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Author Topic: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire  (Read 1338 times)

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Fred Koehlmann

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Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« on: October 17, 2017, 10:39:50 PM »

So I'm at a point where to complete our solar panel install, I just need to wire the controllers (MPPTs) to the house batteries. The only thing is that my ratcheting crimper will only go as large as 10 AWG wire. The marina has a large crimping tool, but it only goes as small as 4 AWG. I tried the 8 AWG with my crimping tool but destroyed the lug as a result (not surprising).

I've looked at all the local big stores like HomeDepot, Rona, and Canadian Tire, with no luck. I' starting to think I'll ask at the garage on Thursday when I take our van in for its seasonal oil change!n I'm getting desperate.

Does anyone know of a place that would sell/loan a crimper for 6 & 8 AWG wires?
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Frederick Koehlmann: Dolphina - C425 #3, Midland, ON
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KWKloeber

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Re: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2017, 11:11:44 PM »

So I'm at a point where to complete our solar panel install, I just need to wire the controllers (MPPTs) to the house batteries. The only thing is that my ratcheting crimper will only go as large as 10 AWG wire. The marina has a large crimping tool, but it only goes as small as 4 AWG. I tried the 8 AWG with my crimping tool but destroyed the lug as a result (not surprising).

I've looked at all the local big stores like HomeDepot, Rona, and Canadian Tire, with no luck. I' starting to think I'll ask at the garage on Thursday when I take our van in for its seasonal oil change!n I'm getting desperate.

Does anyone know of a place that would sell/loan a crimper for 6 & 8 AWG wires?


Fred, what kind/make/model crimper do you have?  I use a couple different crimpers for 8 awg, depending.........  One is a die crimper, and I have a die that fits 8 awg.  But for 8 awg I use only non-insulated butts and then HST over them myself.

I'd be pleased to either lend you a set up, or point you in a direction if you want another man toy, depending on how much you'll use it again in the future. 

My heavy, long handle FTZ cable crimper does 6 awg (but not 8 awg) but is kinda a monster to ship (but could be done.)  I don't THINK you want to do 6 awg crimps with a palm-type crimper.

I can sell you a short handle cable crimper that will do 8, 6, and larger, but probably not cost effective for a one shot need.

Ken
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mark_53

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Re: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2017, 12:19:40 AM »

Frederick, Iím pretty sure those Chinese crimpers you can buy at HF, eBay or Amazon will do 8AWG and above. Worked fine for me but only used it once. The way they mark the die is a little funky though.
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sailaway

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Re: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 04:54:28 AM »

They make lugs that have a screw type compression. They work great in some times better than crimping.  They can also be reused. Charlie
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Ben H.

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Re: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2017, 07:32:54 AM »

When I redid all the heavy gauge wiring on my boat I used the HF crimper and it worked great. Here is a link:

https://www.harborfreight.com/hydraulic-wire-crimping-tool-66150.html
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Ben H.
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Fred Koehlmann

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Re: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2017, 10:09:05 AM »

Thanks for the offer Ken. I'm sure shipping to Canada may be a bit pricey, and not sure about what would happen at the border these days. Below are a couple of pictures of my ratcheting crimper. If I could get dies for the next couple of sizes up that would be all I need. I bought it at Canadian Tire (MasterCraft brand), and they don't know of any additional dies that could go with it. I suspect its made for them by someone else, but not sure who. :donno:

Ben: I have concerns about the HF tool, based on the negative reviews and MaineSail's testing of it: (http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/battery_cables&page=3) Apparently the sizes are way off, and it comes with a 7 AWG? Never heard of that one before, but it doesn't matter, if the size they say a die is, is not. You would need to buy a whole bunch of lugs to test out on and figure out what was what. I'm too lazy for that, and maybe a bit cheap.  :wink:

Ken: Is the large crimper that you have like MaineSail's large one (FTZ 94284)? (http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/battery_cables&page=1) The reason I ask is that the marina had one like that, but no one on that day knew what sizes and it could do, and they all looked too big (to my eye). It also had numbers on it and not gauge size, so I also did not know how to translate what was what in sizes. Maybe I need to go back to them and try the 6 AWG with them?
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Jon W

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Re: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2017, 04:31:16 PM »

Hi Fred, I was looking for a crimp tool for 8 to 1 gauges a while back. I ended up buying a Greenlee made in Germany. I've used it a few times and it works great. FYI - it does require to double crimp above 4 AWG. I don't see that as a problem, just another step. A photo of the PN and the tool are attached.
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Jon W.
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KWKloeber

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Re: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2017, 06:16:17 PM »

 Fred,

A couple of important things, and I hope everyone on the forum who does electrical work is reading your post so they "get this."

From your description, the marina cable crimper is possibly a China knock off. They typically have millimeter sizing stamped on the dies, but they don't relate to the lug size. Or some have awg size stamped on. The mm sizing, I found, is the circular area of the copper  conductor  itself (in square  millimeters.)  That's as useful as well, use your imagination.   The quality of those are so poor that I personally would not use them on any crimp that I cared a damn about.

The crimper in the picture should NOT  be used with adhesive shrink terminals. Period.  Or with starter type lugs.   It has double-crimp dies, which is meant for nylon, non-heat shrink, "Automotive" stak-on terminals.   One side of the die crimps the wire terminal, the other side cramps the nylon strain relief. If you use it on adhesive shrink terminals, first the die is not sized correctly for the diameter of AHS terminals, and second it typically damages (pinches through) the insulation/heat shrink.

 It doesn't look like a half decent unit, and may very well likely come from the same source as the harbor freight terminal crimper,  which is a fairly good crimper for what it's made to do. You can get dies for your frame to do adhesive shrink terminals. 

You won't want to try to do #6 lugs with something that light. You might get by doing #8 starter lgs, but even that's a little dicey but doable.   I use two different dies that also fit yours and do #8 starter lugs, but I use them on a heavier frame with higher mechanical advantages.  More than a few  starter lugs at a time on that and either your hands and wrists will be talking to you or the frame will get ruined.

 I have dies for mine that also do number eight adhesive shrink terminals, although almost never do AHS terminals or butt splices  on #8, as I said below I  use non-insulated, and then heat shrink myself.

 I have a half dozen hand type crimpers (yes even including the HF) that I can do various #8:  non-insulated dimple crimp as well as hex crimps, and adhesive shrink crimps. For #6 I use the FTZ or Greenlee like Jon has (admittedly not as good as the FTZ).

 On both your #6 and #8, will you be doing lugs, or butt crimps?   How many? Would it be worthwhile to just make up and send you the cables?  Do you have a US drop address?

   I'm unsure exactly what you're doing, but #6 seems a little heavy for solar, no? I need education there. .

 Yes, my cable crimper is the FTC that RC uses. Those rotating dies are marked with  letters - and there's a chart that identifies what letter combination (e.g., A-B) left and right dies to use for each lug size and type (starter lug versus power lug.)
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
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KWKloeber

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Re: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2017, 06:33:35 PM »

Fred. Jon

The HF hydraulic crimper dies are sized per the copper cross section, not the lug awg size. 

I tried to correlate that ( below) and went round with HF buyers in Cali for 4 months.  They said they're correcting that with the vendor.  Yeah right.  Once the told me I needed to go to a local auto stereo shop and learn about terminal crimping and sizes.  LOL.  They sent me a check and decided to say that to shut me up. That was 2 yrs ago.  Same trash is still put out on their shelves.

The limited attempts I did to correlate the two, you jump two die numbers to match your lug size.  i.e., if I recall correctly (CRS) a #8 starter lug needs a #6 HF die set.  I actually gave up trying to correlate the two, mainly because tho I might get it lookin' good, there's no control as to whether the crimp is actually to spec or under crimped or over crimped. Some don't give a darn about that.  One would need to do crimps with both tools and then compare the finished hex crimps with a micrometer.

K
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 07:02:03 PM by KWKloeber »
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Jon W

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Re: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2017, 09:54:25 PM »

The Greenlee crimp tool I purchased above is not a Harbor Freight tool.
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Jon W.
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KWKloeber

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Re: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2017, 11:59:42 PM »

The Greenlee crimp tool I purchased above is not a Harbor Freight tool.

Jon:

Understood- didn't mean to imply "HF" about the Greenlee. I was just passing Fred info re: his concern about the HF hydraulic. 


Fred- I mis-typed below.

It (yours)  doesn't lookS like a half decent unit, and may very well likely come from the same source as the harbor freight hand terminal crimper,  which is a fairly good crimper for what it's made to do. You can get dies for your frame to do adhesive shrink terminals.

I use the Greenlee but not all that often, because for #6 I prefer the rounded-off square crimp of my monster heavy FTZ.  And for #8, my heavy hand type makes a nicer hex crimp.  I'll actually try a #6 with my hand type and report back.

ken
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KWKloeber

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Re: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2017, 09:36:50 PM »


I use the Greenlee but not all that often, because for #6 I prefer the rounded-off square crimp of my monster heavy FTZ.  And for #8, my heavy hand type makes a nicer hex crimp.  I'll actually try a #6 with my hand type and report back.

ken

Fred

I tried #6 lugs with my hex dies and hand crimper.  No way can you do a FTZ power lug. 
I can crimp a starter lug, but NOT QUITE to the extent of using my FTZ large crimper.

The approach I used (for better or worse) was to measure the cross-section area of the FTZ's square crimp, and figured the world is good if I could attain the same cross section with my hex crimp.  Using the die that I could fairly reasonably crimp by hand, I couldn't quite attain the same cross section (see below). 

#1 is the nice FTZ rounded-off square crimp, and #2 is the nice hex crimp.

I could get it down to the same cross section using a smaller hex die, but would need to put the crimper in a vice to squeeze it closed (which I did not do for want of not screwing up the plastic covering on the handles or the crimper itself.)

So, you can do #8 with a hand crimper, but for #6 you need at least a short length handle like the Greenlee K05 or a different FTZ model.  (or ruin a hand crimper in a vice.)   If I know you budget I might be able to find a decent deal for you on a new man-toy.

Ken
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 09:38:54 PM by KWKloeber »
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
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Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Fred Koehlmann

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Re: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2017, 08:28:30 AM »

Ken, thanks so much for taking the time to check this out. Sorry I haven't got back sooner, it's been busy for me. The lugs are like the type in your photos. I originally tried the smaller #8 with a plastic collar in my hand crimper (but it only goes as large as #10) and I destroyed the lug and the wire was still loose, so no go.

I'm back up at the boat this weekend to do the winterizing, so I'll check back with the marine to see if their big crimper could do the #6, now that I know to look for a legend to explain the numbers. It still leaves me with figuring out how to do the #8s. I'm wondering if an auto shop would be something?

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mark_53

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Re: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2017, 08:49:26 AM »

I'm wondering if an auto shop would be something?

Try West Marine.  I think they let you use their crimper.
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Ted Pounds

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Re: Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2017, 09:18:35 AM »

I'm wondering if an auto shop would be something?

Try West Marine.  I think they let you use their crimper.

Yes they do. 👍
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