The finished crimp is well executed and well formed. The tool actually reduces the diameter of the lug similar to swaging standing rigging. The Ancor hammer crimper simply distorts the lug and puts a dimple in it.
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It Makes A Beautiful Lug
Again here is a positive battery cable & lug made with the "rotate" method so all corners are nicely rounded. You can see how it physically reduces the OD of the lug.
I should mention that this tool makes such a perfect fitting lug that when I experimented and tried to also solder one, after crimping, no solder would flow beyond the first crimp band. This crimp tool makes a completely water tight and solder tight joint.
Shrink The Tubing
Here I have my heat gun and the heat shrink tubing in place ready to go.
When heat shrinking battery cable it is always best to use an adhesive lined product designed for heavy duty use. By doing so you create a hermetically sealed connection that will allow no water or moisture to corrode or damage the crimped fitting.
You also need to ensure that the adhesive melts out of the ends of the shrunk connection. If you do not see the glue leaking out, as you do in this photo, continue with your heat gun until you do. Remember heat evenly!
The Finished Product
After many requests I have added my *experiences with the Harbor Freight Hydraulic Crimper below.
Since writing this article many years ago I have also extensively tested a heap of other hydraulic and manual Chinese lug crimping tools. I've even tested tools by some, shall we say, less than ethical US companies slapping their sticker on unmodified Chinese tools, with metric dies, and calling them AWG. The bottom line? In all this testing I have still not found a better tool at a better price than the FTZ.
"Hey RC can I buy this from you?"
No, at this time I don't sell the FTZ 94284. I have provided a link to a reputable source. While they may not be the absolute cheapest they stand behind what they sell and are good guys to buy from.
I get no kickback from the business I send their way. Why? This is a very, very slim margin product. There is not even a 3.5% margin in it for me so it would actually cost me money to pay the interchange fee and box and ship it. Yep at my buying level I'd lose money selling this tool. For now I will let bigger companies with stronger buying power sell the tool.
If you want to support me, please use my DONATE button.
Harbor Freight Hydraulic Crimp Tool
Okay, okay I will finally publish my experience with my Harbor Freight hydraulic crimp tool.
I can sum it up in two words, VERY POOR..... Read on if you want the why behind my review.... (wink)
Please let's not misconstrue my review above. It is NOT to say the Chinese can't do things right, they certainly can, and they do every day, but when you send stuff out to the lowest, bottom feeder bidders, you often get what you pay for, as is the case here.
This tool was $59.99 and worth about what the corrugated box cost to ship it in. Go figure..
Lets get something out in the open, I LOVE Harbor Freight Tools, for CERTAIN things. I am not dissing all their products in any way... I recently bought boxes of nitrile gloves for a 1/3 of what I can buy them for at my local hardware store, and they were the same exact brand. I like their wrench sets because I lose lots of wrenches and consider them disposable. HFT is good for MANY things and they truly serve a purpose. You can't take that away from them. This tool however is not one of their better products. Why?
#1 The "AWG" dies are apparently from some mythical made up Chinese back room wiring standard I've never heard of...?. They are NOT AWG sized dies. I repeat, they are NOT AWG sized dies, despite being labeled as such! They are so bad, and so mislabeled, I suspect some poor soul in a dirty dark room, with no internet connection, actually made it up after complaints from US customers that the dies were not AWG sized?
#2 Apparently, with the earlier models of this tool, they were originally labeled in the MCM standard and now they are magically AWG yet the same sizes as the were before? Hmmmm..? I can picture the meeting at HFT tools now; "Oh yeah we can fix that, lets just re-label the MCM dies in AWG.". Sorry HFT, it doesn't work like that...
#3 Even when you do find a die that works okay they tend to fall out of the tool and into the bilge. My tool/dies are mildly magnetic but no where near enough to prevent the dies from falling out and getting lost..
#4 The dies are HORRIBLY machined, even if machined to a mythical made up wire standard...
#5 Can someone please tell HFT there is no 7 AWG wire in the US....
1/0 Lug In The 1/0 Die
Here we go, this picture is an HFT 1/0 labeled die with a 1/0 lug in it. Yeah, that fits....
I should mention that the lugs used in this demonstration were all starter lugs or the smallest OD lugs that will fit over 1/0, 2GA or 4GA wire.
The heavy duty lugs are considerably larger, OD wise. In fact a 1/0 heavy duty lug will not even fit between the jaws of this crimp tool when wide open!
Crimping The 1/0 Lug In 1/0 Die
Yeah right.....! Bad fit, wrong size, grossly mislabeled die, no good.....
This 1/0 labeled die is so far off this is not even laughable.
Beautiful alignment for the top and bottom dies. Should I go on.......?
This is NOT how a crimp should be made. Over crimping can fracture wires and drastically weaken the lug. Over crimping is as bad as under crimping.
So the 1/0 lug cost me $3.30 and the 1/0 wire about $2.00 so I am now up to $65.30 trying to figure out this mythical HFT/Chinese die standard.....
2GA Lug In a 1/0 Die..?
Well 1/0 wire and lugs did not work in the 1/0 AWG die so lets try skipping right over 1GA and go straight to 2GA...
Here is a 2GA lug & wire which is two full sizes smaller than the 1/0 die is labeled for.....
Think it will work??