MAKING CAT 5e cables

clintsjones used Ask the Experts™
The very first thing I need is what is the best tool to make cat 5 cable - I have a 1000ft spool and want to make cables but lining them up in the exact order is hard by hand is there something out there that works well and makes it easier to put the cable pair wires in the rj45 clear jack etc....

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Making cables is a pin in the butt. Just buy them, you can get them dirt cheap. Your time is worth more than the mony you will save making cables.
there really is no other way then just trudging through it all.... I would recomend a good end crimper a good pair of side cuts and a sharp knife there is a tool that looks like a cigar cutter for wire that is nice for stripping back the wires that I have used but I don't know were they picked it up at.

No, not that i know of,

but ive always found that when you seperate all the wired, if you keep the bottom of the bear wires pinched as tightly as you can it makes it a hell of a lot easier.


thank you for your imput.. I have made cables just wonder some new tool out..

gbirkemeier  that is not true...  a spool of 1000ft can cost 60.00 while premade cable 100ft can cost 60.00
You can get the sheething cutter a Home Depot. Better ones are availible on-line.
Seriously, How much do you make per hour? How many cables can you make in an hour?
Including parts and time, you will spend more making them than buying them, and the ones you buy will be more reliable.


dont agree but thats me....    I can make money making cables and selling to customer at compusa prices been doing it for a while I know how to make a cable - just want to know if better tools that is all I needed
Ok, so that is a diffrent senario, I agree with you there only because of the Way Over inflated prices of thr retail chains.
As an administrator, my time is better spen elsewhere.
the best tools I have found are sharp side cuts and a good knife an exacto knife is good and the sheathing cutter.  Reduces time greatly; and I agree with you as well have you seen compusa prices for cables??????? whoa!!!!


I know 100ft cable is like 62.00 - when 1000ft is like 70 thats nuts....   Might as well pick a saturday - get some liquor - turn on the TV and just got at... lol  
Good cable stripper:|70478|

Good Cutters:|70363|

Handy for untwisting pairs:|70560|

Good crimper:|70561|

Also, get crimpers (as above) that have interchaingable dies so you can match the die to the RJ45 brand you are using. This will result in a more reliable crimp.

Ok here's my $.02

I haven't seen a tool that makes stripping/laying out the pairs easier.  I think that's going to be a manual process anyway you look at it.

I recommend good cutters that actually cut like siscors as opposed to pinch like diagonal cutters.

The main thing to make sure of is that you have the correct plugs.  There are two different types available, one for stranded (patch cords) and one for solid (from the box/spool) wire.  

If you're not sure which type you have you can tell by looking into the end of the new upcrimped plug. Looking at the "fangs" of the contact that will be making contact with the wire, if one is slanted to the left and one is slanted to the right (\/) that is for solid wire. If they are inline straight up (|) that is for stranded wire.

Using the wrong type can/will cause problems.



I really ecourage you to do them yourself. the benefits are that you have an extra skill, and you make them the long you want. in addition it is really important to consider job positions especially for small & meduim businesses where you work as system admin, programmer and tech support. they usually prefer a person with all of these skills.

hope this helps!
making your own cable is way cheaper then buying them.. you can customize the size on site, and you never have to worry about ordering the right size cable beforehand.

practice is the #1 thing you need.  i started making my own cables a couple years back.. now i can easily do both ends in under 2 minutes.  Practice, practice, practice!!

Quality tools is #2.

Here's a link to the tool that i use to make the cables.  Its not too expensive, and has been very good to me.

good luck.  
nevermind, that link didn't work.

go to and search for "ideal rj45"


thanks checking the sites out
Top Expert 2006

Cat 6 cables are actually easier since the tips have the small tray to seperate the wires and keep them straight.. then they just slip right into the rj45 and crimp

Never fancied making Ethernet cables up my self, but having been forced to by necessity I would never buy again. Bought a cheap tool, ruined three plugs then found a way I was happy with and boy is it easy.

Strip cable back much longer than needed, untwist and straighten (easier with long tails). Get in roughly right order and flat, cut to length with cutters.

Use a jewellers type eyeglass to watch the cores in, then crimp when right.
PberSolutions Architect

We use AMP connectors, and it was a bit of a pain at first but I agree, you eventually get really good at it.  Then AMP came out with a little black comb that would hold the wires in place and then you put the comb and all into the connector and crimp.
Top Expert 2006

my 2 cents.

1. The value of prefabricated etherent cable is in the fact that they are made and tested so that every cable is assured to work under specifications.  It is a bit more expensive (especially for the 6ft cables and there about), but for jobs that require that you guarantee performance; the factory made cables assures you up to 99.999% that it will work.

2. If you need to go on the cheap, any crimper will do the trick, I've had a pair from Radio Shack that worked for me for at least 5 years.  And I figure (at least for me) after the 1st 10 cables, you can get really good, whether you like it or not.  And by that time, you've already figured out how to calculate the amount of wire to strip at the end for crimping, and developed a method to ensure that the wires are straight with enough slack for the tip to butt up with the acrylic on the RJ45 connector.  
      Oddly I've never seen the comb that Pber speaks of, I guess just out of curiousity I'll now have to find one, but I've never had issues not using one.

3. If you are pulling horizontal or vertical cabling this is a moot point and there are now worries as you will be punching down solid CAT5e or CAT6 cables anyway; which is incidentally cheaper than the stranded variation.

Top Expert 2013

I agree with others, it is virtually impossible to make cables of the same standard that you can buy, and if you consider your time there is no financial advantage. All cables should be tested and certified when complete, not with a continuity tester, but rather a cable certification tool valued at >$6000

Having said that, you were looking for a way to keep the wires aligned more easily. These high performance connectors from AMP are very easy to use:
They cannot be used with a standard Radio Shack crimper though. You need a tool that accepts the matching die such as the AMP tool.
Using cheap crimpers, with any RJ-45's, will often result in rolled over pins, only making partial connection, visible only with a magnifying glass.

If I make up one more CAT5 cable end it will be the 1,000,000,001th. The only easy way to do it is to make a precise cut on the jacket/ splay and hold the wires between your right thumb and forefinger, stuff them into the RJ-45/crimp when they hit the end. Spend the bux and get good tools:
I completely agree with RobWill.

But hey, it sounds like you already bought your 1000' and have already made up your mind about that.  I have to say, it's your funeral, but if you must proceed, be sure to heed the warning of grsteed

>The main thing to make sure of is that you have the correct plugs.  There are two different types available, one for
>stranded (patch cords) and one for solid (from the box/spool) wire.  
>If you're not sure which type you have you can tell by looking into the end of the new upcrimped plug. Looking at the
>"fangs" of the contact that will be making contact with the wire, if one is slanted to the left and one is slanted
>to the right (\/) that is for solid wire. If they are inline straight up (|) that is for stranded wire.

and booda

>Spend the bux and get good tools

or you're completely screwed (or more than you probably are anyway ;-).


Other than making custom sizes, it is still cheaper to buy the standard sizes.  I purchase 1', 2', 7' and 14' premade and make any other sizes I need myself.  If you find the right supplier, these are real cheap.  You can buy a 1' patch cable to about $1.  You can't make it yourself for that.  For 20' or large, make it yourself.
Top Expert 2006

in a situation which either you the (site person) or the customer site does not require certification that the cables are performing up to specifications; I suppose that between the prefabs and custom made it does come down to individual criterias which can include cost and peace of mind.  

In the financial sector(NYC area at least from my experience); especially on the trading floors where everything is fairly tense (I can't think of another way of describing it), the wiring guys have to certify that their installs meet specifications (Cat5e/6).  The added cost there is something like a Fluke cable tester that prints out the response of the cable according to the signals that are pumped into it.  They easily hit the $10K price range.  

The only saving grace here is I can't think of any other industry that requires this.  (Just to add another twist to this thread)


poinx pleez
Top Expert 2004

If you're looking to make a profit on cabling - why not do what CompUSA does ... do you think THEY make their own cable - heck no.  Get a business license, get an account with a distributor, buy pre-made cable in bulk (say 100 cables or whatever), mark them up to whatever you want, and sell them to your customers - you get the best of both worlds - pre-made (no time cost to you), certified, with an added on markup for profit.

Plus, there is a world of difference in making a Cat5/5e cable and making a Cat6 cable - it's certainly worth less because of the increased complexity and tolerances in Cat6 vas 5/5e.
Here's my 2 cents as well.  I have not been making cables long.  I just do it for fun wiring peoples houses and making cables to bring places.  People love it when you say to them, "Would you like a free ethernet cable?"  They say, "How long?"  You say, "How long you want?  I have a 30' one laying in my house."  They say, "I'll take it thanks."  And then they take you to lunch.  You spend $3 for their cable and you get a $7 lunch.  Great deal.  This is also why I make cables, instead of buy.

Instructions for a NO PINCH:
First, I just cut the plastic longer than I need, about 1/2 inch.  Then I unwined all the cables put them in place.  I don't need to squeeze.  Estimate how much I really need then cut the tip.  Shove it in the RJ45 heads.  Crimp and done.  I made 5 cables in about 10-15 min.  (4 patch and one crossover)

Oh yeah, for RJ45 heads.  Check out Ace.  I bought a box of 6 heads, I think.  For about $3 + no shipping because you can just walk in.  I have not seen it for cheaper.  If you know of cheaper, let me know.  I bought 1000 feet of CAT5 for $30.  I have been known to find cheap prices and being resourceful.  Let me know if you find better ways.  I always want to be better.

Note: I used both a crimper and a knife to cut the plastic.  Knife works better if you are a amateur (this is for those that are reading).  I know everyone above are professionals.  You will cut the cables a lot less.  Man, when I first started I wasted a lot of cabling using a crimper to cut plastic.

Heh, my collegues and I just finished making custom lengths of cables that run from our patch panels to the new core switch we just installed.  Before that, the cables were way too long and thus a bit of a mess.  

We used pretty standard tools mentioned above, but I gotta recommend going with EZ RJ45 crimpers and tips.  If anything, it will help ensure that all of your strands are in the correct order and that all of them are in the right spot for the crimp.  

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