Tutorial: How to crimp connectors, strip wire and use heat shrink.

Tutorial: How to crimp connectors, strip wire and use heat shrink.

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A guide on using the correct tools to crimp connectors, strip wire and apply heat shrink.
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Further discussion and link to NASA guide here:

In this video:

* Selecting the correct wire gauge (AWG – American Wire Gauge) for the crimp connector.
* Using the correct tools to strip the insulation from the wire.
* The correct way to insert the wire into the crimp connector
* Using the correct crimp tools to crimp the connector
* How to apply heat shrink correctly to the wire and crimp connector.

Oh yeah yeah Oh yeah tester . code . UK hello YouTube is and welcome to this
tutorial on crimping connectors pass a better heat shrink the use of tools to
strip wire and how best to actually get your wire properly into your connectors
so it makes a good sound connection and is mechanically strong as well so that's
what I hope to achieve in this video I'm going to go through some of the mistakes
that I have certainly made in the past with connecting connectors and wires
together i'm also going to point down below to a
very good reference and NASA reference which will be online forum for
discussion for those of you who might have bitter
pause wisdom after seeing this video and after you've seen this video if you
think you have some important advice or a better way of doing things certainly do constant a person comment
below or even posting a video response showing how you think it should be done
or even showing where it's gone wrong because that would be really handy too but anyway let's get down to the bench
right so invariably if you're working with either electrical or electronics
there comes a time when it's really handy to have a crimp on connector to
for full a certain function you may want to have a wire that can go
on to a battery terminal you may want to join too wise with
either Spade connectors on two batteries so there are loads of uses but if it's
done incorrectly things can go awry case in point here i have a homemade
fuse holder and an automated few that i use in their system eyes using to
monitor current and voltage for my solar panel and things can go very wrong
quickly and the this could result in a fire so that's what you want to be real so
what I hope to cover in this video is just to give a demonstration of some of
the tools which might be handy and a demonstration of cut some of the wiring
and the crimps and the best practice that i know of in terms of joining a
crimp connector to a piece of wire and what you need to be aware of now we're going to pick up because even
this piece of why that i have in my head which is a fairly large piece of wire
there are potentially issues with this connector and the way it's been done on
this wire but we'll cover that off but let's start off with the piece of wire
and actually stripping it right so what you probably end up with in is you have
a piece of wire and you have a connector a crimp connector that you want to
attach to your end of wire so that you can either connected to a battery or
have you so the first thing we need to do is
strip the piece of wire said you got the conducting expose second go into the
actual crimp connector itself ultimately this is what we want to end
up with is a the installation being cleanly removed with all your conductors
intact so you've got the maximum
cross-sectional area of your conductor that goes into your crimp so that you
don't lose the amp icity the ability for the wire to carry a good parent without
any issues of resistance or heat while it's in the crimp connector not only that if you don't do this
correctly and you don't have enough conductor hear your actual mechanical
holding of this into the crimp connector can be an issue and believe it or not crimping can be a
far better solution than soldiering so you get a very good strong mechana
connect connection and electrical connection if it's done correctly right
so let's look at how we potentially strip this wire now then i'm going to
show you the tools at you might potentially consider I've used them in
the past you might get a pair of pliers and
you've got the cutters and what we invariably try and do is get the catters
and trying to strip the wire that when invariably I probably don't have to show
you what's gonna happen when you do that you invariably start cutting a few the
conductors and using shards all over the place couple of debt . so danger there shards
are big copper like this if they fall into something you work a project that
you're working on nearby or intern appliance they can cause a short and
that's one issue and I'll see then they don't provide enough of a conductor to
properly carry the current that you require then you can end up with a cheaper
crimping tool like this one over here and as you can see it actually says why
stripper over here and it has the little holes where you can go and strip the
wire so what you would do is obviously place the wire in there squeeze it and then remove the covering
but invariably with these types of strippers if you use and carefully that
can be fine but you can still be a challenge do it correctly to remove the
actual installation from the wire itself so what I have found to be a really
valuable tool is to go and find yourself a good kind of what i'd call automated
why stripper it has a mechanical grip to grip the
wire over here as you squeeze down it's got the correct size holes and then
you use it and it strips off the insulation so let's just give that a
bash so if i put it there I know I've got to
use the biggest hole then you want to test this if you're not to show the
whole tested make sure that it works correctly so a GCS to put in it bites
down it's also gripping the wire the back
here and as I do it there you go it's pulled off the
insulation there's no free wise which have been
broken off in there I've got all my conductors intact ready
to use so i can really recommend this for one for doing it correctly for two
of you got a lot of why that you're stripping it becomes a pain trying to do
it do it mechanically with a pair of pliers or side cutters this makes life a lot easier right so
now we get to the next point where we've got a crimp connector I've got my wire which I have nicely
stripped and now I want two off c place it in there and crimp it together but
I've got a slight problem my conductor seems to be bigger than the
actual gauge or the opening on my crimp connector now how many times would you
try and twist that on to force it in to get it
in there and then try and crimp it or even and I've done this you can see what
happens it starts to birdcage you get a thinner piece of conductor that goes
into the crimp connector you potentially have weisberg caging up on the side here
which can act as a short hazard if they're out on the side and invariably
what can be done is you get a set of strippers and you try and strip out some
of that extra wire to like to fit into your connector and the two issues there
for one you've obviously reduce the current carrying capability of this
piece of wire and potentially mechanically you may have an issue with
how well it's held inside your connector so you do want to sign find the right
size connector this one's too small right so that was
too small so I've now found a nice beefy solid legand crimp connector and it
certainly does have a nice gauge opening and look my conductor fits in there very
nicely but it's a little loose so I tell you what there's a practice solution to this let
me show you it doesn't mean I have to strip a little more of the installation
of four wire but let's see how we go so first off there is one risk now when
i'm trying to strip the wire the second time and not doing it correctly I'm potentially going to lose some of
those conductors which are really important so my idea is that I can i should be
able to just fall this over and it should create a far tighter fit now there's a couple of risks with doing
this if I really mechanically been this and squeeze it I know I'll get it inside the slag but
that potentially doesn't create the proper full fit inside the actual crimp
connector itself and it may mechanically compromise the actual tight fit inside
here so that you certain you don't want to do you also don't want to go and fold
the copper over the insulation and let's say we've got a bigger leg like this so you go and fold it over so that you
can then for sit inside and use actual insulation on the wire as part of the
holding because now you've reduced the surface area of the conductor that's
actually going to attach the inside of this connector and again potentially
compromised the mechanical grip once you've actually crimp this so it's
something you certainly don't want to do also the one important point whether
it's with a leg like this if you get any bird caging and these wires poking out
the bottom again huge risk for shorting something else
especially if you got legs close together and these are dangling about
like that you certainly don't want to do that
right so I've gone and found a crimp connector which I think matches
perfectly this piece of wire if we look inside the gate seems to be about right if I insert the actual wire and
conductor it goes in without bird caging it seems to have a nice snack fit as you
can see what you do want to achieve with this isn't it is to ensure that your conduct it does poke out just a little
bit on the side in the front end of your connector you don't want you to extend too much or
auras going to interfere with the connection over here and that's an issue
and particularly i'll show you just now with the battery like connectors if they
extend too much and use putting us on a battery you're not going to get the full
mechanical contact and that's electrical contact when you actually got a
connected to let their battery now then I know that this wire is six in terms of
the cross-sectional area it's six millimeters squared so in terms
of a gauge it sits around nine or ten now then so the one thing to look for even though
this mechanically does fit in nicely one wants to be sure that this can is
off see made for that gauge and can carry the current because this can carry
a fair amount of current so what you want to look for is on the
connector itself you can select these connectors by the
gauge why they're designed for and if you can read on the bottom that actually
says 12 to 10 so I'm just within the limits of the the wire fitting in here
and being out to be mechanically held correctly and being able to carry the
current load on yes that's something you want to look for you want to look for
the gauge that the American wire gauge rating on your connectors and ensure
that you matching matching up the gauge of wire correctly on to this rights our
next chore is to go and crimp use find a crimping tools so you can actually crimp
a connector onto this wire now there's a few things to note you also do get the the cheaper tools
and fair enough they can work this one happens to be noted in metrics or what
its noting here is the size across sectional sighs so four to six
millimeters squared which obviously relates to this connector over here there's also color coding as you can see on these tools this tool also
color-coded said you can easily match up you can see the yellow connector over
there we've got the blue for the smaller
cross-sectional area and you can go down to read as well now these tools aren't this one over
here does not have a ratchet system so you
have to apply a lot of mechanical force and muscle sometimes to try and get
something cream together especially with the larger conductors and sometimes that
can mean you kind of match things up you don't apply equal pressure or you get
tired and you just don't do it correctly so certainly it's very handy getting a
wretched tool which can open up you can hear the ratchet you can then place the
tool in with the wire and you then crimp it together and as you krimpet a ratchet
is holding so even if you're getting tired and you need to release it will
still hold it tight you can then continue and finish the actual krumping
process so let's give that a bachelor this one
so I what I tend to do with this because it can be a bit of a fiddly job if you've obviously got a few hands the
one thing you want to note also on this crimp before we put it in there your crimping the top it's got its
design for the top to be crimped not the bottom so you cramping from the top to
get a good mechanical connection in there so you get a good all-round electrical
connection with this as well so on this tool is quite handy it fits
in quite nicely in the setting over here I just close it enough so that it's
grips it's not being crashed that allows me to free my one hand so then insert the wire as I insert the
wire I'm ensuring that it's not going to a
bird cage or pull any of the the actual wires back if it is i need to pull it
back and correct that it's gone in you can see it at the tip there and I'm
not in a position where i can grab this making sure this dance the part I've
grabbed it it's now physically held it now I've got
a problem I don't have strong hair so if me to crimp this with one hand is
an issues I just crimped enough for it not to fall out in the right place i can
grab two hands and finish off the process and it only allows you to
release once you're done so here we go and what you want to do
and check and i'm going to show you this on camera there seems to be a fairly nice even
distribution of the cryptic crimping tool on this connector the way it fits
into that tool is to ensure that it does crimp and grab in the right places it
crimps the actual plastic at the back here so that it's there's a bit of
strain relief on the connection and also ensures that it pushes down the actual
metal part of the connector to actually mechanically grab that why nicely and
you do want to check that once you've got a crimped on you want to give it a
good old tag and make sure there's no plan there and that is not going to come
off there's a few things you want to be wary
of with these smaller legs or connectors and that mechanically sometimes the
crimping tool can damage them you can see this one is slightly bent and
actually need to be aware of because of its bending your cramps you may not have
the right crimp or may not have the right size and that may cause a fatigue
or fracture here and that you certainly don't want right now let's have a look
at this example this is a fairly hefty piece of cable it would be it's something which is perhaps
particularly designed to be used on a DC battery it's 10 millimeters squared so this can
probably handle a hundred amps DCMS through this it's also got a silicone coating on it
and that's something to be aware of in your why selection because the silicone
coating can handle higher temperatures you certainly don't want to be in that
situation where you are catering for higher temperatures you want to get the
correct gauge for the country handling but silicon certainly does give you a
little bit of belts and braces a bit of safety margin now there's a couple issues with this
whole setup here as you can see this is a a kind of green and yellow piece of
cable and this strictly speaking should be used as an earth because the color
but I didn't have I couldn't get hold of a red cable so as you can see i just
went stuck a label on yet and called it positive now there's a few issues of that for one
someone else Martin might not be easily spot this and realize that it's positive
and that could create a bit of an issue – I've used a leg on here which
obviously fits but mechanically it's not very strong you can see how can bend it and we've
got a fairly heavy piece of wire on here and that invariably can create its own
hassles we just want to make sure that for one can this like actually carry
that the potential hundred amps that would be passing through here and if
this is connected on a battery and it's heavy and this is happening well guess
what in time this leg is going to break off
also won one method of getting around this issue where I couldn't find the
right cave would be still let's a get a good long piece of heat shrink red heat
shrink so that identifies that it's the positive cable that might be a bit of a
French but might be one we're doing it but you can't see through this heat
shrink and there is potentially another problem if someone needs to inspect
these legs to make sure they're fine you can see on this one I've got the
conductor sitting a bit very on the side there but you have no real easy way of
inspecting it and that's where there's a good call for transparent heat shrink so here we go as you can see you do get
transparent heat shrink and that is certainly advisable in many situations
where you want to have easy inspection of your connections after you've actually put them together
allows you to see there's any issue you might have a situation where things are
getting hot under here and things are going a right and you're not going to
see it because it's happening underneath the heat shrink whereas a good transparent heat shrink
will allow you to do that another note some people might think that it's a good
idea to get a soldiering iron and solder and 10 the end of the wire to keep it
all meet and together before they place it into a connector and krimpet but that
actually is a big no-no and the reason behind that is that that hard solder
when you put it in yet potentially is going to have little peaks and ridges
which you can't even see and it won't make a good mechanical and electrical
connector connection inside your actual crimp connector here so you don't want
to solve your your YN beforehand you do want the conductor's to be free
so they can all be crimped together inside there and make a good connection
with the surrounding barrel of your connector right so here we go i have
this really nice big 50 piece of wire and I've got some nice – heavy-duty legs here far better than
this cheaper one which is potentially going to fatigue and and split and cause
an issue so these are nice and solid they will
also carry a lot of kind but that's what you need to go and check is to check the
specification of your legs compared to the wire that you're using
now if we have a look at this bigger one as you can see the actual gauge is very
big and too big you can see that bounces around it might
mechanically be gripped in there once I krimpet but obviously the the strength
of that mechanical hold and the electrical connection there is
potentially an issue so let's go have a look at this like
which seems to be sighs better so if i put that on we can see that it goes in and what you
do want to ensure you don't want you want to ensure that you've got the
conductor going into your leg properly some legs and connectors will have an
inspection window some have them on the top some I have
them on the front and that should allow you to see whether your conductor is
pushed down in there firmly and we'll have a good grip not on here you can see I've got a bit
of an end where the insulation is back should I have that so it goes right into
the leg no because if it goes right in there
again it can compromise the kind of grip when you actually crimp it on there and
also again reduce the surface area of the contact of the conductor contacting
with the actual like itself so you do want a little bit of the
wiring and conduct exposed at the end here so that the installation does not
get in the way of the actual leg but obviously you also don't want too much
and in this case i'd say probably got a little bit too much exposed so what we want to do is have this the
right length and then if we need to insulate it that's when we're going to use our heat
shrink right so I've gone and ensured that you now the conductor's cut to the
right length so that it does for nice and snuggly down to the tip or the end
of the actual like it's at stopping there and the installation is just about right
up against but it's certainly not going inside the actual leg itself so at least
I've got that little bit exposed to show that nothing is getting in in the where the actual like itself so
the next thing i want to crimp it on there and then we want to consider
putting some heat-shrink on it right and again it always helps having the
right tools for the job just like it is having the a nice set of why strippers
if i was to try and battle with a pair of pliers or or what happy to try and
crimp this I'd seriously be straining myself and
also not get the good mechanical and electrical connection that we want with
this so again I've got a nice set of rested
crimpers they're nice and heavy duty and it makes doing this a nice chore nice
long handles to give you the leverage and obviously the ratcheting system
which ensures that it it will hold even if you have to release pressure for any
reason right so I've got my writing to already
have selected the right size on there so that the actual leg sits in there and
his grip firmly I've got the actual tool which is going
to cause the indent and actually cause the mechanical grip on the wire right in
the middle of the leg if you do have an inspection hole on top
you do not want to do it on top of the inspection whole to deform it you want
to do it away from that but still in a good place where you got good purchase
and it's going to grab the conductor so here we go I've got that and now i'm
going to crimp it so there we go I've got it crimped it is relatively
well placed in the center the from the inspection window I can still see that
my conduct is sitting at the end it hasn't slept out and that's a value of
having a little inspection window on your life because it might have slipped
back during the process and you won't realize it but here we can quite Casey
the conductor's right up against the end it's got a very good mechanical strength
in there so that looks as a it went really well so next is the heat shrink
now one little thing to note and 41 I don't have a nice piece of transparent
heat shrink which is going to fit this but that's ideally what we want to do
but i'm going to use either the red or the black but of course what you want to do before
you crimp your connector on you want to have your heat shrink on their ready
because it might not fit over the leg so just note that you are not your heat
shrink on first unless you can get it on from the back of the cable itself or
otherwise you're going to be stack right so I've got my heat shrink on the actual
wire itself and i want to place it so that it goes over here why do I want
heat shrink on yet well for one it can obviously act as a form of insulation
around just the top of the connector here if you don't want this to come into
contact with there anything else to believe it or not the heat shrink acts
as a mechanical form of strain relief at the end here as well it does help a
little bit to prevent the kind of there's any flicks on the wire it adds a little more support so that you
don't get a breaking over here on your conductor so when we put this heat shrink on to
the actual leg itself how far do we go so if i had to put the
sheet shrink right up to there and put it on it will certainly give nice
coverage and it's got a good area of here to provide strain relief however if this is going on a battery
terminal and I've gone and reduce the contact surface over here I then created less contact area so
potentially I've got a higher resistance and this area for the current flow
through so you don't want to remove or take away from the contact area you've
got here you want to move back so at least you've
got the same area that you've got over here and a nice bit of contact area here
when you connect it onto your battery's dead obviously don't get too far back if you
wanted to covering over here but again the one issue with this is
that it's opaque so you cannot see the connector after the fact anyway let's get the heat shrink on
their rights i'm ready to heat my heat shrink to get on there and I'm pulling
out my trusty little butane lighter and right so I've got a flame and off I go
now there's something else want to highlight i've been using this for a
while to do my heat shrinking there are a few issues that it doesn't
provide a nice uniform heat source in terms to get this shrink on here nicely
it takes a lot of work and heat the light to get hot which is not a good
idea and potentially going to burn and split your heat shrink which is what you
don't want it's acceptable y-you heating your heat
shrink to have a little discoloration but you certainly don't want any kind of
charring or anything else because you do want to note that after this is
installed if you've got major discoloration you're
not going to know whether there's an issue in its operation or whether it's
done from when it was applied so you don't want any real charring or
splitting of this because that can be a sign that something's wrong when it's in
operation so you want to go on a relatively uniform in color without too
much discoloration so what I do for that I happen to have
an old paint stripper again which I use you do of course get guns and equipment
which are meant for heating evenly but anyway this seems to that do the job
well for me right so that I have been quite easily what you want to be aware of is you do
want to plan a half heat so that it shrinks over and properly tightly hold
on to the places over here or else it potentially is going to slip off you do get heat shrink with Japan has
got an adhesive side so that it does prevent it from sliding off on
insulation but here I've got a good mechanical connection because i'm going
over the leg as well I haven't covered too much of the like there's still a
nice piece that's exposed so we get good contact area for electrical contact but
yet it covers it nicely cover things up that as I said with this you can't see
what's going on underneath if I'd continued heating it beyond this
point what happens very quickly if you're not
careful especially over the legs which get hot it start splitting and you can
have a split underneath which you may not realize and then over time this is
going to flake off and and its functionality just going to go so just
be wary of that when you are actually putting your heat shrink on to your wire
and your connector and then last but not least just remember to use your connectors and
what have you for the right application as I realized here using the Spade
connectors as a fuse holder is perhaps not the right idea the materials are not designed for the
potential heat created by these fuses even over here again you can see as a
test and i'll link to the video and here where I've been testing the kind of heat
that can be generated in wire and these connections if they're not done
correctly and you can see what can happen very easily you can get these
plastics melting and they could melt and then cause a short as well that's
potentially an issue I'd always say where you possible avoid
using automotive fuses like this go for proper fuse holders and hopefully your
glass fuses which are less likely to end up like this right i hope you get some value from
that I do appreciate that I'm like not know all the ins and outs so if you
certainly have pulls wisdom and are wiser in this regard to post your comments below or even
consider posting a video response we show how it should be done or show what
can go wrong when it isn't done correctly certainly having the right tools does
helps in the link below i'll have a link to my amazon store
where you can either get the actual crimp connectors or tools you can also
consider going to my sponsor test the doctor . UK who helped keep the show on
the road and help me produce these videos so thank you very much for watching and
I'll catch you soon for the next video Cheers tester . code . UK yeah

32 thoughts on “Tutorial: How to crimp connectors, strip wire and use heat shrink.

  1. If I hear a "cracking noise" during a crimp, is that the connector breaking? Or the wires being smashed into eachother? Is this a bad crimp?

  2. How many people out there have worked on a vehicle where "someone" had pried the battery clamp wide open and shoved the wire between the post and the clamp and tightened it down? Often seen with a drywall screw (or two) twisted in for added tightness.

  3. I have just got a ten ton hydraulic crimper set for the larger lugs like those used on starter motors etc, available at very reasonable prices these days,I paid around £30-00 and they are excellent.

  4. I watched 9 minutes and could not stomach any more. All your strips up to the 6 or 7 minute point were about 1.5 times too long for the connector you were showing them with. The strip should be only as long as the metal area inside the hole in the connector. The rest of the wire inside that hole should have ALL the insulation on it so that the second, INSULATION crimp has something to grab. This helps to provide the proper strain relief on the connection. My rule of thumb is when the strip looks too short, it is RIGHT. And then you show a folded wire in a connector that is clearly way too big for it. You MUST match the connector size to the wire size and to the screw size of the terminal it is going to go to. All crimp connectors will be rated on these TWO sizes (wire and screw terminal) on the packages they are sold in. The color of the insulation on the insulated terminals is also an indication of the wire size.

    The third thing you have to match is the crimping tool to the connector. If it is not the proper tool for the connector you can easily get a bad connection. If you want to know if your tool is a proper match to your wire size and connector, just crimp one. Then grip the connector in the bench vise and pull the wire until it fails by either coming out of the connector or breaks inside of it. If the wire comes out of the connector without breaking, the crimp was BAD and the tool probably is not a proper match for that wire and connector combination. If the crimp is good, then the wire will break inside the connector, leaving a short piece of it there when it breaks. I have never had this test fail to find a bad combination of tool and wire/connector.

    The final thing you MUST do when crimping is to be completely sure that you close the tool COMPLETELY. Some tools have ratchets the prevent releasing them before that point. Others rely on a pair of flat surfaces in the jaws that must touch each other for complete closure. If your tool does not have one of these, do not use it.

    This video is a bad reference.

  5. Is it possible to modify/cut/grind the lug of a ring or fork terminal to fit the area needed to conduct the signal without compromising the amount of electricity/signal sent through the wire?

    I'm trying to hook up a wire to a sound system (Infinity Basslink 10" Amp/Woofer Combo) and the holes to where the wires enter the system are quite small. One of the wire gauges is thick, and although I found the correct ring terminal for it, the lug is too big to fit into the sound system.

  6. Many thanks. I made some ugly wire connections, then came here. Your patience helps me, carefully walking through all the bits I bodged up!

  7. Crimp and solder after all you can have the best crimp in world eventually corrosion will find a way in and connections fail seen it happen soldering then heatshrink keep most possible contamination out

  8. First mistake, handling the terminal and wire with dirty fingers. Our fingers are covered in oils and debris that cause corrosion. Second, smashing a terminal barrel, through a plastic sleeve, with a cheap $5 pair of pliers IS NOT a crimp. Crimping is defined by the crimping procedures established by the terminal maufacturer and requires a certain profile, correct forces, proper crimp tools (thaese cheap pliers are NOT crimp tools) tool calibration, testing etc. and that CAN NOT be accomplished by procedures in this video. Ive done this as an engineer with the correct, calibrated factory crimp tools and the results were about 95% reliable at best. Real crimping is be done by machine. Thirdly, this crushing a terminal is NOT better than soldering, soldering permanently bonds the metals together and prevents moisure from entering the mechanical interface. Even good machine crimps, especially in automotive applications, corrode from within. @ 07:00, twsting those copper strands with fingers then crusing them in a terminal WILL result in a rapidly oxidising and corroding terminal due to contamination from fingers. Signed, Engineer thats designed and produced wiring harnesses.

  9. The reason for NOT soldering crimped connections is that the solder is soft and will flow away under pressure leaving the crimp loose. The same applies when using screw terminals (e.g. plug tops).

  10. Any advice on how to properly connect 3 wires together (i.e. add a connection in the middle of another wire). This is for automotive purposes. Do you have to use 'step down' crimp connectors, or is there an alternative reliable trick?

  11. Nice video. As always, the right tool (and terminals) for the right job! I use hydraulic crimper for large battery terminals (0/2 and 0/3). I also use heat shrink with adhesive (3M?).

  12. Those are nice crimpers you used on the non-insulated lug at the veru end with the square indent. What brand is it? Great video btw!

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