Contact Retention Test Tool

Contact Retention Test Tooling - RTCRT ™ Series

RUSSTECH's unique RTCRT ™ contact retention tools are used to test the assembly status of crimp-type removable contacts in a broad range of connector types.  Each tool features a double ended test probe that can test both pin and socket contacts. A patented, preset release mechanism leaves contacts unharmed yet forces them out of the connector if they are not properly inserted. This mechanism is factory set with precision test force and is not user adjustable.

Typical RTCRT Contact Retention Tester

In operation, the RTCRT  tester quickly pre-loads the contact with the test force and then releases if the contact is properly seated. The RTCRT is held in alignment with the connector, with the probe touching the contact to be tested.  The tool is then pushed towards the connector.  If the contact is properly assembled and locked in, the tool gives an audible and physical “click” when the preset load pressure is reached.  Immediately following, the wing stop on the face of the tool bottoms out on the rim of the connector shell and leaves the contact unharmed and intact.  If the contact latching clip is faulty or the contact was not inserted properly, the tool will automatically bottom out on the connector shell and at the same time, force the contact partially out of the connector, giving the user a good visual indication of the faulty contact.  During this cycle, no “click” will be felt or heard as the pre-load has not been reached.

A unique safety feature of the RTCRT tool is the "wing Stop" located at the front of the tool. In addition to aiding in tool alignment, our "Wing Stop" prevents any additional tool travel after the contact has been tested. This feature also allows us to control the probe length / wing stop relationship, so should you find an unseated contact, the RTCRT test probe will push it back as far as the interfacial seal and the wing stop will prevent the test probe from entering the contact cavity.

Contact Retention Test Tools -Additional Information

 Before the RTCRT test tool was available, the most common retention test was simply pulling on the wire. Tugging on the wire can lead to other problems, such as disrupting the crimp; breaking, bending or jamming the retention clips; or breaking the wire or strands. Pushing on the contacts with a dowel or uncontrolled device can also bend or jam the contacts. A visual inspection may sometimes identify that pin or sockets contact are out of place, but does not test their retention in the connector body. The RTCRT test tool replaced these haphazard methods offering a repeatable and certifiable test to each contact.

The successful introduction of a controlled contact retention test process will result in a clear reduction in contact retention failures. This means significant savings in your manufacturing and rework costs, improves quality ratings and customer satisfaction. Additionally, assembly personnel can be confident that with a proper verification tool and process in place, connector assemblies leaving their station are 100% tested, resulting first-time quality and preventing any costly rework. 

RTCRT tools test contacts on most connectors. The RUSSTECH RTCRT ™ Contact Retention Test Tools with probes are available individually or ordered in sets in our "K" Series Kits.The test probes are considered a wear item and replacement probes are always available from RUSSTECH.


The RTCRT contact retention tools are used to test and verify the assembly status of crimp-type removable contacts in a broad range of connector types. A factory preset release mechanism leaves contacts unharmed yet forces them out of the connector if they are not properly inserted. This factory pre-set force is typically different for each size contact and our standard force settings have been established after many years of field testing and consultation with industry experts. Custom forces are available to fit your specific processes. Tool test force is factory set, is not field adjustable and tamper proof.


The RTCRT series testers are not intended to test contact retention to MIL-STD-1344, Method 2007-1. This would only be a requirement for qualification testing by a connector manufacturer, and is not suitable for in-process connector assembly and testing. The forces specified in connector specifications for this type of testing are extreme, and will possibly damage the contacts, retention clips and connectors.

Contact Retention Test Kits - RTCRT ™ "K" Series Test Kits

Contact Retention test tools are available in a convenient kit format as our "K" series kits. These standard kits are configured for either a specific connector Military Standard, NASA Standard or for a Commercial Standard matrix of common connector types. Each "K" series kit comes with the appropriate RTCRT tool or tools and an assortment of test probes. Custom kits are also available.

Please click on the photos for more information about the individual kits.


Contact Retention Pull Tester - RTCRT-200e Ergonomic

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RTCRT-200e is our latest in our pull test tool line-up. It's ergonomic design helps this tool efficiently preform contact retention testing by pulling on the wire. The wire grip is designed to firmly grip the wire without damaging the insulation and is user adjustable for maximum control. Designed for applications when it is impractical to push on the contacts as in the case of testing  module blocks or when access to the front of the connector is restricted. The RTCRT-200e uses the same proven mechanism as our other retention testers for years of reliable service. Standard test force is 5 to 7 lb. Custom settings available.

RTFTS-50 Force Certification Test Stand


The RTFTS-50 Force Test System 

All that is needed for the calibration and certification of our RTCRT  Contact Retention Testers and our RTPIT Positive Insertion Tools.

This versatile test system is ideal for the test and re-certification of our RTCRT and RTPIT products as well as most of your other force testing needs. The system includes a highly accurate, digital 0 to 50 lb. force meter, a precision hand operated adjustable press, test stage, holders, custom RUSSTECH tool adaptors, universal adaptors, power supply and RS232 cable for digital output, makes this an extremely useful device.

RUSSTECH ENGINEERING CO, INC. • 16 TECHNOLOGY DRIVE • SUITE 111 •  IRVINE, CA 92618    (949) 472-0880       CAGE CODE 1EG24                          © Don Fieberg 2008-2018 RUSSTECH, RTCRT, RTPIT, inflite, are registered trademarks of RUSSTECH