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Crimpers


jenskolson

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So I lost my pair of Klien crimpers (http://tinyurl.com/ozuca74) this week. And I have been debating wether it is worth spending the extra money to get something like the Knipex preciforce(http://tinyurl.com/nvbwbp4)? Does anyone have experience using them or similar ratcheting crimpers?

 

I only really ever use insulated and heat shrink connectors, so my thought was to get the Knipe heat shrink Preciforce. Is there a down side to using the heatsrink dies on regular insulated connectors?

 

I'm fine with spending the $170 if it will do heat shrink flawlessly and do insulated well, but I don't really want to spend $300 and have to carry another crimper.

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Proper ratcheting crimpers are always far superior to normal types. You get a much better, even and more secure crimp. BUT you need to have the correct jaws. I have a set for insulated crimps that has the three colour dots. But you can get sets that have interchangeable jaws that do insulated and non insulated. No need to spend Knipex money (although they are great tools) You can pick up ratchet crimpers with interchangeable jaws for a very reasonable price. 

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Check out the T&B crimpers.....similar to the Klein.

 

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I have both the T&B and the Klein.....to me the T&B have better leverage. the crimp happens a bit sooner meaning there is more handle travel which gives you more control of the crimp. Us old schoolers don't use the ratchet type plus you'll be pissed when you loose them again  :)

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The thing about ratcheting crimpers is that there are only a few companies worldwide making them. There are (IIRC) two EU makers, one in Sweden, one in Germany who both make them for brands like Knipex, Panduit, T&B, Wiedmuller, etc., one or two US makers who seem to specialize in aircraft and MIL spec crimpers (high dollar and butt ugly), a few from Taiwan who do the mid range tools for brands like Paladin and then the whole shitstorm of Chinese tools that I wouldn't waste my money on.

 

Depending on what you need to crimp and whether it needs to be a UL qualified crimp or not, your first step should be checking which tools are required by the terminal manufacturer that you're using. Rated crimp joints are tool and terminal specific, so you couldn't use a T&B tool on Panduit terminals and get a UL listed connection. Even just among Panduit products there's a whole maze of specs for which terminals need to be crimped with which tool to make a UL compliant termination. Of course if you don't need to make terminations like that, it doesn't matter.

 

If you only do low risk crimps from time to time, stick with a similar tool to what you had, and make sure it can do both insulated and non-insulated. None of the crimps will be perfect, but they won't be awful, either.

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Nothing wrong with a lot of the Chinese ones. They're very often the same as the brand ones, made in the same factory by the same guy.

The difference in crimp quality between ratchet and non ratchet is night and day. Ratchet are also more comfortable as you can stop half way if your hand hurts. Although that would likely be because you had the tension wheel adjusted wrong.

Once you use a ratchet crimper, even a cheap one, you'll never go back as you just wont trust manual crimps.

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