Author Topic: Looking for input on a lug crimper  (Read 3447 times)

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Offline Rover

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Looking for input on a lug crimper
« on: January 22, 2012, 12:30:09 PM »
I'm looking for input on lug crimpers, I've decided I need one :)

Something for 6 to 00 AWG battery cables

I understand there are a few types, most predominant are 1) the hammer/vise version and 2) the hydraulic hand held.  I'm leaning towards a hydraulic ~ 60 to 70$ HF as one and there are a few on EBay.

Anyone have preference or advice?

Rover
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Offline WooferHound

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Re: Looking for input on a lug crimper
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2012, 12:50:35 PM »
I saw some advice elsewhere . . .
They said to get a cheap set of Bolt Cutters and file your own Crimp Notches into it
you can get 2 or 3 different sizes filed on the end of one bolt cutter
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Offline Rover

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Re: Looking for input on a lug crimper
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012, 12:55:47 PM »
Grin, I have used various ways of crimping lugs in the past, figure it was time that I get a proper tool for it.  I have cable cutters around, not mucking em up, and not real enthused to buy one to muck it up.

(in a vice, vice with angle iron replacement jaw , etc)

Need somthing a little more portable sub 100$

Rover
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Offline Volvo farmer

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Re: Looking for input on a lug crimper
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 07:44:39 PM »
Well you could muck up eleven of these before hitting your $100 mark
http://www.harborfreight.com/18-inch-bolt-cutters-41148.html

Offline ghurd

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Re: Looking for input on a lug crimper
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2012, 08:15:14 PM »
A proper lug crimper does it fast.
There is heat involved in the 'crimping process'.
A vice will not do it fast enough to get the heat.

Seems like my HF 24" bolt cutters were only like $8 with a coupon, a long time ago.
G-

Offline Watt

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Re: Looking for input on a lug crimper
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2012, 09:16:01 PM »
Here is what I use.  I like them, not a real clean crimp but looks fair crimped and heat shrink coated.  I'm looking for a die and dimple type crimper though.

http://www.anotherpower.com/gallery/Watt/IMG_20120122_205606

http://www.anotherpower.com/gallery/Watt/IMG_20120122_205656

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Offline bj

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Re: Looking for input on a lug crimper
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2012, 06:51:32 AM »
  I have been using my guy cable crimper.  It's kind of built like a cable cutter/bolt cutter, but has
several different sizes in the jaws.  Substantially less than the price  limit, and I didn't have to muck
with it.
  Just a thought.
  P.S. got it from a local automotive supply store.
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Offline dang

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Re: Looking for input on a lug crimper
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2012, 08:27:35 AM »
There is nothing like hitting the switch and having an electric hydraulic pump cycle the remote crimp head, loading up and growling to its final pressure spike before the limit switches open and having a glass smooth lug barrel that has liquefied the conductors and lug into a single block of metal be 'magically' revealed when you withdraw the cable assembly. The part I like is when its crimped that tight corrosion is stalled from creeping in the lug throat - condensation, corrosive fumes and the like can't attack the splice in a hidden area to turn into a higher resistive connection later on.

Barring piecing together a $1500 crimper machine from surplus sales the next best bet is the hand hydraulic crimper. The HF model has a 0.375" ram travel with a maximum 0.450" throat clearance. Deciding to stop at 2/0 AWG now is a little short sighted - chances are you will be looking at 4/0 or 250mcm at some point in the future. There is a $150 hand hyd crimper on eBay that has twelve die sets that should last you the rest of your RE career ifs its not used commercially.

I have a 40-year-old hand hyd crimper set that does tries to accomplish the liquefy trick but not really the same, just it works nicely. I also have a  Greenlee 36-inch compound leverage type with the multi-dies built in - great for a field repair but really* should  be saved just for that, if we're fabricating 26-pieces of battery jumpers and primary cable leads etc. they should be bench made with a high-power hydraulic crimper to get the extra edge on super low-resistance connections that will last the longest - and be the safest while unattended for years in the future.
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Offline luv2weld

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Re: Looking for input on a lug crimper
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 10:35:01 AM »
Like others here, I used everything I could find to crimp cables during my lifetime.
I've got one of the hammer type crimpers and there is no comparison between the connections that it makes and the hydraulic crimper.

Last year I was upgrading to 4/0 cable and decided to do it right. I bought these.......
http://www.ebay.com/itm/16-TON-HYDRAULIC-WIRE-CABLE-TERMINAL-CRIMPING-CRIMPER-/250803613752?pt=BI_Electrical_Equipment_Tools&hash=item3a650f7038#ht_500wt_1293

 And I am really pleased with the results.  I know they are a little over your spending limit, but I don't think you
will ever regret the extra $27. I don't think I will ever use the hammer crimper again. The hydraulic is just as fast
and you don't have to worry about hitting the thing off-center.

To make sure I get a good connection, I crimp my 4/0 lugs twice. The first crimp with the 120 dies and the second with
the 95 dies. I may be doing it wrong, but I'm pretty sure they are not going to loosen. If that doesn't make the metals flow together
then I guess I'm just outta luck.

It's really amazing how much fun it is to work when you have the right tools!!!!

Get the hydraulic. You will not be sorry.

Ralph

The best way to "kill time" is to work it to death!

I wouldn't need to manage my anger if people would learn to manage their stupidity!!

Offline Rover

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Re: Looking for input on a lug crimper
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012, 03:03:55 PM »
Thanks all for the input, I am leaning towards a hydraulic handheld.

Rover
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Offline Dale S

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Re: Looking for input on a lug crimper
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2012, 04:38:26 PM »
I'm the originator of the bolt cutter crimper, I've made prolly a hundred perfect crimps on four gauge battery cable, but I always crimp and solder.
I aint skeerd of nuthin....WTF was that?

Offline madlabs

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Re: Looking for input on a lug crimper
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2012, 08:38:42 PM »
Ya sold me Ralph! I just went and bought one of the hydraulic crimpers you linked. I have a job coming up where I'll need it, and of course can use it around here too.

Jonathan
Some people are like a Slinky - not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

Offline luv2weld

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Re: Looking for input on a lug crimper
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2012, 10:47:46 AM »
Let us know how you like it after you do a couple of crimps.
For me, it was a Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious!!!! Why in H-ll didn't I buy one of these a long time ago???
I was stupid for struggling with Poor-Boy make-do ways to crimp.

Ralph
The best way to "kill time" is to work it to death!

I wouldn't need to manage my anger if people would learn to manage their stupidity!!

Offline dang

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Re: Looking for input on a lug crimper
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2012, 10:59:10 AM »
Quote
For me, it was a Blinding Glimpse of... [luv2weld]

Beware of the traveling electric hydraulic crimper salesman :)
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Offline striider

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Re: Looking for input on a lug crimper
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2012, 07:42:56 AM »
Howdy Ralph!  Good to see you around :)  That is a NICE tool - I had no idea the crimping process was supposed to generate heat.  Glad I read this post.  Thanks guys!

Eric