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If your job largely involves so many electrical projects, you will understand that you constantly need to solder wires, make cable connections or connect wires to terminals. If that is the case, you obviously need the right tools for the job. One tool that should never miss in your toolbox should be the wire crimping tool. These tools are also commonly referred to as terminal pliers or simply crimping pliers. Crimping is achieved by simply moving the jaws of your crimping tool.
When the jaws are closed, the terminal is deformed by clamping the cable in there. A wire crimping tool is basically used to crimp terminals of any kind. As such, they offer the capability of connecting cables in most electrical installations. In this article, we have gathered information that you will need when selecting a wire crimping tool. Shall we begin?
How to Use a Crimping Tool
Whenever you use a crimping tool, you can rest assured of a secure connection or a safe wire ending that lasts for a very long time. In order to make sure that this happens, you need to understand how to use a wire crimping tool properly. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to use a crimping tool correctly:
Choosing the wire: There are instances where you might or might not have a choice of the wire to use. All that will depend on the project that you are undertaking. It is however advisable not to use solid coiled wires. The best wires will be the stranded wires for the reason that solid wires are not malleable to make a reliable connection. You crimp a connector to the wire end to get a continuous electrical connection between them. This can only be achieved when both the sire and the connector sleeve are malleable to be easily manipulated under compression. You must therefore choose the correct wires.
Choose the correct terminal: A terminal is simply that bulky plastic component that you get at the end of a cord before the plug. Depending on the project, you will need to choose the correct terminal to ensure that the crimp works correctly. There are different variations of crimps but there are some that are commonly used. It, therefore, means that it is not that hard to get the right match. Always note that getting the correct terminal is very important if you wish to get a long-lasting connection.
Strip the insulation: While doing this, ensure that you never expose more wire compared to the length of your terminal. For instance, in case you have a terminal that measures ¼ inch, you are supposed to remove ¼ inch of the wire’s insulation. You will get some crimping tools with a place to score insulation to ensure that you can easily remove that. If your tool does that, you ought to place the wire in the right nesting then move the tool backward gently and forwards in order to perforate the wire’s insulation. In case your tool doesn’t have that feature, buy a scoring tool for perforating electrical wires in any hardware store near you.
Twist your wires together: You need to twist the wires together using your fingers to make it very easy to slip into your terminal. This will also help in creating a strong crimp. After that, you will need to insert the wire carefully into the crimp and ensure that it is properly placed.
Use the right nest: You might find a crimping tool whose nests are color-coded meant to match the connector colors. Provided that you choose the right nest, proceed to insert the wires after which you will squeeze your crimping tool hardest possible and then release. In some instances, you will be needed to use a ratchet crimping tool. This means that the tool will automatically release the crimp after all is done.
Make the crimp: If you will be using a ratchet tool, you ought to cycle it till the tool releases automatically. However, if you have non-ratchet tools, you might be required to crimp the terminal twice. You should crimp the conductor end before heading to the insulation ends. It is always advisable to perform a test crimp first to ensure that you are using the correct settings.
Care and Maintenance for Wire Crimping Tools
It’s a good practice to inspect your crimping tool regularly for any damages. If you begin noticing that the quality of your crimps has been degrading, inspection will be very important. When you are doing the inspection, you will need to ascertain that no part is missing including screws and springs. Here are a few maintenance tips for your wire crimping tools:
- Your crimping tools should only be used for the intended purpose
- When cleaning your tool, avoid the abrasive cleaners
- Joints, pivot points, and bearings of your tools must always be well-lubricated
- Keep your crimping tool away from moisture and dust
Benefits of a Wire Crimping Tool
Electricians and people who have worked in a field where wire connections and handling is a regular occurrence understand the importance of a crimping tool. The basic benefit of a crimping tool is that it is used to create secure connections to other wires or to terminals. A crimping tool will also save both time and labor. Below are some important benefits of wire crimping tools:
- Crimping tools offer the fastest ways to create cold weld joints in between two wires
- Compared to soldering, crimping requires no training or the use of dangerous materials
- Wire connections that have been done with quality crimping tools are reliable and secure
People who have done projects that involve wires or network cables understand the importance of crimping. Crimping generally involves compressing wires together with the aim of joining them to other wires or simply connecting them to a terminal. We do crimping for several reasons but regardless of the purpose, crimping tools are very important in such undertakings. With the right crimping tool, the crimping process is faster and easier. We hope that you have learned all the crimping aspects that you need as encapsulated in this article. With this information, it should be easy to know what crimping tool to buy.