4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (2023)

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Introduction: 4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering

In this Instructable I will teach you four ways to connect a wire without soldering. Soldering can be tricky and it heats up the room, so why not just skip it completely if you can? Another annoying thing about soldering is that it takes a while to heat up, solder a joint, and then, hopefully without getting burned, hang the iron back on a stand or hook. If you want to save time and be able to make quick and simple joints, then read this Instructable and learn the different methods to connect a wire without soldering.
The methods described use a variety of materials and tools, so, if you don't have all the materials for one method you can just look at a different method. If you are having trouble finding supplies and tools, a stop at your local hardware or electronics store should supply the necessary tools. In this Instructable I have rated the different methods' strength according to the scale low, medium, and high strength. If you are making a temporary circuit or project, the lowcategory methods would probably be best to use because they allow easy disconnecting after you have made a joint. However, if you are making a permanent circuit or a project that moves around a lot, the medium or high strengths would probably be best so that you don't have joints coming apart in the middle of an experiment.
Before you begin, you need to learn a few basics when connecting wires. Most wires are coated in a plastic insulator. An insulator is something that protects the wire from heat and prevents other wires from touching. When you are connecting wires you need to have a bare end without insulation. The term for removing insulation from a wire is called "stripping the wire." You will need a pair of wire strippers/cutters, a pair of pliers, and a spool of stranded wire. First, look at your wire strippers and look for the holes that have a number labeled next to them. The number represents the hole's gauge or width. The smaller the gauge number the wider the wire. Look on your spool of wire and find out what gauge your wire is. Next, cut off a small piece of wire from the spool (start with 4", this wire will just be for practice). Insert 3/4" of the wire into the hole in the wire strippers with the appropriate gauge. Grip the other end of the wire with pliers or very strong fingers and pull the wire strippers towards the closest end of the wire. After a little pressure the plastic insulation should slide off, revealing the stranded wire underneath.
Another thing you need to know before we get started is how to twist two wires together. In all the methods described except for the "crimping method" and the "alligator clip method" you will need to start with the wires twisted together. To twist two wires together, you first need to strip the insulation off the wires. Next, hold the wires side by side and twist them together with your thumb and forefinger. The resulting connection should be fairly strong and hold together when a small tug is applied. Now that you have learned these skills you are ready to learn four ways to connect a wire without soldering.

Alligator Clip Method/ Strength: Low

- The alligator clip method is the weakest method described in this Instructable, but it is perfect for quick and temporary connections. The alligator clips' ability to snap in place almost anywhere is very handy to not only connect wires, but also to pin things down and hold things up.

What you need:

a package of alligator clips (available at RadioShack, not the kind that is already connected to wires), two wires with stripped ends.
Hold the two stripped ends of the wires parallel to each other. Snap an alligator clip onto them, making sure the "teeth" touch both wires. Wasn't that easy? You can also buy alligator clips that are connected to wires or you can make your own.

Electrical Tape Method/ Strength: Medium

- The electrical tape method is fairly strong and only requires a minimal amount of supplies and effort. This method would be useful for permanent connections that need insulated joints.

What you need:

a roll of electrical tape and two wires whose ends have been twisted together.
First, lay the twisted part of the wires onto a strip of electrical tape. Wrap the tape around the wires tightly 5-6 times, making sure to cover up all the wire. Give your connection a tug to make sure it is strong.

Hot Glue Method/ Strength: High

- The hot glue method is a strong joint that not only connects the wires, but also insulates them. The glue cools quickly so you don't have to clamp down the wires.

What you need:

a hot glue gun and sticks (available at your local hobby store), a set of wires with twisted ends.
First, heat up your glue gun. Once heated, hold the glue gun perpendicular to the twisted wires and squeeze a glob of glue onto them. Next, with the nozzle of the glue gun or a pencil, swirl the glue around the wires. Swirling the glue forms a better bond then just leaving the glob of glue how it is. Make sure that the entire part of stripped wire is coated in hot glue, and then let the hot glue cool.

Crimping Method/ Strength: High

- The crimping method is by far the strongest method described and requires the most specialized tools, but, with a little practice, can be used with mastery. The tools are available at your local hardware or electronics store or online.

What you need:

a crimp (sometimes called cord crimps) or a thin piece of metal tubing 3/4" long (the tubing must be able to conduct electricity), a crimping tool, and a pair of stripped wires.
First, insert the stripped part of one of the wires into the crimp, all the way up to the insulation. Repeat this process on the other wire. Next, place the crimp in the notch in the crimping tool. Squeeze the tool until the crimp crushes and bends into a "U" shape. Keep doing this with the rest of the crimp until you have a rut going down the length of the crimp. Give your wires a strong pull to make sure they are connected well. Crimping can take practice, so don't be discouraged if it doesn't work the first time.

In this Instructable we have explored four different ways to connect a wire without soldering. Hopefully you can use these methods in your circuit and projects.

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (5)

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2 People Made This Project!

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    IIPon3II made it!

    (Video) Electricians Don't Want You Know This! Connect Wires Without Soldering

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19 Comments

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (16)

Blair Schirmer

7 months ago

Too many details are omitted. For instance, how would a novice know what size alligator clips to buy? S/he wouldn't, of course. Let's not leave students in the lurch when it comes to the basics, please.

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (17)

TyHuSch6

Question 3 years ago on Introduction

Is hot glue safe to use if connecting fair light led light wires back to the battery pack?!

2

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (18)

Maker_exe

4 years ago

(Video) 4 Ways to Connect Wires Like Professional Without Soldering

Nice but quite dangerous, use manufactured connectors like wire nuts, also some liquid electrical tape might be useful

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (19)

RobertC2

5 years ago

Method 5: Wire-nuts + a little tape. If it's good enough for all the lamps and lighting fixtures in your house, it's probably good enough for most projects.

Besides, who the hell is gonna be pulling on my wires?!

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (20)

DanielC835

Reply 4 years ago

It depends on the voltage... If it's coming from a 120v outlet, it might burn especially with tape. It depends.

1

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (21)

damianm39

6 years ago

Trying to be nice but needing to be stern and frank, these are ALL very dangerous and you need either wago clips (other brands available), or at the very least screw down terminal strips. If you are going to get items for connecting wires from the shop, like glue guns etc, then why not buy the above mentioned items. Look, I'll attach pictures of them before you electrocute yourselves... This stuff just isn't acceptable guys. And I'm being nice here because electricity kills and I don't want you to die. Sorry but it's true.

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (22)4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (23)4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (24)

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (25)

DanielC835

Reply 4 years ago

I guess it really depends on what you're fixing. If you're fixing a headphone wire (which is the reason why I came here) its not that dangerous. If you were fixing a standard 120 volt cable for a heater for example, then it would be very dangerous, posing a fire hazard. But from my view, anything that is audio related and under 10 volts isn't dangerous with these fixes.

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (26)

DmitryV11

Reply 6 years ago

Electricians have been twisting and taping wires for a century without whole cities burning down... but youre right, connectors are useful and mostly idiot proof.

(Video) How to splice wires - how to solder, how to crimp, wire connectors

The old style screw connectors (picture on right), when used with solid or properly crimped stranded wire, are what i would go with if you cant find wago style ones. Its said the screws loosen eventually, so if youre building to last fill the lot in with glue :)

Wago connectors use springs, which give an effective contact area of something like 2-4 mm2... about the same as the screw-ins. But the springs will lose tension in time leading to poor contact and overheating.

Another thing - the insides of the wagos are coated with vaseline to insulate the wire and prevent oxidation. The single line connectors like this

can even be used handsomely for splicing together solid and stranded wire, which is useful, but also for connecting copper wire to aluminum, provided the aluminum wire is cleaned properly beforehand.

Once you insert a wire, pulling it out will mean you should either throw away the connector and use a new one, or re-coat the wire and shove it back in there.

I throw them away unless im just using the connector temporarily, feel better that way.

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (27)

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (28)

AdamP207

5 years ago

Good tips I wanna connect 2 lights on a battery but just use the lights attached to 2 other lights and a battery is that possible using it for a costume

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (29)

AdamP207

Reply 5 years ago

Using wires by the way

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (30)

Ro_Usr

6 years ago

for safety purposes always put on an electrical cap to avoid bad
connection, heat, acidental touch if the wire is outside of the
box(case)

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (32)

shivani96

6 years ago

Its really great! thanks :-)

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (33)

DaveC61

7 years ago

(Video) How to fix a broken wire without soldering

I'd also add heat shrink tubing to the methods. It's readily available in hardware and hobby shops and it about as good as the electrical tape method for twisted wires. In fact, I think I just solved my problem!

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (34)

Yonatan24

7 years ago

I think it would be a bit better to organize your 'Ible by using the "Add Step"

It is really hard to read...

Hope this helps :)

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (35)

Anamnesis

8 years ago on Introduction

Thank you so much for the tutorial, I found it extremely helpful. Would you recommend utilizing one of this methods on my macbook charger, since it's constantly moving around?

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (36)

samiam300

8 years ago

Can you pleas help me I am trying to connect an nxt wire from Lego and a pressure pad wire how would you do something like that is it like the example you showed or is it more complicated than that

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (37)

NathanKC

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Since Lego NXT wires have a serial connector you could likely need to cut it find the correct wire and then use the shown methods.

4 Ways to Connect a Wire Without Soldering (38)

acuchetto

9 years ago

(Video) Join wires reliably with NO solder

Thank you, I appreciate this instructable. I want to suggest, however, that you take better care of your tools!

FAQs

What can I use instead of soldering? ›

You can use anything that is able to heat a piece of metal up to the melting point of your solder (between 400°F / 200°C and 700°F / 370°C). Butane lighters work the best. But you can also use candles, oil lamps, alcohol burners, or even open camp fires.

What are the different methods of joining wires? ›

Let's take a look at my 'Top 5' ways to create a cable joint:
  • 1: Crimp Splice. The In-Line Crimp Splice is simple and requires minimal tools. ...
  • 2: Solder Sleeve. ...
  • 3: Terminal Block. ...
  • 4: Ultrasonic Weld. ...
  • 5: Solder.

Can I use glue instead of soldering? ›

If you don't have access to a soldering iron or flux pen, you can also use electronic solder or instant glue instead of solder wire to connect two electrical contacts.

What are the 4 Methods of wiring? ›

4 Basic Electrical Wiring Techniques
  • Casing and Capping Wiring.
  • Cleat wiring.
  • Batten Wiring.
  • Conduit Wiring.
4 Oct 2020

What are 3 types of wire connections? ›

The three types of wires used in household circuits are Earth wire, Live wire, and Neutral wire.

What is the best way to join wires? ›

Twisting the wires together and soldering is often the best method, but there are two ways of doing this. If possible, you should twist the wires in-line before soldering as this makes a stronger (and neater) join than twisting the ends together.

Can you fix a broken wire with tape? ›

Don't Use Electrical Tape to Repair / Splice Cords

However, Federal OSHA electrical safety standards actually do not allow us to make a repair to a frayed or damaged electrical cord using electrical tape, nor can we use electrical tape to splice two cords together .

Can I use tape instead of solder? ›

You are also confusing means of making a connection with the means of holding that connection in place. Solder does both these things. Electrical tape only does the latter. Therefore, no, electrical tape is not a substitute for soldering.

Can you use metal glue instead of solder? ›

“The metallic glue has multiple applications, many of them in the electronics industry. As a heat conductor, it may replace the thermal grease currently being used, and as an electrical conductor, it may replace today's solders.

Can you solder with Vaseline? ›

Yes, Vaseline works just as well as commercial flux, and you can even buy a generic brand. Petroleum jelly is primarily made from waxes and mineral oils so that it won't corrode your components. Plus, it cleans away the gunk and eliminates metal oxides that could compromise your bond.

What can I use instead of a solder wick? ›

One night while i was doing some electronics repair i found out that i run out of solder wick, because i don't use it that much i didn't care to have extra of it, so i grabbed a piece of copper wire, i smeared it with some flux and i use it as a solder wick and it worked like a charm.

How do you attach metal to metal without soldering? ›

Metal glue is a great way to join metal to metal, or metal to other materials. For most everyday situations and simple DIY projects, a liquid adhesive or glue for metal is the best solution.

Can I use hot glue to connect wires? ›

If you are using normal hot glue, you connection will not pass current, unless the wire is wrapped tightly around the terminal.

Can super glue hold wires together? ›

super glue (cyanoacrylate glue) is a good insulator. i have heard of people using it to provide extra hold on wire wrap boards. its not doing the job of solder though, its not providing the electrical connection but rather just keeping it from coming unwrapped. Plastic tape is an insulator.

What are the 5 different types of wiring devices? ›

5 Different Types of Electrical House Wiring Systems
  • Cleat Wiring. This wiring comprises of PVC insulated wires or ordinary VIR that are braided and compounded. ...
  • Casing and Capping Wiring. ...
  • Batten Wiring. ...
  • Lead Sheathed Wiring. ...
  • Conduit Wiring.

What is a 4 wire electrical system? ›

A four-wire delta (4WD) electrical service is a three-phase delta service with a center-tap on one of the transformer windings to create a neutral for single-phase loads. Motors loads are commonly connected to phases A, B, and C, while single-phase loads are connected to either phase A or C and to neutral.

Why are there 4 electrical wires? ›

Four-wire is used for "two-way" circuits, and for cases where two circuits are running to the same place (independent control of a ceiling fan and its lights, for example). In the US color coding conventions, red is the "second hot" needed for these applications.

What is a common wire 3 way? ›

Black wire: This is a hot wire that carries electricity from the power source to the first switch in a typical 3-way setup. It's also called the “common wire” or the “line wire.” Unless the breaker is off, this black wire is always hot.

What is a 3 way connection? ›

by Don Vandervort, HomeTips © 1997 to 2022. April 18, 2022. A three-way switch is the type that turns on lights from both ends of a hallway. These diagrams clearly show how to wire a pair of three-way light switches.

How does a 4 wire work? ›

In a 4-wire RTD configuration, two wires link the sensing element to the monitoring devise on both sides of the sensing element. One set of wires delivers the current used for measurement, and the other set measures the voltage drop over the resistor.

Can 3 wires be connected together? ›

Multiwire circuits.

Three-conductor wire can be used to power a single circuit that would otherwise require two 2-wire circuits. For example, the black might feed a line of receptacles, while the red feeds a line of recessed light fixtures in the same area. The white is common to both (see illustration, below).

Is there a glue that works like solder? ›

If you've ever soldered or welded, you'll know that things get pretty hot. MesoGlue intends to fix that. It's a room-temperature metallic glue that lets you stick parts together with reckless abandon and electrical control.

What is the best glue for wire? ›

Epoxy adhesives form the strongest metal-to-metal bonds. They consist of two parts – the adhesive and the hardener. These combine to create strong, long-lasting bonds between different types of metal or between metal and concrete surfaces. For metal you may want to find yourself a two-part epoxy adhesive.

Can you super glue wires together? ›

super glue (cyanoacrylate glue) is a good insulator. i have heard of people using it to provide extra hold on wire wrap boards. its not doing the job of solder though, its not providing the electrical connection but rather just keeping it from coming unwrapped. Plastic tape is an insulator.

What kind of glue conducts electricity? ›

Electrically conductive epoxies are ideal for use in processes where the risk of mechanical and thermal cracking is high. Epoxies are also commonly used when the components being bonded are sensitive to heat, and so are unsuitable for soldering.

Is there a glue for wires? ›

Wire Glue is an electrically conductive, water-based adhesive for use as a replacement for soldering in all types of low voltage, low current electrical connections both indoors and outdoors. Wire Glue features durability and weather protection from the elements; is chemical and oil resistant.

Can you use electrical tape to repair wire? ›

Don't Use Electrical Tape to Repair / Splice Cords

However, Federal OSHA electrical safety standards actually do not allow us to make a repair to a frayed or damaged electrical cord using electrical tape, nor can we use electrical tape to splice two cords together .

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