Innovative solutions by Burndy helps to navigate supply-chain issues

By Tim Rzeszutek           

Are you tired of hearing it’s going to take three weeks to get something you used to get the next day? Me too!

In a world where Amazon can deliver some items the same day to your house or where your teenager can order themselves McDonald’s and have it delivered to them, it seems unfathomable that a standard meter socket can have almost a one-year lead time.

Well, recently we learned that Burndy had some innovative solutions that you may not be aware of which we’ll get to in a minute. Now, to appreciate how far the tools have come for cutting, stripping and crimping, our Millennials (which I fall into on some charts) and our Gen Z employees need to understand how we used to go about completing these tasks. Cutting for me meant digging out the standard Greenlee Heavy duty 21” scissor type cutters from the back of the van and coming up with various ways to pin one handle against something or some part of my body so I could use both hands, or my body weight, somehow to cut large copper feeders.

After that, you would dig out some utility knife and a package of fresh blades and get to stripping the insulation, which at times could be pretty daunting based on temperature. Once the cable was cut and stripped, you would grab the hydraulic crimper and give it 20-30 pumps of the handle to get one crimp (a two-person operation most of the time). We still have these tools today and in some cases it still may make sense to use them, but if you are doing any significant amount of large conductor terminating you should be using battery-operated cutters, wire strippers and crimpers. Not only will you be more efficient with these, but it will be much safer. Elm has been investing in these over the past few years and has a growing fleet that — with a little bit of planning — should not be a problem to get to you.

For crimping, you have probably seen or used the Patriot 750. It’s a 12-ton battery-operated crimper that uses Burndy’s U-Die system. You match the lug size to your conductor size, grab the correct U-Die for the lug, and in about 5 seconds you performed a crimp. All works really well if you have the correct U-Die for the crimp and if you were even able to get the right crimp for the cable you have.

Burndy also make a dieless battery-operated crimper (444S) which is an 11-ton tool and will crimp a wide range of conductors from #4-1000kcmil. No dies are needed and this tool will actually allow you to use larger conductor size lugs on smaller cable and still be a listed connection. Yes, you read that correctly. Recently, while showing us this tool, our local Burndy rep told use she could sell us a standard 500kcmil lug for use on 400kcmil conductor and that connection would still be an approved installation. 

I thought this would be pretty useful for supply-chain issues, foreign machines we install for our customers with customer-supplied materials, and for our service crews performing emergency service. Now, I don’t suggest you just start grabbing any larger lug and start crimping away. The link below provides a chart of expanded range lugs that are acceptable by Burndy. If you have any questions on these expanded ranges, Burndy tools, or factory stock availability or alternate parts solutions, I suggest your reach out to Emily Cucurello (  cell: 203-231-6560), our territory manager from Burndy. She is great to work with and was able to help me quickly find an alternate stock Burndy part for something I was recently working on saving both myself and purchasing a lot of time.

Hopefully this article will save you some time searching for materials, or has introduced you to some tools that will make your next job safer and more efficient. As always, if you have any questions or want to learn more about these tools, feel free to reach out to Rich Diaz or myself.