On some occasions, crimping and building your network cable can offer us a series of advantages:
- The most obvious is that we will be able to make an Ethernet network cable of the exact length we need. The benefit we obtain is that we do not have a piece of excess cable that we have to tie, coil or place so that it does not get in the way. In this case it is perfect, not like the manufactured ones that depending on their length can be more or less aesthetic.
- Us it can be something cheaper make our Ethernet network cable if we are going to do many
- May make it easier for us to install in narrow conduit pipes. On some occasions, as there are more cables or that conduit being very narrow, that Ethernet cable cannot pass due to those RJ45 connectors that are wider. Without them in place, it may happen and the only thing that would have to be done later is to put the RJ45 connectors at each end, or a female rosette with a connector of this type.
If we want to crimp and make our own network cable, we will need at least four elements, although some more, as we will see below, can also be interesting:
- The crimper.
- RJ-45 Cat 6 or Cat 7 connectors.
- Something to cut though with scissors.
Once we have seen the reasons why mounting our own network cable is very interesting, now we are going to see everything we will need.
Everything I need to buy to crimp a network cable
In order to crimp a network cable we will need different tools and materials, now we are going to explain everything you will need to crimp a network cable, and that it fits both your needs and your budget.
Network cable: what should I watch out for
In case you don’t know, the category of an Ethernet network cable will determine the maximum speed that that cable can reach. Before starting, it is convenient to know the maximum speed supported by our router and other network equipment. Here is a table with the most used Ethernet network cable categories today.
Currently, due to price and performance, the minimum you have to think about is using Cat 6 cables. However, if the price does not go up a lot so that it lasts longer, you could think of category 7. For example, you have to take into account Note that there are already 10 Gigabit and 2.5 Gigabit PCI Express cards and even other network equipment such as routers that support it. Surely buying them now does not compensate for our Internet connections, but in the future it could be interesting to have the wiring prepared like this. Now it is the turn to see the crimping tools and other elements that we can use to create our network cable.
If you are going to wire your house completely, our recommendation is that you buy Cat 7 network cable of the S / FTP type, in this way, we make sure that we can achieve 10Gbps speeds throughout our home without any problem.
After the network cable we must buy the RJ-45 plugs where we will crimp the cable. Currently there are Cat 6 RJ-45 plugs that are UTP, that is, they do not have any type of metallic coating, but there are also Cat 6 plugs that are FTP, with a metallic coating to protect the part of the cable that remains in the air until the copper tip connector. Depending on our needs, we can buy one type of plug or another, although our recommendation is that you buy Cat 6 FTP plugs to have an extra protection against external interference.
If you are going to buy Cat 6 cabling, then you should buy Cat 6 pins, either UTP or FTP. However, if you are going to buy Cat 7 cabling, it is absolutely necessary that you buy Cat 7 plugs because they are already prepared for this type of cable, in addition, these plugs are already FTP type to protect the connectors adequately from external interference.
Finally, recently, Cat 6A and Cat 7 class RJ-45 plugs have come onto the market that are “tool-free”. These plugs allow us to do without the crimper, because they are already designed to be able to pass through the wires and perform the same function. . The negative part of these RJ-45 connectors is that they are very expensive, about € 5 for each RJ-45 connector, so for a cable we are already spending € 10.
A crimper We can define it as a crimping tool that is used to crimp metal parts or other malleable materials through the deformation of one or both parts. This deformation that is achieved is what keeps the copper wires of the Ethernet network cable together on the one hand with the metal plate of the connector. There are several types of crimpers depending on the connector we use, the most common are RJ11, RJ45 and coaxial cable. In our homes we will usually have Ethernet network cables with RJ-45 connectors. Here is an example of a crimper to crimp an RJ45 connector:
The arms of the crimper are usually made of steel and are usually covered with plastic or rubber to make them more comfortable to use. It should be noted that they have features that coincide with other tools such as pliers, but the main difference is going to be found in their head. Also a characteristic that is usually quite common in addition to crimping on many occasions they usually come with sharp metal blades that can be used to strip cable.
The crimper can be more or less complex, in fact, there are some that allow us to crimp various network connectors. This one that we show you below, allows us to crimp RJ10 / RJ11 / RJ12 / RJ45 cables.
As you can see, the head is very different from the previous crimper, and also being able to crimp more types of connectors is more expensive. However, they are not very expensive tools and a crimper for RJ-45 could be found for about € 10 depending on the manufacturer.
The way to work with a crimper will depend on the type of connector that we intend to use. For example, if we want to crimp an RJ45 connector on an Internet cable, there are several ways to arrange the cables, but the standard you should always use is 568B. The first thing we have to do is look for a diagram where the order of the cables is detailed, four color pairs are used in the Ethernet cable: orange, white-orange, green, white-green, brown, white-brown, blue and white-blue. Therefore, if you misplace the colors in the connector and proceed to crimp, the cable may not work properly. Then you will have to take a new connector and crimp it again. In that sense, we must check the cables well before using the crimper.
A very important recommendation: if you buy Cat 7 or higher cable to make the cables, not only the RJ-45 connectors must be Cat 7, but the crimper must also be Cat 7, although a normal crimper could be worth it, it is possible that you break with a few uses.
Wire strippers and other cutting instruments
If we are looking for a tool that allows us to strip network cables with ease, this would undoubtedly be the wire strippers. This tool will allow us to strip the UTP cable to remove the plastic sheath and thus access the copper wires to place them according to the color scheme of the type of cable that we are going to make. This would be a stripper for RJ11 and RJ45 connectors:
In case of not having one, we could always use scissors using them carefully, or you could also use a small knife, being very careful not to cut the internal cables of the network cable.
Once the cable is finished, to quickly check that everything has worked correctly, we could use a LAN cable tester or Tester for RJ45 and RJ11 network cables like this:
It is a device that allows you to verify the electrical connections in cables or connectors by inserting the RJ-45 and RJ-11 connectors that we have just crimped. The advantage is that we do not have to go to where the router, a PC or other network equipment is to test it. When activating the tester, all the LEDs from 1 to 8 must be illuminated and in order, no LED should jump, otherwise, the cable may be badly crimped.
Finally, it should also be noted that inexpensive kits are sold with their crimper, wire stripper, tester, network connectors and more. They represent quite a significant saving compared to buying everything separately, and we would have everything we need to make our network cable and crimp.