Why Are Different Networking Tools Important?
When preparing to update or install a networking system you may notice that there are a number of different recommended tools to get the job done. Each tool serves a specific purpose in the cable installation process, and each tool has variations to fit the different connector types for a given project. while there are a handful of tools that make the network cable termination or installation process seamless, we are going to discuss just a few of the particularly important tools. Check out our Tools Section to see our full selection of different types of tools.
Cable Cutters and Strippers
In order to prepare your cable for termination you have to remove the outer jacket and straighten out the wires. There are a number of cable stripper designs but they all do roughly the same thing. In general, you place the cable into the unit and a sharp blade will come down and you spin the tool around while the blade cuts the jacket. Once you spin the tool around the cable a few times the jacket should slide off with ease. Some variations are automatic and snip the cable jacket off without having to spin the tool around the cable, and others can clip off the jacket and the armor to reveal a bare conductor in the case of coaxial cables. Cable strippers can cut outer jackets as well as inner jackets surrounding individual wires.
A cable cutter is an important tool in the installation of cables and wires. Cable cutters come in handy when removing old cables to make room for new cables in the case of a network update. When taking out old cables, there is little concern for maintaining structure and function, but when using cutters on new cables to prepare for installation there are a few considerations. You want to make sure that the cutter is a material that can efficiently cut through the materials in the cable because if not certain materials can chip and wear on the blade, shortening the lifespan of the tool. Also, you want to be sure that the cutter will not compromise the shape of the cable. If the cutter squeezes or bends the end of the cable that can change the properties and overall effectiveness of the cable. Be sure to check out our selection of Wire and Cable Cutters and Strippers!
Crimpers are an important tool for adhering networking wires into a connector. After using cable strippers to remove the jacket, leaving one inch of twisted pair wires exposed, and using cutters to make sure the wires are all the same length, you will prepare the wires for connection. Before inserting wires into the connector, you want to untwist each pair and straighten the individual wires as much as possible and organize them in order of the wire configuration the project requires. Once the wires and inserted into the connector, with each individual wire underneath a clip and pushed far enough into the connector so the cable jacket is also in the connector, insert the connector into its designated spot in the crimper. Once it is in position you want to press down all the way on the crimper, release, and then press down again. When you remove the connector from the crimper, you want to make sure that each clip is pushed down on the wires and that the connector is clipped down on the jacket to ensure a secure placement. The crimper will push each pin down onto the wires, secure the cable jacket in place, and clip off the excess exposed wires. Check out another blog for a more detailed walkthrough on Terminating an RJ45 Modular Plug Connectors. Primus Cable offers a wide selection of Cable Crimping Tools.
Punch Down Tools
When you are using a networking patch panel or surface mount box rather than a connector, a punch own tool is going to be helpful in creating a reliable connection. Punch Down Tools are used to accurate connect wires into punch down blocks. Exposed wires in a connection can be dangerous and cause broken connections and by using a punch down tool you can ensure that wires are secured and trimmed to the right length. After preparing the wires similar to how they are prepared for use with a connector and crimper, separated and straightened, organize them into their respective slots. Then take the punch down tool and press it down onto the wires, with the bladed side on the outer edge of the unit. Pressing down on the unit, being sure it is not at an angle, will secure the wire in place and snip off the excess so that it remains flush with the punch down box. After everything is secured and double checked, place a dust cap over the unit to ensure a secure connection and prevent strain on the wires.
Primus Cable also offers a selection of Tool Kits that carry a number of the tools necessary to carry out a given project. Our Cat6 Networking Termination Tool Kit comes with a Cable Cutter, a Cable Crimp Tool, a cable tester, and Cat6 RJ45 Connectors with Strain Relief boots. Another option is our Cat5E Networking Termination Tool Kit which comes with all the same tools, but has CAT5E RJ45 plug connectors and strain relief boots. Primus Cable carries everything you will need for end to end network connections so be sure to check out our products and call our team with any questions you have!