Author Topic: Crimpin’ ain’t easy (or: best hobbyist crimping tool/system?)  (Read 13051 times)

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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 »
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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.
 

Online 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.
 

Online 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 »
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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.
 

Online 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 »
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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.
 

Online 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 »
 

Online 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.
 

Online 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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