TOOL BOX: Crimping Tool for Cable Lugs – Sizes #6 AWG to #3/0 AWG
For those of you who have ever relocated a battery to the trunk, or have installed a master kill switch, or have completely re-done an electrial system on a car, then you know how hard it could be to crimp a 3/8 lug on a 1 gauge battery cable. Professional crimping tools can cost in excess of $200. This is way too much money for the average guy to spend on a tool that they will rarely use. I have used many of the professional grade tools during my time working in shops, as well as using my ingenuity at home making my own. I had much success wiring custom auto stereo systems and crimping 1 and 2 gauge wire with a bolt / lock cutter. My bolt cutter cut the cable very easy and made an extremely clean cut in the process. I was also able to figure out how to crimp 3/8 lugs on that wire using the same tool. I have also used my vise and a home made crimping jaw to much success.
When the word got out that I was the wiring guy amongst my racing friends, I took on a ton of battery relocation jobs. I needed to find a crimping tool that did a professional job and saved me time, while not breaking the bank. I saw a video that some guy made demonstrating how nice the crimps were after using the Forney Crimping Tool. His little video sold me and I went online and found where to get one for myself. I was very surprised when it arrived at how small it was.
I bought a few extra lugs just to experiment with and found that the tool worked amazing when I used the vise to apply pressure to the lug. The vise gave me total control over the crimp placement and the depth of the crimp.
The end result was so tight that I could not pull the lugs off while using a vise and a pair of pliers. Being the OCD guy that I am, after crimping the lugs on my first repair, I even filled the lugs in with solder and double heat shrunk every end. My customer was very happy and the rest is history. This little tool was so easy to use and made the best crimps I have ever seen.
Granted you will never be able to use this tool in an electrical box or in a tight place, but for the automotive work that I perform, it is the biggest bang for the buck. I have seen them online from $14 to $40. Whatever you pay for it, it is worth it. When you compare the $150 to $250 alternative, it is a bargain under $50.
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