Owner, Green Bay Packers
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SW Michigan
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Do not dink around with combination stripper/crimpers. Get a convenient sized pair of strippers; I like the stripping jaw to be on the outside of the hinge. For crimping you need a pair of Klein pliers. The Kleins have two jaws, which are all you need, one for insulated and one for uninsulated, and a small nipping end for cutting wire. Klein is to crimping pliers as Crescent is to adjustable wrenches. Both the strippers and Klein pliers are available at your local Home Marina. Klein also makes a nice pair of strippers. With daily use I get about five years out of a pair of their strippers. I've never worn out a set of Klein pliers, even though I use them daily as well.
I am against the plastic insulated crimp fittings for other than attaching to terminal blocks. If you are connecting wires together in a butt splice i would recommend a "sta-con" and shrink tube. The butt connectors rot out and if you cover them with shrink tube, the plastic melts as you heat the shrink tube. Better to just eliminate them. A great alternative is available at your local well-drilling supply house. You can get heavy wall sta-cons, much thicker metal than the plastic coated jobbies and shrink tubing that has some real wall thickness to it. The shrink tubing we use on submersible pumps is far better than the thin cheap stuff at WM, Home Marina, or your auto parts store. And it all comes with the glue inside, in clear or black, pre-cut or cut to length. Once this shrink tube cools it is as stiff as the wire it's connecting.
In those areas where it is necessary to use electrical tape, I recommend Scotch 88, accept no substitutes. We used to use it for splicing wires to be immersed, until we switched to the convenience of shrink tubing. Splices covered with 88 last just as long as with shrink tube, it's truly a great tape that may change your opinion on electrical tapes. You may have to go to an electrical supply house to find it, although some hardware stores do carry it. That well-drilling supply house will have it.
The trouble with the terminal ends is finding ones uninsulated, if you're going to cover up to the terminal end with shrink tubing. The electrical supply house is your source for these as well, with a good selection of terminals, insulated and non-insulated. You will also find such specialty terminal ends there as ones where the wire attaches at 90 degrees to the end. Look 'em over, you have far more options than what the Ancor value pack has and you can buy what you really need versus having half a box of stuff you'll never use.
“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.