How Many Stars are in Your Toolbelt?

May 16, 2018 / General, Standard and Certification, Best Practices

We talk a lot about certifying copper cable plants using Fluke Networks’ DSX CableAnalyzer series certifiers, but voice, video and data deployments start with technicians having the right copper installation tools.

While Fluke Networks offers a wide range of copper and fiber installation tools designed to streamline the job and make you more productive, we thought it would be fun to take a look at our top 5 everyday copper installation tools from an point of view.

1. Can Wrench - 4.7 Stars

Perfect for allowing universal access to telephone boxes and pedestals, our can wrench may not be the most exciting tool in your toolbelt, but with a 4.7-star rating on Amazon and reviews like, “A day in the networking business without this tool is a sad day,” it’s definitely a tool worth mentioning.

With two color-coded hex head sockets (7/16 inch and 3/8 inch) that have reduced outside diameters, the can wrench fits all new network interface devices. And the socket ends are guaranteed not to split or break up to a maximum torque of 45 ft. lbs. The can wrenches are also available with wire strippers built right into the barrel, with one slot for the outer jacket and another for either 22 AWG or 24 AWG conductors.

2. D-Snips – 4.5 Stars

One of Fluke Networks’ most popular everyday technician tools for the fastest cutting and stripping of cables is our D-Snips Heavy Duty Wire Strippers. Ergonomically-designed to provide 1 to 1 ½ times the cutting force with half the effort, these high-quality, steel-constructed D-Snips can cut up to 16 AWG solid wire or 12 AWG stranded wire and include a notched blade for stripping 19 AWG and 23 AWG wire.

It’s no wonder they get 4.5 stars and why Amazon buyer James says, “You owe it to yourself to own a pair of theese if you do any type of low-voltage work.” It’s also why Amazon buyer Dan might want to keep them under lock and key—apparently his employee keeps trying to run off with them.

3. JackRapid™ Punch Down Tool – 4.4 Stars

Still popular since introduced over a decade ago, Fluke Networks’ patented JackRapid™ termination tool saves time and increases accuracy by seating and terminating all 8 wires of a jack at once with one simple squeeze, ensuring quality and consistent terminations. The built-in blade even cuts off the excess wires, eliminating the need for that secondary trim step. And its simple, one-handed operation is a big hit with Amazon buyers.

According to one reviewer, it works perfectly every time with major labor saved and is perfect for punching down when standing in high places or in any awkward position. But watch out! You don’t want to be like Amazon purchaser Matt who is sad that what he considered the best tool for termination was recently stolen out of his work truck. Sorry, Matt.

4. D914™ Series Impact Tool – 4.1 Stars

The industry’s only impact punchdown tools that combines torque and impact in one tool, Fluke Networks’ D914 Series impact punch down tool provides quality terminations on the first punch. It includes a built-in hook to remove terminated wires or to help trace wires and a spudger to remove the cross-connect module from the mounting bracket.

With quick and easy blade replacement and extra blade storage in the automatic spring handle that offers low impact for 24/26 AWG wire or high impact for 22 AWG wire, it’s no wonder it’s considered the de facto standard for punchdown tools globally. Just ask Jose who gave it 5 stars on Amazon and thinks it’s the best punchdown tool hands down. “Marvelous” was how he described it.

5. Modular Crimper – 4.1 Stars

Fluke Networks’ all-in-one heavy duty wire crimping tool for crimping 8-position RJ-45 connectors and 4-and 6- position RJ-11 and RJ-12 connectors improves efficiency and productivity when you’re installing copper cable plants. Ratchet-controlled with an embedded flat cable cutter and stripper, this modular crimper gets plenty of kudos on Amazon. Netty says, “I haven’t had a single connection that needed to be recrimped. This thing does exactly what you need it to do—nothing more, nothing less.”

These top-rated tools are just some of what you might want in your toolbelt. There’s a lot more where those came from so check out our copper termination tools selection guide or visit the installation tool section of our website.

And you might just find exactly what you need on One option is our Pro-Tool™s Kit. It includes the most essential installation and termination tools, including the D914 impact tool, D-Snips, cable stripper and more—all in a sleek, form-fitting PVC Dur-A-Grip™ Tool Pouch. Like Amazon reviewer Eric T says, “If you do wiring for a living, you can't go wrong with this.”

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