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Compass Marine How To | all galleries >> Welcome To >> Making Your Own Battery Cables > Pick Your Crimper
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Pick Your Crimper

Pick Your Crimper

I own both the Ancor hammer crimper and the FTZ 94284 pictured here. The FTZ 94284 makes a beautiful 360 degree crimp that is very solid. In testing I have conducted it exceeds US MIL Specs. A full 360 degree crimp makes a truly cold formed connection between the wire and the lug.

I also own the industry gold standard AMP lug crimping tools, namely the AMP Bantam Rota-Crimp #601075 and the AMP Rota-Crimp #600850. Hands down the FTZ is the closest performing tool to the AMP tools out there. The AMP tools are the tools I use everyday but they cost 10-15X what the FTZ tool does which makes the FTZ tool a tremendous value.

I don't actually use the Ancor hammer crimper at all because in testing I conducted it performed rather poorly. For a DIY the FTZ rotating die crimper is just that much better and for not that much more money.

The Ancor tool makes a "dimple" crimp, also called a "staking" or "indent" crimp. Indent type crimp tools can damage conductors and still not make the best electrical connection. When I'm crimping cables that will start 800HP diesels there is simply no room for an "indent crimper" in my tool box.

I consider the Ancor tool an emergency, get you home, tool but not much more. Nice to own if you have extra boat bucks floating around but it's not a tool I'd use either professionally or personally. Marinco claimed/claims this tool makes a UL crimp. However, when I called them and asked them to furnish documentation of this, or any other testing conducted with this tool, there was a complete lull in any data coming out of them. I made three calls and got nothing out of Marinco to support thier UL crimp claims..

If someone can get this UL documentation, or any legitimate testing data from Ancor/Marinco on this tool, please forward it to me.

As I always say; "Tools are free if you DIY."

When you figure that an Ancor hammer crimper would cost you nearly $80.00 and the cost savings in battery cable from a place like is so huge that the high quality crimper is almost no additional expense. This is man math at its best. Do not run this scenario by your spouse.. Wink!

The FTZ 94284, which is the non-ratcheting version of this crimp tool that I recommend using. I do not recommend the ratchet version, model 94285, especially for working on boats. The FTZ 94284 can be purchased from:

FTZ 94284 Crimp Tool $181.70 (LINK) is a very, very good source and one of my most a trusted and reliable chandlers. I buy LOTS from them.

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Perry 18-Sep-2012 22:40
If you need a crimper try Ebay. I just bought a hydraulic crimper that does down to 10 ga and up to 2/0 for $80 -- new. I'm going to spend more on terminals when I install my windlass, battery fuses, and battery disconnect switches. Seems entirely adequate for the DIYer for me, and priced right.
Chris 28-Jun-2011 11:58
Just noticed that SBO sells both a ratcheting and non-ratcheting version of this tool. Do you have any comments which tool would be preferable, or how important the ratcheting mechanism would be to the more common 1/2/4 AWG marine battery cables?