January 31, 2023 4 min read

There are a large number of models of electrical terminals on the market, in order to meet the demands from industries and companies, as well as electricians responsible for these installations.

Electrical terminals are elements that make safer connections between a cable conductor and components of an electrical system, ensuring that the circuit is continuous.
These components have the function of ensuring the quality and safety of the installations of electrical equipment, therefore, it is essential to pay attention to the quality of the material of the parts, in order to avoid any unforeseen and even accidents.

The fact is that there are several types of terminals used to connect wires and devices. With this in mind, we will explain more about the electrical terminals and what are the functionalities of each one of them.


What are electrical terminals and what is their function?

Electrical terminals refer to the end of a conductor, network, or end of
device. Also, a terminal can be a reference to a connector that is attached to this
endpoint, which can be used as a point for connecting circuits external. They can be of different types, depending on their use.

As a class of electrical connectors, it is used to transfer electrical current from
a power source or ground for a particular use, the terminal is “connected” to the source or utilized by a mechanical screw, pin, or slot connection.

It is important to point out that terminals are different from splices, , another class of electrical connectors, as they have only one terminating conductor and one mechanical connection, where the splices involve two or more terminating conductors and no connection mechanics.

You can read more about what to consider when choosing electrical terminals in another article.

Terminals are almost always composed of a metal, but some of them use
other conductive materials (silicon, carbon, etc.). Regarding its functionality, there is an important element to emphasize the types of electrical terminals existing in the market, isolated and non-isolated.

However, as much as these two classes exist, there are several models on the market, according to its purpose. Therefore, all components can connect, through the terminals electrical conductors to their connections.

In short, to understand its operation more easily, it is necessary to remember that the electrical components are made of materials that conduct electricity and, through compression, the cable is connected. What happens is that a peeled tip is placed inside the terminal and right after the compression of the tube where the cable is located is performed with special pliers.

What are the types of electrical terminals and their functionalities?

Ring or eye terminal
By the name of this type of electrical terminal, it is possible to notice that it has a ring in its far end. It is divided into two different models: terminal with tubular ring and terminal with laminated ring. You can find them in connections made using screws, (grounding screws and busbars, for example).

This type of terminal is used in conjunction with electrical cable clamps, in a
smoother surface in the form of a ring or spade. They are used in carrying out
connection, nuts and bolts.


This type of electrical terminal is very easy to fit, due to the fact that have a set formed by a male slip-on piece and a female slip-on piece, in the shape of a tongue. There is even a 100% insulated slip-on, which provides perfect insulation of the piece, ensuring its efficiency, minimizing the risk of short circuits, thus avoiding electrical accidents.

In addition, there is also a flag-type slip-on model, with the purpose of making connections with a 90o angle. In the case of tongues, fixed with rivets or screws, together with the busbar or a metal part, they facilitate cable connections. Remembering that if you need to make several connections, there is the possibility of using strip tongues.

Fork Terminal

This type of terminal is flat in shape and features. It has an opening that allows the fixation on the surface of the bars. It has a design that facilitates the electrical installation, since it is not necessary to remove the screw and it is still possible to use it on terminal strips.

It can be pre-insulated or not, for wires as well as electrical cables from 0.5 mm2 to 6.0 mm2.
For this reason, terminal strips are recommended. It is important to note that there are four types of fork terminals: straight fork, spring fork, ring fork and bent fork.

The fact is that the spade terminal is used to wrap connecting wires in order to prevent the connectors break due to the great pressure received by it when it is being used on equipment that needs to be tightened with the screw.

Splicing Gloves

They are used, through compression, in splicing cables. There is a model of splicing gloves, considered the most common, in which all ends of the cable are limited to the center of the terminal, using two compressions.

However, there are also tubular sleeves, which are splicing sleeves that have a window, in order to verify the position of the cables and also the parallel splice uses only one compression, being used in solid wires and made in electrolytic copper.

Pin Terminals

This type of electrical terminal can be used in contactors, terminal blocks or in flexible cables. There are some models of pin terminals, varying according to their functionality. They are: tubular eyelets, flat pin and tubular pin.
Finally, the electrical terminals are very important, as they finish and help the connection
from cables and wires to various types of equipment. It is essential to point out that when it comes to terminals for electrical cables, there is an enormous capacity for conducting electricity.
For this reason, it is essential to verify the qualities of the components, in order to ensure more installation safety and also that it works correctly.




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