What Is A Network Cable Tool?
Even in this era of wireless connections, cables are some of the most essential parts of a network. For cables to function efficiently, we need a certain set of cable tools. But what is a network cable tool?
Network cable tools are certain items that are necessary for maintaining and installing network cables such as ethernet. They make it easier to manage, remove, and even attach new cables.
Professionals who work with networking cables often carry cable tools as it makes it much easier for them to work with cables. Some tools are used more often than others as they offer more value and versatility. Therefore, let us look at some of the most common types of network cable tools out there.
The crimping tool is by far the most versatile and mandatory tool necessary for network cable management. It consists of two handles connected to a jagged jaw-like structure.
When the handles are squeezed together, it applies pressure on the jagged mouth area. This jagged mouth-like area of the crimp tool is used for connecting the cable to its connectors. The crimp tool connects metals and wires by applying force on them and deforming them in such a way that they stick together.
Using a crimping tool is fairly easy. Just follow the following steps in order to use a crimping tool properly:
- Place the wires into the plastic connectors.
- Then place the connectors with the wires into them inside the jagged mouth of the crimping tool,
- Squeeze the handles together and allow the crimping tool to puncture the connectors. The crimp will press on the cables and allow for data to flow through the connectors.
Wire cutters are sometimes included within the crimping tool. But a lot of times they can also be found as a stand-alone device. Some prefer using dedicated cutters over the ones included with the crimp tool as the dedicated cutters are often more comfortable to use and come in various shapes and sizes.
Wire cutters are a very essential part of cable management. You never need an entire bundle of cable and it is necessary to shorten them before use.
Sometimes the tips of cables are burnt or destroyed and simply cutting off the defective portion can help us get our connection running again. In these times a pair of wire cutters can come in handy. While you can cut cables with knives and other sharp objects as well, a wire cutter makes it a lot more efficient.
Wire cutters consist of two handles and a pair of sharp knife-like appendages that help snap cables.
Follow these steps to use wire cutters efficiently:
- Measure till the point on the cable where you want to cut it.
- Place the cable between the sharp appendages of the wire cutter.
- Squeeze the handles together to cut off the wire.
This tool can usually be found included in both wire cutters and the crimp tool. However, it is very important to buy one of these as it is essential for cable management and maintenance of the cables if it isn’t included with your wire cutter or crimp tool.
Ire strippers are used for stripping the outer shell of cables and the inner jackets of the cable. While you can also do this with other tools, the wire strippers are made precisely with stripping cables in mind and will do more efficiently than other tools. Therefore, consider this tool if you need to do a lot of cable management.
The wire stripper consists of two handles and a bladed side with holes the size of multiple cables to strip cables of various sizes.
Wire strippers are simple tools and can be used by anyone with little idea on cables. Here is how to use wire strippers:
- Check the radius of the cable.
- Put the wire in the appropriate radius hole to be stripped.
- Squeeze the handles of the stripper together and create a cut for stripping the cable.
This is an expensive device and should only be necessary if you are a professional. It is more technologically advanced compared to all the other devices in this list and is therefore pricier. Devices such as this are used for testing cables and addressing any problem there is.
This device is used to check whether your wire installation meets certain standards of wiring standards such as Cat 5e, Cat 6, Cat 6a, etc. This device is capable of performing a wide array of diagnoses such as checking and testing total segment length, crosstalk, noise, wire map, resistance, impedance, and the capability to transfer data at the maximum frequency rated for the cable.
Tone Generator And The Probe
This is a far more interesting-looking device compared to the others. This surprisingly comes in two parts. One of these parts is the probe and the other part of this device is the tone generator.
These devices are used in cases where there are unlabeled or unknown cables that need to be traced. The tone generator generates tones that are then run through the network cable. Then the probe part of the device detects these signals at the opposite end of the cable.
To use these tools, connect one end of the tone generator on the cable you want to identify, then go on and connect the probe to the other end of the cables to identify which of the cables the tone is flowing through. The cable the tone flows through would be the device you’re looking for.
Time Domain Reflectometer
This is a very helpful tool for those who work with long stretches of cables. This device measures the length of the cables and tells you the precise measurement. Not only that, it can also measure the breaks in the cable as well!
This device measures the length of a cable by sending a signal through the cable in question. Then it calculates the time it takes for the signal to reach from one end of the cable to another and estimates the length of the cable accordingly.
These were some of the most widely used networking cable tools in the market today. I hope this article will give you a better understanding of networking cables and the tools used to maintain them.