The FTZ Tool Completed Crimp
Here you can see how the completed crimp looks before any heat has been applied to the heat shrink.
This is the Pro-HST crimp tool for crimping heat shrink terminals and this is the tool I use personally for heat shrink terminals. The crimp band is wider and the crimp nests are narrower providing and better cold formed crimp than the typical oval nest of the FTZ tool. While both tools work well this is the tool I choose for heat shrink terminals.
NOTE: I cut the non-shrunk end off of this terminal for illustrative purposes only.
The Crimp Band Is Very Wide
On reason the Pro-HST tool can perform so well is in the overall width of the crimp band which means more cold formed wire to terminal interface.
If you are a professional, interested in an excellent heat shrink crimp tool, I also sell this tool for $146.95 at the link below. All proceeds are re-invested into this site to keep it free.
The Completed Crimp - Pro-HST Tool
As can be seen the width of the crimp band when using the Pro-HST is considerably wider and this leads to a better performing crimped termination.
Once you've completed the crimping it's time to melt the adhesive lined heat shrink. I am using my heat gun in this photo but not on the highest setting. I've found that with adhesive lined heat shrink you can melt it too fast and not get a proper adhesive melt on the adhesive lining. A slower melt will produce better adhesion of the insulation to the wire jacket.
TIP: Please do not use open flame on these expensive terminals. It leads to uneven melting of the adhesive, distortions in the insulation and can lead to leaks. Use open flame only as a last resort. A heat gun with consistent predictable heat is the proper tooling for these terminals.
The Completed Butt Connector
Here you can see the clear melted adhesive lining squeezing out the ends of the insulation. With this type of crimp connection the transparency tells the story.
Where the heat shrink covers the wires jacket, and the barrel, your looking for uniformity in color and transparency. Any spots or areas that are a different color will be spots where the adhesive lining did not properly melt.
One other thing to take notice of is that the single ratchet crimp tool did not rip the heat shrink tubing.
Making An Insulated Terminal Connection
This is an Ancor double crimp ratchet tool for use with insulated terminals that are non-heat shrink. When crimping an insulated terminal, with a double crimp tool, it is important to note the direction the terminal is place into the crimp nest. The insert end or the end of the terminal which you feed the wire into, should always face the strain relief side of the crimp die.
Remember when I said "double crimp" yes, this tool makes two crimps at the same time. One crimp for the wire and one crimp for strain relief. These two sides of the crimp die are not symmetrical. The side where the colored dot is, on this particular Ancor tool, crimps the strain relief portion of the terminal and the other side crimps the wire end.
If you make a crimp with the wrong side of the crimping tools die, the crimp will not be correct and will likely fail.
TIP: Other double crimp tools from other manufacturers, may be different than this tool. Examine the dies or check with your tool manufacturer for instructions. The side with the smallest crimp ID is the one to crimp the bare wire end.
WARNING: Double crimp tools are UNIDIRECTIONAL! If you crimp the terminal backwards it will pull out far to easily and pose a safety risk. The strain relief crimp nest is considerably larger than the crimp nest designated for the bare wire. A fair number of readers have complained that their double crimp tools don't work well, and some cheap Chinese "look-a-like" tools may not. I always explain that they are unidirectional and the reader most often writes back to say the tool now works just fine.
WARNING: The original Ancor double crimp tool I tested here works admirably well and represented a decent value. Unfortunately, I recently had my hands on a current model of the same tool and it is not the same in terms of performance?
Remember the wire crimp is always the smaller of the two crimp nests and strain relief is always the larger crimp nest.
Anatomy of an Insulated Terminal
I took apart an insulated terminal to show why the crimper is referred to as double crimp tool. If your insulated crimp terminals do not have three parts, find some that do. AMP calls this type of terminal a PIDG but this one is made by Molex.
The wire crimp area gets one crimp and the strain relief barrel gets the second crimp. The dies of a double crimp tool are unequal in size. Using the appropriate crimp tool for an insulated terminal will create both the strain relief crimp and the wire crimp in one single motion.
If I were to disassemble a heat shrink connector all you'd see is the heat shrink and the terminal. You'd only have two pieces, not three, hence the term single crimp as it only crimps the crimp barrel because there is no strain relief barrel on a heat shrink terminal because the adhesive glue provides the strain relief..
Unfortunately, there are two separate tools because there are two different types of crimp connectors, insulated terminals and heat shrink terminals.
Double Crimps For Insulated Terminals
This picture shows where the two crimps are placed when using standard insulated three-piece crimp terminals. This is an AMP PIDG terminal.
A Mid-Quality "Double Crimp" Tool
This is an Anchor Products Double Crimp Ratchet Tool Part No. 701030. This crimp tool is not designed, nor intended for, use on heat shrink crimp connectors. This tool is designed to be used with the three-piece insulated crimp terminal like the one you just saw above.
Insulated three-piece connectors are often sold as "marine grade" from 22ga wire to 10ga wire. This tool allows for both the wire crimp and the strain relief sleeve to be crimped, in one motion at the same time, and will not release until the full crimp has been made.
One other key feature, of a decent quality ratchet type crimper, is that you can simply re-calibrate when and if they ever go out of adjustment.
Insert Depth Incorrect
Before you can even begin to crimp the terminal to the wire the strip depth needs to be correct. Ideally the wire should protrude beyond the end of the crimp barrel by about 1mm +/-. This strip-depth is not correct because the wire does not stick out enough.
Insert Depth Correct
Here is a much better strip depth. This terminal is ready to be crimped to the wire.
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