Lineman’s pliers are among the tools most commonly used to handle wiring issues pertaining to electrical fittings and wirings. Lineman’s pliers are a combination of a regular set of pliers with the ability to grab, hold and cut wires, all within the same handy tool. Electricians and other users have been known to use a pair of lineman’s pliers as an effective tool for crimping wires. The following are 7 important points to remember as you crimp with a pair of lineman’s pliers.
Your crimping position will vary according to the type of connector and the dye being used. Most lineman’s pliers will have a marker indicating the correct position for placement of the insulated dye. This position is usually near the pliers’ joint and forms a flat circle with the jaws when closed. The stripped end of the wire needs to be placed in to the right connector, barely protruding from the collar.
If positioned correctly, a single, hard squeeze to the handle will completely crimp the collar onto the wire. You won’t be able to make any further attempts.
Strong, but Not Too Strong
The force needed to crimp a wire properly may be significant but it is definitely not something that requires too much brute strength. It is more important that the force is strong and firm rather than mindlessly brutal.
Relief Strain on Crimp
An optional practice, you may use a second crimp, for greater insulation, when dealing with high quality nylon insulated terminals. The second crimp comes over the wire’s already insulated section, crimping the second layer to the insulated section. You can double this insulation when dealing with smaller stranded wires to enable insertion into larger terminals.
Tape It Up
Taping a part of the insulated wire as well as the crimped terminal with electrical tape ensures that not only does the connection stay firmly in place and secure, there is a degree of waterproofing as well, on this connection.
Non-insulated terminals require 1005 dye. Crimping non–insulated terminals with lineman’s pliers requires the same technique, except that you must place the visible seam of the terminal on a part of the crimp tool. This will allow the lineman’s pliers’ “tooth” to press into the non–seamed side of the metal crimp tube.
Right Tool for the Job
There are certain tasks that may require a special tool for the task primarily because a general lineman’s pliers may not support the range of the crimping terminals. Such cases predominantly occur in the case of power boats and other sea vessels. Higher ratcheting crimp tools are ideal for such connectors built specifically for such a scenario.
It is important to have the right lineman’s pliers when a task of crimping wires is at hand. There is little, or no, need for replacement unless the crimping terminals are truly out of range of your tool. In many cases, lineman’s pliers may come with replaceable tool heads, supporting more than one kind of terminal.