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What are the differences between connector and terminal
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What are the differences between connector and terminal

Views: 90     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-06-16      Origin: Site

Connectors and terminals are types of the electrical wire connectors that are used to end a cable, terminate it completely or connect it to any electrical system. They can be things like butt splices, ring terminals, fork terminals, wire caps, ferrules, pin terminals, etc.

In today's article, I am glad to take you through a detailed guide to help you understand about connectors and terminals, what are they, their differences, what to consider when choosing a terminal and connector, and any other necessary information you need to know related to this.

What are Terminals?

Terminal block

Generally, this is a useful electrical accessory and as it name suggest terminal is an endpoint. This accessory is made of a metal and sealed inside the plastic casing. Its acts just like a reusable endpoint to the conductor, so it is kind of a connector where someone can connect the circuits.

Further, Terminal has holes at two ends where you should insert the wire. Overall, the general purpose of the Terminal is connecting external and internal wiring of the power terminals and printed circuit boards.

What are Connectors?

This is a device which connects two devices to typically transmit an electric current or transmit signals. And there are two specific parts to a connector which is the connector and the plug-in. Basically, a connector is the component which electronic engineering technicians mostly come to contact with.

Connector vs Terminal

Connector is the general term, while terminal is a type of connector. Terminals are used in the electrical and electronic field and are also used to connect the outside and inside of printed boards, PCB circuit boards and power distribution cabinets.

The terminal range is also increasing, so their types are as well increasing. However, nut terminals, hardware terminals, spring terminals, among others, are widely used in PCB board terminals. Inthe power industry, there is exceptional terminal boxes, terminal blocks, double-layer, single layer, voltage, current etc.

Overall, Terminal belongs to the rectangular connector. On the other hand, connectors come in different types, such as circular connectors, rectangular connectors, stepped connectors, etc. Since their line connections are everywhere, they are utilized in a wide range of the applications.

The most used are electrical connectors used to typically connect the two electronic products with different components. However, connectors have various properties based on circumstances and conditions in which the user is using them.

Below are different considered features on terminal vs. connector:

  • Moisture or oil resistant

  • ESD shielded- the protection from an electrostatic discharge

  • Locked- it is held in the mechanism place, which prevents accidental breakage and movement

  • RFI or EMI - protection from radio frequency, interference or electromagnetic interference

  • Water resistant- a protection from the water damage because of dampness or splashes

  • Hermetically-sealed

What to consider when choosing connector or terminal?

Remember, the right connector tends to make your system lighter, smaller, and easier to you to handle. Therefore, reliable and right connector or terminal is the key. Below are top factors to when choosing a connector or terminal:


The material needed in connector housing can be a metal, plastic, etc. Choose the material wisely because it might impact weight, reliability, and cost. For example, you can consider plastics for disposable applications and limited reuse. And to some food industry processes, aggressively corrosive environments, stainless steel might be the perfect one.

Electrical needs

Ensure you got a right number of the contacts and them which can carry all power demands of the application. So, the size and contact of your wire dictate the current-carrying ability of the contact.

Reliability needs

Be sure that your connector will effectively stable in extreme and harsh environments.

Assemblies & raw cable

In this case, ensure both connector and cable are compatible via defining cable assembly and raw cable.


Compare models for number of pins, pin size, and functionality. However, look carefully for details in every connector because the details become essential as current and voltage increases.

Adding functions

Determine whether the other functions should or can be added into the connector.

Environmental sealing

Check manufacturer IP rating for good sealing to water and dust at operating time frames and various depths.

Other factors

  • Termination types

  • The temperature at which terminals will reach over normal service

  • Cross-section zone of your conductor

  • The number of conductors you want to connect together

  • Ask about delivery and service

Common types of terminal and connector

  • Feed-through

  • Barrier strips

  • PCB mount


Terminals and connectors are different application which belongs to similar concepts. This manifestation is based on various applications, industries, locations, and products. With the above guide, you get a chance to understand the differences between Terminals and Connectors and any other important information you should know about these two electronic components.

Sun Electric Co., Ltd
Founded in 2011, Sun Electric Co., Ltd specializes in the production of terminal blocks and industrial electrical connection products.

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