What is a Punch Down Tool

Posted on by FS.COM

A punch down tool is commonly used for the termination works in the copper network. Copper networks are most built by the twisted-pair cables like the Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6 and some newer standard Ethernet cables. These Ethernet cables usually need to be terminated with the keystone jacks, cross-connect blocks or patch panels. The punch down tools can be also called a punchdown tool or a Krone punch down tool, which is a small hand tool used by the telecommunication and network technicians. It is used to terminate the Ethernet cables by inserting the cables wires into the insulation-displacement connectors (IDC) on the punch down blocks, patch panels, keystone modules, and surface mount of boxes.

IDC is a little knife blade with a V-shaped gap or slit between them. In the working process, the punch down tool punches down and force the Ethernet twisted-pair cable conductor into the V-shaped gap. Then the IDC connector makes contact by cutting through, or displacing, the insulations around a single conductor inside a twisted-pair cable.

Most punch down tools are of the impact type, consisting of a handle, an internal spring mechanism, and a removable slotted blade. A punch-down tool is really just a handle with a special blade that fits a particular IDC.

what is a punch down tool

To accommodate different connector types, there are punch down tools with 66, 110, BIX and krone blades. Different blades are used depending on whether you are terminating 110 blocks or 66-blocks. The 66-block is mostly used in cross-connect blocks for voice cross-connects. The 110-block is now generic in usage and is a newer design by AT&T. 110 Block is most used for data network, although it is not absolutely so. Though the blades for each type are pretty different, most punch down tools on the market today can accept both types.

Substitute for a Punch Down Tool

The process of punching down a wire properly takes a considerable amount of force. You could just use a small flat-blade screwdriver as a substitute for a punch down tool. It is vital that you should take care no to break the thin wire before it makes contact with the desired slot.

Needle-nose pliers

Needle-nose pliers are also a viable option to replace a punch-down tool for occasional use. If you can find a small electronics set of pliers, it would often include a thin, bent-nose tool that aids in reaching behind challenging angles to push the wire between its slots.

Spring-loaded Nail Sets

A spring-loaded nail set is a standard nail set that incorporates a spring much like a small door spring to allow it to be snapped to generate force in a tight spot. In a time of need, you can grind it down to a flat blade than you can apply a similar force to a jack.

Tool-less Jacks

You can purchase slightly more expensive Ethernet jacks at any home store which utilize a tool-less design. In this design, the eight wires of an Ethernet cable are “grabbed” by a jaw-like interface and snapped and locked shut.

To do to the punching down the with the substitute above can be a good choice when you don’t have a punchdown tool on you hand. Buy it may be hard for an unpracticed man to control the force to the wires with the substitutes. By using the punch down tool helps you in applying the right amount of force in the right direction and assures a firm connection. FiberStore supply 110 punch down tool, Krone punch down tool and many other fiber optic tester and tools with competitive price.

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January 2017
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