I am looking for a way to terminate stranded wires like this: enter image description here

But in the DIY shops and I only find isolated ferrules with coloured plastic tubes to be put on top of the isolated part of the wire. Aesthetically, I prefer the "professional" option depicted above, which is also more suitable for confined space.

I wonder:

  • Can I buy such ferrules and crimp them myself with a normal crimper tool?
  • Does the depicted implementation have any significant disadvantages, making the isolated ferrules so popular?

Update: FWIW, so terminated wires are typical if you buy a wire with a mains plug in Europe, here is an example of a German cable.

Update 2: I realized that the picture may be not clear enough. The main "feature" of these ferrules is that originally they seem to be a flat piece of metal, rather than a tube. This stripe is wrapped around the wire. Therefore there is a seam. What I like about such crimp is that it's almost as thin as the wire, while a deformed tubular ferrule is always thicker, since otherwise it won't fit on the wire before crimping.

  • Termination for a wire that is not used any more, or for a wire you are connecting to something? What does your current wire look like? Threaded/solid copper? Aluminum? May 2, 2016 at 21:18
  • @DarthCaniac, it's used (e.g. to connect a 240 V light in a wardrobe) and it's a stranded copper wire.
    – texnic
    May 2, 2016 at 22:13
  • 1
    What you want is a ferrule. This is what we use today on industrial panel boards with stranded wire. The only difference from the old ones like you have is they have a small insulation sleeve on 1 end. There are non insulated ferrules these are the same thing. I use a 5 sided crimp but in a pinch a pair of pliers works.
    – Ed Beal
    May 2, 2016 at 22:53
  • @EdBeal, can you comment on why this small insulation sleeve is advantageous. It's exactly the standard solution over here (I am in Holland) but I find it poor: different colour, thicker wire end...
    – texnic
    May 3, 2016 at 12:55
  • 1
    For industrial panels the sleeve provides some support for the wire after the crimp. The support is helpful in a high vibration environment. color coding is helpful if the wire bundle is all the same color.
    – Ed Beal
    May 3, 2016 at 13:17

2 Answers 2


I see those ferrules all the time on the lights I get from those friendly east Asian purveyors of sensibly priced goods. They are supplied in brown/hot and blue/neutral, which are Europe and UK color standards.

European use screw terminal blocks to terminate wires, so those ferrules work rather well with them. They also increase the effective wire size somewhat. You would particularly expect to see them on products with fine-stranded wires such as used in cordage. They are basically unheard of in the United States because they don't play well with our wire-nuts.

It doesn't surprise me if UK DIY shops (like our Home Depot) don't sell them. They are kind of a specialty item. You'd have better luck with a proper electrical supply.

I would expect those ferrules to take a special crimp tool.

  • I couldn't understand the connection in your answer between the good combination of these ferrules with the European terminals and that it doesn't surprise you I cannot find them: If they do work well, why don't shops sell them? Could you clarify your answer please?
    – texnic
    May 3, 2016 at 13:30
  • So terminated wires are typical if you buy a wire with a mains plug in Europe, here is an example.
    – texnic
    May 3, 2016 at 14:07
  • In America, we call that wire "cordage". It's a very special type of wire for flexible cords on consumer devices, designed to flex a lot throughout a long service life (which in-wall "loop" wiring cannot do). It tends to have lots of hair-thin strands which won't stay together when you try to cram them into a European screw splice. Hence the importance of ferrules in that application. I wouldn't expect them to be required for loop wiring even if stranded. May 7, 2016 at 6:18

Further search has not helped me identify the way to achieve the desired crimp. Here I summarize what I've found for reference.

The ferrules, or wire end sleeves, for crimping are regulated (at least in Germany) by DIN 46228. Originally, all ferrules are cylindrical, and crimping can result in different shapes (square, trapezoidal, trapezoidal indent, hexagonal, flattened symmetrical among other). Here is a picture from the linked document:

different tools and crimps

Based on my experience and quick internet search, common DIY tools create trapezoidal (e.g. GLW C 0225), trapezoidal with indent (e.g. Knippex 97 78 180), and flattened (e. g.Knippex 97 68 145 A) crimps. Other shapes require more sophisticated crimping pliers, as is apparent from the image above.

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