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Old 17-07-2018, 22:12   #1
KTP
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What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

I have the harbor freight hydraulic crimper, which has sorta worked for some smaller cables in the 2AWG to 8AWG range. The problem is the dies are not quite sized right for the wire gauge so you have to experiment a bit with certain sizes (or maybe grind them out with a dremel, which I have heard of some doing).

Aside from that, it is a quite easy tool to use and mine doesn't leak. The ram comes down nice and straight. It is always like that...you get something that 90% works, if you want 100% you pay $600 more.

I need to do a boat load (almost literally) of 2/0 ancor lugs onto their tinned copper cable. I see Ancor does make a hex crimper for that size but not sure of quality (reviews are mixed). Probably made in China like everything else.

I am tempted to try the dremel tool on the 2/0 die in the harbor freight crimper to get it closer to the correct size to give a proper crimp. It might mess with the hardening a bit but since the metals being crimped are copper, I would guess it would still be fine for the 30 or so crimps I need to do. Anyone done this or have some suggestions?
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Old 18-07-2018, 02:59   #2
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Re: What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

I used to borrow a tool from the local automotive shop, one that you strike with a hammer.

Then, since I have two sizes of those swaging tools that you tighter with a wrench, I started using that. Seems to do a good job, just slow.
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Old 18-07-2018, 03:05   #3
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Re: What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

Range 4-70MM2 >> https://bit.ly/2Ltzxrd
Range 10-120MM2 >> https://bit.ly/2moDulX
Range 16-300MM2 >> https://bit.ly/2moiMCR
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Old 18-07-2018, 03:21   #4
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Re: What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

I use a FTZ 94285 crimper,purchased from K L Jack in Portland ME. Their part # is ET 50116. Purchased about 5 yrs ago it was $150. Adjustable dies from #6 to 4/0.Does an excellent job,it was recommended by Mainsail.
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Old 18-07-2018, 03:33   #5
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Re: What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

Sorry itís 94284, the 94285 is the same except it is ratcheting and costs more.
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Old 18-07-2018, 04:43   #6
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Re: What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steamgoat View Post
I use a FTZ 94285 crimper,purchased from K L Jack in Portland ME. Their part # is ET 50116. Purchased about 5 yrs ago it was $150. Adjustable dies from #6 to 4/0.Does an excellent job,it was recommended by Mainsail.
++ 1 - great tool. Not cheap, but at the end you can calculate the cost per crimp, which will be minimal and good for a very long time. You could also sell it for half price when done and you'll be way ahead.
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Old 18-07-2018, 05:15   #7
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Re: What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

I use one of the hammer crimpers (Forney 57637 lug crimping tool) for a few connections and it did a great job. Its small and easy to use. Only issue is that you need to be able to get the lug in a place where you have some hammer room. Since you have a boat load you might want to spend more on the FTZ 94284 as others have recommended.
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Old 18-07-2018, 05:16   #8
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Re: What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

If you can arrange to do all of your heavy crimping in one or two days, perhaps you could borrow or rent a top-notch crimper.
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Old 18-07-2018, 07:13   #9
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Re: What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

I installed a Maxwell Windlass on our boat in 2006 which required the use of 2/0 cables to handle the pow demands. I found the most effective tool for swaging the lugs was a #3 Swage-It tool:




The process is a bit more time consuming than using a crimper but the results are much more effective. For what it's worth, I found using a Dremal Tool with a cut-off wheel the most effective means of cutting the wire. Also, because the wire is not easily twisted. I found it best to position the lug at the proper orientation for its application and hold it in place with a wrap of clear plastic tape for swaging. I also used a length of adhesive heat-shrink tubing, slipped over the cable before fitting the lug and swaging that could be slipped up over the lug and "shrunk" with the heat from a hair dryer effective for protecting the swage and sealing moisture out of the connection. Of course, the Swage-It tool can also be used for rigging repairs if needed.

FWIW...
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Old 18-07-2018, 07:34   #10
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Re: What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

https://marinehowto.com/marine-wire-termination/

https://marinehowto.com/making-your-own-battery-cables/
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Old 18-07-2018, 07:35   #11
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Re: What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

You need a tool with the "swags" that are sized for the wire and the ends you are using. I have the FTZ tool and it works very well. I use the FTZ lugs. Maine Sail has the ratcheting ftz tool on sale. I had hand injury that made using 2/0 cables dificult, so they were made up by Genuine Dealz custom cables. If I had many to do, the bench mount crimper by Ftz looks like a winner.
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Old 18-07-2018, 07:56   #12
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Re: What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

https://marinehowto.com/making-your-own-battery-cables/
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Old 18-07-2018, 08:36   #13
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Re: What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

Does the FTZ tool make hex crimps with no ears? Anyone have a pic of a crimp from it?

The Chinese hydraulic crimpers have incorrect dies and can end up making a hex crimp with ears, which while they do compress the copper strands into a nice solid mass and impossible to pull off the cable with 300+ pounds of force, are for some reason a failure point (I guess the ears weaken the copper strength of the connectors plus there is that surface area which is not in contact with the 2/0 wire strands). Certainly it is a better connection than a hammer crimp though.

Fixing the die such that it does not make ears could be a solution. I am pretty good with a grinder. I also don't mind paying $200 or so for the right tool, if that tool actually does a correct crimp. None of us are going to be able to afford the *real* certified crimpers, which are around $4,000 to $6,000.
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Old 18-07-2018, 08:37   #14
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Re: What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steamgoat View Post
I use a FTZ 94285 crimper,purchased from K L Jack in Portland ME. Their part # is ET 50116. Purchased about 5 yrs ago it was $150. Adjustable dies from #6 to 4/0.Does an excellent job,it was recommended by Mainsail.



Same here. Does the trick and if you are doing a fresh battery bank installation, pays for itself rapidly. For 10-24 ga., I use the Ancor Double Crimper: https://alchemy2009.blogspot.com/2014/10/lord-of-ring-terminals.html
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Old 18-07-2018, 08:57   #15
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Re: What crimper do you guys use for larger cables?

I have one of these
https://www.waytekwire.com/item/470/...ool-8-4-0-AWG/
and one of the Ancor tools.

Lug Crimper, 8-4/0 AWG Hex Die | Ancor
They both seem to work well. the bench crimper seems a bit better but oif course your not doing that in place. For awhile I had it mounted to a 2x6 you could use in the cockpit but now it's just on the bench.

I have a hollingsworth tool at work that's great but pricey and only does down to 2 awg. We also recently got a cordless powered one for a project at work but it was like 2 grand.
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