If you are an electrician or you happen to have to make a small electrical installation in your home, you will undoubtedly have to use a cable or wire crimping tool. This tool (or, at least, most of these tools) was created for specific purposes, so don’t try to use other means to do this job and take a look at our guide.
Working with cables, it often happens – not to say almost always – that things do not go as planned. Maybe you notice that the cable is too short and you ask yourself: what should I do? The crimping tool, also called “compression pliers,” was invented for these occasions and will allow you to work effectively in such situations.
Right below, we had listed out the best crimping tools.
Everything You Need to Know About Crimping Tools
For those who are not used to working with cables or electrical wires, the crimping tool is probably not among the best-known tools, since it is not as popular as the stripping tool or the cable cutter.
To answer some of the most frequently asked questions of future and potential users of this tool, we have prepared the following section.
What Is a Crimping Tool?
The crimping pliers for cables or electric wires are named after the English term crimper, “crimping,” which means connecting an electric cable by tightening it, in fact, with special pliers.
To be exact, crimping consists in connecting an electrical cable to a connector, to guarantee an electrical contact similar to that which would be obtained with welding.
The crimping is done by mechanical crushing, with which the cable remains fixed on the connector thanks to the pressure that is exerted during the crushing. This operation is irreversible: this means that the cable can no longer be disconnected from the respective connector.
What Is a Crimping Tool For?
A crimping tool deforms the cables to make their cold fusion possible. In workshops, technicians often melt cables by welding. The crimping tool carries out the casting process entirely on its own, without the need to use other more complex tools.
In addition to being used to melt electrical cables, these pliers are also very popular in the production of jewelry, in particular, to firmly fix the ends of pearl strings. The use of a crimping tool ensures a permanent and long-lasting fixing.
How to Use a Crimping Tool with Electrical Cables?
In short, we can say that this tool is mainly designed to work with different types of electric cables. Using a crimping tool is not as complicated as many people think. We have, therefore, developed a short guide in five simple steps to explain how to handle it successfully.
- Choose the right terminal. A terminal is the slightly bulky plastic part at the end of a cable. Usually, it is located just before the actual connector.
- Strip the insulation of the cable and do not expose more than the length of the terminal. For example, if your airport is 0.50 cm long, remove only those 0.50 cm of insulation.
- Twist the cables with your fingers. Twisting the cables together makes sliding in the terminal more susceptible, as well as promoting a more resistant crimp. Then, you will need to insert the cables into the terminal.
- Insert the terminal in the correct nest of the crimping tool. Some pliers are equipped with nests marked by the colors of the standard connectors. The gauges of the electric cables are printed on other pliers.
Finally, tighten the crimping tool as hard as you can and release it. You will thus be able to obtain a tight and long-lasting fuse.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing
It is almost impossible to be able to buy a quality tool if you do not know the appropriate purchase criteria to consider. Beyond the indispensable features, there may also be other features included in the crimping tool, which will allow you to make the most of it. here are the most important criteria:
The first aspect to consider is the intensity of the work that you will have to do, as the type of crimping tool you will have to buy will depend on this. In general, manual ones are ideal for limited volumes of work, those that are carried out only occasionally.
Higher workloads will require the use of automatic tools such as a pneumatic press. It will always be worth considering the operating volume to determine if the crimping tool you plan to buy will be useful for the various operations you will have to carry out. A medium quality gripper could easily break if used for complex jobs.
The size of the cable is a fundamental criterion for knowing exactly which crimping tool you need since these tools have different sizes depending on the area they can accept. This caliber is measured by the American Wire Gauge (AWG ) unit.
Type of Cable
The type of cable is one of the most important aspects to consider, as each variant of cable or wire requires a different crimp. For example, the coaxial cable requires a BNC or coaxial clamp. It is essential to check the type of cable that will be used before purchasing one of these tools.
Quality crimping pliers are expected to last at least ten years. The tighter the crimp, the better. Too narrow terminals reduce the cross-section of the cable. This is an essential factor to take into consideration before purchasing because loose connections would cause failure or damage.
Undoubtedly, accessories can play a significant role when making a decision. Some manufacturers offer their models of grippers in kits, which include up to over a thousand terminals of different sizes. In other cases, the crimping pliers have multiple interchangeable vices included in the package. In this way, you can use them in different scenarios.