.
    The sizes you need are:
    red    22-18     blue    16-14     yellow    12-10
Look for P.I.D.G. in the description.
    You can cut down to only two crimpers if you get the yellow with black stripe terminals which fit the yellow crimper but crimp for 16-14. Some of the newer ones are marked with both size ranges. These are the "heavyhead" crimpers, compared to the other two sizes.
An example is in auction #180339763285 on eBay. The current price is a good one -- but it may go higher.
    The mention of "Adjustable Die set" refers to the adjustment for the insulation crimp part -- done by pulling a pin out of one hole and putting it in another to slide the insulation part of the crimp dies tighter or looser -- three total settings -- to adjust for different thicknesses of insulation. This applies to the other sizes as well.
    This one (#260383416849) is a different brand, though AMP makes similar ones these days -- which does not have a separate adjustment for insulation diameter crimp. However, it handles all three sizes in a single tool.
    This one (#400036457700) is a set of dies for the newer style AMP crimper -- without the crimper. Again -- no separate adjustment for the insulation crimp.
    This one (#310074255444) is an air powered version with the heads for both the blue (16-14) and the red (22-18) -- but is is probably more expensive than you want to play with. These sometimes show up for a lot less money. I don't see the pivot screws for mounting the heads into the pneumatic handle. The orange box contains pneumatic logic units to allow for gradual application of the pressure instead of slamming it on each time. But beware -- the rubber tubing plumbing these is likely to be brittle -- trace out the connections *before* you power it up -- and ideally replace the tubing first. I have one which I have to find which part of the pneumatic logic has a chunk in it which makes it not work.
    Avoid this one (#330311102403). It is in *very* nice condition, but it is for the *small* yellow (26-22 ga) terminals which are quite hard to find. But it shows you what the other two should look like. The thing to check is the color of paint at the end of the handles (often only remaining on the inside) which codes the size as well as what is printed on the metal at the crimp head.
    This one (#150334808348) is a newer style which still has the adjustment for the insulation crimp size. And it handles both the Blue and the Red sizes, so in combination with the yellow one at the start should work well. I don't have one of this style, but if I come across one at a hamfest for a reasonable price I will add it to my collection.
    Note, BTW that some red ones are listed 22-18, and others 22-16. The 16 Ga end is not allowed for aircraft use -- use the blue where vibration is a problem for 16 Ga.
    This one (#250382497684) is a good one for the blue size only, and the price is currently attractive.
    Here (#270345183660) is a nice one for red size only at a nice price.
    And this one (#160191330208) is an example of the yellow with black stripe for 16-14 Ga in the Yellow heavyhead crimper. If #6 ring terminals are the size you need, you can skip the Blue crimper and terminals. But beware that these are relatively rare in auctions.
    So -- this is a snapshot of some of what is currently on eBay.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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Karl Townsend wrote:

My recommendations based on what I carry. For "red" and "blue" color coded lugs I use a Midland Ross H-7B crimper which I bought from my employer at tool disposal sale 20 years ago. Still performs a certified crimp to this day.
For "yellow" color coded lugs I use a Thomas&Betts WT145C crimper. Same performance as above. This crimper model will also perform crimps on the "blue" color coded lugs but prefer the above crimper for the smaller wires.
These two types show up on the auction sites frequently for way less money than new.
If you can't find a picture of what they look like, send me a note and I'll snap a picture of mine.
Good hunting
Jim Vrzal Holiday, Fl.
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As mentioned by Jim V, T&B Thomas & Betts tools produce extremely good results and are made to last, they've been making very durable wiring tools for decades.
The T&B tools are much better quality and more versatile than Klein or brands in the Cooper Group.
--
WB
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Another very useful thread I have followed with interest. It is shocking how times move on when you are not paying attention. In the days of doing much more electric stuff I would not have dreamed of considering a proper connection without soldering it. Then I found some crimping terminals and thought they could be done with just any old pliers (well, the crimper I bought first was actually worse!).
Now having read all the posts twice I know better (I think!). To fill the gaps I spent an entertaining evening with Google. Clearly the crimping v. soldering issue is still alive in some circles - one of the boating forums filled over 4 pages with ad hominem attacks by true believers on heretics!
Anyway, inspired I went and bought a "proper" crimper today. It is similar to the Klein 1006 made by Channellock. I could not get the ratchet models even if I wanted to spend the money. This one was really the only usable one, the rest resembled the horrible thing I bought many years ago.
I feel more comfortable about the up-coming electric jobs.
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Michael Koblic,
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In a similar vein, I tried my pneumatic crimper today, and I am very happy with the results. It is a little handheld thing with a lever, pictured here:
http://www.mcmaster.com/catalog/115/gfx/large/7754kp1l.gif
and can be seen pn page 755. It is much more convenient than the handheld one that I have been using prior. I will use it whenever possible.
I bought it on ebay.
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    [ ... ]

    O.K. That one looks very much like the ones made by AMP. The crimping dies pivot on two long-headed screws, and are operated by an air-powered wedge moving between rollers on the back end of the die heads. Otherwise, those die heads are very much like the ones on the ratchet crimpers.

    With an orange box containing the pneumatic logic? Watch out for the hoses inside, which may have gotten brittle with age and which may need tracing before they crumble. (And -- *if* they crumble in place, you are likely to have a chunk of the tubing caught in part of the pneumatic logic.)
    I have seen some offered without the pneumatic logic box -- just valved straight from the air feed to the crimper head. If you have three hoses in parallel from the head to the box, you have the pneumatic logic.
    I got a "wiring" diagram for the logic from the makers of the logic components.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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Yep.
No, it was a long time ago.

I do not have any box, just a crimper with a flexible hose piece.
i
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    :-)
    You may find it intersting to know that as far back as 1964 (the first that *I* knew of it) the Telephone company (Ma Bell in all its pre-breakup glory) considered a soldered connection to be temporary, and a wire-wrapped connection to be permanent. (These were using 22 Ga solid wire and larger square pins than are used for wire wrapping logic boards, but the principle is the same -- ten full turns under tension around a sharp-cornered post resulting in 40 oxygen-free connections (four per turn).
    And while they are considered permanent -- there are tools to undo the connection without damaging the terminal, although you can't re-use the length of wire which made up the wrap. :-)

    O.K. It should have at least (since it does not have a ratchet) stops somewhere which contact when the crimper it fully closed. Make sure that you always crimp until those stops touch.
    Note that the pre-insulated crimp terminals are designed for stranded wire -- not solid wire. Solid *will* often pull out from the crimp. And solid wire is also much more vulnerable to vibration damage as well.

    Good -- and good luck,         DoN.
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DoN. Nichols wrote:

What? More new-fangled things? I even hear people stopped using vaccum tubes in some applications! What is the world coming to? I tried one of them new-fangled transistors but did not care for it much. When you heat it properly like a vacuum tube it does not work worth a damn...

Yes, there is a well-defined stop. Also nice long handles which fit comfortably so closing is not a problem. They had another one for half the price: Shorter handles which were quite far apart. Did not trust it to do the job...
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Michael Koblic,
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When the real crimper manufacturers do testing of their products, it's very easy to come to the conclusion that proper crimps make the best connections.
The microscope pictures of cross sectional cuts thru the centers of the crimps should be enough evidence to convince the hardest skeptics.
High current connectors on large cables are the same.. soldering large cables into connectors always presents a high degree of risk.
As someone else mentioned, quality connectors are very important, as there are a lot of cheap imitations available almost everywhere. I've used a lot of T&B connectors because I've never had any regrets from using them. They haven't changed the connectors to be able to produce them more cheaply.
I've often used the crimpers intended for bare connectors to crimp insulated connectors, and they aren't prone to failure if a couple of things are realized. The wire used in the connector isn't too small. The insulated connector is used in the crimping tool space where the diameter of the insulating material fits the ground notch of the crimping position. Enough force is used to fully crimp the metallic sleeve portion of the connector. Pull to test the integrity of the connection, and push to make sure the connection is tight. Be aware that the insulating material has been compromised, so don't use it against a conductive part that's at a different voltage potential other than the particular connection.
I still solder some stranded leads when crimp connectors aren't being used. In some situations, soldering just the tips of the strands together for stranded wire, ensures that there won't be any stray strands. If the solder isn't allowed to wick along the rest of the strands the wire end will remain flexible enough to withstand being moved, without causing a fatigue spot at the connection.
The Western Union splice is the nearly perfect example of what an electrical connection should be like. The contact surface area is greater than the cross sectional area of the wire. The electrical connection is mechanically secure.
One T&B tool I have is the multi-purpose tool for stripping, cutting, crimping for bare and insulated connectors and machine screw cutting. The crimp point for bare connectors isn't very good, but adequate for a secure connection. The notches for stripping are ground sharp to cut the insulation, so releasing my hand pressure after cutting thru the insulation doesn't cut into the wire, and makes pulling the insulation almost effortless. For most small gage crimping purposes, the long handled, forged steel T&B crimpers perform flawlessly, and have only needed a couple of drops of oil occasionally.
I've never owned the types of cheap crimpers I see for sale all the time. They look like they'd be painful to use and a source of frustration and problems. I see them in friends' tool boxes, but have never had to ask to use them.
--
WB
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Wild_Bill wrote:
< snip>

This is where I am still somewhat confused: The crimpers I have laid my hands on so far (not many) have different profiles for insulated and non-insulated crimping but the insulated profiles are *different from one another*. For instance mine has a sort of little anvil with a much smaller nipple opposite for non-insulated but for insulated it is a simple diamond shaped apperture (slighly rhomboid to be precise - not sure if by design or by slack tolerance in manufacturing). I tried the insulated portion on a couple of blue terminals. I mangled the first one. The second one I squeezed with a bit more circumspection and it came out quite nicely (pull test=OK :-)
The other crimper that I did not buy simply had the same arrangement for insulated and non-insulated - anvil and nipple - but the insulated was larger

I thought as much and with the crimper bought a supply of heat-shrink tubing :-)

In my youth I found one's teeth were the best for stripping insulation. Now I have one of those tools that does it almost by itself: Grips, cuts and strips in one squeeze.
In the old days the ability to solder was almost a test of manhood. One of the knocks against soldering (corrosion caused by the residual flux) was generally obviated by using violinists' rosin. Even with soldering times have moved on. When I saw the first temperature-controlled iron I nearly fainted.
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