Author Topic: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)  (Read 12046 times)

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Offline ratkinsTopic starter

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I know this has been discussed before but there does not seem to have been a satisfying conclusion, and in any case the answer may have changed since.

What is the best all-purpose crimping tool system for hobbyist (non-production) use? I want my crimps to work, so I want a one-shot ratchet mechanism. This disqualifies the Engineer and Hozan P707 tools which I see recommended sometimes. The official manufacturer tools are out of the question as I’m not made of money, nor do I have the time or inclination to collect them second hand.

One approach would be to spend ~$30 each on four or five of the better-regarded generic knockoffs. This is my least-favoured option due partly to the questionable quality and longevity of such tools, but also for the amount of space it will take up in my toolbox.

Ideally I’d like to buy into an interchangeable die system. The Knipex 97 33 02 “Multicrimp” would be great (I like the tool-less quick-change magazine) and it’s not too expensive but it seems there are only five dies available and none of them are suitable for DuPont crimps (where the tabs should fold around, rather than bite into, the wire insulation.) Has anyone seen third-party dies available in this format?

Which leaves the Knipex 97 43 200. It has many more dies available and it seems there is even one suitable for DuPont crimps in a limited size range (can someone confirm this?) The problem here is that it is hellishly expensive by the time you buy the tool, case and a few dies. (Knipex’s sister brand Rennsteig isn’t meaningfully cheaper where I am.) One thing I cannot work out is if any third parties make dies which will fit the Knipex. Do the Rennstieg-branded dies fit the Knipex? If so the Rennstieg 624 053 3 0 might also work.

So: can anyone confirm the Knipex 97 49 24 or Rennstieg 624 053 3 0 (which I couldn’t find on the Rennstieg site, interestingly) die properly crimps DuPont—or if there are compatible dies that will do so for either Knipex system—or point me toward any other options I have missed?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2023, 04:37:38 pm by ratkins »
 

Online wraper

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2023, 03:29:31 pm »
For Dupont crimps there is not much choice. 99% of inexpensive crimpers which are claimed to crimp Dupont cannot do it properly because of unsuitable die shape. Out of inexpensive ones you can use IWISS SN-025. IIRC there was another similarly priced crimper but I cannot recall its name. BTW Engineer crimpers you mentioned cannot crimp insulation side of the crimp either.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2023, 03:41:27 pm by wraper »
 
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Online wraper

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2023, 03:53:01 pm »
Preciva PR-3254 works too. However with such insulation crimp style it can only crimp Dupont. Larger sizes are of usual "B" shape, while IWISS SN-025 has O shape for all 3 sizes so can be also used with KK396 for example. So it's better to have SN-025 besides some more common type crimpers like Multicrimp.
 
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Offline ratkinsTopic starter

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2023, 04:41:55 pm »
It’s enraging that Knipex don’t simply… make DuPont-compatible dies for the MultiCrimp or 97 43 200? I’m getting antsy because just now it’s dropped below €100 on amazon.de so if I could make it work it’d be the perfect time to pull the trigger.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2023, 04:44:21 pm by ratkins »
 

Offline timeandfrequency

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2023, 04:51:25 pm »
Hi ratkins,

If you do not yet have a crimping tool, the Knipex 97 43 200 you allready spotted will allow you to crimp a very large spectrum of connectors. As you stated, it is expensive. But below 100 bucks, it's a bargain.

I would say that the most useful dies are the following ones, but it depends on your application :
97 49 05
97 49 06
97 49 08
97 49 10
97 49 40
97 49 44 : should also do it for 'Dupont' connectors by using the '0.14-0.25' slot (1)
97 49 66
97 49 70

(1) as you can see at the bottom part of the die, the shape is of dual height, which crimps the wire and the insulator with different strengh, as it should be.


As a hobbyist, I use the  97 52 05 plier for over 20 years (of course, not for 'Dupont' connectors), and the result is as good as you can expect from a custom cable manufacturer. Even if you do not notice any difference in the shape of the die, when comparing to a cheap copy, these tools crimp with the highest reliability.

I would add that the quality of the crimp also has something to do with the connector itself. Choosing first tier connector manufacturers like Molex, TE, Vogt, ... will undoubtedly lead to better results.

I unfortunately don't know if the Knipex dies are compatible with the Rennstieg plier, but I would suggest to give it a try and ask Knipex directely.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2023, 12:17:09 am by timeandfrequency »
 
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Online wraper

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2023, 05:40:46 pm »
97 49 44 : should also do it for 'Dupont' connectors by using the '0.14-0.25' slot
Yes, however this die costs 50% more than crimper itself. Making it together with crimper more expensive than Multicrimp with 5 dies included  :palm:
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2023, 08:53:05 am »
Have you read Tooki's topic: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/affordable-crimp-tools-for-small-connectors-(dupont-etc-)/ ?

You can get many of the dies for the budget ratcheting crimpers from various Aliexpress vendors.   However its very hard to find the die used in the TZ-4228B / SN-4228B separately (which you will need for duPont  connectors) so probably best to start with that compete tool, and get other dies as you need them.   I would suggest having at least two tools as its fairly futile to try to to keep a tool with dies used for ring terminals on 6mm2 battery cables tight enough long-term, that dies suitable for JST XH or duPont connectors on <0.1mm2 wire still crimp effectively.
 
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Offline ratkinsTopic starter

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2023, 07:53:52 pm »
It’s the second link in my post.

Are you saying that there is a standard size and shape for the dies, and theoretically I can buy third-party knockoff dies that will fit the Knipex 97 43 200?
 

Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2023, 10:10:48 pm »
Honestly, used original tools are a better choice than no-name crap. The more I crimp, the less patience I have for el-cheapo nonsense. I think you’re making a grave mistake by ruling out original and used original tooling. With some patience, you can find them for cheap.

Of all my crimp tools, the one I keep coming back to for DuPont is an original tool for a different (but physically similar) contact: the AMPMODU MOD IV tool I got a few years back. It’s just fantastic to use. A Mini-PV tool would be even better (since I’m also using more and more real Mini-PV instead of Chinese DuPont; real mini-PV contacts are FAR better, and they’re even harder to crimp in the wrong tooling than the Chinese DuPonts!!).
 

Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2023, 10:13:46 pm »
Preciva PR-3254 works too. However with such insulation crimp style it can only crimp Dupont. Larger sizes are of usual "B" shape, while IWISS SN-025 has O shape for all 3 sizes so can be also used with KK396 for example. So it's better to have SN-025 besides some more common type crimpers like Multicrimp.
FYI, while the angled insulation crimp wings MUST be crimped with a circular die, flat insulation wings can be crimped with either m-style, circular, or overlap* crimp dies. I use my MOD IV tool with Molex KK254 (and clone) contacts, which have flat insulation crimps, all the time and the result is beautiful. (See photo; sorry, I don’t have a microscope!)


*see most Molex tools from the last few years.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2023, 10:27:01 pm by tooki »
 

Offline PlainName

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2023, 10:21:41 pm »
Quote
so I want a one-shot ratchet mechanism. This disqualifies the Engineer

I've had a selection of various crimp tools and favoured ratchet over non-ratchet. I had a bunch of Molex Picoblade crimps to do and nothing I tried would make a good crimp. So I  bit the bullet and bought a Engineer Pad-11 and quickly managed to do perfect crimps.

As well as preferring ratchet I also preferred doing wire and insulation in one go, but I've got used to doing them separately now. Sure, it takes a bit longer (though not much once you get into the swing) but it also allows you to use inappropriate cables.

I don't think the Engineer suffers from not having a ratchet because you're going to squeeze the dies together completely regardless. It's  not like they are 1/4" thick steel crimps - you squeeze and unless you're using one finger the two dies will meet completely.

The Engineers aren't cheap,  but I recently took the plunge and got a Pad-13 too to replace the larger crimpers.
 
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Online ledtester

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2023, 11:43:44 pm »
What is the best all-purpose crimping tool system for hobbyist (non-production) use? ...

Have you looked at the Molex MTA system?

How To: MTA Connectors -- enph twofivethree
https://youtu.be/TnR3kFSGboQ

The official hand tool is only around $40 USD:

https://www.molex.com/molex/products/part-detail/application_toolin/0638133504

https://www.newark.com/molex/63813-3504/insertion-tool-2-54mm-crimp-rohs/dp/92AJ7706

Another possibly informative video comparing MTA with crimp pins:

.1" Headers: Crimp vs. IDC (MTA-100) -- joesnotes
https://youtu.be/uRiZFxZz_7Y
« Last Edit: February 07, 2023, 12:04:51 am by ledtester »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2023, 12:26:55 am »
Honestly, used original tools are a better choice than no-name crap. The more I crimp, the less patience I have for el-cheapo nonsense. I think you’re making a grave mistake by ruling out original and used original tooling. With some patience, you can find them for cheap.

Of all my crimp tools, the one I keep coming back to for DuPont is an original tool for a different (but physically similar) contact: the AMPMODU MOD IV tool I got a few years back. It’s just fantastic to use.
I fully agree! And sometimes the original tools are very affordable when bought new. Molex has 'servicegrade' crimpers which typically can be used on several different contacts.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline sleemanj

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2023, 12:49:17 am »
How many are you doing?  If you are doing heaps, then sure, get a fancy ratchet with the correct die style. 

But if you are like most hobbiests and do a handful now and then, I would stand by my recommendation of the Iwiss 2820 manual pliers which I have made many times before, yes they have the "B" shape die which offends some so, but they work just fine for hobby purposes.  I have ratcheting crimpers of the usual chinese variety, but it'a the Iwiss 2820 I reach for every time.

Anyway, remember, for a good crimp the wire size is important, both insulation and conductor.
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Offline profanum429

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2023, 03:37:25 am »
I've settled on Molex SL as my go-to connector system; it's latching, 2.54mm pitch, through hole, smd, and wire-to-wire options. The only downside is there is no 1x connector, minimum 2. I bought an older style crimper off eBay for about $50 and it's worked like a charm for the last three years.

I still keep around a HT-95 and HT-102 crimper that I scavenged off eBay for doing Dupont crimps, but I try to mostly use SL for most things now. I also have an AMPMODU IV crimper for Dupont clones, but I miss having a good locator (at least the AMPMODU crimper I got, the locator is useless for clone Duponts), so I mostly use genuine Duponts now. Locator aside though, the AMPMODU crimper does a fantastic job of crimping.
 
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Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2023, 01:18:43 pm »
What is the best all-purpose crimping tool system for hobbyist (non-production) use? ...

Have you looked at the Molex MTA system?

How To: MTA Connectors -- enph twofivethree
https://youtu.be/TnR3kFSGboQ

The official hand tool is only around $40 USD:

https://www.molex.com/molex/products/part-detail/application_toolin/0638133504

https://www.newark.com/molex/63813-3504/insertion-tool-2-54mm-crimp-rohs/dp/92AJ7706

Another possibly informative video comparing MTA with crimp pins:

.1" Headers: Crimp vs. IDC (MTA-100) -- joesnotes
https://youtu.be/uRiZFxZz_7Y
Your general suggestion is a good one, but you’re confusing things. The Molex KK insulation displacement connectors are discontinued.

MTA-100 is similar, but it’s not from Molex, it’s from TE (originally AMP). I’ve used them before and indeed they work well, with inexpensive tooling. I wouldn’t say the end result is quite as robust as a well made crimp, but it’s certainly good.
 
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Offline JohanH

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2023, 01:24:04 pm »
I use IWS-3220M for Dupont and JST-XH. If it's the correct one, I don't know, but result looks and feels good.
 

Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2023, 01:28:06 pm »
How many are you doing?  If you are doing heaps, then sure, get a fancy ratchet with the correct die style. 

But if you are like most hobbiests and do a handful now and then, I would stand by my recommendation of the Iwiss 2820 manual pliers which I have made many times before, yes they have the "B" shape die which offends some so, but they work just fine for hobby purposes.  I have ratcheting crimpers of the usual chinese variety, but it'a the Iwiss 2820 I reach for every time.

Anyway, remember, for a good crimp the wire size is important, both insulation and conductor.
It’s not “offensive”, it’s a functional problem. The mangled insulation wings make it harder and unreliable to insert into the housings.

We advise against doing that because it causes problems, not because of aesthetics or emotions, as you imply.
 
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Online wraper

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2023, 01:28:55 pm »
I use IWS-3220M for Dupont and JST-XH. If it's the correct one, I don't know, but result looks and feels good.
For sure it's not correct for Dupont and insulation crimp cannot look good because it will be mangled like crimp on the left, not wrapped around the insulation.

« Last Edit: February 07, 2023, 01:30:38 pm by wraper »
 
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Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2023, 01:30:02 pm »
I use IWS-3220M for Dupont and JST-XH. If it's the correct one, I don't know, but result looks and feels good.
I have that tool. Not correct for DuPont (though less bad than the SN-28B that’s usually sold as a DuPont crimper), but quite decent for XH. I use that exact tool for XH myself.
 

Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2023, 01:33:06 pm »
I've settled on Molex SL as my go-to connector system; it's latching, 2.54mm pitch, through hole, smd, and wire-to-wire options. The only downside is there is no 1x connector, minimum 2. I bought an older style crimper off eBay for about $50 and it's worked like a charm for the last three years.

I still keep around a HT-95 and HT-102 crimper that I scavenged off eBay for doing Dupont crimps, but I try to mostly use SL for most things now. I also have an AMPMODU IV crimper for Dupont clones, but I miss having a good locator (at least the AMPMODU crimper I got, the locator is useless for clone Duponts), so I mostly use genuine Duponts now. Locator aside though, the AMPMODU crimper does a fantastic job of crimping.
How do the HT-95 and HT-102 do on DuPont clones?

And what are the factors for preferring Molex SL (which I am familiar with but have never used myself) over genuine Mini-PV?

I mostly use JST XH and Molex KK254 on new projects.
 

Online wraper

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2023, 01:38:37 pm »
What is the best all-purpose crimping tool system for hobbyist (non-production) use? ...

Have you looked at the Molex MTA system?

How To: MTA Connectors -- enph twofivethree
https://youtu.be/TnR3kFSGboQ

The official hand tool is only around $40 USD:

https://www.molex.com/molex/products/part-detail/application_toolin/0638133504

https://www.newark.com/molex/63813-3504/insertion-tool-2-54mm-crimp-rohs/dp/92AJ7706

Another possibly informative video comparing MTA with crimp pins:

.1" Headers: Crimp vs. IDC (MTA-100) -- joesnotes
https://youtu.be/uRiZFxZz_7Y
I would never use MTA-100 for my own projects. It's unreliable garbage IME. Over time whey lose contact with wire also wire can be pulled out way too easily.
 

Offline timeandfrequency

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2023, 01:43:16 pm »
Hi PlainName,

Quote
so I want a one-shot ratchet mechanism. This disqualifies the Engineer
[...]
So I  bit the bullet and bought a Engineer Pad-11 and quickly managed to do perfect crimps.

As well as preferring ratchet I also preferred doing wire and insulation in one go, but I've got used to doing them separately now. Sure, it takes a bit longer (though not much once you get into the swing) but it also allows you to use inappropriate cables.
You are right : the Engineer crimping pliers does not feature a dual height die, and therefore, crimping a connector become a two step task (first crimp the wire then the insulator). The connector has to be positionned precisely twice inside the die.
For one or two connectors, it's OK, but I found it quickly boring when I have a bunch of them to crimp.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2023, 02:39:35 pm by timeandfrequency »
 

Offline mcovington

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2023, 01:23:35 am »
I mostly use generic DuPont-style connectors such as the ones from Jameco.

Like others here, I've found the IWiss SN-025 much better than other inexpensive crimpers.  It is similar to their SN-28B but handles the insulation side better, wrapping around it in a circle rather than indenting it.  I have not had any trouble getting good crimps.

I also have an AMP 90430, designed for "High Density DF" but capable of crimping these DuPont-style connectors.   Advantage: When it works, it works beautifully.  Besides the two dies, there is a blade that holds the connector in place.   Disadvantage:  You cannot release the ratchet once it has started to engage.  So if a connector has gotten stuck off-center in it, you have no choice but to complete the crimp and end up with a mangled connector.  Also, it only fits one exact size of connector.  And there is a high (5%) chance of accidentally ruining a connector and having to start over.

Advantages of the SN-025: There is a ratchet release; you can see what you're doing; and with some care, other sizes of connectors can be crimped, such as JST-style (shorter) (although the IWiss SN-01 is better for these, and I have it). 

Basically, for me, it's a 100% chance of getting 95% of the quality, versus a 95% chance of getting better quality and also taking more time.  Under the microscope, the IWiss crimps look good, though not quite as neat as those done with the AMP tool.
 

Offline profanum429

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2023, 02:51:11 am »
I've settled on Molex SL as my go-to connector system; it's latching, 2.54mm pitch, through hole, smd, and wire-to-wire options. The only downside is there is no 1x connector, minimum 2. I bought an older style crimper off eBay for about $50 and it's worked like a charm for the last three years.

I still keep around a HT-95 and HT-102 crimper that I scavenged off eBay for doing Dupont crimps, but I try to mostly use SL for most things now. I also have an AMPMODU IV crimper for Dupont clones, but I miss having a good locator (at least the AMPMODU crimper I got, the locator is useless for clone Duponts), so I mostly use genuine Duponts now. Locator aside though, the AMPMODU crimper does a fantastic job of crimping.
How do the HT-95 and HT-102 do on DuPont clones?

And what are the factors for preferring Molex SL (which I am familiar with but have never used myself) over genuine Mini-PV?

I mostly use JST XH and Molex KK254 on new projects.

The HT tools work on the clones, but you have to adjust the locators. I like to keep them for genuine ones only though as the HT crimpers do not have an unlock feature, so once you're crimping you are committed and while it's difficult, you can break a die if the contact isn't inserted all the way.

I ended up on the SL because I really like that they have a latching option and the contacts and housings are not too onerous on price. The tooling is also pretty easy to find and works well and is fairly cheap. I can also use them with other 2.54mm families, as long as I'm not looking for a 1x1 connector.

For Dupont clones, in my opinion, the holy grail is a Harwin Z20-320. The locator on it is magnificent and it crimps Dupont clones perfectly every time. I have one at work and it's pretty fantastic, I'd love to find a personal one but they always go for a decent chunk of money, pretty close to retail prices.
 
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Offline Smokey

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2023, 02:53:44 am »
Quote
And i'm gonna tell you something, this crimpin' that I got in my blood, it came from a family tree. My granddaddy was crimpin'. My great-great-great-granddaddy was crimpin'. I'm talking 'bout crimpin' since been crimpin' since been crimpin'!

https://www.amazon.com/Engineer-PAD-11-Precision-Crimping-Interchangeable/dp/B00IWD9XT6?th=1

Multiple die plates for all kinds of stuff.
 

Offline JohanH

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2023, 07:44:27 am »
I use IWS-3220M for Dupont and JST-XH. If it's the correct one, I don't know, but result looks and feels good.
For sure it's not correct for Dupont and insulation crimp cannot look good because it will be mangled like crimp on the left, not wrapped around the insulation.


I have that tool. Not correct for DuPont (though less bad than the SN-28B that’s usually sold as a DuPont crimper), but quite decent for XH. I use that exact tool for XH myself.

I stand corrected. I have mostly crimped JST-XH connectors with the IWS-3220M. Well then, looks like I need another tool for Dupont (eyeing the IWiss SN-025), although I don't use Dupont that often.
 

Offline ratkinsTopic starter

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2023, 09:01:33 am »
Have you looked at the Molex MTA system?

Ah, sorry, I wasn’t clear—I think I meant to say more of a crimp tool system—I want to buy one really nice tool now, for which I can get dies for potentially anything I want to do as a hobbyist in the future. In fact the proximate cause of thinking about this now is needing to do a few dozen butt splice connectors. I anticipate I’ll need to do other things in the future though, and I don’t want to end up acquiring half a dozen sub-par hand tools.
 

Offline PlainName

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2023, 11:49:57 am »
Quote
I want to buy one really nice tool now, for which I can get dies for potentially anything I want to do as a hobbyist in the future

That's pretty much why I settled on the Engineer - most dies don't work on other contacts because the front or back is the wrong size, so you have perfectly good tools that would do have the job. With the single action tools you can use them for front and back, just not at the same time, and that means you can mix and match.

But, as someone pointed out above, it depends on the volume of what you do. For a  handful of splices, doing them twice isn't that much of a deal breaker. If you were running off a hundred it would be a serious issue.
 

Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2023, 02:38:15 pm »
Have you looked at the Molex MTA system?

Ah, sorry, I wasn’t clear—I think I meant to say more of a crimp tool system—I want to buy one really nice tool now, for which I can get dies for potentially anything I want to do as a hobbyist in the future. In fact the proximate cause of thinking about this now is needing to do a few dozen butt splice connectors. I anticipate I’ll need to do other things in the future though, and I don’t want to end up acquiring half a dozen sub-par hand tools.
Whether this goal is achievable depends entirely on what kinds of connectors you end up using. For the most part, interchangeable-die tools are for larger terminals, not the small (and ever smaller!) ones we use in low voltage electronics.

You see this issue in the Knipex in your original post, you see it in other high quality interchangeable-die tools like Pressmaster MCT, and, frankly, basically every such system I’ve seen so far. They invariably seem designed for electricians, not for electronics work.

In fact, the Knipex system is probably already the “best” such thing, and even so, D-sub are basically the smallest it supports.

Even among the Chinese tools, where parts are often available, you can find the dies for most of the tools — but not for the smallest contacts (SN-01, for example). Those are only ever sold assembled into the tool.

So while I totally understand your desire (and frankly, wish it existed!), I don’t think it’s a realistic goal. If you want good crimps, you will eventually end up collecting expensive tools. Especially with small contacts, the locator (positioner) becomes more and more important, because positioning the connector accurately into the die simultaneously becomes more important, but harder to do, as the contacts get smaller. Some contacts, like genuine Mini-PV, are surprisingly difficult to crimp by handholding the contact. Cheap tools don’t have any locators at all, which makes crimping slower and much more error-prone. The downside to locators is that they make the crimp tool extremely specific. I am convinced that many of the dedicated tools sold by the connector makers actually use the same dies, just with a different locator attached.


Some advice: find some favorite connector types and try to use those as much as possible, with as optimal tools as possible.* When you can’t, choose connectors where you can buy precrimped leads — for something you’re only doing once, it’ll be cheaper to pay (for example) $2 each for 20 precrimped leads than to spend $500 on the tool, plus 40x $0.30 for the contacts (plus an extra 10 for practice), plus the wire, plus your time — or to spend 4 x $25 trying to find a cheap tool that works, plus dozens of dozens of wasted contacts for experimentation, plus hours and hours of research to find the tools to begin with and try to make them work.

*For example, I use JST XH a lot, and have considered spending the $300 to get the real JST tool, because it’s so much easier to use.
 

Offline PlainName

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2023, 03:44:17 pm »
Quote
are surprisingly difficult to crimp by handholding the contact

For the very tiny I snip the section out of the bandolier that holds the crimp, then use that as a tab for holding the crimp in place. Afterwards, a couple of waggles and it breaks off.

Using that method, you can pre-load the crimp with the stripped wire, hold the wire in place against the tab, and then place the lot en bloc into the tool.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2023, 03:45:59 pm by PlainName »
 
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Offline bluey

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2024, 09:20:19 pm »
I have a Knipex (97 43 200 A) which I picked up from Conrad for about 85 euros a few years ago. Dies are still a killer price for hobby work. As it is the dies are not quite the correct dimensions for the TE spade terminals I am using it on - functional but not neat.
https://www.conrad.com/en/p/knipex-knipex-97-43-200-a-crimper-w-o-crimp-inset-825494.html
(When you log in outside EU; the VAT comes off.)

Rennsteig appears to be the tool designer. PEW 12 (624 000 3) has a ridiculously huge range of dies (about 90 dies and locators), multiples more than Knipex. I have noticed lots of German companies appear to rebrand their products for other manufacturers. Rennsteig makes a chrome plated version.
https://www.rennsteig.com/en/products/detail/6240003.html

Today I've been looking to see if I can find cheap dies from China that might be from a knock-off manufacturer.

FSE VSB- looks like a knock-off of the Knipex/Rennsteig tool. I got a ferrule crimper by the same manufacturer (FSE says Vasung Tools on the box) and am impressed by the quality of it, including attention to detail in the packaging - way better than Knipex whose simple cardboard boxes fall apart in shipping. Hopefully the dies will be near enough - if not perfect, then I can reengineer them a bit to fit.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005005922461930.html

(Still looking for an official/factory store, as I have better luck with those in the AliEpress wild east.)

BTW, if people want JST and tools, I suspect can be bought from Misumi, who is offering 50% off for new users (need ABN and proof of business operations). Have got parts for my hobby mill CNC conversion from Misumi.

I have some small molex board-in connectors for a project. They are very small and look similar to the JST XH with 2.5mm pitch. They crimp perfectly well with the Knipex.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2024, 03:54:33 am by bluey »
 

Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2024, 10:30:26 am »
Knipex bought Rennsteig back in 1991, which is why their product portfolios overlap quite a bit.

Dies are precisely where the Chinese fail. I’d expect better performance using German/Swedish/American/Japanese dies in a Chinese handle than vice versa. The dies are absolutely critical to crimp performance, requiring far more precision than people realize. Most Chinese dies are simple die castings with no further machining. Some are so bad one might suspect they were made with sand casting. Better Chinese dies are made by wire EDM, which is reasonably precise, but leaves a rough surface that causes issues of its own.

Top quality crimp dies, which I have never seen from a Chinese manufacturer, have a mirror finish inside, so that terminals glide across the surface and don’t stick. I have the Knipex at work, with several dies. Some of them are fine, but one (for spade terminals) needed improvement of the internal surface by careful sanding with fine sandpaper. I’d still like to polish it further. (The Knipex dies are still fairly cheap compared to the true big-name crimp tool manufacturers  like Pressmaster, Daniels, and WEZAG.)
 

Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2024, 04:32:57 pm »
BTW, if people want JST and tools, I suspect can be bought from Misumi, who is offering 50% off for new users (need ABN and proof of business operations).
I don’t see anything about 50% off, but they do carry some JST connectors. However, as best I can tell, they don’t have original JST tools, but rather their own brand of crimp tool for them, which are basic tools without contact locators. Given that you can get original JST tools, with locators, for about 50 euros more on Reichelt (which also sells to consumers) you’d have to be a fool to buy their no-name tool.

Also, hilariously, on the UK Misumi site, they list TE’s CertiCrimp III tool as “Thirty Crimp III”.  :-DD
« Last Edit: April 21, 2024, 04:35:36 pm by tooki »
 

Offline bluey

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2024, 06:09:06 am »
I don’t see anything about 50% off, but they do carry some JST connectors.

At least Misumi singapore has 50% for new users, for about the last year. https://sg.misumi-ec.com/

I used to get lots of stuff from Monotaro.sg, until they pulled the plug. Now only from monotaro in Japan via my Tenso mailbox.

19 JST tools under this listing: (site navigation is a bit quirky but good for mechanical parts)
https://sg.misumi-ec.com/vona2/detail/222000499301/

Everything JST https://sg.misumi-ec.com/vona2/maker/jst/?searchFlow=results2maker&KWSearch=jst%20crimp

One of the aliexpress sellers described that their dies were hand polished and not to complain that they looked "used". Can't find them now but maybe they would be a better source for cheap dies that work. Polishing wheel on a bench grinder would do a better job than fine sandpaper.

This listing has a few dies labelled "precision EDM" which look very well made and well polished on the sliding side and listed for JST, dupont, Molex, etc. (More photos in user reviews)
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001499604399.html
« Last Edit: April 24, 2024, 07:38:45 pm by bluey »
 
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Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2024, 12:10:04 pm »
OK, I see why I didn’t find the original JST tools on Misumi: apparently, they’re “general purpose tools” and not the “dedicated tools” category I naively looked in…  :palm: (So far, I’ve found at least three categories which contain subcategories with crimp tools. What an awful, awful website, with respect to taxonomy.)

Anyhow, their prices for the tools are not low, so at 50% they’d be good prices, but not at full price.
 

Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2024, 12:36:40 pm »
One of the aliexpress sellers described that their dies were hand polished and not to complain that they looked "used". Can't find them now but maybe they would be a better source for cheap dies that work. Polishing wheel on a bench grinder would do a better job than fine sandpaper.

This listing has a few dies labelled "precision EDM" which look very well made and well polished on the sliding side and listed for JST, dupont, Molex, etc. (More photos in user reviews)
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001499604399.html
Do you have any experience with top-tier crimp tools? I get the impression that you don’t, because it doesn’t sound like you know what to look for. 

Those AliExpress dies look fairly ordinary (perhaps on the better side of average for el-cheapo Chinese), but nowhere near that of top quality tools.

Wire EDM leaves a rough finish — unless you go back and do further passes to refine the surface, which adds tons of processing time. Do you think the AliExpress manufacturers are doing that? Of course not. Unfortunately, even if that rough EDM is dimensionally accurate, the rough finish prevents the contacts from sliding into the die properly, which causes the crimp to distort, as well as taking more hand force to do.

Meanwhile, polishing on a buffing wheel would buff down the precise geometry that a good crimp die needs. Remember, we are talking tolerances of a few 1/100mm on small connectors like JST. That’s more than the surface roughness of the EDM rough cut! So grinding and then buffing that out that would ruin dimensional accuracy.

The upshot is that whether a set of cheap dies works well is a crapshoot, as they’re simply not manufacturing them to tolerances small enough to guarantee a decent result. Some end up working well, others are awful. This requires precision manufacturing and discipline, not hand-polishing to give a veneer of quality.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2024, 12:38:27 pm by tooki »
 

Offline watchmaker

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2024, 12:44:51 pm »
Is IWISS getting better? Look at the polish.

2149147-0
Regards,

Dewey
 

Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2024, 06:28:16 pm »
Is IWISS getting better? Look at the polish.

(Attachment Link)
Is that intended to be an example of a good tool?

It may be the best the Chinese have to offer, and it’s serviceable, but it’s not great. It’s shiny, but it’s not smooth.

It’s hard as heck to photograph my good tools, because it’s literally trying to photograph a mirror, but see the attached photos. What you see in the photos is the dust, marring from use, and in one case even a bit of rust. (I already locked up the storage at work, so I’ll oil it tomorrow.)

Images 3185, 3186, and iPhone-through-a-microscope 7069 are of an AMP 169481-1 tool for AMPMODU MOD IV, 3187 is of a Molex 63819-0000 for Micro-Fit 3.0. Note for scale that both of those tools’ total jaw widths are significantly smaller than on the IWISS shown: 22mm on the Molex, 17mm on the AMP.  The largest crimp wells on those tools are about the same as the smallest on the IWISS.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2024, 06:33:51 pm by tooki »
 

Offline Smokey

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2024, 06:48:08 pm »
What is the deal with the IWISS tools having removable dies, but they don't sell the crimp pin dies separate from the ratchets?  I can only find complete single ratchet + single die packages, or the multiple dies but only one is crimp pin die...

What am I missing?
 

Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #40 on: April 29, 2024, 07:06:01 pm »
What is the deal with the IWISS tools having removable dies, but they don't sell the crimp pin dies separate from the ratchets?  I can only find complete single ratchet + single die packages, or the multiple dies but only one is crimp pin die...
I’m not 100% sure what you are asking, since it sounds like you’re using the phrase “crimp pin die” to mean something specific, but I don’t know what you mean by that — all the dies are for crimp terminals.

What I can say is that in general, except in systems explicitly designed to have interchangeable dies, you can’t count on them being standardized, even within the same manufacturer. There are often little tweaks to the dies and/or handle, for whatever reason.

One thing I strongly suspect that original tool makers do is to tweak the position of the first click on the ratcheting mechanism, so that the first click is precisely the correct force to hold the contact in place while you insert the wire.

It is conceivable that there are other (non-geometric) changes made to the handles, for example a different range of crimp force setting.


And this isn’t just iwiss: I have never found any vendor selling the thin dies for SN-01B tools, for example.
 

Offline jfiresto

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #41 on: April 29, 2024, 07:09:36 pm »
... Images 3185, 3186, and iPhone-through-a-microscope 7069 are of an AMP 169481-1 tool for AMPMODU MOD IV,....

Tomorrow, I will see if I can get a sharper replacement for image 7069.
-John
 
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Offline Smokey

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #42 on: April 30, 2024, 01:47:18 am »
What is the deal with the IWISS tools having removable dies, but they don't sell the crimp pin dies separate from the ratchets?  I can only find complete single ratchet + single die packages, or the multiple dies but only one is crimp pin die...
I’m not 100% sure what you are asking, since it sounds like you’re using the phrase “crimp pin die” to mean something specific, but I don’t know what you mean by that — all the dies are for crimp terminals.

What I can say is that in general, except in systems explicitly designed to have interchangeable dies, you can’t count on them being standardized, even within the same manufacturer. There are often little tweaks to the dies and/or handle, for whatever reason.

One thing I strongly suspect that original tool makers do is to tweak the position of the first click on the ratcheting mechanism, so that the first click is precisely the correct force to hold the contact in place while you insert the wire.

It is conceivable that there are other (non-geometric) changes made to the handles, for example a different range of crimp force setting.


And this isn’t just iwiss: I have never found any vendor selling the thin dies for SN-01B tools, for example.

From the aliexpress link above, these are the dies that work with that crimper:


There are 7 dies listed. 
06 and 02C I would refer to as "Terminal Crimping Dies"
06WF and 16WF I would refer to as "Ferrule Crimping Dies"
And...... The top three.... I would call.... "Crimp Pin Crimping Dies".  The thing you are crimping is a... connector pin.  So not a terminal or a ferrule.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2024, 08:06:25 pm by Smokey »
 

Offline jfiresto

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #43 on: April 30, 2024, 12:44:27 pm »
Attached is a photo of a MOD IV die at ca. 9X. My gooseneck lamps were a bit too big to skirt all of the shiny surfaces.
-John
 
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Offline mcjeff93

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #44 on: April 30, 2024, 06:19:09 pm »
Thanks for the useful info.
 

Offline mcjeff93

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #45 on: April 30, 2024, 06:21:19 pm »
It's nice reading through the important details.
 

Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #46 on: April 30, 2024, 08:05:11 pm »
Attached is a photo of a MOD IV die at ca. 9X. My gooseneck lamps were a bit too big to skirt all of the shiny surfaces.
Nice photo!

Which model # is that crimper? (I can tell it’s a different model from mine.)
 

Offline aeberbach

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #47 on: April 30, 2024, 10:23:41 pm »
It's strange that Aliexpress seems to have no crimpers with round crimp jaws. That's one way the Engineer PA-24 https://www.engineertools-jp.com/pa24 stands out. It's not ratcheting, it is slow, but it does do the wrap-around on the insulation correctly.
Software guy studying B.Eng.
 

Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #48 on: April 30, 2024, 11:11:21 pm »
It's strange that Aliexpress seems to have no crimpers with round crimp jaws. That's one way the Engineer PA-24 https://www.engineertools-jp.com/pa24 stands out. It's not ratcheting, it is slow, but it does do the wrap-around on the insulation correctly.
There are a few. The SN-025 mentioned in the original post is one, but there are a few others too. However, so far they all seem to still not be ideal for DuPont, in that the crimps tend to be a bit big.
 

Offline jfiresto

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2024, 05:47:15 am »
Attached is a photo of a MOD IV die at ca. 9X. My gooseneck lamps were a bit too big to skirt all of the shiny surfaces.
Nice photo!

Which model # is that crimper? (I can tell it’s a different model from mine.)

Thanks. It is a Tyco/AMP Pro-Crimper from 2003. The current production is more colorful.
-John
 
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Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #50 on: May 09, 2024, 12:26:21 pm »
Attached is a photo of a MOD IV die at ca. 9X. My gooseneck lamps were a bit too big to skirt all of the shiny surfaces.
Nice photo!

Which model # is that crimper? (I can tell it’s a different model from mine.)

Thanks. It is a Tyco/AMP Pro-Crimper from 2003. The current production is more colorful.
Where was that tool manufactured? I’m curious as to who actually manufactured it.
 

Offline jfiresto

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #51 on: May 09, 2024, 12:46:55 pm »
The crimper has AMP embossed on the handle along with MADE IN U.S.A.
-John
 
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Offline Smokey

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #52 on: May 22, 2024, 11:14:47 pm »
I recently picked up an iCrimp SN-2549.  It does significantly better crimps on DTM 1062-20-0122 pins (both wire and insulation crimp in one go) than my old crimpers. 
I've never used the official crimper for these pins, but I'm happy with these crimps from the iCrimp. 

Only complaint, and this is true with like all these type of pins and crimpers I've used, is that the wings of the crimp pin don't fit straight in the dies unless you pre-compress them a little so they are about parallel with the die opening walls. 
 
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Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #53 on: May 23, 2024, 08:05:14 am »
I recently picked up an iCrimp SN-2549.  It does significantly better crimps on DTM 1062-20-0122 pins (both wire and insulation crimp in one go) than my old crimpers. 
I've never used the official crimper for these pins, but I'm happy with these crimps from the iCrimp. 

Only complaint, and this is true with like all these type of pins and crimpers I've used, is that the wings of the crimp pin don't fit straight in the dies unless you pre-compress them a little so they are about parallel with the die opening walls.
Not surprising, since that tool has the wrong die shape for those contacts: just like DuPont, those have the angled offset insulation wings that need a circular insulation crimp.
 

Offline Smokey

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #54 on: May 23, 2024, 07:32:12 pm »
I recently picked up an iCrimp SN-2549.  It does significantly better crimps on DTM 1062-20-0122 pins (both wire and insulation crimp in one go) than my old crimpers. 
I've never used the official crimper for these pins, but I'm happy with these crimps from the iCrimp. 

Only complaint, and this is true with like all these type of pins and crimpers I've used, is that the wings of the crimp pin don't fit straight in the dies unless you pre-compress them a little so they are about parallel with the die opening walls.
Not surprising, since that tool has the wrong die shape for those contacts: just like DuPont, those have the angled offset insulation wings that need a circular insulation crimp.

The iCrimp bends the ends of the insulation side in so they pierce the middle of the insulation in the middle of the wire.  It looks and feels pretty solid, and the crimp pin does not appear to be distorted in weird ways that would keep it from being inserted.  I'm not sure if this is "correct" but it looks "close enough".
 

Online tooki

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Re: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)
« Reply #55 on: May 24, 2024, 10:34:30 am »
I recently picked up an iCrimp SN-2549.  It does significantly better crimps on DTM 1062-20-0122 pins (both wire and insulation crimp in one go) than my old crimpers. 
I've never used the official crimper for these pins, but I'm happy with these crimps from the iCrimp. 

Only complaint, and this is true with like all these type of pins and crimpers I've used, is that the wings of the crimp pin don't fit straight in the dies unless you pre-compress them a little so they are about parallel with the die opening walls.
Not surprising, since that tool has the wrong die shape for those contacts: just like DuPont, those have the angled offset insulation wings that need a circular insulation crimp.

The iCrimp bends the ends of the insulation side in so they pierce the middle of the insulation in the middle of the wire.  It looks and feels pretty solid, and the crimp pin does not appear to be distorted in weird ways that would keep it from being inserted.  I'm not sure if this is "correct" but it looks "close enough".
It’s definitely not correct. The angled offset wings are to produce a circular insulation crimp that hugs the insulation 360 degrees without poking into it whatsoever. When crimped into the m-shaped crimp, the long, sharp points get driven deep into the insulation, weakening it, reducing the effectiveness of the strain relief.

If you look at contacts designed for m-shaped insulation crimps, the wings are almost always squared off and symmetrical, and when crimped with the official tooling, either penetrate the insulation only slightly, or in some, actually curl up so that the insulation isn’t pierced at all.

Regardless, if the crimped terminal doesn’t fit into the housing, then it clearly has the wrong crimp dimensions. (For some reason, Chinese crimpers seem to usually veer on the side of making flat, wide crimps, rather than the more squarish crimps made by a lot of official tooling.)
 


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