How to Crimp Cable Ferrule

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 20, 2022
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Wire ropes are commonly used for supporting heavyweight like garage doors. No doubt that wire ropes are strong and sturdy but to make them stronger and sturdier loop is made with these cables which are known as swaging. To make the swage a fastening tool is required and that fastening tool is the cable ferrule or metal sleeve or wire gauge.


You need swagging tools to crimp the cable ferrule. But if the swagging tools are not available to you, don’t worry there is an alternative method too. We will discuss both methods in this article.

Method 1: Crimping Cable Ferrule Using Swaging Tool

Cable ferrules are available in many sizes in the market. Before purchasing the metal ferrules make sure that the cables can easily pass through the ferrules

You need to gather a wire length measuring tool, wire cutter, cable ferrule, and swagging tool to complete the job. If you have all these tools in your toolbox start the operation by performing the following steps consecutively.

6 Steps to Crimp Cable Ferrule

Step 1: Measure the Wire Rope

The first step is to measure the length of the rope needed for your project. It is better to measure the wire to an extended length.

Step 2: Cut the Wire Rope

Cut the wire rope to the length you have measured in the first step. You can use a cable cutter or a hacksaw for this task to be done. No matter which cutter you are using the blade should be sharp enough to make a fine and smooth cut.

The end part of the rope should be kept as compact as possible so that you can enter it into the ferrule easily. Don’t ignore this tip if you want to finish your job smoothly.

Step 3: Slide the Ferrules onto the Rope

Take the required number of ferrules for the project and slide those onto the wire rope. Now pass the end of the rope back through the remaining openings in the ferrules, forming the appropriately sized loop.

Step 4: Arrange the Assembly

Now arrange the assembly carefully. There should be enough space between ferrules as well as enough rope is passing from the last ferrule to the end stops. You should place a stop on each of the cut ends of the wire rope so that a single wire of the rope does not get unraveled.

Step 5: Crimp

Place the fitting between the jaws of the swaging tool and compress it applying enough pressure. You have to compress two or more times per fitting.

Step 6: Test The Strength

Now to ensure that all the fasteners are installed properly test the strength of the assembly, otherwise, accidents may occur when you will use it in your project.

Method 2: Crimping Cable Ferrule without Using Swaging Tool

Since the swaging tools are not available to you or you don’t want to use the swaging tool, use a standard set of pliers, a vise, or a hammer (these types work) – whatever tool is available to you instead.

4 Steps to Crimp Cable Ferrule Using

Step 1: Measure the Wire

The first step is to measure the length of the rope needed for your project. It is better to measure the wire to an extended length.

Step 2: Pass the Wire Through the Ferrule

Pass one wire through the one end of the ferrule and then make a loop to the size that you need and pass it through the other end of the ferrule. Now you may ask how to determine the loop size? Well, determine the loop size depending on the size of whatever you hook onto this loop.

Step 3: Press Down the Ferrule using Plier or Hammer or Vise

Press down the ferrule with the tool available to you. If you use pliers, placing the ferrule in the correct position apply enough pressure so that the ferrules grip the wire. When the ferrule will bend and conform around the metal cable that means the assembly is made tightly.

Whether you can use the plier or not depends on the thickness of the wire rope. If it is too thick to use a plier we will recommend using a swaging tool because thick wire rope requires very firm grips and it is not possible to ensure highly firm grips with a plier. So, check the thickness of the wire rope you are using for your project and then decide whether you will use a plier or a swaging tool.

If you have a hammer then you can crimp the ferrule using the hammer and nail method. Perforate the ferrule case with the thin nails in a zig-zag pattern. The cables should remain inside the ferrules when you will make the zig-zag pattern on the ferrule. In this way, tension will be created at certain points along the cable making it difficult for the cable to slip out.

Between plier and hammer, plier is better because pliers will give you a higher quality finish.

You can also use a vise to press down the ferrule. Placing ferrule with the wire rope inside in the right position apply pressure gradually. Vise gives extra leverage to make a tight seal but you should not apply excessive pressure as it will overtighten the seal damaging the metal case.

Step 4: Check the Strength of the Assembly

Finally, check the strength of the assembly you have made. If it is snugged and doesn’t budge then the assembly is made properly.

An Alternative of Swaging Tools

Wire rope clips can be used as an alternative tool to the swaging tool. You can pass the metal cable through the clip effectively stacking the cable’s both sides on top of one another. You have to use multiple clips to ensure the strength and durability of the assembly.

You also can DIY a Swaging tool by drilling a hole in the center of a thick piece of metal. You need a power drill to DIY the swaging tool.

You have to determine the size of the hole depending on the size of the crimping project you are intended to work on. After drilling the hole cut it into half and place either side of this DIY swaging tool on a large vice grip.

Then twist the vice grip until it is firm enough to squeeze your wire down. Doing this will give your swaging a great deal of firmness but this DIY tool is more suitable for heavy-duty projects.

Final Word

Individual metal wires are woven together to make a cable. So, it is difficult to work with such a strong and durable material. A cable ferrule has made crimping cables together comparatively flexible, safe, and secure.

Individual metal ferrule or ferrule kits both are available in the market. If you purchase a ferrule kit you will get multiple sizes of metal ferrule fasteners, swaging tool, wire rope (optional). In my opinion, it is wise to buy ferrule kits instead of only metal ferrules. If you already have swaging tool, then choosing only metal ferrules is a wise decision.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.