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What Is a Blade Connector?

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  • Written By: Paul Scott
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2016
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A blade connector is an electrical cable termination that consists of flat, blunt-ended plates of various sizes. These connectors typically have a wire connection lug on one end and are designed to be mated to a similarly-sized flat female socket. The blade connector is used in the standard plugs of several countries as part of their national mains wall outlet scheme. They are also widely used in a selection of pre-insulated, low-voltage push-on connector products. These connectors are available in a range of blade sizes for a variety of wire gauges and are often bought in selections consisting of a number of different types and sizes.

Also known as a spade connector, the blade connector is one of the most common connector types in general use and, along with the round pin connector, is used in a significant proportion of all molded, insulated, and non-insulated coupling devices. The connectors consist of a flat, blunt-ended metal blade that is mated to a corresponding female socket. The blades may be part of a two-or three-pin configuration in a standardized molded plug as is the case with many national mains power outlet schemes across the world. These couplers are usually found pre-fitted on all mains-rated appliances or bought loose for after-market applications.

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The blade connector is also a common low voltage cable and wire termination in either an uninsulated and pre-insulated format. These connectors are typically bought in packs or kits that feature a selection of different sizes of connector. Both formats have some provision at the rear of the connector for the connection of a wire core. In the case of non-insulated connectors, this may be a crimp lug or a lug suitable for a solder joint. Pre-insulated connectors are typically crimped onto the wire core using a special crimping tool.

There are several standard blade connector sizes that are usually defined by blade width and range from 0.09 to 0.25 inch (2.4 to 6.3 mm). The connectors are also sized to accommodate a range of wire thicknesses, generally from 0.06 to 0.16 inch (1.5 to 4 mm). Single-blade connectors are used in a large number of applications, with some of the most common being appliance and power tool connections, electrical panel construction, and automotive wiring. Due to its low cost, ease-of-use, and reliability, the blade connector is also a perennial favorite in many hobby and do-it-yourself projects.

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