Guide to Punch Down Tool
Punch down tool, sometimes called krone tool, is a small hand tool that technicians often use to connect telecommunication or network wires to punch down block, patch panels, keystone module and surface mount boxes. It usually comprises a handle, a spring mechanism and a removable slotted blade that can cut off excess wires. Having a dependable punch down tool can help you save time when installing cables, for it allows quick and effective cross-connection of wires. This article aims to introduce how to operate and choose a right punch down tool in cabling projects.
Operations of Punch Down Tool
It’s common to cut down or secure wires when technicians are installing cables. In order to ensure the wires are secure, it’s essential to use a punch down tool to trim and contain them in a basic jack. Then how to use a punch down tool? Take punching down a jack for example.
Step one. Strip back the cable jacket. Put the cable into a striping tool and spin it around a few times. Remove the jacket after making sure the jacket is out. Then gently pull away the wire pairs from the center of the wires to make them fan out. Try to strengthen the ends so that you can make them easier to terminate later.
Step two. Put the wires in the jack. Get rid of the protective cover of the jack and put the cable into the block of the jack. Then insert each branch of the wires into its own separate slot, making sure that the wire matches the A or B configuration.
Step three. Terminate the conductor wires. Press the punch down tool on the conductor wires to cut them. Make sure the cut part of the blade comes into contact with the long sturdy side of the jack, which will ensure the wires to be cut are flush with the jack. In this process, try to punch straight down to prevent the jack from bending. Once you heard a loud click, it means you have terminated the wire correctly.
Step four. Check out the wires. Having finished the termination, do not forget to inspect it. Try to look at each wire to make sure there is no overhang out the side of the jack. Once ensuring the termination is finished successfully, remember to snap a dust cap in place so that the wires are protected.
Considerations for Choosing a Right Punch Down Tool
If you have experience of terminating cables like Cat5e, Cat6 or Cat6a which are needed to connect with keystone jacks, you may know clearly how important it is to have a suitable punch down tool at your side when installing cables. If you want to make your installation work faster and easier, the following considerations may help you.
Improve speed. In order to finish work faster, the first factor to consider is speed. As we have mentioned above, technicians must first strip the outer jacket and put the wire in the right slots during the punch down process. Therefore, a good punch down tool needs to help technicians finish the procedure quickly.
Increase accuracy. This is another factor technicians need to consider. You can image that if a technician has to terminate more than one hundred wires, how can he ensure that no mistake occurs all the time? Improper termination can result in network downtime and waste technicians’ time and resources. So whether a punch down tool can help workers increase accuracy or not should be taken into consideration.
Reduce fatigue. After working for a long time, tiredness cannot be avoided. Reducing hand fatigue is a critical factor in wire terminations, especially for technicians who will work in large job sites. Because small mistakes may lead to lots of sources wasted.
Usability. Good punch down tools should have features such as easy-to-use handles and easy for operations, which allow for high usability across a wide range of settings and requirements.
Punch down tools are a necessary part in cable installations. A decent tool can make the work of technicians easier when installing and maintaining cable, and it also can help operators save money. In a word, it’s beneficial to choose a suitable punch down tool.