Favorite Network Termination Tools

By: Brian Karas, Published on Sep 06, 2017

Thomas Carlyle said "Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all."

For security integrators, their tools are crucial to their job. 140 integrator responses to an IPVM survey revealed what brands they preferred for cable termination work, details in this report.

Termination Tools Overview

Termination is a critical part of network cable installation. Specialty tools are used to "punch down" cables to patch panels, or attach network connectors to cables. This needs to be done before the cable can be tested or certified and put into use, which integrators do for the majority of installs.

At a minimum, a tech will usually carry an RJ-45 crimper, a cable jacket stripper, a punchdown tool, and electricians scissors for terminating cables.

Summary Results

** *****, **** *** dozen ********** ****** **** mentioned *** *** **** cited * ****: *****, Platinum, ***** *** *****:

Quality *** *********** *** *******

******* *** *********** **** the *** ******* *********** gave *** ********** ******** brands. ** ****** ***** stood *** ** ************ above *** **** ** this ******, *** ** some ***** *********** ***** easy ************ ** ** additional ****** *** ******** these ******.

*****:

  • "***** ******** ********* *********** Tool, ****** ** ** terminate *** ***** ** a **** ** ****."
  • "***** **** *** *** best"
  • "****** ** **** *** frequently ** ** ***** (best *******) *** ***** (availability)."
  • "*****, ****** **** ** last ******"
  • "***** ********. *** ****** last ****** **** ****** else's."
  • "***** (******).. *********** *** trust (*** *********)"
  • "*****, ********* **** ***** china *******, *** **** result **********."
  • "*****, **** *** *** market ****** *** ******* of *** ******* ** products"

********:

  • "** ************* *** *** Platinum ***** **-**** ***** Tool *** ***** *** ease ** ***."
  • "********. ************ *** **-****. Use ** ******* ** is **** ******** ***** have **** **** ****** as *** ***** *** older."
  • "******** *****. ***** *** connections, ********** ****** *** technicians."
  • "******** ***** - **** provide * **** *** of ************* ****** *** tutorials. **** ** ***, changing *** ***** ** crimper ** ******, ***** point ** ****."
  • "********, ** *** *** ez ***** ******* ***** and *******. ***** **** and ***** **** ****."
  • "********, **** ** ******* connection *** ******* ** time"
  • "******** *****... *******"
  • "******** ***** - ***** variety, ********** *** **** saving, **** *** *******."

*****:

  • "*****, **** **** ****, last * **** **** and *** *** *** them ** * **** depot ** ******"
  • "** ********* *** *** Ideal *** ***** ****. these ***** **** ** be ***** **** ****, are **** ** ***, and **** * ********."
  • "**********, *****. ***** *** a ******* **** ****."
  • "*****, **** *** *****."
  • "*****. ***'* ********* *** too **** *****. *** Ideal ***** **** **** very ****."
  • "***** *** ****** **** good, *** ** ** not ******* ***** **** tools."
  • "*****. ******* *** *****."

*****:

  • "********* *****. ******* ***** and ********"
  • "***** - ************ *** quality."
  • "*****. ***** **** ****, not **** ********* *** they **** * ****** amount ** ****."
  • "*****. ***** *** *******"
  • "********** * ****** *****. You *** **** *** pay ***, **** **** the **** *** **** the *******."
  • "***** **** **** **** and **** * **** time"

No **********

**** ********* ****** ** particular ********** *** *****, opting *** ******** *** cheapest ** ******* ** purchase:

  • "** *** *** ******* in *** **** ********. There *** * *** of **** ****** *** there *** ****"
  • "***'* **** *** ***** are ****** ***** ** quality *** ************ **** main *********** (*** ***-**)"
  • "*****'* **** *** **********!"
  • "** ** *** **** a ***** ** ******, whatever ** ********* ** Home *****."
  • "** ********** *****, ****** OEM. ******** ** *** AMP ******* *********** ****."
  • "** **** ********* ***** for *****."

Technician ******

******* *** ****** ** to *** ********** **** was * ****** ****** response ** ****: 

  • "**** ****** ** **** up ** *** ***** staff. ** **** **** this ******** ****** *** technicians ** **** *** tools **** **** **** they *** *********** ****."
  • "***** ***** ***. ******* on *** *** ******. This ** ******* **** where ******* ***** ** on *** **** ******. It *****'* **** **** there ** *** **** brand ******* **** *** more."
  • "**'* **** ** ** certain, *******, *** ********** installers **** **** ***** that **** ***** *** preferences **** ***** *********."
  • "********** * **** *** for *** *******, *** techs *** ******** ***** they **** ** **** provide ***** *** ** that *******."
  • "*** ****, ******* **** need ** *** ***** once. **** ******* ******* have ***** *** ******** tools."
  • "** ***** ********, ***** usually **** *** ********* tools ******."
  • "******* ***** ** ****** by *** ***********. **** choose **** ** *** and *** **** **** wish ** *****."

Comments (25)

EZ-RJ45 is best thing since sliced bread! In addition to speed and accuracy, it's neater if you twist strands into one before crimping.

...it's neater if you twist strands into one before crimping.

Do you need to crimp stranded wire often?

No, I should have said conductors. Rarely, I do use stranded for patch cables, but most of the time it's more cost effective to buy various sized patch cables.

Is it really that difficult to do a proper RJ45 crimp? Every EZ RJ45 I've run into is terminated poorly with copper not being cut flush. 

 

 

No, it's really easy to do a normal crimp. I tried the EZ-RJ45 and always felt like it was a hack way crimping for those that don't know how to crimp normally. Although I have seen hundreds of bad crimps done by those that obviously didn't have a clue. I do like the EZ-RJ45 tool but I use it with normal 8P8C connectors. I've had it for years and still works well. It takes little pressure to complete the crimp.

Is it really that difficult to do a proper RJ45 crimp?

Well there are some specialty applications that only the EZ can handle ;)

Been using EZ-J45 for many years with many thousands of ends in the field without issue.   Long as your tool is setup correctly and the cutting edge is sharp there are no issues with them. 

 

Do you have training wheels on your bicycle too?

The EZ-RJ45's produce a subpar termination and the boot is typically very loose. On top of the that, the plastic is cheap and prone to breaking during use.

I also have a GEM Pass Through RJ45 crimper that the original owner of GEM gave to me along with many HD-Analog Baluns and Power splitters when he was pitching his product line. Been very happy with all his tools and equipment that he provided. Here is link to crimper:

Gem Electronics by Triplett Crimp Tool for High-Speed, Pass-Thru RJ45 | Triplett Test Tools & Equipment

"Doesn't make any difference!"

Maybe if you don't use the tools everyday. But when I was a bench tech and wire puller, the quality RJ45 crimpers lasted about twice as long or more as the "cost effective" versions. And we seemed to have to go back a lot less to recrimp the wires done by the quality crimpers versus the cost effective crimpers.

I tend to agree. Same thing for cheap tools with a "lifetime warranty". Warranty is of little value if the tool breaks halfway through the day and you have to stop to go and exchange it. I would rather pay more for something that was reliable.

I've always been a big fan of Klein. They last forever and ever. The only time I replace a Klein tool is when I lose one.

I guess I know where the Klein beard trimmer is. 

The only time I replace a Klein tool is when I lose one.

That would be a great line for them to use in print ads. Who said writing is really hard?

I bought Klein side cuts after I misplaced my Ideal ones. They work really well. I also like the electrician scissors as well.

The only time I replace a Klein tool is when I lose one.

Similarly, the only time I replace a Chicago Electric tool is when I lose one.  

If it breaks, I buy a different Harbor Freight brand ;)

I'm selective with what I buy at Harbor Freight. I have been impressed with the Hydraulic Punch set. It makes a great conduit punch for racks and other relatively metals. Their utility carts seem to be decent. I just bought a rivet tool because I needed one that worked with 1/4" rivets. It worked better than the Arrow brand one I had. I also bought a chain link punch because I needed to repair a chain on a motor and that worked as well. I bought two just in case one failed in the processes. I probably won't ever buy power or battery powered tools from there, but they have been useful for things I didn't have time to order online and no one else carried locally.

It makes a great conduit punch for racks and other relatively metals.

Many of their tools are made out of what is best described as "relatively metal" ;)

Ha...true. I meant to say relatively thin metals but I guess thin didn't make it from the brain to the keyboard.

Totally agreed - Platinum Tools EZ-RJ45 Crimp - fast and especially useful, if one has only been left with enough cable for one shot at terminating it! One can get it right one time, every time.

For cutters and pliers, I'm a big C.K. fan. Still using a pair of right angle nose pliers I bought when I was 12. They will be celebrating their 40th birthday in a few years time. We don't let them leave the workshop anymore, in case they don't make their way home!!

Platinum Tools EZ-RJ45 by far. I loved it so much that I had to stock it. 

I took a chance 6 years ago with this crimper from Monoprice when Ideal died and I still use it (did 30 today)

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=3352

I look down on anything that has "easy" in its name lol 

I would just use this stripper and punch tool and a pair of good cutters, and just use blocks and patch panels with pre made patch cables.

When I was an installer I made the decision to never use an RJ45 crimp and always terminated the cable into a patch panel or wall plug and use pre-made cables.
I found it dropped the service calls for intermittent issues. We also had a rule that if we went to a site and needed to replace another techs RJ45 crimp, then the original tech owed a 6 pack of beer.

Here's an interesting question as a followup, how many of you actually put an RJ crimp at the camera end and how many use a block and a small pre made patch cable into the camera ??

There are some new MPTL connectors, Beldon has their RevConnect FlexPlug Belden RevCOnnect FlexPlug and Siemon has their Z-Plug Siemon Z-Plug

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