What are solderless terminals?--Terminals and connectors Jan 20, 2024

What are solderless terminals?


Solderless terminals provide simplified wire connection solutions. While welding provides permanent connections, solderless terminals are advantageous in applications where disconnection may be required for repairs or impending changes to the design or components.

 Terminals and connectors

Terminals and connectors


TE Connectivity pioneered crimp technology and crimp products in the 1940s, transforming complex wire connection processes into simpler, more reliable and cost-effective processes. Many electronic and industrial customers in various markets use solderless terminals. Compared to welding, solderless connections are cheaper, easier and less labor-intensive to install.


Solderless terminals can be used for wire and cable connections. Several types are available, including ring, shovel, hook, flange, slotted tongue, as well as parallel, closed ends and butt joints, ferrules, bullets and quick disconnects. Each of these comes in a variety of styles.


The terminating is usually done using a crimping tool designed for the specific size and style of the terminal. The quality of the crimping machine is as important as the quality of the terminal. The terminals can be open buckets (also known as stamped terminals or pins) or closed buckets (cylindrical metal buckets without gaps). Each type requires a specific crimping tool. Manufacturers usually recommend crimping machines to be used with terminals.


 ring terminal 12-10 AWG

Stud ring terminal 12-10 AWG


01 Design specification


► Common types of solderless terminals

Ring terminals, also known as lug terminals, connect wiring to stud or screw connections. One end of the terminal is provided with a closed or open crimping cylinder for electrical connection with the wire. The other end has a ring tongue that is fitted to the device by a bolt or screw that goes through the ring.

Shovel terminals (shovel connectors) or fork tongue terminals are similar to shovels or forks. It allows for quick and easy connection or disconnection, as screws and bolts only need to be loosened rather than removed.

Fork  connector

Fork  connector

Hooked terminals have a conductive hook at one end and usually an insulating sleeve at the other end, although non-insulated versions are also available.


02 Material specification


Solderless terminals may be UL, CSA, and MIL-Spec certified.

 Ring terminal

The ring terminal is pressed to the wire for a safe and reliable connection


In the automotive sector, terminals are used to connect various electrical components; In electronic systems, terminals are used to connect circuit boards, cables, and other components. These terminals play a vital role in automotive and electronic systems, where they are a key component for efficient and corrosion-resistant electrical connections.



04 Physical property

Terminals are usually tinned copper.


The insulating material is usually vinyl or nylon. Vinyl is not affected by humidity, while nylon becomes brittle. Heat shrink insulated terminals are resistant to water, salt, corrosion and high temperatures. Their inner walls are lined with hot melt adhesive and are inert at room temperature. The wires are easily inserted into joints and terminals. When the sleeve is heated, the adhesive melts, creating a tight moisture-proof seal with wear and chemical resistance.


Insulated and uninsulated terminals may include harness spacing to prevent overly stripped wires from being inserted too far into the terminals.


Tensile tests are commonly used to test terminals connected to wires. This can be done by a device that clamps the wire, pulls by a set speed and measures the force using a load cell, or by hanging a fixed weight from the wire for a specified time.


Various insulated and non-insulated cable terminals and connectors


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