I recently bought these aluminum sleeves for 3/16" wire, and this crimper tool. They will be used with this 1/8" wire coated to 3/16"

I started using it today, and it seems the tool is too small. I pressed as hard as I could, and not even a dent on the sleeve. Either that or the sleeve is way too hard.

Two questions:

  1. For 1/8" wire coated to 3/16", are these the correct aluminum sleeves? I bought 3/16" sleeves because the wire is technically 3/16" (with the vinyl coating).

  2. What crimping tool should I use for these sleeves? I will only be using it for this project, so I don't want to spend a lot. I've already spent too much as it is.

For 1/8" wire coated to 3/16", is there a more inexpensive alternative to these aluminum sleeves?

  • Having worked with those aluminum sleeve crimps, I am pretty sure the plastic coating is going to prevent the crimps from working properly. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 30 '18 at 2:23
  • I fully agree. Plastic coated wire cable will not be really compatible with these sleeves. Now with that said if this plastic coated cable is just being used for some application that places only a very small load on the cable joints then a well crimped application of these sleeves will probably work OK. But if the cable application has any appreciable loading in tension the 1/8" cable will likely just slide right through the plastic and out of the crimp joint. – Michael Karas Sep 30 '18 at 3:10

The tool you purchased is for electronics wire connectors and is not strong enough for wire rope/cable ferrules. This is the tool you need.


The crimping sleeves that you linked to are made for 3/16" wire rope/cable. If you have solid wire then those sleeves are not the correct method to join or secure the solid wire. For solid wire you would need to use a bolt or screw clamp.

For swaging the crimping sleeves with wire rope/cable you would want a tool like shown here. This type uses a double action lever apply a lot of pressure to the sleeve to deform it around and into the wire rope.

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(Pictures Source: https://www.lelong.com.my/wire-rope-hand-swaging-crimping-tool-30-5-32-5-16-td1002h30-ehardwarestore-I271955B-2007-01-Sale-I.htm)

  • Thanks. It's actually 1/8" wire coated to 3/16. Would these sleeves work? – rbhat Sep 30 '18 at 0:40
  • They would appear to work but if you are depending on the joints to carry loads in tension up to the ratings of the cable then these sleeves on plastic coated cable are liable to fail. – Michael Karas Sep 30 '18 at 3:15

There are inexpensive multi-size swaging tools available. The model I own and use is available at Aircraft Spruce and Specialty for what may be among the higher prices for this type of tool. Lower prices for the same tool may be available from other sources.

swaging tool

This tool is useful to keep cost down when performing only a few or infrequent swaging. $19.50 for the above item, which is about what I paid more than 20 years ago. If you keep the threads lubricated, it will last at least that long.

The bolt-cutter designs are going to be faster and easier. I found a closely priced version ($24.98) at The Home Depot which was a surprise to me.

swaging tool bolt cutter type

If ever I have to secure wire rope in the future, I'll have to check that one out!

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