A crimping tool can be broadly defined as a device that […]
A crimping tool can be broadly defined as a device that uses a compressive force to contract or deform a connector element of a specific design to create a connection between two items. These devices fall into two basic categories: manual and electric. The most common of these two categories is the manual variety, typically used to crimp smaller electrical connections. Power crimping tools typically utilize pressurized hydraulic fluid to perform crimping and are typically used on joints that are too strong to crimp by hand. Within these two groups, crimping tools are further divided into categories defined by the type of crimp they produce.
Hand crimpers are the most commonly used of all crimp tool types. Most are designed as a basic clamp with one or more crimp points machined into the jaws. This type of tool is commonly used to create smaller crimps on steel cables, electrical connections and terminations, pre-insulated lugs and ferrules, and RJ-style plugs. The crimp points on hand crimping machines are either half-circle crimp or cup and tab crimp type designs. This type of crimp plier is typically used to crimp steel or copper ferrules or sleeves to join two lengths of steel or cable
Manual crimping pliers are also used to crimp various lugs to terminate electrical and steel cables. Alternatively, a hand crimper can be used to crimp the collars of smaller high-pressure hoses. Hand tools also include pre-insulated terminals and RJ plug crimpers. These are fairly specialized tools designed to crimp two-part RJ plugs for data cables and phone lines or to crimp pre-insulated terminals without damaging the insulation.
Power crimp tools typically use a source of pressurized hydraulic fluid to move a set of half-shell crimp inserts together to compress larger lugs or sleeves. These tools use electric or manual hydraulic pumps for power. Electric crimping pliers are used for large high-voltage cable joints and terminations, as well as bulky hose joints that are too large to effectively crimp by hand. Typical electric crimping pliers have heads with removable inserts of various sizes to crimp sockets of various diameters.
Crimpers are also divided according to the type of crimp profile they produce. Crimp types are divided into two basic groups: stab crimps and crimps. A cup-and-disc crimper is a good example of a barbed crimp, with a U-shaped crimp point on one jaw and a short, raised protrusion on the other. When crimping, the protrusions are pressed into the sleeve to deform it, thereby firmly grasping the cable. Needle crimps are not suitable for rigid single-conductor wires because they tend to damage the core wire.
Compression crimpers typically have semicircular or hexagonal crimp points on both jaws. This type of crimper simply presses the ferrule or lug tightly around the cable to make the connection. Crimping pliers on hydraulic hose fittings are usually compression types designed to crimp special sleeves used on high-pressure hose fittings.