The Best Wire Crimping Tools (Review & Buying Guide) 2021
Working on an electrical project? These wire crimping tools can help.
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BY Miguel de Guzman / LAST UPDATED ON December 9, 2020
Ask professionals about the tools they use, and you’re bound to get opinions about the equipment they work with. A professional in any field needs the right tools to get the job done. Having the wrong tools—or no tools at all—can cause delays, frustration, and botched work that needs to be fixed again later. For IT professionals, work is often split between hardware and software. In addition to your digital toolbox, you’ll also need a physical toolbox to get the job done when you need to install and upgrade devices.
You’ll be assembling desktop systems, servers, and replacing worn components with regularity. You’ll also be running miles and miles of cable, regardless of the size of the company you work for. Having a high-quality, reliable crimping tool is as important to an IT professional as a carpenter’s hammer or a plumber’s pipe wrench. We’ve tracked down the best CAT5 crimping tools available right now, from bare-bones to big-budget options. All of them will get the job done with ease.
It’s a comprehensive tool kit that includes everything you need in a convenient zip case.
- Respected manufacturer
- Package includes more than just the tool
- Compression connectors are of questionable quality
This is a very inexpensive wire crimping tool that works practically just as well as the best of them.
- Sturdy and works efficiently for its price
- For light tasks, it’s all one will need
- Stripping feature works on flat cables only
This tool kit comes from a respected manufacturer of network tools, and the package includes more than just an excellent performing wire crimper.
- Comes with crimper, compression connectors, and cable testers
- Wire stripping feature of the tool isn’t the best
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Best Wire Crimping Tool Buying Guide
A wire crimping tool's purpose is pretty straightforward. They're used to "crimp" terminals and connectors on electrical wires, or connect two pieces of material together to form an electrical connection. An electrician, for instance, will need the use of a crimping tool to connect wires or replace cables. Likewise, homeowners should have a good crimping tool in their toolbox in case they might need to install a fixture or hook up an electronic system.
There are many kinds of crimping tools available in the market, with some being more suited for certain jobs than others. Ultimately, you want the right tool that can get the job done fast and easy. And in this article, we'll discuss the things you need to consider before picking up a crimping tool.
Benefits of a Wire Crimping Tool
There are, of course, many benefits to having a crimping tool on hand when doing electronic projects. After all, projects of this kind (depending on their size) will require one or more wires to be conjoined. Indeed, if you're an electrician, or worked in a field where handling and connecting wires were a regular occurrence, then you definitely need a crimping tool in your toolbox.
Using a crimping tool to deform a metal sleeve around the end of a wire to create a secure connection is, to be sure, among the fastest and easiest ways to form a cold weld joint. So if one needs to do projects that require a lot of wires to be connected to each other, then one will need the use of a crimping tool. A good, heavy-duty crimping tool will not only make the job easier, but it will also make those wire connections more secure and reliable.
- It’s the fastest way to create a cold weld joint between two wires.
- Wire connections done with a good crimping tool are secure and reliable.
- Unlike soldering, crimping doesn’t require training and the use of hazardous materials.
Types of Wire Crimping Tools
There are different types of crimping tools, and each type has its advantages and disadvantages. While smaller wires won't require much pressing force to crimp, thicker wires will, and might require the use of a hydraulic crimper. Below are the three most common kinds of wire crimping tools one can readily find available in the market.
These are the most common wire crimping tools available in the market, and they are the simplest. They are manually operated and are typically used for small wires. They are very portable and basically resemble conventional pliers. Some handheld wire crimping tools are multi-purpose and can be used as a wire stripper or wire cutter. Some can even double as pliers and be used to grip, pull, or loop wires together.
A hydraulic wire crimping tool, which can apply more pressure than a handheld crimper because of its use of hydraulic fluid, is typically used for thicker wires and industrial applications. One downside to hydraulic wire crimpers is that they require hydraulic fluid, as well as regular oil maintenance to avoid clogging.
Hammer crimpers are very affordable and generally work the same way handheld and hydraulic crimpers do, except that you’ll need to place them on a flat surface and use a hammer. Basically, the end of the wire is placed between a die and an anvil and is struck by a hammer to form the crimp. So while hammer crimpers are effective and will be able to handle wires much thicker than what handheld crimpers can handle, it’s not really something that’s portable enough to be brought to just any job site.
How We Tested Wire Crimping Tools
We've considered quite a few criteria when assessing the best wire crimping tools available in the market. Firstly was the ease of use. A wire crimping tool is supposed to be convenient, after all. The tools in our list that got the highest honors were all easy to use and made the job of wire crimping faster and more reliable.
The next thing we considered was each tool's list of features. Some tools were multi-purpose and therefore had broader use beyond mere wire crimping, while others could handle a broader range of wires. Of course, if you need a dedicated wire-stripping tool, you can check out our roundup of the best wire strippers.
The last consideration was the price. Naturally, price is — and always will be — a big consideration for buyers when deciding on what tool to invest in.
Features of Wire Crimping Tools
The wire crimping tools available in the market vary wildly in terms of quality, functionality, and feature set. Each brand and model has its strengths and weaknesses, and below are a few of the features you need to consider before deciding on what crimping tool to keep in your toolbox.
Naturally, the measurement between a crimp tool's jaws when they are fully opened should be wide enough to fit both the wire and connector. The crimp tool's jaws should also be able to hold both the wire and connector in place before crimping to assure consistency.
If the size of the tool's jaws are too small, or the wire being crimped is too big for the tool, then the result will be an improper crimp, which will cause corrosion, overheating, voltage drops, or just a general loss of connection. So before purchasing a wire crimping tool, it's always best to know the type of wires you'll be working with.
Another crucial factor to consider when buying tools such as wire crimpers is construction quality. After all, you want something durable that will last for a long time — and you want something that can withstand a ton of abuse.
High-end wire crimping tools are typically made from hardened steel, and will typically be coated in a substance that will seal out moisture and protect the tool from rust and corrosion.
So if you're in the market for a good-quality wire crimping tool, we suggest that you do your due diligence and find out the type of material that was used in its construction.
If you need to be crimping a lot of wires and connectors, then a flimsy handle that offers suboptimal traction and grip simply will not do. After all, crimping requires a fair amount of precision, which only a crimping tool with a handle encased in nice, grippy, rubber-like materials can provide. A handle with a good grip will allow you to hold the tool securely and with confidence, making it definitely one of the things you need to consider before making a purchase. And not only will a well-designed, ergonomic handle result in better-quality crimps, it will also reduce hand fatigue.
Care and Maintenance for Wire Crimping Tools
Although wire crimping tools are basic and simple tools that will last a long time with minimal maintenance, caring for your tool, and following safety precautions is always advisable to keep them in good working condition. Needless to say, the lifespan of your wire crimping tool will largely depend on factors like frequency of use, working environment, and the type of work for which it's being used.
It's advisable to regularly inspect your wire crimping tool for any damage, especially if the quality of your crimps is noticeably degrading. When inspecting, see to it that no spring, screw, or moving part is missing and that each lever, if any, is operational.
- Only use your wire crimping tool for its intended purpose.
- Don’t use abrasive cleaners on the tool.
- Keep it away from dust and moisture as much as possible.
- Keep your tool’s joints, bearings, and pivot points well lubricated.
Best Wire Crimping Tools Reviews & Recommendations
Best Wire Crimping Tools FAQ:
If you're still scratching your head and wondering about what wire crimping tool you should go out and purchase, then check out this roundup below of the most common questions new buyers have about the product. Hopefully, any lingering questions you might have about wire crimping tools get expressly addressed so you can finally make a decision.
Q. What is wire crimping?
It is when a connector is joined to a cable through the use of a crimping tool.
Q. Is crimping better than soldering?
Crimping is typically better than soldering when it comes to conjoining wires because it provides a more air-tight seal that protects against moisture and debris.
Q. How do I choose a crimping tool?
You must first know the wire gauge you’ll be working with because crimping tools are sized based on the wire gauge they can accept.
Our Top Pick
The Gaobige Network Cable Repair Maintenance Tool Kit gets our pick for Best Overall Wire Crimping Tool because it has everything one needs to go right ahead and start working.
This tool doesn't just work, it works exceptionally well. Additionally, we also appreciate that the whole package includes more than just a wire crimper.
All the wire crimping tools here are great, some more so than others. But if you want the best bang for your buck, get the Gaobige Network Cable Repair Maintenance Tool Kit. If you need something more affordable yet feature-rich, then check out the Trendnet Crimping Tool.