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Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)

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ratkins:
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?

wraper:
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.

wraper:
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.

ratkins:
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.

timeandfrequency:
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.

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