Introduction: How to Crimp a Network Cable With a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife

Picture of How to Crimp a Network Cable With a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife

The need is the mother of the creativity. As a Support Technician, many situations make me try some unusual ways to solve troubles. This one is a good sample, when I need to crimp a CAT5 network cable in a Bank here in Brazil, but I haven't my crimper tool with me. My Victorinox Tinker is always on my pocket, so I try to do the task only with it and works very well! MacGyver will be proud about me! ;)

So, it is one more Instructable for all of you, my friends of this website, and as in all my Instructbles, I'm sorry about English Language mistakes, ok?

Please give me your comments!

With Best Regards!


Step 1: The Material List

Picture of The Material List

To do this job, you only need:

- 01 Swiss Army Knife with a blade, can opener and bottle opener. The most basic Victorinox models have those implements (Tinker, Camper, Spartan, etc.)
- RJ45 connectors
- Network (like Furukawa) cable.

Step 2: Step One: Peeling the Cable

Picture of Step One: Peeling the Cable

Take 2 or 3 centimeters of the cable and with the blade, cut it out, taking care to do not cut the internal coloured strings.

Step 3: Step Two: Separe the Color Sequence

Picture of Step Two: Separe the Color Sequence

Now you must to make the color sequence for your cable. For standard, we in Brazil use the two sides as:

White Green / Green
White Orange / Blue
White Blue/ Orange
White Brown / Brown

If you need a cross cable, one side must folow the sequence above and the other side must be:

White Orenge / Orange
White Green / Blue
White Blue / Green
White Brown / Brown

This is the standard used here. I don't know the standard used in other places, so please be sure to the standard used in your place, ok?

Step 4: Step Three: Cutting the Strings

Picture of Step Three: Cutting the Strings

Now you must to cut the strings, in order to make your crimping easy.

On a hard surface, press the blade over the strings and cut, leaving 1 to 1,5 centimeters to crimp.

Step 5: Step Four: Place the Cable on the Connector

Picture of Step Four: Place the Cable on the Connector

Now you need to place the cable on the connector. Just look to the metal connectors and place the cable inside, using the same sequence of colors.

White green on the first connector
Green on the second
White orange on the third
Blue on the fourth
White blue on the fifth
Orange on the sixth
White brown on the seventh
Brown on the eighth

Or using your local standard.

Be sure that each string goes until the end of the connector. Only one string that not reach the end can be a trouble for your work.

Step 6: Step Five: Crimping the Cable

Picture of Step Five: Crimping the Cable

Now is the hard work. Use the can opener top (on Victorinox models it have a small screwdriver on it) and push strongly each connector in, in order to make it bypass each string. Do it with each of the eight connectors. After place each connector down, look each one to see if all are in the same line.

Be sure to do not brake the plastic around the connectors.

Step 7: Step Six: Fix the Cable on the Connector

Picture of Step Six: Fix the Cable on the Connector

Now take the bottle opener and place it on the down part of the connector where is the piece that will fix the cable. Push strongly the piece down with the bottle opener.

Step 8: Done!

Picture of Done!

You have now a crimped network cable with your Swiss Army Knife. Pull softly the connector and the cable to ensure that it is well crimped and fixed.

Now, just plug and use it!

Thank you for read more this Instructable and I hope it can help you in your IT emergency needs!

Again, please place your comments about this instructable!

Best Regards!

Cesar Scavone


AndyGadget (author)2008-12-14

I've always used a slightly different order and your instructable made me wonder why. The reason is I use EIA/TIA 568B whereas you are using EIA/TIA 568A where the greens and the oranges are swapped. (I love standards - there's always so many to choose from ;¬)
Here's a LINK to the detail.

Poland, Europe here: I see almost exclusively 568B (and A for cross-over cables, but with auto-MDIX in modern devices it's no longer necessary).

cesarscavone (author)AndyGadget2008-12-15

Here in Brazil the standard is to use White Green/Green first. Regards!

dudeman999 (author)cesarscavone2008-12-24

Here in the states we use A for residential and B for commercial installs. I got all confused when I started a new job and they had a crazy wiring scheme (568B). As long as their terminated the same on both sides it will work, not to say it wont confuse someone else when they see you did something crazy. This is an AWESOME tutorial BTW.

ab727 (author)2012-03-05

Thanks for this.
I had purchased a network cable of about 15m length but my computer refused to connect to the internet via the cable - "Low or no connectivity". I talked to the guy from whom I had purchased it and he opined that it might be due to the length. So, I bought some RJ45 connectors, cut the cable to about 5m. One side already had the connector so I just crimped the other side.
I used the following wire pairing though -

Orange / Whit Orange
Green / White Green
Blue / White Blue
Brown/ White Brown

I was confused with all the standards and stuff and so I just mirrored the pairings that were on the other side, the one where the RJ45 connector was still intact.
I reasoned that it the connection works - good, otherwise I'd cut out both the connectors and re-crimp them using your pairing scheme. Luckily the connection is working.
Any reason why we use different pairings schemes when the simple scheme that I used also works?

cesarscavone (author)ab7272012-03-07

The error in network connectivity isn't because the length of the cable. Companies send network access via RJ45 between floors of distance, running inside tubes inside the walls (sometimes, some hundreds of meters are used to link a desktop to a server or network station). So, if the connection worked after new crimp, the original one may be failed.

Color Schemes are not important at all, since inside colored wires are only coper strings, so despite the color scheme used, since it is the same in both sides, you have connection (as parallel cable... for data transfer you need to invert some pairs, to build a cross cable).

I'm happy they your connection is running! Enjoy!

Connectivity errors have various causes; sometimes the physical layer (i.e. electronics and cables) is perfectly OK, but there is a problem with the data link layer (switches, MAC addresses) or network layer (IP configuration, routing, firewalls, DHCP, DNS etc.). Or a network is well-secured against connecting just anything, and a router or smart switch won't let devices with unknown MAC addresses to connect.

So, no connection doesn't necessarily mean that the cable is wrong. The first thing to test is whether LEDs on the network interface card are lit up... if so, the physical link is probably OK and it's time to look deeper. Packet sniffers etc. come to my mind.

BTW, different pairs are twisted with different pitches (i.e. one has more twists per length than the other), and this influenced a so called wave impedance of a pair. With short 10/100Mbps cables it doesn't matter so much, but with longer runs (50...100m) and gigabit ethernet, bandwidth can be limited.

tdave1 (author)2014-07-18

Thank you very much for giving this information with images to help us. I found this information about How to make Ethernet cable by self,

It good to provide us help to making many thing by using our selves.

Nigh (author)2013-09-26

Thank you!!! It was so easy with this tool ( I have exactly the same knife :) ). I crimped an RJ11 connector. It worked too!

teodoropires (author)2012-03-09

Oi Cesar,

Adorei o instruct. Achei genial a sua solução e já adotei para emergências, pois também já estive na mesma situação.
E fico feliz de encontrar um brasileiro aqui.

Legal Teodoro!

Sabe que esta foi uma situação que ocorreu não apenas uma vez. Por causa de mau uso, cabos de rede são geralmente os primeiros a apresentar defeito, principalmente em terminais de acesso público, como caixas eletrônicos, lan houses e totems de auto atendimento. é uma das conexões mais frágeis que eu conheço e arrebenta com muita facilidade. Pode reparar: sempre tem um cabo de rede para consertar, não importa onde você esteja. Um bom victorinox sempre ajuda numa situaçã odessas! Obrigado pelo comentário!

bunnydeath (author)2010-03-07

 Very nice.  I never leave home without my Swiss Army Knife!

abadfart (author)2009-12-25

nice i figured out that you could do this after i bought my crimper  

econtrerasd (author)2009-10-29

Very nice, I tought it would be harder or maybe imposible without a crimping tool!

lilpepsikraker (author)2009-08-12

;( i have the Signature knife. no can opener. a Sportsman is in the mail, should have one tho.

5* good information, may use it later

Nucleus (author)2009-08-06

Great tutorial I will try it. I have the same knife but it's transparent blue.

cconnector01 (author)2009-02-20

Its difficult but you can trim it slowly. This is good information and i just searched many websites and blogs for this news. But there are no news other than here. thanks for that. Many people learn here the basics.

THank you for your comment. I have looked to your website and you have really cool equipments for cabling. Don't you think in have partnership outside USA? Here in Brazil we havent so nice tools like yours. You can find a reseler here easy! Think about and you may increase your slice of the business! Keep contact! Cesar

AnarchistAsian (author)2008-12-21

ahhh, that's nice. that might come in handy some day for me...

NoPinky (author)2008-11-16

thanks for the instructable, I was browsing the web to find out how the RJ connector is assembled. I didn't notice that the plastic bar you have to push down to hold the cable is movable, so I was wondering how this connector was assembled without moving parts and apparently without cluing. I thought the crimp tool would do some sophisticated trick *LOL* ... now I know :D Thanks

cesarscavone (author)NoPinky2008-11-16

The RJ connector is easy to build.. I have saw how it is make in Modern Marvels (History Channel). The "rails" are pressed inside the plastic connector by a robot that arrange each rail with magnet. Millions of thousands of rails are on a large box that delivers the rails 8 by 8 and a magnetic arm take them and arrange in assembling position. The plastic connector arrives below the arm that push them down until fix. FYK: More than 2 milions of RJ45 connectors are produced each day only in China. Cheers!

Fred82664 (author)2008-11-06

SWEET ! been in them kinds of spots my self

Phil B (author)2008-10-26

Cesar, Your English is fine. There may be some small things where it is not quite as smooth as a native speaker of English, but anyone who has studied a 2nd language knows how difficult it is to do as well in another language as you do in English and will not be at all critical. I learned to do the same thing you have done, but with modular telephone connectors. I did not use a Tinker Swiss Army Knife, even though I have one, but I used a separate small screwdriver. The process is the same. Thanks for the Instructable. It is good and helpful.

cesarscavone (author)Phil B2008-10-26

Dear Phil: Thanks a lot for your comment! I've studied English for many years, but never been on a regular class. My study is based on literature (magazines, books), websites in English (like this one) and movies and music. Yet, I have some online friends (like my Bishop of Orthodox Church that I'm a member, that live in Denver) that help me to improve my practice by Skype or even email. About this Instructable, this was like I tell in the beginning. I am Support Technician of Santander Bank end they send me to install an IBM server on a Bank Agency here in São Paulo, Brazil, but I wasn't in service that day, I was on the street and without any tool with me. The call was an emergency and I needed to attend them as fast as possible. The installation of the server (Disk Image, configuring and placing on the rack) was fine, but at the time of connect it on the network, the RSA cable was damaged, and no other cable was available, AND I SIMPLY CANNOT TO BUY ONE OR BUY A CRIMPER TOOL AT 8:30 PM! And to make the situaton even worse, the switch was about 30 meters far the server (so no other CPU patchcord will have that length). My Tinker was a gift from my wife, so it is like a charm to me, and I carry it to me all the time. So the Tinker was the only tool I have in hands and what I've done was to cut the breaked connector and replace it with another one that came with the server (the kit come with 2 meters (!!!)network cable, 2 connectors, CDs and Manuals). Was a good night of work, and the feeling of "mission completed" filled me. As I know that some situation like this is common to IT Support Guys, I decide to make an Instructable to share this experience. Feel free to contact me by email if you want at ! Thank you for your comment! Best Regards! Cesar

chalky (author)2008-10-26

Good job buddy:)

cesarscavone (author)chalky2008-10-26

Thanks Chalky to visit my instructable! I hope you enjoy! Regards!

About This Instructable




More by cesarscavone:How to crimp a Network Cable with a Victorinox Swiss Army KnifeHow to make your own Victorinox "Style" Keychain for about USD 5.00!High Quality Duct Tape Wallet (with check pocket!)
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