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04.03 Crimping Wires

Crimping wires is important to make secure solderless connections. This is especially important with stranded wire that often cannot support its own weight and spreads out when attached to a terminal screw or wrapped around a bolt. Attaching stranded wire to solderless connection points without using crimp terminals increases the likelihood of electrical shorts and project failure.

There are nearly countless types of connectors, and crimp terminals. Don’t try to know them all. Focus on the few that you will consistently encounter in your projects. These can be broken into two main categories, crimp terminals for larger wire and crimp terminals for smaller wire that often slip into connector housings.

Crimp Terminals for Bigger Wires

Spade terminals, ring terminals, and fork terminals are the most common crimp terminals for wires ranging from 22-12 AWG. These come in insulated and non insulated versions. Generally it is best to use the insulated version or even the versions that have adhesive lined heat shrink tubing preinstalled.

Wire Gauge AWGCrimp Terminal Color
12 - 10Yellow
16 - 14Blue
22 - 18Red

Crimp Terminal for Smaller Wires

Header Pin .1" Pitch Connectors

Commonly but usually incorrectly referred to as Dupont connectors, these small connectors are found on jumper wires and fit into the header pins of many electronics modules. 1

Common JST Connectors for Electronics Projects

  • PH Connector is used for connecting wires to boards such as PCB or component modules. These have a 2.0mm pitch and a current rating of 2 amps with 24 AWG wire.2
  • SH Connector is a wire to board connector that is detachable. It has a protruded edge that can be grasped to pull it out. 3 Sparkfun’s QUIIC system uses this type of JST connector. 4
  • SM Connectors aer used to connect wires to wires. These are found in Adafruit’s NewPixel LED strips. 5
  • RCY connectors are used to connect wires to wires and have a locking device. They have a 2.5mm pitch. 6

JST Connector Resources

Crimping Resources