As the trend in our industry continues to move towards the use of IP and Ethernet connectivity for devices, the proper care and termination of cables and connectors is becoming more critical to the development and maintenance of properly functioning systems.
One of the handiest tools for cabling is the “Electrician’s Scissors.” This inexpensive tool looks like a simple pair of scissors but is specifically designed and manufactured for use by our industry’s technicians.
For those of us who have become accustomed to using pocket knives for cable end preparation, these scissors can provide many advantages. Electrician’s Scissors are manufactured with sharp blades specifically designed to make clean cuts through small diameter copper cables such as single conductors in Cat5e/6 UTP cabling. This tool is also highly adept at cutting off excess jacket material and pull strings.
Specifically, what makes these scissors unique are two notches on the top of one of the scissor blades. These notches are sized to provide a stripping pocket for small 22-24 gauge conductors. When individual conductor jackets need to be removed, a technician simply needs to place the conductor in the notch, hold it down with his thumb, and pull the tool. The conductor jacket will either be completely removed or stripped on just one side, in which case the scissors can be used to cut off the excess jacket material. Using these stripping notches eliminates the possibility of cutting all the way through the conductor which can often happen when using a knife or side cutter tool to strip insulation jackets from conductors. The stripping notches also eliminates the potential for “nicking” or partially cutting through the copper conductor, which can cause them to break after an installation is complete.
Consider for a moment, the time and cost associated with service calls due to “nicked” conductors or improperly terminated cables and connectors. For a tool that will usually cost less than $16 USD, a reliable pair of Electrician’s Scissors should be in every technician’s tool bag.