My review of Harbor Freight's 93977 Ratcheting Crimper

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That is nice to know. I'll have to take a look at it next time I get to HF. So did you buy one?
I suspect ratchet crimpers work really well in a controlled setting. Where you know the wire size, terminal and application. Then you can have any Tom, Dick or Harry squeeze the handle and get the desired result.
I had to make do with the terminals I had with me in my parts caddy at the time. Then maybe stand on my head to reach the wire up underneath the dash or some similarly awkward place...
I used several different crimp tools though. Needed open barrel (sometimes called Flag), insulated, un-insulated and specials for odd RF/coaxial connectors.
It is only in relatively recent years that you can get inexpensive crimpers that do a pretty decent job. The specials used to cost ~$100 plus. Kind of hard to justify buying when you only needed one once or twice a year.
Reply to
Leon Fisk
I did. Looks OK. I like the notion of having compound leverage. It looks like the "release" point of the ratchet is adjustable, so one could examine a crimp, maybe do a pull test, and adjust if/as needed.
I'm sure it doesn't compare to a $100 tool, but I think it'll work considerably better than the pliers-type crimpers.
A ratchet also enables greater compound leverage, because you can use several strokes to close the jaws.
Reply to
Don Foreman
So ... you're saying that the idea of solder wicking up the strands and making the wire stiff and vulnerable to fatigue is wrong? If so, is it because you have soldered crimped connections without problems? And you have done so on the military equipment you cite?
Looking for clarification is all, Bob
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
The four-point indent is the best for insertable pins for connectors, but a well made Double-D crimp (such as those by AMP with ratchet control to make sure that the crimp is completed) are the best for pre-insulated ring and fork terminals. The good ones also do a separate crimp to support the wire's insulation to minimize flexing of the wires at the exit point from the contact's barrel.
U-crimp can conver a multitude of evils and goods.
The ones with a U shaped nest and a single indentor on the jaw opposite are bad news -- though they can work with stranded wire and uninsulated terminal barrels.
The ones with two matched dies on either side which crimp in multiple ridges for the grip (such as the AMP PIDG crimpers) can be excellent. I've got crimpers for these from 28 ga up through 4/0, with the top eight sizes (8 ga through 4/0) closed by hydraulic pump instead of hand force and a ratchet.
The ones with a single U nest for the terminal body, and a pair of side-by-side "U"s for folding over flags to bite end-on into the wire, and separately fold another set of flags to a circular strain relief for the insulation can make very reliable connections with the terminals formed from sheet metal instead of the machined barrel ones needed for the 4-point indentors -- usually best done with the Daniels crimpers.
Enjoy, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
Indeed, but when you run out while on the road someplace..and you have to resort to Rat Shack (run away..run away now!)...
Ive gotten better terminals at Napa auto parts than at RS or other "electronic stores"
Gunner
Reply to
Gunner
All of the ratchet crimpers I've used/seen had some compound leverage, but the ratchet part was simply there to force a full cycle. I've seen and played with (at the store) the ratchet pruners that use multiple strokes so I know what you mean.
Production work for me was maybe 6 to 12 terminals at one time to hook up something (remote control radio) to a terminal strip/block. By the time you got a ratchet crimper "dialed" in I would be all done :)
I've got this one listed on my "take a look at list" for the next time I'm poking around at HF. Right along side those Precision Screwdrivers just discussed.
Reply to
Leon Fisk
It is a lot easier to find crappy ones than it is to find good ones. We used to go through quite a few misc terminals at work. Finding/keeping a decent supplier wasn't easy for a whole raft of different reasons. I can't say I miss that part of the job...
Reply to
Leon Fisk
The *proper* ratcheting crimpers -- those made by AMP and the like -- have no dialing in. Each crimper is for a specific size of terminal and a specific range of wire sizes. The most common in my experience are the red (22-16 ga), blue (16-14 ga), and yellow (12-10 ga). And for the red, the 16 ga is better put in the blue terminals.
Each crimper has a set of go/no-go gauges available. to check the size at fully closed. The larger sizes (8 ga, through 2 ga in one series, and 1/0 through 4/0 in the other series) use interchangeable dies in hydraulic heads. The stroke is limited by the dimensions of the dies, not by adjustments to the head. And these, too have go/no-go gauges specified. (You get dimensions in the data sheets, so you can simply get pin gauges to use if you don't want to spend the extra bucks to get AMP's on sets.)
I would like to look at the HF crimper, to compare it with my collection of AMP crimpers. If it is good enough, I might use it for an on-the-road tool to avoid taking three of the AMP ones along. (I would among other things, check how it crimps the insulation support.) But for building something, I would use the AMP ones. And for building a *lot* of something, I would get some of the compressed air driven crimpers from AMP which show up in eBay auctions from time to time.
Granted -- I would not pay (as a hobbyist) AMP crimpers *new*, but I've gotten them from surplus sales, hamfests, and eBay auctions to fill out my collection. This includes lots of special-purpose ones, such as the ones which crimp shield and center pin at the same time for coax inserts to connectors, and ones which crimp a ferrule on the shield of shielded wire, to connect it to the shields of other wires, and then to ground or to pins in a connector.
Enjoy, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
For some semi-volume production crimping, say 1,000 to 2,000 crimps per week, we rely on a pneumatic tool available from Paladin-Tools Co,
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Part No. 901510.
It is simply an air cylinder with a frame/clamp that holds a ratcheting-pliers type crimping tool (their 1300-series pliers in our case) and closes them for you with a foot operated air switch.
It would be easy enough for a handy HSM'er to fab one. Bought new they were about $500 to set one station up IIRC. These 1300-pliers use interchangeable die-sets for different terminals. Works a treat for us.
Thanks also to the OP for the review.
Reply to
Paul
Paladin makes a pretty good third-party crimper series. I have a couple of those for things which I have not been able to cover with the AMP tools which I have been able go get used at reasonable prices.
O.K The ones made by AMP which I was looking at recently have drifted off the current auction list, There were two in a single lot for about $30.00 IIRC. There are examples (for quite a bit more) in the eBay stores section. An example is auction number:
190173235220
This is for semi-production -- or production work which has to be in an inconvenient place, like in the cockpit of a flight simulator, or a real aircraft.
For cables and assemblies which fit on the assembly workbenches, there are bench-mounted machines which feed the terminals from a reel, and you just have to stick the stripped wire in and hit the foot switch, or perhaps even a switch set where it can be bumped by a knuckle as you stick the wire in. Those are significantly more expensive, even from eBay auctions -- starting over $1000.00, and sometimes a *lot* over that.
For my purposes, most terminals can be crimped by hand-held and hand powered crimpers -- but I don't do real production. I do have a hydraulic pump which cycles up to 10,000 PSI and then releases, to handle the hydraulic heads for the 8 ga through 2 ga, and the 1/0 through 4/0. (Two different heads, with different diameter rams, so the 10,000 PSI peak is right for each.
The alternative -- for me -- is to pump the lever on an Enerpac cylinder. When I first encountered the 4/0 dies and head (where I worked many years ago), there was a floor resting pump with a foot pedal to get the 10,000 PSI, and another one to release the pressure once you hit the "break" point where suddenly your foot went down rapidly, after the peak pressure had been reached. (Bypasses in the heads, I think.)
Enjoy, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols

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