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New tools you've bought recently?


sgtsandman

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I use a crimper as well but still solder in the terminals and cover the ends with heat shrink tubing. I've just had too many wires pull out even when crimped.
These are for terminals that already have the heat shrink. The crimper doesn't damage the heat shrink. The wires do get tinned before the terminals or butt connectors get put on. Regulater terminals or connectors get the heat shrink tubes if I don't have the right size with the heat shrink already on them. And I only use the stuff with the adhesive in the heat shrink.
 


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I don't believe a single pair of crimpers work for every application. I have weatherpack... deutsch... insulated connector... non insulated connector... battery lug crimper...

Not one works well on every application. By far my favorite is the Klein crimper...

1715968656667.png


because I mainly use non insulated type connectors and always use the dual wall shrink tube.
 
Last edited:

Roert42

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I’ve used a dozen different types of crumpets, those Klein are my go to as well.

The ratcheting ones are bit bulky and you don’t have as much control on the pressure.
 

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The cheap insulated connectors are not all made the same. Some have thinner wall on the metal, some different thickness plastic. I have both the ratcheting crimpers and a set of channelock like the Klein's shown above. I do the same as gump.
 

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I don't believe a single pair of crimpers work for every application. I have weatherpack... deutsch... insulated connector... non insulated connector... battery lug crimper...

Not one works well on the application. By far my favorite is the Klein crimper...

View attachment 111038

because I mainly use non insulated type connectors and always use the dual wall shrink tube.
A couple comments and a couple questions. Like always, I half know what I’m talking about

Like any old fart with dirty hands, I’ve got nine or 10 of these things at least. These three are my favorites.

IMG_1906.jpeg


The top/yellow pair are by far my go-to. I have no idea who made them, but they’re pretty high-quality. One feature I really like, is that you can tighten the nut at the pivot point. Cutting jaw on the tip rarely fails to cut anything that will fit in it, the bolt cutters do an excellent job, and the strippers do a 95% job. My experience with “one size“ crimpers is that it is more a matter experience/technique and applying the right pressure when holding the whatever in the right place, than the actual tool itself. I bought these new 20 30 40 years ago.

When I’m doing a lot of electrical work, with all different sizes and styles of wire, like the Road Ranger or Missing Linc, I like the pair in the middle for crimping. If you look on the user side of the pivot, there are a half dozen different size crimp diameter cut outs. They alternate from side to side.

IMG_1908.jpeg


I have peined (sp?) over the rivet several times to tighten them up. The front cut off jaws and the bolt cutters work, but not very well, and the strippers are worn and don’t line up anymore. In this thing’s defense, I found it underneath a spare tire in the trunk of a car, where it no doubt sat for more than a dozen years, rusted into the wheel well. I never pass up any tool, and it’s my favorite for crimping different size wires in one project, especially if I’m laying on my back under a car or such. The black handle is a piece of vacuum tube and friction tape for those times when I stripping something hot. Again, I have no idea who made these.

What I don’t like about these first two, is that it’s really easy to chop your finger with the strippers if you’re not careful. As I get older, and more wobbly, and my hands shake more, that’s a consideration.

The third set, like your Kline pliers, are very high-quality. But if you look at mine close, they actually have two different size crimpers in the jaws. I bought these new in the late 80s, but I rarely use them. Unfortunately, the two crimp sizes seem to be about a half size off for anything I want to do. Maker’s mark:

IMG_1907.jpeg


Here’s a comment/question: I love the PVC crimp connectors. And I love the concept of the heat shrink crimps, but the metal in them seems to be like tinfoil compared to the metal gauge inside the PVC crimps. Does anybody know if anybody makes a crimp with the heavier gauge of the PVC, but they’re made with the built-in heat shrink?

And one last comment. Years ago, the guys who worked for me on the cooking and packaging lines at Frito-Lay, working with electrical stuff that was exposed to water, would dip the wires in clear polyurethane before they put them in the crimp and crimped them. It didn’t seem to ever affect the conductivity, but really worked fantastic for controlling corrosion, and they held the wire in more securely. For clarity, the food processing equipment and the packaging equipment was cleaned with pressure washers and caustic chemicals regularly.

I have done the same thing with silicone seal on occasion, and then ran silicone up-and-down over the finished crimp connection, when I made a connection I was concerned with for corrosion. But that’s a pain to do on a regular basis.

A few more last comments on preparing the wire to be crimped. First, after stripping my wire, I always twist it before I slide it in the crimp. If not, if a strand or two move, it can slide out fairly easily. Once twisted, it has to partially twist out.

Second, I have found that the thinner the wire diameter with stranded wire, the higher the probability you’ll have a problem. Most times when I am using a thinner wire, I will strip it twice as long as I need it, and fold it over double and then use a slightly larger crimp. It doesn’t need to be twisted as the loop provides the same extra grip.

Finally, when I’m working with really teeny tiny stranded wires, like a lot of the LED wires these days: I will strip them maybe 30% more than I need to. Then I separate the strands and fold them back over the insulation. Then I use a crimp that will slide over that snuggly. Then, when you crimp it, the strands are making connections on all sides, and the insulation provides a little pressure from within to keep the wires in contact. I have found this technique to be worth it’s weight in gold working on the LED strobe wires and such. The flex on the wire at the crimp point is buffered by the insulated wire, not just counting on the strands.

I welcome any comments and thoughts, since when I do things like the road ranger with the CB, radios and lights in strobes and such, 95% if it works like a plan, and the 5% is the devil to track down.
 
Last edited:

Uncle Gump

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@Rick W

Hard for me to fish out the question in your rather lengthy post. But the bottom crimper you have is really for non insulated connectors.

There was a time when connectors were all pretty well built... not so much thesr days. If there is a bunch of them in a pack and a really good price... the connectors are terrible. I also make all those PVC connectors non insulated. Except for the butt splices. I just buy non insulated in those. But it's easy to just twist the red blue or yellow insulation off. Then I crimp with the Klein crimper aa non insulated and shrink tube it.

I can't justify buying the solderable connectors... they're super pricey. If I need solder... I do that to the non insulated connectors.
 

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The third set, like your Kline pliers, are very high-quality. But if you look at mine close, they actually have two different size crimpers in the jaws. I bought these new in the late 80s, but I rarely use them. Unfortunately, the two crimp sizes seem to be about a half size off for anything I want to do. Maker’s mark:
Gardner Bender.
They make a lot of electrical related things. Zip ties, connectors, wire nuts, wire number stickers, hand tools. Their hand tools are all just ok, not HF chincey, but not what I would want if I was using them every day.
 

sgtsandman

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There are different crimping tools for different connectors and how they are built/configured. I have four or five different types now. Some are for connectors with coatings and some for bare connectors. Unfortunately, there isn't a one size fits all tool. You can make some work but the ones designed to crimp a bare metal connector has a good probability of damaging the coated connectors, defeating the purpose of getting the coated connectors in the first place.
 

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The ratcheting ones are bit bulky and you don’t have as much control on the pressure
Ratcheting crimpers are supposed to be calibrated to give the exact proper crimp pressure every time, if the proper die is used. The quality if the crimp is much more accurate and repeatable.
 

sgtsandman

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Ratcheting crimpers are supposed to be calibrated to give the exact proper crimp pressure every time, if the proper die is used. The quality if the crimp is much more accurate and repeatable.
This latest one has an adjustment star wheel in it for that very reason. I'm not sure about the other one for bare terminals. It probably does as well.
 

Roert42

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Ratcheting crimpers are supposed to be calibrated to give the exact proper crimp pressure every time, if the proper die is used. The quality if the crimp is much more accurate and repeatable.
But you have one die setup for various wire gauges. Still only so dedicated. Even then, only so good if you are doing the same size wire all the time

This latest one has an adjustment star wheel in it for that very reason. I'm not sure about the other one for bare terminals. It probably does as well.
Most of the time the dies bottom out to prevent over crimping, the adjuster wheel is only for the spring tension on the ratchet mechanism.
11FA709F-AF5A-4734-9759-0E80276FBDAA.jpeg


They are nice in a production environment, doing the same job all day, but for field work they are two specialized.
There also massively bulky compared to other styles.
 

sgtsandman

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But you have one die setup for various wire gauges. Still only so dedicated. Even then, only so good if you are doing the same size wire all the time



Most of the time the dies bottom out to prevent over crimping, the adjuster wheel is only for the spring tension on the ratchet mechanism.View attachment 111051

They are nice in a production environment, doing the same job all day, but for field work they are two specialized.
There also massively bulky compared to other styles.
The last part is why I waited so long to get one. I just made do with what I had already but got tired of the connectors not crimping correctly or damaging the heat shrink because I squeezed to hard.
 

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So, they actually make heat shrink connectors that have low heat melt solder rings in them that will melt with a heat gun. A little pricey, but arguably the best. Heat gun does everything. Love them things. The other I do is either non-insulated crimp or pull the vinyl off a regular crimp and use it as a non insulated and heat shrink (glue lined).
 

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But you have one die setup for various wire gauges. Still only so dedicated. Even then, only so good if you are doing the same size wire all the time
I understand what you're saying. But those dies are supposed to give the proper crimp for each crimp size, throughout the range of wire sizes that crimp is rated for. If it doesn't, then that is a bad crimper.

With that said, here are most of the crimpers in my arsenal. The Greenlee pair in the lower right corner gets more use than any.

20240518_081201.jpg


Oh, yeah. Forgot this one.
20240518_081426.jpg
 
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Under the category of computer tools, I bought a Vantec Multi-Function M.2 NVMe/SATA SSD/HDD USB adapter so I can backup, partition, format, or do SSD/HDD data retreival.
 

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