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Old 26-06-2013, 02:29   #16
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Re: Crimper

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Different manufacturers, different types, slight size variance... unfortunately you can't always take anyone's 'yellow' lug and use the 'yellow' side of anyone else's crimpers and be guaranteed a perfect crimp. So, besides the tool, you have to standardize on a make of crimp lug, and if necessary, set up your controlled-cycle crimp tool to work with them. Peter, this may have been your issue.



Not 'the standard', but sometimes... good enough, especially for occasional use. The alternative is laying out $100+ for a tool you might only use 10 times. Good crimpers aren't rocket science, just some hardened steel dies in a pressed-steel frame.
Not rocket science, but pretty high precision in design and production.

The difference in effect between a good crimper ($150+) and a mediocre one ($60-80) is astonishing. I don't even talk about cheap ones.

There's no problem with dimensions of the lugs if you stick to the good ones (I use Molex). These are also not cheap.

The summary, I think, is that with crimp connections, there's no way to do it well which is also cheap.

I've just completey replaced all electronics on my boat this winter, so got a lot of seat time with crimpers and finally started to understand what a good crimp connection is. It's so different that I've even been redoing other crimps done on the boat over the years.
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Old 26-06-2013, 04:21   #17
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Re: Crimper

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Did not like the ratcheting tools. Didn't give a secure crimp most of the time. Maybe my technique but I was never sure I'd gotten a good crimp. Have gone with this tool, simple powerful and 100% secure crimps.Channellock 9 3/4in. Crimping and Cutting Tool, Model# 909 | Wire Cutters Strippers| Northern Tool + Equipment
Not a big fan of the ratcheting tool either, but could be user error. I've made adjustments, and tried to make it work, but I find I get more failures than when I lay my paws to an old fashioned crimper.
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Old 26-06-2013, 04:42   #18
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Re: Crimper

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Originally Posted by cheoah View Post
Not a big fan of the ratcheting tool either, but could be user error. I've made adjustments, and tried to make it work, but I find I get more failures than when I lay my paws to an old fashioned crimper.
Cheap ratcheting crimp tool is worse than a cheap non-ratcheting one, as the mechanism is worse than your own hand at getting the pressure right.

But on better tools, ratcheting is the way to go, as the tool precisely controls the pressure achieved prior to releasing the work.
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Old 26-06-2013, 06:23   #19
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Re: Crimper

Once at the check out at HF I was asked if I wanted to buy the free replacement warranty, NO I said ,His next question was,Have you ever bought any thing here before? YES, your right ,I will take it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 26-06-2013, 06:28   #20
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Re: Crimper

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Once at the check out at HF I was asked if I wanted to buy the free replacement warranty, NO I said ,His next question was,Have you ever bought any thing here before? YES, your right ,I will take it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There are a lot of true bargains at Harbor Freight, and not everything they sell is carp. There is a rough equivalent in the UK called Machine Mart where besides the low-end Chinese stuff they also sell some pretty decent stuff, and still at knock-down prices. I like it. Things like cheap Chinese drill presses are great -- this application doesn't demand high precision.

But a crimper! I would never buy something like a crimper at some place like HF. There are some things you just can't do cheaply.
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Old 26-06-2013, 06:39   #21
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Re: Crimper

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Not rocket science, but pretty high precision in design and production.

The difference in effect between a good crimper ($150+) and a mediocre one ($60-80) is astonishing. I don't even talk about cheap ones.

There's no problem with dimensions of the lugs if you stick to the good ones (I use Molex). These are also not cheap.

The summary, I think, is that with crimp connections, there's no way to do it well which is also cheap.

I've just completey replaced all electronics on my boat this winter, so got a lot of seat time with crimpers and finally started to understand what a good crimp connection is. It's so different that I've even been redoing other crimps done on the boat over the years.
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Old 26-06-2013, 07:03   #22
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Re: Crimper

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But a crimper! I would never buy something like a crimper at some place like HF. There are some things you just can't do cheaply.
With respect, I still disagree somewhat. A crimp is ... squashing some metal (usually plated copper) onto a wire. The measure of success is squashing enough of the metal, squashing with a suitable shape & pattern, and squashing it hard enough. And being able to keep producing an acceptable squash every time.

As I'm sure you know, even these sorry crimpers...

... are capable of producing acceptable crimps in experienced hands. (But not in a repeatable way, which makes controlled-cycle crimpers vastly preferable.)

The knock-off ratcheting crimpers are often shameless clones of name-brand ones; the cheapness shows up mostly as level of finish, low labour cost, and very high volume.

At the places I've worked, we of course had the name-brand $$$ crimpers, because they do last, and are also adjustable and repairable. If you're a pro, or redoing the entire boat, the price is justified. But at home... I have the $30 ones I linked to earlier. They have hardened dies in a robust, ratcheting pliers frame. As I think hellosailor mentioned, you have to check and sometimes adjust the cheap ones to produce a proper crimp with a given brand of lug. But once set up... they produce dependable crimps, IMHO.

(I can only speak to the crimpers I've used, I have not seen or used the HF ones)
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Old 26-06-2013, 07:06   #23
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Re: Crimper

Just a thought on Chinese tools. They are a modern industrial country, and must make descent tools some place in China. It is the importing companies that select the standard they want to sell, or at least select the price point they want to sell. I have a nice set of ratcheting crimpers made in china. they do a good job. They cost me more than the ones at HF. They look alike, but closer exam HF are tinsel.
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Old 26-06-2013, 07:54   #24
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Re: Crimper

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It's sad that Harbor freight tools are being used as the standard for ratcheting crimpers now.
Working for a tool company, I can tell you that it doesn't matter where you buy your hand tools - from a quality standpoint. The vast majority of all hand tools sold in the US (and probably worldwide) are made in the PRC. This includes most of the power tools sold in DIY places like Harbor Freight, Lowes, HD, Sears, etc. Some are made in Taiwan and Japan where the quality is typically better and where more of the mechanics and industrial level tools are made. The same factory makes them and just puts a different brand label on them.

My point is that unless you are buying US or German made, you are basically buying the same tool regardless of where you buy it. That's not to say that all Chinese tools are junk, but you do get what you pay for.

FYI I also worked many years for electronics companies. The same applies here. Almost all consumer electronics are made by Foxconn or Flextronics in the PRC and they just stick a different brand label on the product.

I'm not making a value judgment. I'm just saying the way it is. I'm sure that this is not news to many people.

Scott
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Old 26-06-2013, 11:04   #25
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Re: Crimper

Some years ago a big cheap wrench broke and I skinned the back of my knuckles. Went down to Sears and literally forced them to sell me the Craftsman wrench that was wired to the display board, since they were out of stock on it otherwise. (It took the store manager to figure out "we have one customer and one wrench, what should we do about that?")

Haven't bought cheap tools from anonymous sources since, unless it is intentionally a "disposable tool" that I plan to use once for one specific job and that's all. That's where I peg HF, good for disposable tools. VERY good for disposable tools. But I value my knuckles, eyes, and a few other bits and pieces more than cheap tools.

I bought a "Palladin" brand ratcheting crimper around 1995 for a large wiring job. I think it was and still is around $50, and in all that time none of the crimps it has made have ever failed. There are lots of similar mid-price decent crimpers out there.
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Old 28-06-2013, 08:29   #26
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Re: Crimper

Be careful with crimpers matching the crimps. We are replacing some of our older crimpers at work and brought in 4 sets of different good quality ($200-$400) tools for testing, some work better than others and certain ones work great on the blue and yellow but wont pass a pull test crimping a red molex crimp. So Just be aware of that. For keeping on the boat I might keep one of the better non ratcheting types (like a thomas and Betts) as most on boat tools are tyoically used for in transit repairs. But keep a good set free from salt water in your boatyard tool box to do a proper crimp later. Also keep a look out for used sets. They can often be recalibrated and in my experince many of the ones made in the 70's and 80's seem to have better die sets and have bought them for as little as $10 at a used tool store.
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Old 29-06-2013, 07:03   #27
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Re: Crimper

Hello,

I have begun the electrical refit, and I am using "China" made crimpers I have had for years.

One crimper does 1.5mm2 to 16mm2 I paid $22.00 USD for, and the other one that does the larger 16mm2 to 25mm2 cost $30.00 USD. I have had them for 3 years, and they always work perfectly !

For the large DC cables I use a manual unit. I have has to use a vice to provide the proper force required on the 108mm2 (AWG 0000) cables.

No matter the price. I feel we have all bought enough hand tools to know what is a good hardened tool that will do the job continuously, and what is a disposable tool when in a pinch !

Alan
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Old 07-07-2013, 21:25   #28
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Re: Crimper

Hello,

Last Saturday I found a great hydraulic crimper. Comes with the die set for wire connectors from 16mm2 to 240mm2.

Paid $21 USD... Sure it is made in China, but it seems like a very solid unit ! Used it on 95mm2 wire yesterday. Worked like a charm !

Alan
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