Importance of Crimp Tool Stability with Pass Through RJ45 Modular Plugs

Simply45® is the industry-leading brand for RJ45 modular plug innovation and performance solutions. Our objective is to improve the quality and performance of RJ45 components to support the performance requirements for today’s applications. 

While we have made ground-breaking and patent-pending innovations to the RJ45 modular plugs, it was also necessary to re-engineer the crimping process used to secure the RJ45 modular plugs to the LAN cables.  To maximize performance, everything must work together as a system, from the RJ45 modular plug design to the crimping process of the plug, and to the quality of the LAN cable itself. 

Elsewhere on our website, we have discussed in detail the various RJ45 modular plug innovations that Simply45® has introduced to the market.  Now it is important to discuss the importance of using the right crimp tool to properly terminate Pass Through RJ45 modular plugs.

The foundation of a good pass through RJ45 crimping tool is “Stability.”  Stability affects all aspects of the RJ45 modular plug crimping process.  An unstable tool introduces problems during the crimping cycle. These primary problems include improper wire trimming, improper pin setting, and durability.  These issues will have a considerable negative effect on the performance of the pass through RJ45 modular plug. 

A Stable Crimp Tool Needs to Be Simple, Not Complicated

We are all familiar with the K.I.S.S principle (“Keep It Simple Stupid”).  This adage applies to so many things in life and with RJ45 terminations it’s important as well.  With Crimp Tools the more moving parts you have the more complicated the tool becomes and the more instability these moving parts introduce. None of this is good for reliable RJ45 modular plug terminations.  A good crimp tool is going to have the fewest moving parts necessary to complete the crimping cycle task. The less moving parts, the less that can go wrong and the less that can wear out. 

Some of the new RJ45 pass through crimp tools on the market today introduce different types of inserts and processes that only complicate the RJ45 termination process. They do little to make the end result any better, contrary to what their marketing paraphernalia may tell you. 

Complicated is always expensive.  Some would have you believe that you need to spend outrageous prices for an effective pass through RJ45 crimp tool. That is nonsense. Simple not only works better, but it is also less expensive. We are going to look at some of the key pass through RJ45 crimp tool functions that a stable crimp tool will perform very well.

Stability – Wire Trimming and Durability

As you are aware if you have read this far, that pass through RJ45 modular plugs allows the LAN cable wire conductors to pass completely through the front of the plug.  This allows the installer to easily see and verify the wire alignment pattern before crimping (terminating) the RJ45 plug.  A stable pass through crimp tool will trim all wires flush to the RJ45 plug every termination and over a long period of time for a variety of LAN cable sizes.

It sounds simple enough. However, most of the pass through RJ45 crimp tools on the market fail at this most important function. Most RJ45 crimp tools use tool designs that were originally intended for Cat3 and Cat5e twisted pair cables.  These cables have relatively thin wire conductor diameters (24AWG) so the original crimp tool designs did a reasonable job of trimming wire conductors for a period of time.  However, with Cat6 and 10G LAN cables now becoming a more common standard, the shortcomings of these tools become more apparent. In terms of wire trimming, these tools have a difficult time of consistently trimming all wire conductors flush to the plug, especially for these larger 23AWG wire conductors.

Simply45® re-engineered the pass through RJ45 crimp tool to more consistently trim the wire conductors. The Simply45® crimp tools incorporate the following features to ensure better wire trimming with greater durability:

Ratcheted for Full Compression Cycle.

A ratcheted crimp tool requires the installer to complete the full crimping cycle. While some RJ45 brands are eliminating this feature with their crimp tools, Simply45® knows that a ratcheted crimp tool is critical to ensuring that the RJ45 pins are properly seated onto the wire conductors and the pass through wires are properly trimmed.  A ratcheted crimp tool prevents incomplete plug termination and provides flush wire trims.

Synchronized Handles = More Force with Less Hand Effort.

The Simply45® RJ45 Crimp Tools uses synchronized handles that compress together during the crimping cycle. This synchronization delivers consistent and even force directly to the plug socket and the wire trimming. The result is a smoother, faster and easier crimping process.  The Simply45® Pass Through RJ45 Crimp Tools provides more leverage than any other RJ45 crimp tool. The tool handles open up to 4.25” (108mm).  This leverage delivers more force with less hand effort during the crimping cycle.  Other RJ45 crimp tools may work ok when you are crimping Cat5e, but when you start crimping Cat6 or Cat6a LAN cables, it usually takes both hands squeezing strongly to complete the crimp cycle. This is because most other RJ45 crimp tools use only ONE handle to generate the crimping force. The Simply45® RJ45 Crimp Tool design utilizes BOTH handles working in tandem to deliver the crimping force with much less effort. Crimping Cat6 cables with one hand is easy to do. This lowers hand fatigue especially when you have many terminations to complete in a day.

Steel Reinforced for Greater Stability.

We wrapped the Simply45® Pass Through RJ45 Crimp Tools with reinforced steel to ensure tool stability during the crimping cycle. When we analyzed other RJ45 crimp tools on the market we found that tools using various inserts introduced a lot of instability during the crimping cycle. Overtime this instability causes poorer wire trims and incomplete RJ45 pin setting onto the wire conductors.  Crimp tool stability results in a smoother crimping cycle, better pin sets, more consistent wire trimming and greater durability over time.  You can compare this to the chefs in the kitchen.  They can tell immediately if they have a good carving knife.  They can truly feel the difference in the weight, the feel, the balance, the stability… compared to a cheaply made knife from China. That carving knife works smoothly with less effort.  In our industry, the professional installer is the chef and RJ45 terminations are done in his kitchen.  That is why professional installers should only use the best professional tools for the best professional results.

Improved Trimming Blade Design.

 The Simply45® engineers spent considerable time designing a pass through RJ45 crimp tool that would deliver consistent flush-to-the-plug wire trimming over time. The Simply45® Pass Through RJ45 Crimp Tools incorporates these engineering designs. These engineering features include:  Even force delivered to the trimming blades by the synchronized crimp tool handles; a more stable crimping socket; a fixed blade position alignment requiring no adjustments; a more precise angle with no flexing on the trimming blade; and a diamond polished hardened steel trimming blade. The results are more flush and consistent wire trimming over many more termination cycles.

Easy Blade Changing.

Dull and worn out blades are one of the causes for improper wire trimming on pass through RJ45 modular plugs. When we talked with professional installers one of their biggest complaints was the complexity and time-consuming process to change the trimming blades on some of these newer designed RJ45 pass through crimp tools on the market. Not with the Simply45® Pass Through RJ45 Crimp Tools. We make blade changing quick and easy to do. 30 seconds is all you need to change the trimming blade. No adjustments needed. Just one screw and you changed the trimming blade. Simply45® believes that if you make changing the trimming blades very easy, installers will change the trimming blades more often.

Some brands of pass through RJ45 crimp tools require an engineering degree just to change the wire trimming blade. Numerous screws and parts with these designs are too complicated and take too long to complete. This only discourages installers from changing the trimming blades. This all leads to dull blades being used resulting in poor wire trims.

One of the newest types of pass through RJ45 crimp tools on the market now requires that you trim off part of the actual RJ45 modular plug in their attempt to create flush wire trims. That is like “cutting your nose to spite your face”.  Just think about how often the trimming blade needs to be replaced if you must cut through that hard polycarbonate plug material?

Stability – Proper Pin Setting

As discussed above, most of the pass through RJ45 crimp tools on the market are designed to use only one handle to deliver the force necessary to trim the wire conductors and set the plug pins onto the wire conductors. This requires significant hand effort especially when trying to terminate Cat6 and 10G LAN cables.  When I watch demonstrations of someone using these other tools on Cat6 or 10G cables, I watch as they use two hands with considerable effort to complete the crimping cycle. Just watch the grimaces on their faces. Many of you understand this and when you have 24 or 48 terminations you need to complete during an afternoon, hand fatigue becomes a real issue.

Other brands incorporate complicated processes with inserts and such into their crimp tools in addition to using one handle to deliver all the crimping force.  What these tools designs have in common is that they are using indirect or uneven force during the crimping cycle.  With the complicated tools, this causes flexing and movement occurring during the crimp cycle.  All of this can easily be transferred to the pin setting process and the wire trimming.

Have you heard the term “popping” as it relates to RJ45 terminated plugs? Popping is when a terminated RJ45 pin releases from the wire conductor and “pops” out.  This causes signal degradation or failure of the terminated plug. It is a troubleshooting nightmare that when finally identified requires cutting the plug off and re-termination.

Poor RJ45 modular plug design, a poorly designed crimp tool, or strain/pressure placed directly on the RJ45 plug are all direct causes of pin popping.  Therefore, the complete RJ45 termination system is so important to proper and long-life termination performance.

Summary

Depending on the number of RJ45 terminations that you need to do, here is a general guideline to follow when selecting your RJ45 Modular Plugs and Crimp Tools:

  1. Decide if you want to use Pass Through or Standard RJ45 modular plugs.
  2. Use only high quality RJ45 modular plugs that are designed specifically for the LAN cable type that you are using. Remember that “All RJ45 modular plugs are not created equal.”
  3. Select an RJ45 modular plug crimp tool that is recommended for the LAN cable types that you will be using AND a tool that is recommended for the RJ45 modular plug type you are using.
  4. Look for simple over complicated.
  5. Don’t overpay.
  6. Look for a good warranty. Longer length warranty coverages are usually offered by the best-made crimp tools.

A well-made and stable pass through RJ45 crimp tool will provide many years of professional performance. The Simply45® brand of RJ45 pass through and standard WE/SS crimp tools represent the best designs and engineering for professional network integrators.

Please check out the Simply45® Crimp Tool product line on our website for more features and important information. Our current RJ45 Modular Plug Crimp Tool Product Line includes:

Simply45® RJ45 Crimp Tool – Pass-Through Unshielded & Internal Ground Shielded
ProSeries Shielded External Ground RJ45 Crimp Tool – Pass-Through & Standard WE/SS RJ45
Universal RJ45 Crimp Tool for Standard WE/SS 8P8C Unshielded & Internal Ground
Universal RJ45 Crimp Tool for Standard WE/SS 8P8C Shielded w/External Ground Only