Originally Posted by eherlihy
In my shopping I decided that were I to buy one, I would strongly consider this one for ~$60 from Harbor Freight;
Hydraulic Wire Crimping Tool
The problem with this tool is that the dies are neither labelled correctly, nor are they to AWG spec.
I understand that the "AWG 0" pictured above is actually closer to an AWG 6. Harbor Freight has been told about this numerous times, but continues to sell the under sized dies.
While the hydraulic part is a decent price it is an entirely useless tool, with the wrong sized dies. I have seen crimps made with this tool and they are horribly over crimped with "tags" half the size of the lug... You can very easily over crimp or under crimp battery lug connections and over crimping is equally as bad as under crimping. In my opinion it is $60.00 thrown out the window without the proper dies. This is a tool typical of HF quality control.
Personally I'd suggest adding $100.00 to it and buy the FTZ tool and you'll have it for a lifetime. Hell buy it use it and turn around and sell it for $130.00 to another forum member or split it with a buddy.
Battery lugs are no place to skimp on the quality of the connection. Some of these battery banks, especially when we get into AGM's, can throw 20,000+ amps into a short. The last thing you want is a faulty lug crimp..
The FTZ tool is only $159.00 at KL Jack
and well worth the expense. I am a strong opponent of "hammer" or "dimple crimps" on battery lugs for marine applications. I much prefer a 360 degree "swage" type crimp.
As a test to compare between my hammer crimper and FTZ tools I made two crimps. One with my Ancor hammer crimper and one with my FTZ lug crimper. Before inserting the stripped wire I filled the very end of each lug with grains of sugar. I then crimped each lug and dropped them into a glass of water.
The "hammer crimped" lug had wet sugar after less than an hour. Water had penetrated the crimp enough to get to the sugar. The FTZ crimp was bone dry when I drilled into it. I then made another FTZ crimp and at six months the FTZ made crimp was still pouring out dry sugar, when I drilled into it..
That is a big difference in how these crimps will survive in a moist marine environment. Hammer/dimple/staking crimps can also "molest" and fracture individual wire strands, not good....
The FTZ tool makes such a well executed crimp that even solder will not penetrate the crimp band area. This tool makes battery lug crimps that exceed Mil Spec, I've load tested them. While the HFT is a neat tool, in concept, it is far from well executed.
If you don't want to buy the proper tool for the job I'd suggest using Genuinedealz. GD uses the FTZ tool as well......