Industry Blog

Connector originals or equivalents?

2023-08-02 21:23:00

When talking about "connector equivalents vs. originals," we usually compare electronic/electrical connectors that are branded originals and their equivalent counterparts, which are often made by third-party manufacturers. The original brands include Molex, TE, Deutsch, AMP, Samtec, JST, LEMO, Lumberg, Wurth, Binder, Amphenol, and others. The equivalents match the original connectors in mating, structure, and function. 

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To compare original and substitute connectors, consider the following factors:


Originals: Original connectors are typically reliable as they are designed and manufactured by the same company that made the intended device. They generally meet all of the device's technical specifications and are often subject to rigorous quality control.

Equivalents: The quality of equivalent connectors can vary. Some manufacturers produce high-quality substitutes that exceed the original's specifications by using more durable or superior materials. However, others may use inferior materials or manufacturing processes, resulting in poor performance and a shorter lifespan.


Originals: Original connectors are often more expensive. This is because the brand name is associated with a certain level of quality and because brand's reputation for quality and higher manufacturing costs.

Equivalents: Equivalents connectors are usually more budget-friendly and can offer significant savings, especially for high-end connectors.


Originals: Original connectors are designed to be fully compatible with the devices they're made for. There is usually no doubt about compatibility. 

Equivalents: Equivalent connectors are designed to be compatible, very close to originals, but there can sometimes be issues. For example, the connector might only fit perfectly or support some of the device's features.

Warranty and Support

Originals: Original connectors usually come with a guarantee and reliable customer assistance should you face any problems.

Equivalents: it varies widely with equivalent connectors. Some manufacturers offer fantastic support and warranties, while others provide minimal assistance. It's crucial to research the manufacturer and ensure they have a strong reputation for quality and reliability before opting for equivalent connectors.

Lead time

Original connectors may have long lead times or limited availability. Equivalents are made by multiple manufacturers so that they can be sourced faster.


Design flexibility

Improved design: Equivalents can enhance original designs by using updated materials, contacts, latching mechanisms, and ergonomics. They provide more opportunities for customization, including options for different materials, keying, and shielding. Additionally, equivalents are designed to be compatible with a wider range of makes and models, allowing for increased flexibility and standardization.


Here are some top recommendations for high-quality equivalent or alternative connector manufacturers:


· Cristek Interconnects - Specializes in circular connectors equivalent to Souriau, Amphenol and more: competitive pricing and quick delivery.

· NorComp - Renowned for IO connector equivalents for military, aerospace, oceanographic and other demanding applications. High-reliability.

· Conxall - Offers a broad line of circular connectors equivalent to Deutsch, ITT Cannon, LEMO, Burndy and other brands.

· Glenair - Provider of circular connectors and alternatives to Amphenol, ITT Cannon, TE, and Souriau designs. Rugged and dependable.

· Positronic - Produces high-power, DIN-rail, rectangular and circular equivalents to many Mil-spec connectors.

· Flexcontac is a China-based company that specializes in circular connectors and IO connectors for brands like Binder, Amphenol, LEMO, Souriau, etc. They also offer custom designs and modifications for shell size, materials, mounting, contacts, keying, etc., together with related cable solutions according to application needs.

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By thoroughly vetting equivalents upfront and testing as needed, you can gain complete confidence in the connector's capabilities and prevent problems or delays. How can I verify if an equivalent connector meets all required specifications?

Here are some tips to help verify if an equivalent connector meets your required specifications:

· Review datasheets - Carefully compare the equivalent connector's published specifications to your requirements. Check dimensions, voltage/amperage ratings, temperature ranges, etc.

· Ask for test reports - Reputable manufacturers should be able to provide test data or certification reports that demonstrate the connector meets certain specifications.

· Consult the manufacturer - Contact the equivalent connector's manufacturer directly to ask technical questions and request clarification on any unclear specs.

· Compare materials - Make sure the equivalent uses the same or similar materials that meet your needs, like metal alloys, plastics, etc.

· Conduct mechanical tests - Test for durability, vibration resistance, tensile strength etc., by securing samples and subjecting them to the expected mechanical conditions.

· Perform electrical tests - Use a multimeter, oscilloscope or other tools to test voltage capacity, connectivity, impedance, etc. Compare to your specs.

· Check certifications - Verify any regulatory, compliance or standards certifications like UL, RoHS, Mil-Spec, IP rating, etc.

· Review third-party evaluations - Research credible third-party testing companies or organizations that may have evaluated the connector.

· Test in your application - The best verification is to test the connector in its intended equipment or setting. Monitor for any issues.

· Ask for guarantees - See if the manufacturer will guarantee or warranty the connector to meet your essential specifications.

Thoroughly vetting equivalents upfront can prevent problems or delays down the road. Test as needed to gain complete confidence in the connector's capabilities.


When picking between original and equivalent connectors, consider quality, price, compatibility, support, availability, and design flexibility. Equivalent connectors may have lower cost and customization, but could also have issues with compatibility and quality. Thoroughly research equivalent connector manufacturers by comparing specifications, materials, certifications, and reputation. Request guarantees, test data, and samples from suppliers. Test equivalent connectors under actual operating conditions. If they meet requirements, they can save costs without sacrificing performance. Make sure they are suitable for your needs.

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Flexcontac specializes in providing cable and connector solutions based on your specific application needs. You have the option to choose from original connectors or equivalent ones. We have a strong supply chain for both types, which can help to reduce your costs. We produce some circular connector equivalents, and others are sourced from renowned vendors locally. We can also provide datasheets, test reports, and related certificates upon request. For more information, please reach out to us at

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