Best wire for 0.1" crimp pins?

I'm using these crimp pins for my project. Need to find right wire to use with them. 22 Awg wire I have is excellent, soft and multi-stranded but it's way too thick for these pins (insulation just doesn't let me properly crimp them. I've been using CAT5e wire (I have a huge spool), but it's kind of too thin (especially for power connectors) and very stiff. Can someone recommend me good wire to use and where to buy it inexpensively? :)

Since I haven't seen these connectors and Sparkfun doesn't supply a datasheet, it's hard to tell for sure. Sorta depends on what size your CAT5 wire is (most likely 24ga), and if it's stranded or solid. I would avoid solid conductor wire pretty much in any crimp connector, and any application where the wire will move.

It's possible you just need some different 22ga with thinner insulation. If your CAT5 is smaller than 24ga, try 24ga wire.


They are pretty standard 0.1" pins. Even none polarized pins like these have same exact issue :( I just measured my 22 AWG wire and it's 0.062" (1.57mm) O.D. CAT5e wire I have is multistranded and it's about 0.034" O.D.

Even none polarized pins like these have same exact issue

Yep, that web page says:

They work with 22 to 28AWG wires, though 22AWG wires with thick insulation might be difficult to fit into the pins.

Which is probably from the datasheet, and more or less what I was getting at with the "thinner insulation".

There's not a "standard" other than the manufacturer's datasheet for that particular connector. I have some Molex connectors on hand that are for 0.1" headers with 0.025" square pins, and there are two different connectors - one for 22-24ga wire, and another for 24-30ga wire. I think there's a third IDC variety as well.

Blah blah blah. The long, correct and sometimes painful answer is to read the datasheet, and any datasheets or specs that it references, and use what they say (including the $350 crimping tool designed for it).

The short answer is probably to find some 22ga with thinner insulation. :)

Thanks for the link, BTW; I noticed Polulu had a crimp tool a bit nicer that the one I'm using for these, that's still within my budget.


Yup I bought that tool, it's nice but doesn't work with polarized molex pins unfortunately (jaws too wide so it crimps part after wire). I guess I'll try to find wire with thinner insulation by trial and error :)

On the sparkfun page it says,

This is for a strip of 20 crimp pins. We regularly use a pair of needle nose pliers and a soldering iron to attach these pins.

If you use this method, you should be able to use a wide range of wire gauges, except as noted, wire with thick insulation. I almost always use ribbon cable with these pins, so 28 gauge. Also, like sparkfun indicates, I usually apply a dab of solder to hold the connection firm.

Also, with the non-$350 tools, I find it helps to do a "triple"-crimp. First, use the needle nose pliers to do initial shaping, then use the wider channel of the crimp tool to shape the overall crimp, especially useful for forming a nice rounded shape over the insulation part, and then use the narrow channel to tighten down the final crimp.

Note that some of the crimp tools have a "rib" in one-half of the channel, and that rib should be positioned over the part of the pin that crimps the wire, not over the insulation part [as I understand it].