Wire, Cable, and Connector Tools Information
Wire, cable and connector tools are used to assemble and install wires, cables and connectors. There are many different types of products. Categories include tool kits, cable tie guns, crimpers, cutters or scissors, connector extractors, pin extractors, inserters, cable knives, pliers, polishing tools, pressers, punch down tools, screwdrivers, soldering and de-soldering tools, splicers, strippers, strap wrenches, torque wrenches, and wire or cable pulling grips. Wire, cable and connector tools can also be categorized by technology. Choices include hand tools, electrical tools, hydraulic tools, and pneumatic tools. Application or connector type is also an important consideration.
Variations in Capabilities
Wire, cable and connector tools vary in terms of capabilities. Tool kits are complete packages for assembly and installation. Cable tie guns are used to tighten ties around wire and cable bundles. Crimpers are connector assembly and installation tools for bending, curling, or corrugating wires or cables. Connector extractors are used to extract electrical connectors from their mounting. Pin extractors and inserters are used to extract or insert pins. Pliers are tools for gripping and cutting wires or connectors. Examples include soft jaw adjustable pliers, circular ring pliers, and connector holding pliers. Punchdown tools are used to push wires into slots. There are two basic types: impact and non-impact. Splicers are used to join wires or cables together. Strippers are wire, cable and connector tools that are used to remove the cover or insulation from conductors.
Wire, cable and connector tools include screwdrivers, strap wrenches and torque wrenches. Screwdrivers are used to insert, loosen, tighten, or remove screws in electrical connectors and assemblies. Strap wrenches are specialized wrenches for installing or assembling connectors. They generally provide a uniform grip around the diameter of the connector and avoid pressure points. Torque wrenches provide precise levels of torque when fastening nuts or bolts. Other types of wire, cable and connector tools include cable knives, polishing tools, and pressers.
Connector types and applications are important considerations when selecting wire, cable and connector tools. Common connector types include advanced telecom computing architecture or AdvancedTCA (ATCA), Bayonet Neil-Concelman (BNC), CompactPCI (cPCI), Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN), IEEE 1394 or FireWire® (Apple Computer), radio frequency (RF), single in-line package (SIP), dual in-line package (DIP), and universal serial bus (USB). Registered jack (RJ) connectors are a subcategory of modular connectors. RJ-11 and RJ-45 are common types. Some wire, cable and connector tools are designed for use with audio or video connectors, coaxial connectors, or D-subminiature (D-sub) connectors. Others are designed for use with connectors that meet U.S. military specifications (MIL-SPEC).