As an electrician, DIY, or a telecom engineer, you already know the importance of having a crimping tool in your toolbox.
It helps to join two network cables, or a wire and a connector. When a wire is joined to a connector such as a lug, it is called a crimp.
Crimping tools come in different sizes in line with the American Wire Gauge (AWG). Some have replaceable die heads to contain a wider range of wire sizes and connectors.
At mariaelectricals.com, we use crimp connectors daily and also know the quality ones. This keeps us on the edge of suggesting the best quality crimpers for you.
Below are the top 3 crimpers we recommend for you.
Types of wire crimping tools
There are three types, they include:
- Handheld crimpers
- Hammer crimping tools.
Handheld crimp tool
This is the simplest and most common crimper you can get on the market. They are manually operated and most of them use a simple squeezing action like hand pliers. However, they have ratchets that provide consistent and repeatable pressure.
Some come with interchangeable jaw sets to accommodate different types and sizes of terminals, while others are multi-purpose and can do the work of wire strippers and pliers.
This crimper uses more pressure than the handheld and can also crimp thicker wires using the interchangeable crimping dies. But unlike the handheld, they need regular care, such as changing oil and filters.
This tool comes with a movable wedge which allows the crimping of various sizes of wires (small and large wires).
The downside is that it’s not that portable, and must also be placed on a flat surface before use.
How to use crimping tool
To make a crimp, you will need:
- Crimping tool
- Cable wire
- Wire stripper
- Using your wire stripper, remove the rubber insulator from the wire and trim the end firmly to make a better connection.
- Insert the connector into the crimp tool and hold it firmly.
- Insert the wire into the connector and crimp it. If you are using a ratchet crimper, it will automatically release once the crimp is ready so you won’t have to apply much pressure.
You can test to see if the crimp is standard by pulling the wire and connector apart.
What to Consider Before Buying a Crimping Tool
When going for a new crimper, there are certain things to consider. They include:
Volume of tasks
The volume of tasks at hand is one of the first things to consider before buying a new tool. If it is a small task where fineness is necessary, go for a handheld tool.
But if it is a large task where you produce thousands of crimps a day, consider buying a pneumatic or hydraulic crimper.
Size of wire and crimp profile
Since we have different sizes of wires, so are crimping tools. The tools are sized according to the wire sizes.
Always check the wire gauge and the type of terminal you want to crimp, since each type of terminal has a specific crimp profile.
When choosing a new tool, always look for the one with warranty as they are always strong and durable.
Depending on the product, some producers give mere suggestions, while others give specific requirements in service and tools to maintain the warranty.
Before deciding on any tool, check these specifications to confirm if they are requirements or suggestions to avoid wasting your money.
Like other electrical tools, crimpers need regular care and maintenance to last longer. Although their lifespan will depend on the working environment and frequency of use, regular inspection of the tool will also help.
Below are the ways to care for the hand tool:
- Regular inspection to make sure the screw, spring and moving parts are in order.
- Frequent lubrication of joints, bearings, and pivot points.
- Only use the tool for crimping work
- Don’t clean it with hash material
- Keep it away from dust and moisture.
Our best tool review and recommendations
This is an all-in-one tool kit containing all the tools you may need for network maintenance. The kit comprises crimping pliers, flat/cross screwdrivers, cable testers, punch down tools, wire stripping knives, phone cable connectors, and RJ45 regular connectors.
The tool is efficient and has multi-purpose. It crimps, strips, and also cuts wires which are good for RJ-11, RJ-12, RJ-45 connectors, and is also suitable for Cat5 and Cat5e cable with 4P4C, 6P6C, and 8P8C plugs. But the crimper cannot crimp pass-through connectors.
The kit is portable and affordable and also comes with a multi-function cable tester for testing network cables.
For more details, current prices, and customer reviews of the product, check it out here on Amazon.
This is an essential tool for insulated terminals. The crimper has beautiful features that make it a must-have for all electricians.
It has an adjustable compression wheel and a ratcheting mechanism for precise and repeatable crimp, preventing over crimping.
The crimper also has a built-in safety, double crimp, quick-to-release lever, durable, and comfortable handle.
Check Amazon for current pricing, customer reviews, and other details.
This is a cheap and easy-to-use tool that works on any ethernet or telephone cable.
Useful for crimping 8P/RJ-45 and 6P/RJ-12, RJ-11, the tool also has a cutter and stripper for cutting and stripping flat cables.
It has a ratchet mechanism to keep the crimper closed when not in use, and also a one-year limited warranty.
Looking for a strong and reliable crimper that will last for you? Check it out on Amazon.
That’s it, I believe this guide will help you in choosing the best quality crimper.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to crimp or solder?
Crimping is better. It is easier, stronger, durable, and more reliable than soldering.
Secondly, soldering can degrade with time while crimp remains the same.
Can you crimp with a plier?
No, you can’t. A plier can never make a water and air tight grip which can stand the test of time. So, it is not advisable.