For some low voltage applications, I'm trying to use "crimped" connections. Specifically, I'm trying to use yellow terminals with 12 AWG stranded wire. I got a cheap color-coded ratcheting crimper for that.

The crimp joints this makes don't hold, it takes barely no force to pull the wire out. I figure it would work fine if it was 10 AWG instead, as there is a considerable difference between the 10 and 12.

Same crimper works fine crimping 18 AWG into red terminals.

So, my questions are:

  • can I pad the wire that goes in with extra strands to make it same size as 10?
  • should the crimper be adjustable not just to the size of the terminal, but also to the gauge of the wire (mine isn't)?

1 Answer 1


Yellows should hold perfectly on #12.

Could be the conductor is not exactly #12, I've seen it happen, especially with foreign wire. IE: not made in North America. Could also be that your crimper is out of adjustment, if it has that as you suggest.

Are you crimping in the correct area?

I will say, sometimes you can use blue terminals on #12 just fine and they do hold really well.

  • So, I should always try the wire in a smaller size terminal first. Also, are there ways to test crimper's calibration? Any recommendations for a crimper, considering I only need to do this every once in a while? Jun 1, 2015 at 20:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.