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Guide to Terminating RJ45 Cable Blog Post

Terminating RJ45 Modular Plugs

RJ45 Modular Plugs are the standardized interface for data networking. This 8P8C (8 position 8 contact) connector is the most common plug used for ethernet networking. While this form of connector has become increasingly popular, terminating them can take some practice. Fortunately for you, PrimusCable offers a step by step guide to terminating RJ45 Modular Plugs.

Before we get started, let’s go over the tools and cable parts necessary for termination. The items you will need are modular plugs, the ethernet cable, the network stripper, and the RJ45 crimping tool. For this example, we will use a shielded connector, along with a shielded CAT6 cable.

Our Connector of choice: CN1-7883-8C6SH, Shielded RJ45 Connector for CAT6, CAT6A Solid and Stranded Cable. This RJ45 connector is compatible with both CAT6, and CAT6A cable and features a strain relief and shielding to prevent against signal loss and electromagnetic interference.

Our CAT6 Cable: C6SHST-3645BL, CAT6 Bulk Stranded Ethernet Cable, Shielded Bare Copper CM, 24 AWG 1000FT. This CAT6 ethernet cable features a foil shield and copper drain wire to help minimize signal loss from electromagnetic interference. It is an ideal option to make custom patch cables due to the flexibility that the stranded cable offers.

The Cable Stripper: TL5-6785, Networking Cable Stripper, CAT5E, CAT6, CAT6A, CAT7, & CAT8. This Networking cable stripper is adjustable and can be used with multiple types of category cable. As your network grows, you may find yourself having to upgrade from CAT5E to CAT6, or higher. This tool provides you the flexibility to grow your network without needing to purchase a new stripper every time you upgrade your cable.

The Cable Crimper: TL1-4591, CAT6(A) Cable Crimping Tool, Ratchet Type, for RJ45 Modular Plugs. This RJ45 crimping tool was designed specifically for CAT6 and CAT6A shielded RJ45 modular plugs. This ratchet style crimping tool is ideal for large diameter CAT6/A UTP/STP solid or stranded cable. The blue rubber grip provides comfort for extended usage.

 RJ45 Connector Step by Step Termination Guide

So you have all the required materials, now lets get started on the termination process.


Step 1

Strip the jacket off the cable. Be careful not to damage the inner conducting wires and strip off only the jacket.


How to strip the cable jacket

Step 2

Peel back shielding and extra material to expose inner conductors. The shielding can be removed entirely from the exposed part of the cable.

Peel back cable shielding to expose conductors

Step 3

For CAT6 or greater cable, cut the spline as close to the end of the jacket as possible.

Remove cable jacket spline


Step 4

Untwist and straighten the inner conductors.

Align cable inner conductors


Step 5

Determine what color guide your network is using, then line up your wires in the insert according to the wiring guide. For our example we used the color guide B.

Ethernet Cable Wiring Guide
Align cables to color guide


Step 6

Trim inner conductor cables approximately ¼ inch from the end of the insert. Make sure the cable is long enough that it will reach the front of the connector.

Trim cables to fit

Step 7

Be sure the diagonal side of the insert is facing the same direction as the gold conductor on the connector

Insert cable to RJ45 connector


Step 8

Ensure the cables are aligned properly and are behind the gold conductors. If they are not behind the conductors termination cannot occur.


Ensure conductors are properly aligned

Step 9

Bend the strain relief clip around the jacket of the cable and remove drain wire excess. Be sure that the drain wire is touching the metal part of the strain relief clip before removing any excess.

RJ45 Shielded connector attach drain wire


Step 10

Use the crimping tool to properly terminate the connector.


Crimping RJ45 Connector

Step 11

Insert the connector into the front of the tool, then squeeze the handles together to crimp the conductors down onto the cable.

Crimp RJ45 Connector



There you have it, a perfectly crimped, RJ45 modular plug connector! 

Terminated RJ45 Connector
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