Swaging sleeves for steel cable assemblies is
one of the most commonly performed rigging functions for lighter duty applications. Watch our video for everything
you need to know in order to safely and correctly swage sleeves for your next application.
We’re often asked whether it is better to make an eye with hour glass sleeves or with wire rope clips.
Swaged hour glass sleeves are stronger, more cost effective, and do not require future maintenance or re-torquing of nuts. They are also more streamline than wire rope clips.
Where rigging products are concerned, swaging refers to the process of using a tool or machine to apply force to a sleeve or ferrule. Through this process, the sleeve becomes compressed onto and around a portion of cable.
When forming swaged cable assemblies, there are primarily two types of wire rope that are used: 7x7 and 7x19 strand cable.
The shape of the cable is not perfectly round and is made of several strands of wires.
Shown here is ¼” 7x19 hot dip galvanized cable.
7x19 refers to the cable having six outer strands surrounding the center core strand that counts as the seventh. Each strand is composed of 19 smaller wires.
If you look closely, you can see the v-shaped area between the strands. This is referred to as a “valley.”
Most commonly, aluminum hour glass sleeves are used
with hot dip galvanized cable to form cable assemblies.
The aluminum is soft. When compressed by the swaging tool, it will be forced into the valleys of the cable,
locking the aluminum sleeve into place.
Make an eye by passing the cable through the sleeve and doubling it back.
Before swaging, make sure the “cut end” of the cable sticks out at a length at least 2 cable diameters.
This will allow for full contact with the cable when the sleeve expands during swaging.
Place the sleeve into the tool jaws.
Note the proper orientation of the swage tool cavity with the aluminum sleeve.
The sleeve should always be vertically aligned and never horizontal.
With the sleeve in the proper position, make your first swage by squeezing the swage tool handles together until the jaws are completely closed.
In the case of this ¼” sleeve, it requires 4 swage crimps.
Be sure to leave a small space in between each of the crimps. Your finished assembly should look as shown.
Different sized sleeves will require a different number of swages.
2 swages are required for sizes 1/16ths" and 3/32nds" sleeves.
3 swages are required for sizes 1/8th" and 5/32nds" sleeves.
4 swages are required for 3/16ths" and ¼ inch sleeves.
5 swages are required for 5/16ths" and 3/8ths" sleeves.
When making multiple swages, it is important to follow the correct sequence for each sized sleeve.
The diagram here can be referenced for the swaging sequences of different sized sleeves
To make sure the swage crimps are done properly, use an “after swage gauge” like the Tyler Tool Go-No-Go Gauge.
Using the corresponding gauge cavity, slide the gauge over the sleeve.
If the gauge turns around the swage crimp area freely, you then know it was done properly.
If the gauge does not slip over the swage crimp area, use the tool to swage again to make sure the
sleeve was compressed fully.
When swaged properly, the strength of this termination is of 90% of the breaking strength of the cable.
For vinyl coated cable, it is never recommended to swage over the
outside of the vinyl coating. Doing so will make a much weaker termination.
What IS recommended is to cut the vinyl back far enough to make sure the sleeve contacts the cable
Using the same swaging method, a lap splice can be performed to join two pieces of cable.
Be sure to leave a small area in between the sleeves.
Extend the cable end beyond the outer edge of the sleeve by at least 2 cable diameters.
The same number of swage crimps are required per sleeve as are required when making an eye loop.
E-Rigging also carries zinc copper hour glass sleeves which are recommended for stainless steel cable.
It is important to note that aluminum sleeves are NOT recommended
for stainless steel cable because of the possibility of the aluminum corroding when in contact with
stainless steel. Over time this may cause the contact between the sleeve and cable to weaken and make an
At E-Rigging, we carry the Tyler Tool brand of hand swagers.
There are 5 sizes. All sizes have drop forged heads, are powder coated, and have durable rubber
The 14 inch tool swages 1/16th, 3/32nd and 1/8th inch sleeves.
The 24 inch tool swages 1/16th, 3/32nd, 1/8th,
5/32nd and 3/16th sleeves.
The 30 inch tool swages 5/32nd, ¼ inch and 5/16th
The 36 inch tool only swages the 3/8ths inch
The bench swager swages 1/16th, 3/32nd, 1/8th, 5/32nd and 3/16th sleeves, like the 24 inch tool.
We hope this may have answered some of your questions on Swaging Sleeves.
If you have any more questions, please Contact Us or look to our YouTube Channel for more videos on various rigging topics.
We look forward to helping you complete your next rigging project.