How to choose the cartridge heater?

cartridge heater with crimped-on lead

What is the cartridge heater?

A cartridge heater is a tube-shaped, industrial heating element that can be inserted into drilled holes. Typically, cartridge heaters are used to heat a metal block from the inside and can be custom manufactured to a specific watt density based on the requirements of the application.

For different internal construction, cartridge heaters could be divided into Crimped-on leads type and swaged-in leads type. It can be clearly seen that the crimp on the lead structure is that the power pin and the wire are connected by a connection terminal outside the heater.

If the temperature at the end of the heater is extremely higher than the maximum rated temperature of the lead wire, Leads could be externally connected to power pins. A cartridge heater with crimped-on leads has the advantage that the unheated length at the lead end of the heater is at a minimum.


For the cartridge heater with swaged-in leads, the connection between the leads and power pins is inside the heater. So swaged cartridge heaters are ideal for applications in which there is a lot of movement.


What are the types of cartridge heaters?


Cartridge heaters are widely used in various industries for heating applications. They are tubular and provide high temperatures and even heat distribution. There are several cartridge heaters, but let me describe the two types used often: Cartridge heaters with swaged-in leads and Cartridge heaters with crimped-on leads.


Cartridge Heater with Swaged in Leads

Swaged-in leads cartridge heaters are characterized by their leads being embedded within the heater’s body during manufacturing. Swaging is a process that involves compressing the heater’s material around the authorities, resulting in a strong bond between the leads and the heater. This design ensures a highly secure electrical connection and provides excellent heat transfer. These heaters are suitable for applications that require high temperatures and a reliable, durable bond.



  • More stable electrical connection.
  • Higher heat resistance.
  • Suitable for high-temperature and high-pressure environments.


Cartridge Heater with Crimped on Leads

Crimped-on-leads cartridge heaters have leads connected to the heating element through a crimping process. The crimping method uses a metal sleeve or connector to join the leaders with the heating element mechanically. This type of connection is less secure than swaged-in leads and may not be suitable for high-temperature or high-pressure environments. However, they are generally more cost-effective and easily replaced or maintained.



  • More economical.
  • Easier to maintain and replace.
  • Suitable for low-temperature and low-pressure environments.


In summary, both types of cartridge heaters have their advantages and disadvantages. Swaged-in-leads cartridge heaters are more suitable for high-temperature and high-pressure applications. In contrast, crimped-on-leads cartridge heaters are more cost-effective and easier to maintain, making them ideal for less demanding environments.

What should be paid attention to when choosing a tubular heater?


When choosing a cartridge heater, it is important to consider several factors to ensure optimal performance and long service life. Here are some key aspects to pay attention to:


  1. Application requirements. Understand the specific requirements of your application, including temperature range, wattage, and voltage. This will help you select the right cartridge heater with appropriate specifications.
  2. Heater dimensions. Ensure that the heater’s diameter and length match the dimensions of the hole it will be inserted into. An improper fit can lead to poor heat transfer and reduced heater life.
  3. Watt density. Watt density refers to the amount of power (watts) per unit of heater surface area (usually in square inches or cm²). Higher watt densities can provide faster heating but also increase the risk of overheating and burnout. Choose a watt density suitable for your application’s needs, considering factors such as the material being heated and its thermal conductivity.
  4. Material compatibility. The sheath material of the cartridge heater should be compatible with the environment it will be operating. Some common sheath materials include stainless steel, Incoloy, and Inconel, each with its own advantages and limitations in terms of corrosion resistance and temperature range.
  5. Temperature sensing and control. Accurate temperature sensing and control are crucial for maintaining optimal performance and preventing overheating. Choose a cartridge heater with built-in thermocouples or RTDs (Resistance Temperature Detectors) for precise temperature measurement, and use a compatible temperature controller to regulate the heater’s output.
  6. Termination type. The termination type should be appropriate for your application and installation requirements. Common termination options include swaged leads, threaded studs, flexible leads, and quick-disconnect plugs.
  7. Safety features. Some cartridge heaters come with additional safety features, such as over-temperature protection, ground fault protection, or moisture and explosion-resistant designs. These features can help prevent accidents and extend the heater’s lifespan.
  8. Manufacturer reputation and support. Choose a reputable manufacturer that provides technical support, quality products, and reliable customer service. This will ensure that you get a cartridge heater that performs well and lasts longer.
  9. Cost and warranty. Compare costs and warranty coverage among different manufacturers and models, considering factors such as performance, safety features, and durability.


By considering these factors, you can choose a cartridge heater that meets your application’s requirements, ensuring efficient operation and long service life.


What suggestions can Hasteco offer you?


So How to choose the right cartridge heater? It is related to many details. Here shows a video about how to choose the cartridge heater for you.


Application Scenarios that are suitable for Crimped on lead type:

  1. If you need Lower power, lower temperature cartridge heater– Then choose Crimped on the lead type.


  1. If you require longer lead wire – Then you can choose a Cartridge heater with Crimped lead.


Application Scenarios that are suitable for swaged in lead type:

  1. If it is Limited space for an outlet and wiring- Then we recommend a Cartridge heater with Swaged lead.


  1. If the Leads will be bent or moved frequently – you also better use a Cartridge heater with Swaged lead.


  1. If it is a higher operating temperature-Also Better to choose a Cartridge heater with Swaged in lead.


  1. And Also, when used in an environment with heavy oil pollution or corrosive gas- Cartridge heaters with Swaged in lead and with Teflon lead wire.

Hasteco has more than 20 years of experience in this field, and we are the top professional in China. For more technical details, welcome to contact our experienced engineers by clicking the button below.


Sales representive Luke


As the devoted CEO of Hasteco, I've spent countless years nurturing my passion for heating elements. Warmly inviting you to connect & collaborate for cozy, tailor-made solutions. Get in touch!

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