It may seem strange to have a hydraulic crimping tool review on a website dedicated for dash cams, I found myself in need of one when I was installing a secondary battery, also called a house battery in some circles, to:
- Power my dash cam in parking mode for a week at a time without driving my car and
- Be able to recharge the secondary/house battery while I was driving my car.
To do this, I needed a crimper capable of crimping 6AWG lugs for the cables running from my starter battery to my DC/DC charger, from the DC/DC charger to my car’s ground point, and from the DC/DC charger to my LiFePO4 battery.
In this TEMCO TH0006 hydraulic wire crimping tool review, I’ll give you an overview of the crimper’s basic features, why I chose this crimper over other ones, and some issues I encountered while using it and how I resolved those issues.
Manufacturer: TEMCO Industrial
Model: TH0006 v2.0
Number of Dies: 9 Standard and 9 plus size dies
Die Sizes: 12AWG – 2/0 AWG
Purchasing Link*: Amazon
*You should assume I will make a commission if you click on this or any other link and make a purchase.
Why I Purchased the TEMCo TH0006
When I was looking for a crimper there were quite a few options. There are a few different reasons why I bought this one specifically, which I list below.
1) This model shipped the fastest on Amazon after I decided on a TEMCo crimper
Once I decided to purchase a TEMCo crimper, I chose the TEMCo TH0006 over the TH00020 telescoping manual lever crimper simply because I could get the TH0006 shipped to me faster with Amazon than the TH00020.
Obviously, how fast one crimper ships over another is highly dependent on inventory availability and where you happen to live. In my case, the TH0006 shipped faster and I really wanted it as soon as possible.
Looking back, I didn’t use it for a couple of days, so the extra shipping time for the other crimper wouldn’t have made a difference in the timeline for my project. I guess I’m just impatient sometimes or feel like I’ve been procrastinating long enough and need to make progress.
2) Choosing TEMCo crimpers over other crimpers
There were definitely cheaper options I could have picked. When I bought my cabling at West Marine, I noticed they had a manual crimper that looked very similar to the IWISS battery cable lug crimping tool on Amazon (affiliate link).
In fact, there were many companies on Amazon offering what looked to be very similar crimpers to the IWISS. The only discernible differences was the color of the handles and grips and the angle of the handles. All these crimpers were significantly cheaper in price than the TEMCo crimpers.
What really pushed me over the edge into TEMCo crimpers instead of cheaper crimpers was two things: TEMCo’s warranty video and the fact that they were a US-based company.
I usually don’t watch product videos, but I watched this one on a whim and got a good laugh out of it. You should check it out. It’s next to their product images on Amazon and labeled as a video (affiliate link). In the video, Justin, as he casually abuses various TEMCo tools in different ways, mentions:
“There’s literally no reason we won’t accept your return on not provide you with warrant support. Whether the tool or equipment is damaged or misused, tampered with or altered, or maybe you were a cat in your previous life . We will repair, replace, refund our product, no matter what.”
Something about TEMCo offering warranty support/replacement on their product when it was clearly abused by the end-user really tugged on my heart strings. It made me actually feel like they care about their customers. Which reminds me, I really need to test this policy out due to something that happened while using them, but more on this later.
Over the course of my starter/house battery install I purchased a lot of things off of Amazon that were from “ABC” Chinese companies. You’ve probably noticed a lot of these companies that have a bunch of random letters strung together to form a word that don’t really make a lot of sense.
I think US companies that offer the same types of products are really missing the ball by not offering their products on Amazon. I bet there are a lot of people, like myself, willing to buy their products, but really don’t feel like shopping outside of Amazon to find these products. In that respect, I think the Chinese companies are eating the US companies’ lunches, but I digress.
When I saw these hydraulic crimpers were being sold by a US company, I really wanted to buy them. Now I don’t know where TEMCo manufactures the crimpers, but it still felt good buying from a company based in the US.
3) It came with a variety of die sizes I could use in the future
I liked the fact that it had a variety of die sizes ranging from 12AWG to 2/0 AWG. While I only needed to crimp 6AWG cables for my current needs, it’s nice to know I can use this crimper in the future to crimp both larger and smaller cables.
I really liked how they had half sizes which they marked with a “+”. For example, a 6AWG+ is halfway between a 4AWG and 6AWG size. In their marketing material it mentions theses half sizes “accommodate hard-to-fit non-standard lug types.” Basically, it helps you get the best crimp no matter if your lugs aren’t quite up to the AWG spec. Also, it gives you option if, like me, the hydraulics don’t release and you have to drill out the cable(expanded on later.)
4) I really liked the hex crimp feature
Their marketing material says the hex dies that come with their TH0006 v2.0, the version I have, apply “even pressure on all sides for even compression and high pull out resistance. I’m not an expert on crimps, but it seemed like a good idea especially looking at the crimp cross section in one of the Amazon product photos (affiliate link).
You can see how the other crimpers would leave more of a rounded crimp or “flattened hex profile” as TEMCo’s product image refers to it. They say other crimpers “may under crimp or leave ‘wings'”.
To be fair, when I crimped my connections with the hex crimp I did see some wings, but this could be due to me not using the correct die size or perhaps I placed the dies too far forward. I really didn’t play around with it enough to see if a different size die would get rid of the wings.
Issue I Encountered While Using the Crimper
I had exactly zero experience when I purchased these hydraulic crimpers. I’ve crimped coaxial and network cables, but I had no experience crimping a lug onto a larger copper power cable and I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I read the instructions and attempted my first crimp. At first it was going pretty well, but when I twisted the knob to release the hydraulics, the lower die wouldn’t release and retract. The bottom die remained firmly against the cable and top die.
I think when I was crimping the lug the bottom die somehow got slightly misaligned and at an angle. This was enough to prevent the die from moving back down.
How Did I Get the Hydraulic Crimp to Release?
I can tell you right now At first calling Amazon was going to be a waste of time and it was. I only called them because that was the number I was given for product support and the only thing they could really do was offer to refund me the money which didn’t really help me when I wanted to crimp cables that night.
To fix the issue, I ended up cutting off the cable as close to the dies as possible and using a hand drill to drill through the strands of the cable and the lug. This took longer than I would have liked, but eventually I was able to drill out enough of the material to where the bottom die released and slid back down.
Unfortunately, I drilled into part of the die. I’m not sure if they’re completely ruined, but I decided to use the 6+ AWG die to finish off my crimps instead of the 6 AWG die I accidentally drilled into. I really need to test out TEMCo’s warranty policy and see if they’ll send me another 6 AWG die.
Overall, these crimpers allowed me to crimp the cables I needed to crimp in order to complete my project. I did have a slight hiccup, but I would attribute that mostly to my inexperience at using hydraulic crimpers.
I successfully crimped the rest of my connections without issue and without jamming the die. I’m glad to have it as a tool for future use. If you’d like to have it as a tool as well then you can purchase it on Amazon (affiliate link).
If you have any questions or comments, leave them below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.