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Old 07-24-2014, 10:54 PM   #21
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i disagree about that dimple type crimper for use on insulated, especially heat shrink type, terminals for marine use. Those things are prone to breaking through or cracking the insulation.
Oh yes, that little plastic insulator can get cracked, that's where technique comes in. The crimps shown are not for any use on battery cables and the like, but for the common smaller wiring used for controls and so forth.
I used to tell the newbs that they should be able to swing like Tarzan on a proper crimp without the terminal coming loose.
Those plastic insulators are no reason to be careless around a high voltage strip, and sometimes we left them off deliberately for a neater appearance. (A half inch from the insulator is a hot terminal anyway)
Other applications we slide the insulator back, crimp and slide it back up in place.
Use what you think is best, of course.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:57 AM   #22
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Genuinedealz.com for the wire, shrink and connectors.
Agree - have been using bestboatwire for years - highly recommended.

I've actually bought some great tools on EBay, like my Thomas & Betts TNM8 crimper, a Fluke meter, and an industrial ratcheting crimper.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:08 AM   #23
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Klein Tools The high leverage diagonal cutters have been in my tool pouch since 1975. Also love their new 11 in 1 screwdriver. My T&B (STA-KON)crimper is my fav crimper for non-insulated terminals. Home Depot carries Klein Tools.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:43 AM   #24
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I use Klein and Fluke pretty exclusively myself however for occasional personal use on small projects I recommend you save your money. Buy a Klein crimp tool and whatever your budget feels comfortable for the rest. The crimp quality is really most important IMO.

I've also compared many cheap digital multimeters purchased by friends against my Fluke and though I have no need of a cheapie, they've all been acceptable so far.

I also use Snap-On hand tools but do not recommend my friends go out and buy a set.
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:09 PM   #25
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Klein Tools The high leverage diagonal cutters have been in my tool pouch since 1975. Also love their new 11 in 1 screwdriver. My T&B (STA-KON)crimper is my fav crimper for non-insulated terminals. Home Depot carries Klein Tools.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:15 PM   #26
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Never seen a pro use Kleins and I know a quite a few marine and land; but they are widely distributed so easy to buy, so can't dismiss them and a few people here like them, so there you go. As for Harbor Freight, I dunno, I regard wiring as a mission critical activity. I wouldn't get much solace suffering from a failed connection while out at sea by consoling myself with "hey at least I saved 50 bucks on that crimper!".

Read the article on the HF battery crimper by Compass marine... a sobering tale.

Making Your Own Battery Cables Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:19 AM   #27
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Also, I just love good tools. Any excuse to buy a tool is good enough for me!

I confess to having a few HF tools - things I think are disposable, like grinders and compressors (though I have one HF compressor that's over 10 years old and still no problems!).
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:54 AM   #28
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Fluke meters. Crimpers and cutters I use random brands, some inexpensive ones work very well, you find out quick whether to put the tool in the kit or chuck it.

I do need to explore good sources for crimp terminals.

Harbor freight has about 75% crap. But some of the stuff is very good.
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Old 07-26-2014, 01:16 AM   #29
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Quality Tools

I've had very good results with the Klein tools available at Home Depot or a good local hardware store. They're about as good as you're going to get for a reasonable price and availability. The next step up gets you into full pro mode, with the associated expense and having to go to a professional supply house. Sounds like the Kleins would last for a good long time given the nature of the work, and give you great performance, way better than Harbor Freight or Northern Tool, which are passable if absolutely nothing else is available.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:09 AM   #30
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Thanks, guys. All good advice. I've decided, based upon all the feedback, that I'll populate a new toolbox with Klein tools and a Fluke multimeter. The wire and wiring accessories (heatshrink tubing, terminals, butt connectors, etc., etc.) will all be ordered from GenuineDealz.com.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:30 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Never seen a pro use Kleins and I know a quite a few marine and land; but they are widely distributed so easy to buy, so can't dismiss them and a few people here like them, so there you go. As for Harbor Freight, I dunno, I regard wiring as a mission critical activity. I wouldn't get much solace suffering from a failed connection while out at sea by consoling myself with "hey at least I saved 50 bucks on that crimper!".

Read the article on the HF battery crimper by Compass marine... a sobering tale.

Making Your Own Battery Cables Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
You have never seen a pro use Klein tools?
I have been working as a electrician since 1995 and licensed in 3 states since 2005. Working off shore since 2008 . I have worked with many companies in many industries and every co worker ( fellow electrician's) have always had some form of Klein tool on them.. Klein pretty much founded the electrical market of hand tools.... In america that is.

I would be interested to see what your friends are using for there hand tools
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:52 AM   #32
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Interesting if true..consider the source....

History | Klein Tools - For Professionals since 1857

Today, the Klein brand is the #1 preferred hand tool in the electrical industry, as well as one of the leading brands used in the maintenance, construction, and industrial trades. Loyalty to Klein Tools is strong due to Klein Tools' commitment to professional tradesmen; professionals feel the difference every day
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:30 AM   #33
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Tools

First, I have a 25year old Fluke, great meter but the one I use is a Mastec 2108. It is compact, has a clamp on feature of measuring AC AND DC. Around $75 at Amazon. I really like it. Full featured, even measures frequency and stores measurements if you wish. Best I can tell, only meter you will need. I will get back to you in 25 years. Most of the Kline stuff is top drawer. The Wiss electrician scissors are better than Klein, as a telco employee I would pick up the "snips" at the start of the shift and put them away at the end.. Bosch or Milwaukee small impact driver, you will love it, the 12 volt version. Small, light and just a great tool, can get into tight places. Were I doing it again I would buy the extended kit.
I have noticed there are some fine battery powered saws, grinders and so forth out there. With Makita, Kline, Porter Cable, Milwaukee I doubt you will of wrong. I used and abused a lot of this stuff.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:49 AM   #34
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Bluto, I also use that type of crimper with heat shrink insulated terminals. It seems to punch a hole in the insulation every time but I've never had a corrosion problem. I think that when I heat it, the adhesive flows into the void and heals it. I also put the dent in the side opposite the seam in the crimp. It is much easier to make a good tight crimp with these than with the tools that flatten the barrel of the terminal.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:53 AM   #35
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Another vote for Klein tools ... wire cutters, strippers, and testers.

As the tools for splicing ... I prefer to have the crimpers and connectors of the same brand, and my brand choice is ANCOR. I like their heat shrink, adhesive lined connectors ... I get good results even with a lousy heat source, or when the access is limited.

Not sure about dimple type crimper, never used one on a boat. This is a reason why ...



I use single crimper for heat shrink connectors, and double crimper for double crimp connectors that I dislike but it is what the boat builder used ... and a single crimp tool ?!?

BTW, Amazon.com seems to have best deal on nearly anything in most cases.
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:08 PM   #36
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I've also tried a variety of shrinking methods and strongly prefer a 120Vac heat gun. Have to plug it in, takes a while to heat and cool, but provides the most controllable results. I do keep one if the little gas pistols around for "emergencies".
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:37 PM   #37
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I have a few crimpers, but the ones I reach for are in the style of the Klein posted here. I also have a pair just like them without the dimple that I really like, but they are harder to find and currently only have the one pair, not always on the boat. I like these because they are sturdy and you can get a superior crimp. I do not buy stamped crimpers and have had issues with some of the ratcheting types, though for other style crimps I have a ratcheting pair that cost me about a hundred that works extremely well. That one has a set of dies that will interchange for standard crimps but I never use for that because the Klein style is so much more handy and leave the ratchet for butterfly style crimps.

Part of the reason why I don't have issues with the insulated terminals cracking is because I don't use them anymore. I much prefer the quality and insulation of non-insulated terminals with individually applied adhesive heat shrink. Massively better results since going that route. Carry one of those butane torches that run off a lighter and you can shrink in a hurry, or not as quickly carry a heat gun.

Terminal brands matter too. Many of the ancor brand terminals have better insulating material and with decent technique hold up even to the dimpled crimpers. If you are buying run of the mill terminals, I know exactly why you are having issues with the insulation cracking, but it's not just the insulation that is cheaper.
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:46 PM   #38
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...I much prefer the quality and insulation of non-insulated terminals with individually applied adhesive heat shrink.
Agreed - you get much better control of the crimps - but you need dies specifically for uninsulated connectors. Plus I was never very comfortable with crimping insulation.
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:47 PM   #39
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One other thing is that I use a bit of lanolin on the terminal before crimping and almost never solder anymore. Good adhesive heat shrink will keep everything sealed up and a good connection for a long time. Thusly I avoid risking the hard spot breakage that can come from a soldered joint. That said the very same adhesive heat shrink works as such a good strain relief that this is not overly much of a concern on a particularly important joint, so solder away if you feel the need. I just find that good joints properly sealed have proven nearly good as the day assembled ten years on, so no need for the extra effort or very slight risk.

It may sound like more time, but I rarely do a joint for a second time, years later.
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:51 PM   #40
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Agreed - you get much better control of the crimps - but you need dies specifically for uninsulated connectors. Plus I was never very comfortable with crimping insulation.

I won't say the special die for non insulated is wrong, probably about to get schooled on that. I will say that the dimpled Klein, right or wrong, will produce a superior joint that won't let go.
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