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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)?
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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? – Pawel Veselov Jun 1 '15 at 20:33

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