If you are new to the world of hardware engineering, you might be advised by many to always have a crimping tool in your toolbox. Experts from electrical and networks engineering cannot emphasize enough the importance of crimping tools. However, as a novice in the field with little to no practical knowledge, this might be your first time hearing about crimp tools.
Sometimes, even those who consider themselves adept members of the professional electrician community do not know much about this extremely useful tool. If you belong to the same group, we urge you not to feel bad about your lack of knowledge at all. Rather, the only thing you should feel bad about is your unwillingness to focus on learning all you can about a crimping tool.
Using a crimping tool rightly could be one of the most important requirements of your professional life. This explains why you need more than enough knowledge on a crimping tool and its usage.
Below, we are covering all we know about a crimping tool and its proper use. So, read on:
What is a Crimping Tool?
Simply explained, a crimping tool is a manual device that you use to join two wires together. Mostly, this tool is used to ensure perfect and flawless wire crimping.
Now, you might be confused to what is wire crimping. Let us explain this in a more simplified manner. During electrical works, you are often confronted with situations where you have to join the end of a wire to a connector. Regardless of the type and nature of the connector, you often take a similar way to connect the two units while ensuring a smooth connection and a perfect flow of electricity. This method of connecting the wire to a connector is called wire crimping or crimp. The point where the wire and the connector are joined to each other is also referred to as the crimp point.
Why Do We Use A Crimping Tool?
Interestingly, crimping tools are available in different forms and shapes and sometimes as a group of small devices connected to each other. Despite their differences in form and working, the purpose of all crimping tools is the same, i.e., pressing the materials together to seal and crimp them and form a safe connection at the crimped site.
Now that you are a bit clear regarding the crimping tool and what is the purpose of crimping, we think it’s worth our time to discuss a bit about the different types of crimping tools available in the market and their specific uses.
Types Of Crimping Tools
Experts often categorize crimping tools based on several factors. However, the most common categorization of crimping tools is based on how do you use a crimper tool or, in other words, how does a crimping tool works.
Below, we are sharing some of the most common types of crimping tools based on their working styles:
- Handheld Crimping Tool: This is the most common crimping tool that almost every technician owns. A handheld crimping tool is usually small and easily portable and operates manually. It often looks like a typical plier tool and works by pressing the cables together to form a crimp.
- Electrical Crimping Tool: After the handheld crimping tool, an electrical one is the most common tool used for sealing and crimping by many. It offers partial automatic operation and requires little force to work with. You can get an electrical crimper in different styles and sizes, depending on what you want.
- Hydraulic Crimping Tool: As the name tells, this one needs hydraulic force to work with. You do not have to exert a lot of pressure on a hydraulic crimper since the pressure of the fluid already delivers more than enough power to it. These crimpers are usually bulky and expensive and hence, are only present in industries and operational floors.
- Pneumatic Crimping Tool: A pneumatic crimper uses compressed air as its working force and hence, does not require a lot of effort on the human’s part. However, these crimpers are also high-end and are mostly present in big factories only.
Other than these, you might find many other crimping tools, depending on the kind of operations they can perform. Some other well-known crimpers might include the following:
- Bootlace Crimp
- Mini Crimp
- Amp Crimp
- Auto Electrical Crimp
- RJ45 Crimp
- RJ9 Crimp
- Cross-linked Polyethylene (PEX) Crimp
Also Read: Reciprocating Saw 101 – Quick Start Guide
How to Use a Crimping Tool?
Depending on the kind of wire and connector as well as the user’s expertise, there are several ways to use a crimping tool. However, you are most likely to get a simple and generic answer whenever you ask the experts anything regarding how to use a wire crimping tool.
While we are, in no way, asking you to stick to a generic method, below are the steps that can help you understand the basic process of using a crimping tool.
Let us imagine a hypothetical situation where you are using a Coaxial cable for the crimping process. Below are all the steps that you need to take in chronological order to ensure smooth crimping:
- Get your hands on sharp wire cutters and cut the coaxial cable in a way that you get a square edge on its end (without ruining the cylindrical form of the wire itself).
- Get a stripping tool and insert that squared-out edge in that tool. Applying light pressure on the inserted portion will turn the cable a bit.
- Now that the coaxial end is turned, remove it from the stripping tool and peel the wire’s insulating coat. The stripping process would have made small cuts on the wire’s plastic coat, making it easier to remove the outer coating. While peeling, you’d see a length foil inside the coax clearly.
- Keep peeling carefully until you reach a point where the metal inside the coaxial cable is visible. There will be a thin mesh of metal above another foil inside the coax. Carefully, bend the upper mesh over the wire without disturbing the inner foil.
- Now, take whatever connector you want to plug the wire with and insert this bent edge in the connector. Make sure not to twist the wire. Also, avoid applying too much pressure during the insertion.
- Once you’re sure that the insertion has been made, take any crimping tool you like and press the connecting point with the tool, applying a decent amount of pressure. The crimp will be sealed and the connection is done!
Using a crimping tool is not that hard. However, the process involved in forming a crimp often involves sensitive wires and pieces and, hence, needs a lot of care while being executed. Make sure you practice with a crimping tool as much as you can before you get your hands on it. Only after you’ve firm knowledge of the tool and have gained the expertise of the crimping process, you should try crimping an actual wire or make a serious connection.