Using a HotKnife with Braided Sleeving
Terminating Your Project With Heatshrink Tubing
Heatshrink tubing is the ideal way to create a tight, professional finish on any wire, hose or cable management project. Once shrunk, the tubing will hold its reduced state, even an elevated temperatures. Heatshrink terminations are tight and smooth, and the tubing will generally conform to fit around plugs or connectors. The wide range of available sizes, colors and product grades make heatshrink tubing a versatile, economical and easy solution for any termination application.
Be sure to check out our great selection of heat shrink tubing for the finishing touch on your project! Visit our hot knife page for a wide selection of hot knives and accessories.
Measuring Your Sleeving
Measure the sleeving to length. Keep the sleeving relaxed and don't pull it as you measure. The most accurate method is to measure the sleeving on the actual application. There will be some foreshortening of the sleeving as it expands over large bundles or connectors. Mark the cut line with a pen or marker.
Cutting With the Hot Knife
When the knife is hot, slide the sleeving over the cutting blade. Practice on a piece of scrap to get a feel for the correct speed and pressure. Always cut in a well ventilated area and avoid inhaling the fumes from the melting material. A mask isn't a terrible idea if you'll be doing a lot of cutting. Both the blade and the cut ends of your material will be HOT. Be careful.
Flaring the Ends
While the cut ends of your sleeving are still hot, use an inverted funnel (needle nose pliers or scissors also work well) to form the end into a soft flare. This will allow the sleeving to easily slide over your application and accommodate plugs or connectors without binding or pulling.
Installing the Sleeving
To install the sleeving over your application, just push the flared end over the ends of the wires and "walk" the sleeve down the length of the bundle. Once the sleeving is in place, just run your hand over the applied sleeving to smooth out any bumps and to tighten the sleeve around the wires.
When you receive your new hot knife, mount the blade to the posts and tighten. When the knife is turned on for the first time, there may be some smoking while the manufacturing oils burn off. Leave the knife on for about 20 minutes and turn it off. After it cools, check the tightening screws on the posts and retighten if necessary. Your knife is now ready to provide years of trouble free service. Check the tightening screws periodically to ensure good contact with the posts.
Hot Knives should always be used in a well ventilated area to avoid inhalation of the fumes.