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Why your toolkit needs a handful of these easy-to-use lever nut connectors

These Wago 221 lever nut connectors create secure, reliable, and easy-to-use connections between electrical wires. Here's how to use them.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
A 2-pole Wago 221 lever nut

A 2-pole Wago 221 lever nut

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Along with tools and a few consumables like tape and glue, I usually have a smattering of other things in my toolbag that I take along for repairs and that  just make life easier.

Those things include Wago 221 lever nut connectors

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The Wago connector is a type of electrical connector developed by WAGO GmbH, a German company that specializes in electrical supplies. These connectors are designed to create secure, reliable, and easy-to-use connections between electrical wires.

Also: How to fix broken wires the easy way - with heat-shrink butt connectors

Wago lever nuts use a spring-loaded clamping mechanism that enables a strong and secure connection without the need for screws, nuts, soldering, butt connectors, or other traditional fastening methods. This makes them particularly popular for electrical installations, as they save a considerable amount of time and effort during installation and maintenance.

Wago lever nuts consist of a transparent plastic housing that contains a metal clamp system and a lever for each wire connection. They are rated for 450V/32A; bear in mind, however, that if used for high-voltage applications, they need to be housed in an enclosure to prevent people who don't know what they are from messing with them.

Also: This $60 tool essentially gives you another pair of hands

Wago lever nuts come in various sizes to accommodate different wire gauges and are available in 2-, 3-, and 5-pole (wire) configurations, allowing multiple wires to be connected in a single connector.

A 2-pole and 5-pole Wago 221 lever nut connector

A 2-pole and 5-pole Wago 221 lever nut connector

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I recommend getting a pack that has a selection of each type.

Also: This stylish electric screwdriver has some big functions for a small price

Need a few reasons to keep some Wago lever nuts in your toolbag? Wago lever nuts are super easy to use, create strong, reliable connections, can be installed without tools (apart from stripping the wires), are compact so you can use them in confined spaces, and are reusable.

How to use a Wago lever nut

1. Prepare the wires

Prepare the wires
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Strip the ends of the wires that you want to connect according to the recommended strip length specified by Wago (typically, this is between 9 to 11 mm/0.35 to 0.45-inch).

2. Open the Wago lever nut

Opening the Wago lever nut
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Open the lever on the connector by lifting it up to 90 degrees. (Don't go further as you might break the connector.)

3. Insert the wire

Insert the wire
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Insert the stripped wire into the connector's opening, ensuring it is fully seated.

4. Flip the lever closed

Flip the lever closed
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Close the lever to lock the wire in place, pressing down firmly to create a secure and reliable connection.

5. Repeat

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Repeat for the other wires you want to connect. 

6. Tug test

Tug test!
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Finally, a gentle tug on the connector will make sure it's properly connected.

Also: You'll never guess how many tech repair tools this little bag can fit

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