Instructables
Alright, the average person may not ever need to terminate (crimp a connector onto) the end of a Category (Cat) 5 cable, but perhaps you will someday. Just in case you do, I hope to create a foolproof guide containing all the information you need to do so. But enough of the intro, you came here for some info, so let's terminate some cables!

The Cat 5 standard has been updated to the Cat 5e standard. However, the crimping configuration remains the same, so these instructions will work for either standard.

There are some excellent additional tips and elaborations on procedure in the comments, so I'd recommend that you read those too as you go through these steps. 
 
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Carina_K3 months ago

I found I stripped about 3/4" of the jacket of, straightened the wires, cut them down and shoved the jacket back up as I put them in and had no issues. Make sure you have a few extra connectors and a bit of extra cable. I messed up twice before getting the hang of this.

cwolsey2 years ago
Good tutorial,

I would say that I would strip a lot more off the jacket (2"). Then trim the wires to the correct length with wire snips or scissors after you have straightened them out and put them in the right order. that way it is a lot less fiddly and you get all the cables exactly the same length. Sometimes if you have a cables slightly shorter than the others it slightly misses the pin as it is crimped. Like the Green and brown wires in the photo above.

That is the way I have been taught anyway :-)
facklere (author)  cwolsey2 years ago
That sounds like a good idea. It would probably be easier to put them in order that way too.
Once the cable jacket (or sheath) has been cut and removed, and the wires are exposed as four pairs, pinch the open end of the cable jacket tightly where the four pairs of wires emerge, and remove the twist in each pair by pulling each individual wire into a straight(-ish) section--repeatedly drawing a thumb and forefinger over the exposed length, allowing the thermoplastic cover of each wire to slide through your finger tips.

Once all eight are done, and while still pinching the end of the cable jacket, order all the wires as they're intended to lay once the connector is crimped. As cwosley has said in a prior comment, once all the eight wires are laid out in the proper order is the time to cut them to length, which you'd do with the blade-and-anvil of the crimping tool.

At this point, as you visually scan across the row of wires you've prepared and have pinched between your thumb and finger, they should alternate between solid-coloured and striped (this is a general description, applicable to either scheme used, A or B). In other words, you shouldn't see two solid-coloured wires adjacent to each other, nor two striped wires. A more through-going sanity check is to ensure that you've arranged the wires in the proper order as described in this instructable.

Immediately after the above checks, insert all eight wires simultaneously into the connector, and with some force. At this point, you can take out some insurance against a missed wire by looking at the connector end-on: you should see eight bright copper wire ends, all lined up, and all at about the same depth behind the (typically) transparent material of the connector itself. Once you've verified that all eight wires are fully inserted (all come to end 'just behind the glass'), and that the cable jacket (or sheath) protrudes into the connector beyond the crimp wedge, complete the job with the crimping tool.
Servelan2 years ago
One way to do this (and as mentioned, you should do more than 1/2") is to take some scissors with fine points and carefully cut along the length of the insulation for the desired distance and then carefully cut around the circumferance of the length of the insulation you want to remove.

If you're planning on making several of these, it helps to have a cable ring tool, which basically works like a small razor blade to cut the insulation around the cable. They're cheap and well worth the cost to eliminate the frustration of having cut one of the actual wires' insulation.
facklere (author)  Servelan2 years ago
My wire strippers have a sort of round cutting area, so I use them to cut most of the way through the outer insulation, and then bend it back and fourth slightly to get the rest of the way through. What does that tool look like? I'm not quite sure which Google Images result to believe.
Home Depot carries a cheap one like this: http://www.aliexpress.com/product-fm-img/325204051-Free-shipping-Punch-Down-RJ45-Cat5-Network-UTP-Cable-Cutter-Stripper-DX0004-wholesalers.html IIRC, it was under $4. Here's another style: http://www.aliexpress.com/product-fm-img/325204051-Free-shipping-Punch-Down-RJ45-Cat5-Network-UTP-Cable-Cutter-Stripper-DX0004-wholesalers.html

They're also known as cable strippers, but that could include coax, so when my then boss objected to my nickname for the thing (not knowing its name, I called it a 'twirly bob', sort of a thingamabob you twirl) I took pains to find out the formal name. : )
facklere (author)  Servelan2 years ago
Thanks.
tigerbomb82 years ago
i cheat when i do this......
i cut 1-1.5 inches of the jacket off then insert the wires one by one... then shove a packet of surgu around it to protect the wire
I managed to find a set of "all in one" crimpers that include the jacket stripper into the design. all you have to do is rotate the crimpers 360* and the jacket falls right off.

When choosing a brand of RJ-45 Connectors, i personally use Belkin. they actually have a section in them that gradually gets to the size of the inner wires, and help to keep the inner wires the way you put them before inserting them into the connector. all in all tho, good instructable!
Servelan2 years ago
One little trick: push the wire into the connector as you do this to make sure that the wires didn't slide out, and then crimp while pushing.
mrmath2 years ago
Back before wireless, I had the cable modem in the office, and the wife's computer in the family room. I had to run 50 feet of cables through the basement to get her Internet. It was so much easier than I thought it would be!

People, it really is this simple. This is a good step by step guide on how to crimp a cable. The rest of the process is just as easy.