How to Crimp And Connect Wires

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Use a standard crimping tool and connectors.
Use a standard crimping tool and connectors. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

When it comes to connecting electrical wires, crimping them together to make a solid connection is one of the most efficient ways to do it. Crimp butt connectors, crimp wire terminals, and wire crimp connectors are all common means in which to do get this job done. You will need a few of these connectors and a common tool for crimping. The task itself is straightforward and will make every connection that you make solid, safe and secure.

Things You'll Need

  • Steel Wool
  • Wire strippers/crimpers
  • Crimp connectors

Determine what gauge wire you are crimping. Wire thickness varies from 10 gauge all the way up to 22 gauge. The lower the number the thicker the wire. The thicker the wire the more power it can conduct without over loading. Each wire should have the gauge labeled on it in small writing. Most residential wiring is 12 or 14 gauge.

Strip the insulation from the end of the wires. Place the wire in the according gauge slot on the end of your wire stripper/crimper. Apply pressure then slide the end of the wire insulation off. If the wire is in the wrong size slot you could cut strands of the wire. Every strand of wire is important. If stands are cut this can cause dangerous hot spots on your wires.

Clean your wires if they are old and tarnished. Grime on the wires can reduce conductivity. Using a piece of steel wool, scrub the end of the wire until it shines. The copper finish should be clean and free of tarnish.

Crimp the wires into the crimp connector. Slide each wire in the end of the barrel as far as it will go. It should stop half way into the connector. Most crimp tools/wire strippers will have to crimping notches for different sizes. Normally one notch will be for 16-10 gauge and the other for 22-18 gauge. While holding the wire firmly into the connector, squeeze tightly down on your crimpers to form a secure crimp. Both ends of the wire should be secure. If any of the wires are loose, cut ends and start all over.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always turn the power off before working with electrical or cable wires.
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