How to Crimp Ethernet Cables


Networking cable is typically RJ-45 cable that is crimped into ethernet configuration, either crossover or patch type. Crimping ethernet cable manually can provide exact cable lengths when wiring small networks together, and it's cheaper than buying pre-made cable. The average network technician can prepare ethernet cable in about 10 minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Network cable crimping tool
  • Ethernet cable tester
  • RJ-45 cable
  • RJ-45 clear plastic connector tips

Crimping Ethernet cable

  • Determine the length of cable to use and what the application will be. Cut the cable to the desired length, then strip the outer plastic insulation layer to about an inch of exposed smaller wires.

  • Arrange these wires into the configuration desired, using the chart. Patch, or "straight through" cable, is used more often in home network environments; crossover cable configurations are used in corporate applications or larger networks. Holding the wires tightly while cutting a perfect perpendicular edge to them en masse will assist with getting them into the clear connector's grooves.

  • Push the wires firmly into the connector, being sure to get each wire into its individual groove. They should fit snugly all the way to the end, with a small amount of outer cable plastic slightly pressed into the clear connector for a more professional look.

  • Place the connector into the crimping tool and squeeze the tool firmly. There should be a snapping sound when the connector has embedded the leads completely into the smaller wires. There are eight of these wires, and this step is where most cables will fail. The sharp "teeth" of the connector can fail to puncture the wire's insulation, causing a bad lead. Attempting to crimp it again might work, but usually it is safer to cut and re-crimp a new connector.

  • Repeat the process for the opposite end of the ethernet cable.

  • Test the cable with the testing device. The LED lights will indicate a positive or negative connection for each wire.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ethernet equipment and cables have a maximum effective range of 25 yards.
  • Networking problems can result from using "bad" cables, so use the tester before using the ethernet cable.

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