Network Tool Upgrade

Today, my old RJ45 Cat5 crimp tool died after too many crimp attempts finally caused its mechanism to give out.  So I drove to my local electronic parts distributor to find a replacement.  From past experiences of easily breaking the plastic tools with my vise-like grip, I knew that I wanted a metal construction with a ratchet.  The counter representative suggested I try the Platinum Tools EZ-RJPRO HD Crimp Tool (P/N 100054); and use the EZ-RJ45 pass through plug connectors (P/N 1000010B.)

I learned my networking skills thanks to Anixter back in 1995.  Back then, Cat5 was state-of-the-art and so companies were aggressively training network engineers on the skill-sets needed to sell network hardware and cable systems.  Crimp tools were basic having a lineage that stretched back to Cat3 telephone cables…and they were expensive because the production was limited…and there were wiring standard competitions (A vs B.) My first crimp tool and scissors came courtesy of Anixter.

Several times since 1995 I’ve replaced my crimp tool.  None of the tools had the positive qualities I look for in my tools.  These replacements didn’t strip the wires well, they broke because of bad plastic, and on the metal tools the tolerances were so bad that after a little bit of use the crimp tool would lose alignment.  In addition the process of properly cutting and inserting the wires to meet Cat5 tolerances to meet strain and crimp requirements was cumbersome.

Platinum Tools Heavy Duty Crimp Tool

As it happens, an inventive mind was at work.  And in 1997 and 1998 several patents were filed by Robert Sullivan.  These patents became the first version of Platinum Tools’ RJ45 crimp tool.  By the way, this tool still is sold and has a suggested MSRP of $59.95.  Keeping with traditions of innovation the third generation of the crimp tool was released to market in 2009.  A call to the company revealed that this third generation tool is selling so fast that they are back-ordered.

The company has posted a video on the internet:

Platinum Tools Demo on EZ-RJPRO HD Crimp Tool Use

So how does it work?  I didn’t have access to the video when I first used the tool.  It was very intuitive to use in part because the company has taken the time to laser etch the pin numbers and the Cat5 wiring specifications on the handles.  The pass through plug connectors are amazing!

With the older tools I would try to smooth and line up the wires and then cut them as straight as possible for an insert in the connector.  This is a time consuming process because you want to keep the twist in the wires into the connector and because improperly seating a single wire strand leads to a bad crimp.  Bad crimps mean having to repeat the process.  And this means more labor and more parts.

This ‘new to me’ pass through connector makes it easy, I could run a single or pairs of the wire into it; this means that it is easy to get the pin placements correct…that was a bonus.  More importantly it prevents a bad crimp which is both a time and a money saver.

And the crimp tool makes it easy to insert and seat the connector prior to the crimp.  With the standard diagram on the front side I could easily compare the wire colors to provide a second quality check that the connector was wired properly.  The crimp tool’s sturdy metal construction with ratchet action assures proper setting of the crimp.  And the cut off blade cleanly sheared off all 8 wires.

The tool is also capable of crimping shielded cables.  The current crimp rating is for 1 gigahertz (GHz)…and there is a rumor that a 10 GHz tool is on the way.

This is one crimp tool that will be staying in my tool box!

Here are some spots to buy the tool and components:

Our webstore,, sells the Platinum Tools EZ-RJPRO HD Crimp Tool P/N 100054 for MSRP of $85.00  We also sell the EZ-RJ45 Cat6+ connectors.

If you want to save some money, try ordering the tool from H R Distributors ( by calling (207) 773-2552.  They sell the crimp tool for $72.54 (item # PLT 100054.)

Published by AmericanSpecialProj

Since 1992 available for technology consulting.

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