Video - New Product Discoveries with Randall Restle — Klein Tools' Pass-Thru Modular Crimper and American Hakko's FX888D Soldering Station

The advancement of board level components has allowed for multifunction parts like IMUs (Inertial Measurement Units), SIPs (System-In-Package) and SOCs (System-On-Chip) to rise in popularity. Not to be out done, the tool industry has mirrored this progress by introducing multifunction, multi-featured tooling. In addition to new features, designers are looking for space and cost savings at a component level. This is not much different when it comes to tooling; utilizing the physical space of a tool by packing as many features as possible not only makes the tool highly functional, it often doesn’t dramatically raise the cost.

Klein Tools, Inc. has a prime example of a multifaceted tool in the Pass-Thru Modular Crimper. This Ratchet style crimper works with RJ45 and RJ11/12 connectors. I know what you are thinking—I can get one of those at my local hardware store, so why should I buy this from Digi-Key? Digi-Key carries professional tools, while many of the crimping tools sold by “big box” stores have problems with wires crossing or clipping and shorting out during crimping, or with making sure the color code is followed. The Pass-Thru Modular Crimper makes modular cable assembly essentially foolproof.

There is a built-in razor blade for making the initial cut on your wire jacket for easy separation. On the side of tool are the appropriate color codes for assembly. The wires can then be inserted, and, by using Klein’s modular connectors with the crimp tool, the IDC (Insulation Displacement Connection) contacts actually pierce the insulation and make contact with the wires. The excess is then trimmed off neatly without the worry of a cross connection leading to a short. For more details on Klein’s Pass-Thru Modular Crimper check out Aaron’s blog post.

American Hakko Products, Inc. is another innovative tool manufacturer. They specialize in soldering stations. The FX888D is a unit that has been reimagined from an analog to a digital format. Digital allows Hakko to produce units with very tight temperature control. The FX888D has up to five presets available for your most used temperatures. The unit is a breeze to set up and has scores of additional tips available. Ashley has a great blog post devoted to the FX888D from Hakko.

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About the Author

Image of Randy Restle

Randall Restle, Vice President of Applications Engineering at Digi-Key Electronics is responsible for assessing, designing and directing a team of skilled application engineers, technicians and management personnel to lead Digi-Key’s technical strategy of serving customers in the selection and use of advanced technology products. He joined Digi-Key in 2011 after 35 years in engineering, designing digital and analog circuitry, printed circuit boards and embedded software.  Randall holds BSEE, MS and MBA degrees from the University of Cincinnati. He is also a Senior Member of the IEEE, has been a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Ohio, a Certified Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute and is the inventor on several patents.

More posts by Randall Restle