Crocodile clips, also known as alligator clips, are spring loaded clips made from metal. Crocodile clips are typically serrated and have small teeth. Discover more about the different types of crocodile clips and their uses in our crocodile clips guide.
What are the benefits of crocodile clips made from different materials?
Crocodile clips can be constructed from a variety of metals, but the most common are steel (stainless, nickel plated or gold plated) and copper.
- Stainless steel is incredibly hard wearing and resistant to corrosion, making it a popular choice for crocodile clips. However, stainless steel can be a difficult material to solder, which you may need to take into consideration when choosing the right crocodile clip for your application.
- Nickel plated steel is also suited to a wide range of industries and (like stainless steel) provides you with excellent corrosion resistance.
- Gold plated steel crocodile clips are typically more expensive than other steel counterparts but ideal for applications that require a low level of resistance and a high level of conductivity. Gold plating wears fairly easily, so you should only use this type of clip in situations where a large number of cycles are not required.
- Copper crocodile clips are suited to applications that require excellent electrical conduction.
What are crocodile clips and alligator clips used for?
Crocodile clips and alligator clips are most commonly used for making temporary electrical connections. Clips can be used to connect two wires or to connect one lead directly to a device. They are incredibly useful in laboratories or experimental circuits. They are often used in educational settings to help demonstrate light bulbs, circuitry and batteries.
Crocodile clips and alligator clips can also be used for holding identification badges onto lanyards, or for dentistry bibs. They are also utilised by hobbyists to hold things together for gluing or modelling.
What are automotive clips?
Larger sized crocodile clips are typically used in the automotive industry. They can also be referred to as plier clips, plier style clips or battery clamps. Plier clips can be used for jumper cables, battery chargers and welding applications. They are constructed from materials with low electrical resistance such as solid copper and are insulated.