How to Use a Wire Crimping Tool

Written by mark morris
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Unlike string or rope, wire cannot, generally, be tied in a knot. Twisting wires together, or using wirenuts, can work in some cases, but a truly permanent link between two pieces of identical wire is best made with a crimping tool and connectors. Connectors and crimping pliers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Electrical crimpers can be found at home centres; beading or craft crimpers are available from hobby or craft stores.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wire
  • Wire crimping tool
  • Crimping connectors

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  1. 1

    Strip the ends of both wires of any insulation or other coating that may interfere with a clean connection. Many electrical crimpers come equipped with stripping gauges. These are the small, round holes toward the back of the mouth of the pliers that open and close with the pliers. Choose the correct size hole, place the wire in the desired distance from the end, squeeze the pliers shut tight and twist while pulling the pliers toward the open end of the wire. Most insulation will cut and pull away easily.

  2. 2

    Choose a connector the right size for the wire you wish to join. Consult the package or reel your wire came in. It should have a measurement for the thickness of the wire. Many times wires are measured in guages--the smaller the number, the bigger the wire. Other times the measurement will be a decimal number followed by a symbol for inches or centimetres. The connector package will have the a corresponding number on it as well.

  3. 3

    Place the wires in the connector. Consult the directions that come with the connectors for more specific details. Most connectors will fasten one of two ways: for butt connectors, attach the connector to one wire first, then add the other wire at the other end of the connector; for splice connectors, both wires should be properly placed before crimping.

  4. 4

    Crimp the connector fully. It may be handy to have a firm surface to press the handle of the crimper down onto, especially if your hands are small. Close the pliers as tight as they will go. In some case you made need to resituate the pliers to a section of the wire next to the original crimp and crimp it again to make certain the connector stays in place.

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