Custom Cable Assembly Series: Soldering vs Crimping

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July 11th, 2017 - “What makes the best termination, solder joints or crimp connection?” This is an age-old question with which you will find a myriad of opinions.  When you hear someone touting one over the other it is normally based on preferences, not performance.

The truth to the matter is that both methods will produce highly reliable wire terminations when processed correctly.

When building cable assemblies, it is simply a matter of choice.  Typical prototyping leans toward soldering because of the low cost of entry and re-workability.  Whereas high-volume production leans toward crimping with its controllable process and easy learning curve, resulting in lower labor costs.

To help you make your decision we assembled a list of pros and cons.

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Crimping Terminations

PROS

  • Easy learning curve
  • Controllable process. e. Crimp height control charts
  • Gas tight termination
  • Faster termination- easier to automate
  • Good for both high and low volumes

CONS

  • Higher cost of entry
  • Low flexibility- due to the need for exact wire and terminal size matching
  • Difficult to re-work
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Solder Terminations

PROS

  • Low cost of entry
  • Flexibility- wire gauge and terminals do not need to match exactly
  • Easily re-workable

CONS

  • Requires a skilled workforce, inexperience can lead to wire and conductor damage
  • Non-controllable process
  • Difficult to determine a bad solder joint
  • Not suited for high volume production
  • Flux contamination leading to electrical issues