How to Use a Swaging Tool

C.L. Rease

To create a permanent loop or a splice in a steel cable, you need to crimp a metal sleeve onto two pieces of steel wire. The crimped sleeve gives the permanent loop or splice a structural bond that can only be broken by mechanical means if installed correctly.

The permanent loops at the ends of these bundles of cable are made with a swaging tool.

To install the metal sleeve, you need to use a swaging tool. A swaging tool has notched jaws and each notch fits a specific sized steel cable.

  1. Slide the metal sleeve over the end and down the steel cable if you are making a loop. Use two metal sleeves if you are creating a splice in the steel cable. You need to ensure that the metal sleeve(s) is sized to the steel wire or the connection created by the swaging tool will not hold.

  2. Pull the end of the steel cable up and over the running side of the steel cable and insert the end of the cable into the metal sleeve if you are making a loop. Slide the ends of two steel cables through both metal sleeves if you are making a cable splice.

  3. Open the jaws of the swaging tool by pulling the handles apart. Set the metal sleeve into the proper sized lower jaw notch, pull 3/4-inch of steel cable through the end of the metal sleeve(s) and align the end of the metal sleeve with the outside edge of the swaging tool jaw.

  4. Close the jaws of the swaging tool to crimp the end of the metal sleeve. Slide the metal sleeve the distance specified by the swaging tool operating manual and repeat the procedure until the length of the sleeve is crimped. You need to place the number of crimps specified by the swaging tool operating instructions to create a proper connection.

  5. Slide one metal sleeve crimp into the swaging gauge. The crimp should slide easily into the gauge to ensure that the crimp is applying the proper amount of pressure to the steel cable. If the crimp on the metal sleeve does not fit into the gauge, increase the tension on the swaging tool and repeat the crimping process. If the crimp sits loosely in the gauge, decrease the tension of the swaging tool, as excessive tension can break the shear pin located in the jaws of the swaging tool.