A crocodile clip (also called an alligator clip in the US) is a spring loaded metal clip that is used for making temporary electrical connections. This is one of the most common connectors used in electronics project experiments. The name comes from the resemblance to an alligator or crocodile’s jaws as the clip is sometimes serrated with little “teeth”. The clip functions similarly to a clothespin.
Alligator Clips can come in many different types of metal and colors. Different metals are sometimes more useful for particular applications, but sometimes it’s also just a matter of aesthetics.
Some uses of crocodile clips are:
Electrical connections: The main use of an alligator clip is for an electrical connection. The clip is attached to components and establishes a connection between the two. Because it’s a clip, it will stay put which frees up the user’s hands.
Laboratory: alligator clips are a cheap easy way to assemble or alter experimental circuits. They are typically used to connect two wires or to connect one wire to the anode or cathode of a device. They are also useful in educational laboratory settings, often used with batteries, lightbulbs, and other devices.
Dentistry: Alligator clips are often used in dental offices on a cord to attach a bib. Crafts: Alligator clips are used in many hobby and craft activities, including holding items together for soldering or gluing, or making different things out of the clip itself.
ID badges: Alligator clips are often utilized for holding ID badges for conventions and conferences. The clips are on the ends of a lanyard worn around the neck or attached to a front pocket with the clips grabbing onto the badge.
Also do not forget to check out our other types of connectors in the Connectors section.
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