Even a lug and wire two sizes smaller than the HFT crimp die is labeled for and this tool, and I use that term lightly, is still GROSSLY over-crimping. This is NOT GOOD. A crimp should never look like this, never....
So another $3.30 lug and $1.85 in wire ruined and we're closing in on $70.00............
Perhaps a 4GA Lug In a 1/0 Die ???
I am desperate now.... So let's try THREE SIZES SMALLER!!!!
1/0 = No
1 GA = No
2GA = No
4GA = Let's see.......
Finally a crimp that looks somewhat acceptable. Only problem is this tool is sold to crimp UP TO 1/0 wire and it will only crimp to 4GA! Caveat emptor.....
You will ruin a LOT of lugs trying to figure out the mythical Chinese / AWG standard so factor that into your total cost of this tool.....
1/0, 2GA, 4GA - 1/0 Die
From top to bottom, using the 1/0 die, I tried:
1/0 = FAIL
1GA = FAIL (Did not need to physically test, knew it would not work.)
2GA = FAIL
4GA = PASSABLE
What The Heck is 7GA Wire....?????
They missed the mark so badly they actually made up a new wire size.
Commercially available 7 AWG wire simply does not exist in North America.... Doh'......
These are the standard sizes this crimper is designed / claimed to work with...
Chrome Plated Dies & 7GA Dies...?
That is some pretty odd chrome plating.? Also interesting to note they completely skipped over 1GA wire, which is readily available, but made up 7GA, which is not.. Wow!!!!
Until HFT can get the AWG die size conundrum sorted out I would advise buying a tool from a company that actually knows what they are talking about when it comes to crimping large gauge wire.
While it may not be a horrible tool for sizes smaller than 4GA, this is not a tool for anything larger than 4GA....
If you do decide to buy this tool there should be NO pinching when the lugs are crimped. It should look like the 4GA crimp shown.
You should also expect to burn through about $30.00 - $40.00 in wire and terminals figuring out what dies work with what AWG wire & lugs. You are on your own on figuring this out. I have given you the first one, the 1/0 AWG die works with 4GA starter lugs, but the rest are on your buck.. (wink)
It's Not Just Harbor Freight That Sells Crappy Tools
In my multi-year long quest to bring readers a better value than the FTZ crimp tool, I think I have finally given up. Each of the pictured tools was sold as AWG dies. NONE OF THEM ARE AWG.. Total SCREW JOB... Even when I buy from supposed American companies, that claim AWG tools, they are nothing more than re-stickered Chinese tools.
All three of these tools make HORRENDOUSLY BAD CRIMPS and none of the dies are properly sized for the AWG lugs we use. The tool on the right, I had the most hopes for, as it is an apparent knock off of a $3500.00 US made tool. This knock-off tool is so grossly unbalanced it literally makes it almost unusable and the dies, fit & finish are are HORRIBLE. Not one die in the 10 die set matched any of the AWG lugs I use despite the US "sticker application company" telling me the dies are AWG. I suspect he had no clue what AWG even was...?
Bottom line is you can spend a metric $hit ton of money, as I have, experimenting with cheap mysterious die standard tools, or spend the money and just buy the FTZ tool.
As far as I am concerned, after buying and testing at least 15+ battery lug crimping tools, the FTZ is the best value for the money. I do not sell the FTZ tool here because there is no room to make even a few bucks to support the site. Vendors like Sailboatowners.com are literally giving this tool away, so by the time I stock it, carry the inventory cost then use my labor to ship it, I make less than zero for the web site. I have been searching for a better value for over three years but I have yet to find it.
My research and testing of tools like you see above are why www.marinehowto.com is still in the red and losing money. Please do your part to help support this site so it can remain FREE and hopefully break even or maybe even pay me a gumballs worth someday for all the time I give.
Click my donate button or buy the few products I do sell in my site store. The products I sell are only sold to support this site remaining FREE.
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