Dogman; How To Crimp an Anderson Powerpole Connector

September 6, 2012

So you need to crimp a just a few connectors on your e-bike but you don’t want to spend $45 on a specialty crimping tool for anderson powerpoles.  Here’s the tool you need, the tool on the top of this picture.  As you can see, It’s got long handles with a comfy grip that will put a huge pressure on the connector when you use it.  The yellow handle needle nose pliers are sure to fail, and so will the crimping part of your wire strippers.  You need the long handles, and you really need the part of the tool with the bump on it.  This one is a pretty good quality Klien tool that cost me about $15, but you can get the same thing at Harbor Freight for half that.

Here is the tool, a piece of 12 gage silicone insulated wire, and one 45 amp anderson powerpole contact.   Notice the various parts of the tool.  First there is a wire cutter, then a small flat section for making a flat crimp. Next the cruicial part, which has a bump on one side and a round part on the other side opposite the bump.  Last there is a pre crimper that will pre shape the contact to prepare it for a better final crimp.

Step one is to insert the wire into the U shaped 45 amp anderson contact.  Use a 45 amp contact for 12 gage or 14 guage wire.  30 amp for 16 gage, and 15 amp contacts can be used for  small wire like charger output wires.  If the wire is very very small, you can fold over the wire a few times to make it big enough to grab well on a 15 amp contact.  Use of 10 gage wire with 45 amp contacts may lead to a crooked blade in the housing, and a poor contact that melts the housing.

Pinch the U closed, bringing the two sides together till they touch. I tend to just squeeze it with the wire cutter part of the tool. 30 amp and 15 amp contacts will already be shaped into a round shape, called the barrel of the contact.



Then you pre shape the barrel with the hollow part of the crimper that is right by the hinge. The idea is to flatten the barrel into an oval shape that makes the actual crimp easier do perfect.



Pre crimp shaping

Ready for crimp.

Now the real crimp. This is where you use the bump part of the tool.  Place the contact in the slot, so the bump will press right on the crack on the top of the contact where the two sides of the barrel come together.  Crimp it hard as you can, using all the pressure possible.  This will push barrel of the contact into a deep V shape with the crack




To finish off the crimp perfect, use the flat part of the tool to close the V into a tidy square shape.

Closing the v.


Finished crimp.

If you pinch the contact into a too flat shape, or have tried to cram 10 guage wire into the contact, then it will hang up when you insert the contact into the housing.  It should slide in nice and easy, and make a solid click on the retaining spring.  If the spring won’t click, you may need to slightly bend the tip of the contact down. Sometimes they end up pointed up too much by the time you finish all the crimping.

Crimping is said to make the best possible low resistance connection. So for that reason, and because it’s quick and easy, I like to crimp wires together when making wire harnesses for e-bikes.  In this case I was making a Y adapter to paralell connect two batteries.  I connected the three wires using a product called a crimp sleeve.  I get them in the electrical section of a home improvement store.

Joining with a crimp sleeve.

Twist the ends of the wires, then you sort of screw the last wire into the sleeve.  Then crimp just like you would anything else, except the crimper is short, so each crimp is made twice, once on each end of the sleeve.

Crimped in a V


Finished crimp sleeve.


To finish off the paralell adapter, cover the crimp sleeves with heat shrink tube.  I like to make it thick, so I put heat shrink, then tape, then more heat shrink.  The finishing touch is to put colored tape on anything that is the wrong color.  So in this case, red tape covers the black heat shrink on the red wires.  In the end, my red wire is all red, and my black wire is all black.


Article and pictures by Dogman.



Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.

  • Out-Spokin’

    Great Article! Thanks!

  • http://aushiker.com/ Aushiker

    Thanks for the post. My 45 amp connectors came in strip. Do you know if these need to cut/filed to make a nice smooth edge or should the crimping tool fold them over if I leave a bit each side. My first attempt didn’t work too well as I had little bits on the edge of the crimp which where catching when I tried to insert them. I think I got one okay but the other not.

    Anyway will have another go :)

  • SpaceMan

    You actually crimped those backwards… The protrusion in the crimper should face the side without the seam. With this style connector the seam should face down in the crimper notch. The fact that u manually had to close the gap before crimping should have told you that you were doing something wrong. Its all one operation. Put the connector in the crimper seam side down, slide the wire in and crimp that’s it. Since you cr4imped it wrong you where forced to reshape the connector which again should have told you that you where doing something wrong..

    Don’t beleave be ? fine then go over to NASA’s web site and download the contractors guide for wire terminations. This guide includes specifications for crimp connections for space shuttle wiring. I think NASA might know something about wire terminations and crimp connectors. Due to the high vibration environment solder terminations are not allowed on any space craft everything is crimped .

  • schlabotnik

    The last couple of pictures are nice, up close and in focus. Any way to get the rest of the pictures in this format?