Picture of Repair a Broken Ethernet Plug
The locking tab of RJ45 plugs breaks very easily. Replace it by two nylon cable ties (aka zip ties), in minutes.

- This must be regarded as a temporary "Mac Gyver" solution, for home usage.
- Definitely not for IT staff! (no crimper? asking for one in the budget won't get you fired!)
- Before the tab breaks, consider protecting the plug.

Step 1: On Broken RJ45 Locking Tabs...

Picture of On Broken RJ45 Locking Tabs...
There are always some Ethernet cables around with a broken tab. Did you remember to exchange the cable?

Now the RJ45 plug no longer locks properly, making the connection unreliable. You firmly push the plug into the socket, hurray you're connected again! so you forget about the plug until the next lost connection some weeks later, wasting a long time to figure out that it's this damn broken plug again. And so on.

Now it's time to act and grab your RJ45 crimp tool. Oh, you don't have one? Or you're reluctant to use it? so read on...
BassB117 days ago
joshsh4 months ago

What a neat trick. It only takes a few minutes, and really holds in the cable until you press to release, just like the original tab. Having also to press the neck of the tie when inserting the plug is only a minor inconvenience. Like others, I found the zip tie plastic too hard for a small knife, so I used a pair of flush wire cutters, which were convenient for fine-tuning the thickness of the head.

AnonU5 months ago

It's unusual to see decimal values when using English measurements, so
1.8 inches would be better translated as 1 and 13/16 inches.

AnonU5 months ago

It's unusual to see decimal values when using English measurements, so 1.8 inches would be better translated as 1 and 13/16 inches.

AnonU5 months ago

It's unusual to see decimal values when using English measurements, so 1.8 inches would be better translated as 1 and 13/16 inches.

ShwetaV5 months ago

thank you so much.!!!!! it works perfect... actually I had only one zip tie so in replace of second tie I used rubber band and it works perfectly and it takes only 10 minutes to fix it.... thank you so much again and again it was very helpful for me....

Perfect. It was some delicate work to cut the cable to the size. But it fitted and works perfectly (actually my son, 12 years, did the final work). Thanks for the good idea!

lmlei3 years ago
Can people that tried this way confirm if its safe for my laptop...? I LOVE the idea i just hope its safe to use haha
Rybka30 lmlei3 years ago
I used it for few months... and then PC engineer said me it can break ethernet card in computer... i dunno how, but he said it can... :/

There are just a few engineer/technicians etc that make their best profit by selling you the new part that you don't really need. Just a few.

mmykle Rybka303 years ago
It can only break the port if you misjudge the how small to cut the ziptie. If it is too big the cable will get stuck in the port. However in most cases you should be able to get it out by sliding a knife in between the ziptie and the ethernet port.
MarkC147 months ago

I had an occasion to use this instructable tonight and found that three refinements were necessary for the repair to work properly and in sharing them below it is my hope that others will at least give this solution a try because it is a clever option and I would not have thought of it were it not for this site. That said, let's dive in.

1. First, the need to make the zip tie head thinner is necessary and without question, however, the process by which you do it is important. I found that for the zip ties I had it was not possible to use an exacto or disposable precision blade because the plastic was too hard. I ended up using a large butcher knife and a kitchen chopping block. PLEASE use caution when doing this. Take careful note of where your fingers are before cutting. If you have smaller hands or are at all unsure about your ability to do this, get an adult or someone with strong, steady hands to do it for you.

2. Next, it is extremely unlikely that the thinning of the head with a knife will be precise enough. I found it easier and more precise to refine the thinning process with a metal nail file. The one I used has a black plastic handle about 1.25 inches long and the metal file portion is about 2 inches. They are available in the beauty section of any popular store like Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Target, etc.

The thickness must be such that the zip tie head does not stick up above the RJ45 connector when in place. I found it easier to keep the nail file still in one hand while moving the zip tie head back and forth across it.

When the thickness is precisely the same height as the top of the RJ45 connector, the next step is to cut the head of the zip tie to a shorter length, perhaps in half. This is because the point of the "click" which secures the connector in the jack is quite a precise location and my zip tie head was just too long thus causing the notch to be too far back and not click. Use the nail file to file the end square and smooth.

3. Lastly, I found that using a small rubber band around the connector under the zip tie will provide a better spring action. An additional rubber band around the cable and zip tie on the cable area behind the connector entirely will provide additional support and finally about a half inch behind that is where I put the zip tie to hold it all tight. This makes three points (see pictures) where the modified zip tie is held to the cable and this is important because any side to side movement will cause the "click" to fail and the connector to come out of the jack.

Caution: As stated by the author of this instructable, this is a temporary repair and certainly is not something you'd want to do in a business environment for more than a short time period. For the home user, however, it should suffice. However, there are certain jacks where this fix may not be suitable; for example if the jack is hard to access or is where the connector will be the only thing holding the cable in the jack. For the latter, some sort of strain relief rigging is required either with a piece of string or wire holding the cable up or some type of clever cable management. This would most likely occur if the repaired end of the cable was connected to a switch or router mounted on a wall or in a rack. But that's for another article!

Feedback: Some commenters here have suggested that the better solution is to cut off the broken connector altogether and replace it with a new one. Respectfully, this is not always feasible. Having been a network administrator for over a decade, I've run into several situations where an "in the field" repair was the only option.

ThanassisK7 months ago

The cost of RJ45 plugs is less than €0,10 so it is better to change the plug.

It needs 10 minutes if you are not doing that every day

CarolynC27 months ago

Or check out the RJCLIP.

CarolynC27 months ago

CHEAPEST AND EASIEST FIX. Slip a RUBBER BAND all the way under the plug clip if the locking plasticclip is cracked but not broken off. The rubber band will lift the inner non-broken part of the clip just enough for you to hear or feel the click when it locks in place. You can remove the plug by pressing down on the clip and rubber band as usual.

This works for a SEMI-PERMANENT FIX, in case you rarely re-insert the plug, to avoid having the cable plug annoyingly disengage when you accidently move the cable or router, especially when you are unaware of it.

ebasir9 months ago

Problem solved! We are not big fans of wireless networking. A broken plug is a big inconvenience. Fixing it saved us alot of money and frustriation. Great photos. Thank you very much.

I don't know what everyone is going on about, this took me 20 minutes max and it works perfectly. :)
Boygasmo1 year ago

I couldn't cut the head bit, as it is tough as nails. I tried with pair of sheers but it only made it uneven. So I took on another tip, tape the sides of the plug and it should make it snug. Works just fine.

roseuz3 years ago
Ah!!!!!!!!!! What a waste of time and disappointment. I wish I could be as positive as the others, but sorry, that's just not the case. I tried this, which took probably at least an hour with the cutting the head of the tie being the longest. It cracked to the top, but I managed to change the direction of the cut to get it even and finish the job. I also super-glued it and wiped off any excess. It eventually cracked again though.

Once I finally reached the last step, I am able to put it into my Ethernet port, but sometimes must fidget with it to get it pushed in all the way so that when I tug on it I can feel resistance. The second thing that bothered me the most is that it's too difficult to get out and I usually have to pull out my Ethernet cord as I have a non wireless printer that's not in my room and this would frustrate me every time I have to take the cord out.

I guess the easiest and fastest solution, would be to buy a coupler as someone else suggested and a one foot cord and tape the damaged end of the cord into the coupler.

Absolutely agree! The idea is good, but I just spent an hour trying this with various cable-ties and I have to say, the cable is better off without this "fix". I just bought a RJ45 coupler and added another cable.

laxap (author)  glenneroo1 year ago
Sorry for the waste of time... but you have been warned by the important note in the intro. You shall consider this fix as a curiosity.
blueonion1 year ago
I've found super gluing a $3 inline coupler to be easier and more flexible.


N.Khan1 year ago
dude you totally rock! :v
Thank you thank you and thank you so much. Almost every plug I have is broken and I was about to go buy new ends and recrimp them. Now I don't have to.
Love this. This seems like you would want this at the dedicated end,
correct ? Or is this a remedy that works for repeated plug in and unplug uses?
Doncans2 years ago
ingeniosamente simple y espectacularmente útil

ljuwana2 years ago
nice trick...so simple
x burn2 years ago
really brilliant
Fat Aido2 years ago
I am in love with you man! xxx
Great job on the ties!
dmesser3 years ago
This might be fine s a temporary fix. But seriously, just crimp on a new end. They're as cheap as cheap as pull-ties, and you won't have to fiddle with getting the cuts just right. Any home improvement store carries the crimper and ends.
mmcpherson45 years ago
MUAHAHAH!!! NEVER will I EVER be disconnected from Xbox Live because of that cursed cable!!! :D Thanks a bunch dude! 
same here dude - no getting booted from cod or gears!
haha same exact reason im doing this!
An excellent fix for an all too common problem. Saved me hours of laying new cables or renewing connectors. A simple and annoyingly obvious fix once you have seen it done once.
eddles7773 years ago
thanks mate for showing this. i applied to to my own cat-5 cable and also used the same application modified for my old telephone wire cable.
prodo1234 years ago
I can't cut the friggin nylon tie with an extremely sharp razor. Now what, sand it flat?
laxap (author)  prodo1234 years ago
Because the nylon is quite hard, a sharp and sturdy blade+handle is necessary. Use a utility knife (stanley, or snap-off).

Side cutting pliers may also be used.
prodo123 laxap4 years ago
I used a Stanley utility knife and it still won't cut...
Then I used wire cutters and it completely deformed the end
Then I used needle nose pliers and it did the same thing
Sorry but you made me laugh. Have you got a sharp blade installed in the knife? If you use a little backwards and forwards motion and gently push you will make it through the plastic clip. You could use some mineral oil to help with the friction. You have to have some patients, they are tough little pesky things.

If you have a little modelers drill you could use a small sander tip but that would defeat the whole point of this genius repair. Which can be done with little to no tools, I have managed to do this with a set of True Utility Nail Clippers. So keep going and you will succeed.

Good luck.
I got a new Ethernet cable, problem solved.
And yes, it was sharpened at that time. In fact, laying my finger over it got me a small cut. So it looks like there's something wrong with my cable ties. Or maybe it's some industrial-grade cable tie? I don't know.
Oh well . . . got here too late to tell you to try a finger nail clipper. The big ones with a wide flat Jaw for toe nails. This is what I plan to use instead.
This rocks more than a very rocky thing! Thank you!

I have a cable where the tab broke off from being plugged/unplugged every day, so this will be much better than the original tab because it's almost unbreakable!
Finally gave this a try on my cable that keeps coming loose. For a moment I thought it hadn't worked but then I nudged the ties forward a bit and it clicked and locked. Excellent job on this!
julietaodio3 years ago
How clever!!!!!!!! ithis is the most amazing solution for something sooo annoying thank you for reminding me of things like these make the world interesting. I know, a little drama hasn´t killed anybody but it is true 8)
rquader4 years ago
Great fix. I'll try this out on my cables!
This is awsome! Good Job :)
trustr4 years ago
You Sir... are a genius!
weldam4 years ago
brssnkl4 years ago
replacing it is easier
kkroflin4 years ago
Well done!
qdexheimer4 years ago
Had a RJ-45 network cable with both plugs broken. After some hard time, it works perfectly for both sides. Thanks for this wonderful idea, I'll repair a lot of Ethernet Plugs with that method.

Quentin, from France
stsvolga24 years ago
sabladask4 years ago
your the best!!
Thank you!
Such a useful little trick. A bit fiddly, but it's worked perfectly. :)
zamg0d14 years ago
Great way to kill your Ethernet cable.... Ingenious but the tie around the cable itself will will the cable due to the tightness of it..
Mooch074 years ago
Just did this and it works great! Thanks
Wolf Seril4 years ago
Off the top of my head I can think of 3 cables I can use this on. Thank you!
tikeda104 years ago
I found another idea like this.
Icould fixt it in few seconds.
laxap (author)  tikeda104 years ago
cool! That's what I was looking for in the first place...
adr9904 years ago
Awesome! it worked here! :D

Now when I move my PS3 it will stay in there, haha.

Thanks man.
sqeeek4 years ago
Great idea. If I didn't work in network repair and have a pile of connectors sitting around, I'd use it.

FYI if you have a plug you really need to be stable and not break, check out Panduit's RJ45 connectors, the tabs are built a little bit differently so they don't break as fast.
WHD4 years ago
Thank you for this great solution to this pesty problem. It'worked fantastic. Thank again.
Mooch074 years ago
These are my favorite instructables - the ones that are easy, cheap, and everyone will need at some point.
adr9904 years ago
Woah, such a easy and smart solution!

Thanks for this man.
egal4 years ago
thats great ..you have a wide ideas thanks for sharing
neivadan4 years ago
i am glad that you put the measurments or ive would of been scratching my head all day long
ozone3334 years ago
Wow, that's brilliant! I'm impressed... I'm gonna try that ASAP instead of fixing it with my crimper. Imagine how many broken rj45 plugs wouldn't have to be removed and re-crimped... Thanks!
edfarina4 years ago
Magnífica idéia... Meus parabéns!
Com uma idéia muito simples e com um custo baixíssimo, resolveu um problema que para muitos ia custar uma nota... tendo de chamar um "técnico" para "tentar" refazer o cabo...
Já ví muitos apanhando dos RJ-45... =)

Elton Farina / Viamão / RS / Brasil
That is downright ingenious!
I always believed that cable ties could fix anything :)
and duct tape
There needs to be a GREAT SHOOT-OUT between Cable-Ties VS DUCT TAPE There should be at least 2 classes in this shoot out; one WITH a DREMAL Tool ALLOWED and the other class WITHOUT a DREMAL Tool ALLOWED :-) :-)
laxap (author)  WPee5 years ago
I'd be in! Zip-ties w/o Dremel (or whatever class; any would be fun)
WPee laxap5 years ago
OLD SCHOOL DUCT TAPE has a couple of old slogans
"DUCT TAPE can fix anything"
"If DUCT TAPE can't fix it IT CAN"T BE FIXED"

We need a similar slogan for the NEW SCHOOL 'bailing wire' guys who use high tech 'Zip-Ties' and 'Tie-Wraps'.
 Also I would like to include the 'VELCRO' guys too.

Supermancp WPee5 years ago
I've always been partial to: "If you can't DUCK it, _ _ _ _ it." ;)
Blackwo WPee5 years ago
 haha I like it! :D I have to admit I use Duct tape to fix like EVERYTHING. hardly use cable ties...
Supplies needed. 1.Super glue (5g tube or whatever!) 2 Rubber band (About the same width as the plastic TAB LEVER CLIP THING!) Gather the snapped off lever tab (assuming you have it?) and the rubber band. Cut band to roughly same length as tab then apply super glue to the plastic tab but before glueing to the terminal plug put the rubber band beneath the tab & wedge it under the so it fits snugly under the part that's still attached to the plug so when re-joining the broken tab and letting the adhesive take hold leave for a while 'till the certainty that it won't just snap again (don't be inpatient! ) & when using it the plug now has the reassurance of the rubber band to stop it from breaking again.

Well mines been great for quite a good while now!
laxap (author)  Cap_n_Scarlet4 years ago
Great hack too (provided you still have the broken tab)!
The rubber band would solve the breakage if placed there in the first place.
Mine break because of constant removal so the rubber cushions the stress.
I see the sugru stuff protect the tab in the other inscrutable but that's not cheap and looks crap IMO , but whatever rocks your boat. It's given me an idea to look for something to act as a boot so off I goes.
Thanks for the inspiration!
Man, I love you. You solved my problem with 50% of my ethernet cables and gave me something to do with the huge pack of zip ties I bought...
xeon_hl24 years ago
thanks man this will help me now
VERY useful, my father used it too, his cable was broken and he tried to tape it on his laptop but it still fell out.Now he is very thankful to you.=]
laxap (author)  erikos kostarikos4 years ago
Glad it helped!
Popsdacook5 years ago
My grown up, know it all, computer expert kids now think I'm a fix-it God. Once again "Pop can fix anything." I'll never tell them about this site. Thanks for the tip. A great one. Now, what can I do to impress the grandsons?
Cans of coly wich fly to you!
Jet pack
raykholo4 years ago
Awesome use of zip ties!
pikky_team4 years ago
use full idea
rocketguy5 years ago
Nice Hack! This is a great improvised solution, for where that's appropriate.

Furthermore, I'd like to see a tab design that is more like this than the current style, as I've only seen one that doesn't suck, and it's pretty much the same idea but attached at both ends, sorta like a leaf spring.

Two bits of advice though: as others have noted, crushing the cable is both easy to do and a bad thing. I was thinking 5min epoxy on the jack head, but that would be harder to do right. Just be careful I guess.

Secondly, the days of building your own cables is really past, *don't* do it! As much as I love DIY, hand crimping doesn't hold a candle to the $20K machine that does factory made cables, crimp depth and so forth are regulated at the factory, not at the hand crimper. They're generally cheaper store bought than the time you'd spend messing around with it, and goal #1 is reliability.

A bad hand crimp (and they're virtually impossible to do well) can really take a long time to figure out while troubleshooting. The fault can be both intermittent and not bidirectionally broken. The worst part is that it's never clear if it's been done right, even if you have the right heads/cable type. I speak from vast networking experience, 60K+ node network and 16 years on the job. Just not worth it, resist the urge!
Have to disagree, as an IT Technician who installs cat5e cable professionally (for only 2 years, but I've done plenty of retail network installs/moves/remodels, 1000's of terminations, etc), crimping modplugs (rj45s, aka icecubes) is not brain surgery. If you know the basics, a $10 crimper will last you 2 years. The only 3 things you need: Crimper with adjustable stripper, Bag of icecubes, RJ45 4pair Continuity tester. $18.95 on ebay from hongkong, these packages last quite awhile if you take care of them. After you crimp your 2 ends, run the continuity tester while moving around the cable near the modplug. If you get a short(s), cut and reterminate that end. I sell custom length patch cables all the time too and have never had a complaint or return. Do not be afraid to DIY regardless of what people within the industry say!!!
Glad you've had success with it, but on a broader scale and long term, I've seen problems. You can have success with it, but the issue I have is reliability, and in my experience it's something that folks are "getting away with". Sure it will work, even most of the time, but not as well as a precision made cable. This is probably more of an issue for me running a larger enterprise than most businesses. Your odds of having a bad cable in a smaller install is of course less, and if you're doing it all day you're probably better than the occasional use guy. Also you've got a tester, so you've got a fighting chance there. With stranded core and the right type of ends to match, you'll probably do fairly well. I used to do cable installs, much like yourself, and also worked for companies that had their own cable fab plants (where I encountered the aforementioned expensive auto-uber-crimpers), now I'm responsible for a huge and very diverse network. I see everything possible, and a few things that really shouldn't be. (Flat Satin on RJ-45's -CAT-Zero! what moron put this in!?!). In any case, the time spent on custom cables is really only justified cost/benefit wise if there's some specific real need other than "didn't have that length". I'm a huge DIY guy, but I know how to pick my battles. I don't build my own refinery for car oil either. My bar for reliability is very high because I don't have time to fix things at this scale. We run a 60,000+ node network with about 10 guys, so it's gotta be solid. My trouble duty rotations have put me in a position to see what technologies work, and which don't with a large statistical base. But hey, y'all are adults and make up your own minds. I use the best car oil I can find, as the extra $40 saves me $1000's down the road, and I use good network gear as downtime is more expensive in the long run than any equipment cost that's reasonably possible. Last thing, You're just as much "in the industry" as I am. Not like I sell the damn things, I just have to fix it when it's broke.
You have a great point, I can see why you wouldn't want to make every single patch cable within a 60k+ node environment, and for someone responsible for reliability of networks that large, you really wouldn't want to dabble around with crimping/testing patchcables all day. That's agreed. And TBH, I would never mess around with making short patch cables unless I need one in a pinch. With so many people moving to wireless routers, you can pick them up pretty cheap now. Mostly I get calls for 75-100' cables, where people are saving a substantial amount of money buying it from the guy with the bulk cat5e cable boxes for $10 instead of paying $25+ for one (about the cost of 500') instead. I don't mind helping people out locally, selling my leftover patch cables for cheap that I collect from jobs, etc. I only make $2-10 per cable but it costs me nothing to offer them on craigsli st. It's just the DIY mentality I'm trying to promote with that reply. When you have a small network of 2-3 computers, its much more cost efficient to find someone to make you cables and plug them in yourself than to hire a network professional to do the work for you. Your company probably saves a lot of money by buying their patch cables in bulk, but consumers end up paying a lot more in a retail store for something that works no better or worse than one that I make in 2.7 minutes. You are correct and logical in every point you make, we just come from opposite ends of the spectrum. I'm from the school of: stay 2-3 generations behind the 'newest thing' for reliability, cost, and knowledge pertaining to the technology. If something breaks, it costs me much less to replace. New technology only lasts so long anyway. All consumer electronics are engineered to break these days anyway.. I digress =]
amplex amplex5 years ago
On another note: you can buy 100' patch cables for $5 off ebay if you don't mind waiting a few days for them to be shipped =] Pretty cheap compared to say radioshack which wants something like $30-60 for a 100'er. Retail stores sometimes have 100x markup on items like this, which is where they make all their money (used to work @ CompUSA 10 yrs ago, where these items were the only thing that they made money on in the whole store, besides service plans). Premade cables should be very cheap, don't be fooled. And machine crimped/multiple LAN tested cables are way more reliable in general than some random persons custom crimped cable. But the ease/power of being able to make/test them yourself is what I was shooting for in my reply, more in the spirit of this site.
Your ready-made cable is fine, if all you're going to do is run it across the floor.  Mine all go under the house.  I'd have had to drill a 5/16" or larger hole in the floor  instead of the 1/4" or smaller hole to pull a bare cable.  Even the hooded connectors get snagged when you're doing jobs like that.

Bare cable/hand-crimped connectors is the only way to go in these situations.

(Tip: always drill the hole between the baseboard and quarter-round or other shoe molding.  It's usually painted, so if you have to pull out the cable; a little calk/some paint, and you can't tell there was a hole.  IOW, drill at an angle into the top of the shoe molding.)
Actually, what the (bicsi certified etc etc) pros do in this situation is install premise cabling and hardware(jacks).  So instead of putting a male plug on it, use solid core CAT5e and terminate per 568A onto a jack, mounting the jack into a biscuit or wall plate as fits your situation.  This is preferable as the mounted hardware tends to stay still and keeps your pain-in-the-butt-run cable from having issues.  Then a patch cord goes from the jack to your machine.  When the patch is crushed, chewed or otherwise destroyed by furniture pets or toddlers, it's easily replaced and your intra-wall cabling is untouched. 

All that said, this is definitely going for what my mom calls "the nth degree" of reliability. Great and even necessary for an enterprise network, less important for a 3 node home network.  So it's a judgment call.  I'd spend the extra $15 on jacks and stuff if you make a living off it and need it to always work.  But I'm kinda anal about these things, which is why my mom has phrases like "the nth degree" in her vocabulary. 
How is using a hand installed socket any better than using a hand crimped end? I do both, and so long as you're careful and know what you're doing, they'll both turn out just fine.
.  Re-read the comment.
.  Rocketguy's method allows one to easily replace the last few feet of cable (the part that gets the most abuse) instead of messing with the premise wiring. Not necessarily better (each connection introduces some noise/attenuation), just more convenient.
Like others have said, there's no reason a cable hand-crimped is any worse than a factory made cable, just pull out a multimeter and test it before you install. I know that I trust the connectors on a cable I made more than factory-made cables, but I don't trust others to do such a good job. (if it's low-quality wire, and they go bad; that's a separate issue). Of course for a 60,000+ node network, it's impractical to hand-crimp all of them.

However, I would like to note that flat satin is okay for cables shorter than the minimum length of cat5.
1) Hand crimped can work, but it is not as consistent as a quality cable made via machine. I've worked with those machines personally, so I understand some of the differences that actually do exist, in terms of repeatability. I have done both, and while it's appropriate to hand crimp to expedite the occasional connection on your own home network, it shouldn't be a regular professional practice for network installation at the enterprise level. Also most hand crimpers are crap, which may be most of the problem. 2) Flat satin is "CAT-0", no twist at all. It's an antenna for any EMF in the area, and should never be used for network cable. Again, it can be made to function, you could use two car jumper cables and pass traffic, but what you'll end up with is more network errors and a slower network. I've seen this firsthand, and done packet analysis to back it up.
Let me tell you a little something about those "factory cables" you are recommending. I have worked on the commercial building installation side of things where nearly ALL the crimps are hand done, and I have also worked on the "factory" equipment.

To begin with they are about 6 to 8 times more expensive then DIY ones. They only come in predetermined lengths that are generally rarely suitable for the application unless the application has been specifically engineered for them. Next the failure rate for the "factory made" ones is one out of one hundred... about the same as a home crimp... why? because the dies wear, insulation doesn't cut right, wires snap, etc... the reason why the factory ones *Seem* so good is that they are tested before packaging. Even there the tests are quick continuity tests. Only about one in a hundred are sent to QA to be thoroughly tested.

On the home use side, I actually have to have a stash of several different lengths in order to find one that will match and don't get me started on longer runs. If you get the proper tools and a tester there is no reason why a DIY crimp can't be every bit as good as a "factory" crimp. Especially if you make several short practice cables to get the feel for doing it.

Maybe you have the nice deep corporate budget and regimented installation where factory crimped cables turn out to be easier but the average Instructables user does not have that luxury.

Finally, this is an expedient that is especially useful for field work and for low stress applications where the wiring only gets disturbed occasionally. I have had the clips snap off the ends of a perfectly good cable several times when trying to reroute the cable and this "fix" is an excellent idea.

Getting factory made whenever possible is a great idea because you have the option of returning it to the place of purchase if it fails out of the box. However, DIY can be done every bit as well if not better if taken the time to do carefully and properly.
cegu rocketguy5 years ago
There is no quality or reliablity diffrence betwen your cable or factory cable, if any, yours is better. All the phones all over the world work on cables with man-put connecters on them, factory cables are minority. Tester? A battery and one LED is your tester. It's just a copper wire, nothing more. No need to compare it with oil quality.
kelseymh5 years ago
Congratulations! Apparently the folks at MAKE finally stumbled across this (only 11 months late...), and have put it up on their Web site.
primelec5 years ago
This was really nice when my cable broke thanks so much. www.primelec.com
Kirbsome!5 years ago
My Internet died, and then I remembered this. You good sir, saved my Internet! Five muddy funkin' stars!
pthree5 years ago
I just had to say thanks, so.. there ya' go :)
abadfart5 years ago
very nice but i prefer the crimper but in a pinch i bet you could do with a cople of screw drivers  
Perhaps, but I'd think you would just screw up the connector. You don't just crimp down on the main cable; you must also drive the metal pins into the individual wires. While it could be done, I bet you'd mangle the plastic around them if you weren't super careful/lucky.
ya if you had a really small one and a bigger one it might work
lukeshu lukeshu5 years ago
I stand corrected: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-crimp-a-Network-Cable-with-a-Victorinox-Swi/
Very nice idea! I've just tried this with the Ethernet cable that came with my Xbox 360 and it doesn't work too well because it's one of those Ethernet cables with a large connector 'housing' like this:


Is there a way to fix these types of Ethernet cables? Thanks.
Cut the end off, and put a new connector on? The connectors are cheap, but you need a crimper which isn't.

Else, just shave off the plastic?
hhhttt5 years ago
isn't it called internet
lukeshu hhhttt5 years ago

Strictly speaking, both bmlbytes and crazytrain320 are wrong.

From the bottom up:

The connector being repaired is an 8P connector, specifically an 8P8C. This is often incorrectly called an RJ-45, which is actually a 8P2C connector that was once used in telephone wiring, but didn't catch on.

The cable itself is UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair). Depending on quality, it is either category 5, 5e, or 6 UTP, or just `cat5' (or 5e, or 6) for short. Ethernet refers to standards for the layer 1 (physical) and layer 2 (data-link) layers of the OSI model. Modern versions of Ethernet are part of the IEEE 802.3 standard.
Most modern versions of Ethernet specify that layer 1 be the combination of an 8P8C connector with cat5 UTP or better cable.
Ethernet at layer 2 defines LAN-level transmission and addressing (MAC address).
An ``Ethernet cable'' therefore refers to a cable that is cat5+ UTP with an 8P8C connector at each end.

The TCP/IP protocol stack refers to a protocol stack (more than just TCP and IP) that starts at layer 3 of the OSI model, and extends into the upper layers. TCP/IP is designed to run over Ethernet (although, this isn't strictly necessary).

The Internet is a worldwide TCP/IP internetwork.

I hope this was informative.
bmlbytes hhhttt5 years ago
Ethernet is the proper word in this case. Ethernet is used to describe the physical connections between internet enabled devices that use the RJ-45 plug. RJ-45 is the plastic plug at the end of the cable (the part that had the clip break. To be more technical about it, this cable would be referred to as Catagory 5, Catagory 5e, or Catagory 6 cable, depending on the quality.
Ethernet is a kind of cable to connect you to the intranets
rhoaste5 years ago
Buy a crimper. Replace the RJ45. It works.
i did this. it didn't click though. but it works as a way to wedge the plug in there. can you use zip ties that are rounded?
ac1D5 years ago
Great, did it and it work fine. I have 4-5 cable around in my house with broken pin, the problem will soon be fixed :) I wonder how you got this idea?
laxap (author)  ac1D5 years ago
Launched a mental background subprocess... (which did not turn defunct).

problemsmall + frustrationmuch + ible_mindbit_of + timebg = idea

I was googling for a solution, and did not find any --I really could not believe it. I found US7540756 patent, but nothing to buy anywhere...

knurd laxap5 years ago
I checked out the patent. It has the same basic design flaw as the original, doomed to fail. Laxap has a solutions that is not similarly flawed. great idea he should tweak the design for mass production, apply for a patent. Kudoos Laxap!
this is lovely, very clever
evanpnz5 years ago
Amazing how much interest solving this small but frustrating problem has generated!
920335 years ago
Thanks for this information. I've had these (phone cable) connectors break. Frustratingly I'd just shove the cable into the jack and tape the heck out of it to hold it in place. Worked pretty good.
BjornR5 years ago
I just made some cables useful again. Thanks for this instructable !
mischka5 years ago
This idea is excellent!
SinAmos5 years ago
Done and thanks.
vbrtrmn5 years ago
Great little hack!
eBandit5 years ago
nice idea. Thanks.
Shadow13!5 years ago
One of the clips on a cable of mine broke and I had read your instructable before but I remembered the basics so I was able to experiment and get it to work.
emattrose5 years ago
One time when I was at a robotics competition, there was an accident and an ethernet cable got ripped out of a laptop. Unfortunately the clip on the cable didn't break, something inside the port did, so no cables would stay in place. We had to rig up a velcro harness to hold the cable. I hope that next time something goes wrong the clip breaks instead, so we can use this brilliant solution.
htaeh5 years ago
Very nice.
bunnydeath5 years ago
GREAT Hack. I destroyed one of my good cables to give this a spin. It works like a charm!  Thanks!
laxap (author)  bunnydeath5 years ago
It is quite unusual to hear a feedback like I broke my stuff just to test your trick... ;-)

I'm glad (and relieved) that it worked for you. Thanks.
Lance Mt. laxap5 years ago
 That... Is unusual... Still, with a bucket of cables this is appericated.  
Blackwo5 years ago
 Hey it works pretty well. Used it on 2 different cables. A little disappointing turnout but hey, it's better than nothing =)
juanoporras5 years ago
that is insanely awesome, I mean, seriously, seems like a simple fix but nobody did it before, and the fact that you came up with makes you a macgiver :P, congratulations and thanks for the awesome instructable.
4T6n25 years ago
This is amazing! It actually made me consider breaking all the locking tabs in the house and replacing them.
laxap (author)  4T6n25 years ago
Seriously? You should try with just one, first...
koraygumbur5 years ago
When I buy a cable tie pack, what is meant with the dimensions 35x100mm?
Is 35mm the head width or the cable width?
I not sure which to buy.
laxap (author)  koraygumbur5 years ago
I had a whole bunch of cable ties of various sizes, and was lucky to find the proper size. That said I understand that having to go purchase the right ones can be tricky.

35mm would make really *huge* heads. Mine have 4.3mm wide heads, and are 100mm long. My pack's label reads 100mm 50pc, so maybe your 35x100mm means 35 pieces of 100mm long... 100mm sounds good.

The best would be to be able to measure the head with a caliper.

Good luck!
richyoung5 years ago
Much needed!  Thank you.  ...Rich
newtond5 years ago
 Nice job !
Thank you!
vinsexe5 years ago
dont suppose you have any other idea how to fix this? maybemake it out of icecream lid or something?
i dont have any zip ties atm, besides the ones inside my computer
You could cut off the plug and crimp on a new one
What kind of netbook is that?
laxap (author)  Yerboogieman5 years ago
It's an Acer Aspire One, with flash disk and Linux.

We happen to have a few (ton) of these around the shop, I should try this.

SinAmos5 years ago
This is exactly what used to make instructables great.  But now many of them just aren't that useful.  Thanks for being relevant.:) 
twocvbloke5 years ago
I stick a bit of double-sided tape on the tip of the plug and shove it in, works great but it's only a temporary measure, blu-tak is a more permanent solution though... :P
knexfan91825 years ago
I would try it if i had a broken ethernet connector tap.
Nice. I have one that doesn't stay plugged in on the back of my computer but it still has the clip. I'm not sure why it doesn't stay.
Try clipping a bit off a pen spring and jamming it under the tab, it did wonders for mine
i could try that thanks.
laxap (author)  the_burrito_master5 years ago
Maybe the clip's junction to the plug body has become weak. I'd stick some foam between them to give back the spring effect.
Nice trick
Just sorted out 1 broken catch.
Using a piece of cut up zip tie that was on the floor after unpacking something recently & a new zippy that came with some hardware ( as I don't carry a stock of zip ties!) this killed 2 with 1 stone, all that went to waste was the piece of  cut zippy pulled out of the 1 from the floor.
  Top rated
akkiezand5 years ago
 Absolutely brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
ycc21065 years ago
Zippers, normal plugs... yes, but had never thought about fixing Ethernet plugs ... Thanks exactly what I needed!
Nice guide! I have a lot of broken ethernet cables but don't want to replace them.
draftbounty5 years ago
That's a pretty sweet idea, dude.
Punkguyta5 years ago
This is actually pretty clever.
berslan5 years ago
Although if one owns a zip tie tool (optional), one will most probably have the RJ45 jack press too. But still a great instructable.
threadbare5 years ago
I DID it!!!!! I fix mine using this great technique! Thanks so much for sharing!
Tdotcom5 years ago
AWESOME I have a friend who has a broken cable. Cant wait to try this out. :)
nice instructable...nice emergency repair...while i'm on the go otherwise i would just crimp a new connector...i see you have the acer aspire one!!!the netbook i'm using now!!! anyway nice instructable!
laxap (author)  milo0is0hot05 years ago
Thanks. I'm just loving this Aspire One (Linux w/ 4GB flash). Must find the time to install an Ubuntu distro on it...
yeah i have the 8gb ssd one (i think you have that as well) with linpus light linux...i upgraded to a 60gb hard drive with 1.5gb of ram...i now run xp and ubuntu!!! ubuntu installs with ease...althought i have installed it inside xp...so it can be easily be deleted...also i just got a new 9 cell battery for £36 from ebay and my battery lasts over 8 hours!!! much better than the 1.5hrs that i got from the standard battery...they also do a 12 cell battery which would probably last over 10 hours!!! all good!!! i'm still loving my aspire one after a year!!!although the screen is a little small...
laxap (author)  milo0is0hot05 years ago
very cool, I must do all this... except for XP ;-)
spremoneb5 years ago
BRILLIANT !!! This must be the most creative and original idea in this century. Great close-up photos. Thank you.
laxap (author)  spremoneb5 years ago
Thank you! But the century has still much room for ideas.

Close-up photos credits: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Take-Great-Close-Up-Photos/
All good for the cable end. My problem is the female end. Some fool broke the jack on my computer. Don't have the guts yet to open it up and see how "replaceable" that end is. RetiredLawman
ajparag5 years ago
great idea! i have a broker Ethernet cable too... m surely going to try it. thanks keep posting great ideas
Seems like more work than just recrimping the RJ-45. You can throw a boot on there too so it won't break off next time.
pedz20045 years ago
Ulyssys5 years ago
This is a great fix. Replacing a RJ45 plug can be challenging for someone, like me, who doesn't do it often. Replacing with a new patch cord is not an option if you are working with a long run. My experience with replacing a RJ45: I bought a $10 crimper that lasted for 3 connectors. Bought a better $27 crimper that works great. Buy EZ-RJ45 connectors, by Platinum Tools (15 for $10). The wires run through the connector, so you can check your pattern before you crimp. I cut the wires off square, and close, with a good wire cutter, pull it back just enough to protect the ends, and then us the crimper. Platinum makes a crimper that crimps and trims at the same time, but will set you back $50 to $80, depending on the model. I should have bought it the first time.
hypercube335 years ago
Really the tools to replace the entire thing are cheap. $10 grabs you a bag of plugs, a stripper and crimp tool. Grab some no-snag cables and the clicky isnt going to break off.
One thing to consider is the type of wire you are handling. Twisted pair obviously, but is it solid or stranded? The crimp-on RJ45 connectors are better suited for stranded wire by design. The solid wire is used for port to port connections installed within the walls using patch cords (the more flexible stranded cat 5). The solid wire should be "punched-down" on a patch panel and a "punch-down" style connector - a punch-down tool with a 110 blade is about 60-85 bucks. The adventurous type however, may consider using the back side of a razorknife with an appropriate sized blade.
amplex SpdBmp245 years ago
Do not attempt to punchdown to 110 or 66 blocks with anything other than the cheapest punchdown tool ($10 off ebay)!!! Bad things will happen if you are using an older PBX phone or older equipment which carried a heavier voltage. It won't kill you, but I can't say how many times I was shocked on my first nightmare attempt @ punching down without a punchdown tool (when I was starting out on my own). Plus the fact that I brought an old Premier phone system to its knees and lost a whole stores phone routing (phone ringing thru to intercom and every location), but this was the fault of the CMOS battery in the old premier system being dead, and not saving the routing information after I blew a slowblow fuse from some 66 block buffoonery. Save yourself the hassel and buy a freakin punchdown tool before you attempt it with something else!!! Also, I have punched down stranded core to 66 blocks for my whole career (2 yrs) and never had a problem/complaint. All I use is stranded core UTP.
laxap (author)  hypercube335 years ago
You're very right, the crimp tool & co is the professional solution. And the zip ties, coolness, guerilla DIY -- much what instructables.com is about, right?
Oh indeed. In a pinch with only zip ties and a few other tools, I'd totally do this. I just cant see people who have like 50 cables would go and do this esp as a professional, it seems too tacky to me =)

They should have really designed the plugs this way in the first place (reverse clip) as it cant really be ripped off, just bent off, so pulling on the cable wouldnt hurt it, and it wouldnt snag or tear off moving the cable through a switch mess. =)
someone should market cable ends like that because I hate the no snag cover things and am always breaking the clips off.
$60+ plus another $15+ for the crimper and parts vs 300+ Zap Straps in the cupboard.....(and the chance to show off what they can be used for)...I'll go with this Great Instructable!
SPORTcoupe5 years ago
Slick, very slick. Definitely innovative. Great job.
I have always thought that the clips on ethernet connectors should come from the cable toward the port instead of from the port toward the cable. That would prevent them from snagging when they are pulled threw a tangled mess. Instead, the makers have created a dozen or so different protective boots. LAME!
And the protective boots are a pain in the butt to unplug at times (in small spaces). I feel your pain, I've had a few of the clips break off rerouting cables through cashwraps etc. The best thing you can do is be gentle pulling them. Having the clip come from the cable end would alleviate this problem, wonder why no cable manufacturer has ever implemented this. (To sell more cables? =)
favrock5 years ago
GOOOOOD idea! Congratulations!
samirsky5 years ago
This is something I can really use! Thanks.
GeekyAdam5 years ago
I'm getting my networking stuff set up in a new room in my house and realized many of my cables are missing one or both fastener clips, so I couldn't use them without fear of them falling out. I was honestly planning on buying a bulk lot of ethernet cords on eBay this weekend, but then I came across this. Thanks tons!
hugmann5 years ago
Excellent solution for the broken tab. I'm in charge of several laptops during the tax season. The tabs on the cables are fine but the little tabs on the laptop that hold onto the tab on the cable have broken. Our solution, duct tape. I'm looking for a solution that doesn't mean replacing the jack.
debrata5 years ago
Kudos :-) Really cool idea and time saver.
BlueFusion5 years ago
Oh wow. Best idea I've seen in ages. This is true innovation... excellent work :)
WoundedEgo5 years ago
So clever.
Yayyy! Great instructable! Will implement ASAP!
infargo5 years ago
Don't squeeze the cable too hard... esp plenum rated wires. wires inside can be compromised over time (teflon is soft) SpdBmp24 has a point, but you can get RJ45s for either stranded or solid wire. There is a "universal" connector, but it doesn't work very well with either wire type.
Barts5 years ago
Nice, now I finally know why I kept all these broken cables around ;-)
jridley5 years ago
This is a pretty cool idea. Of course, $10 at Deal Extreme buys the crimp tool that will also do phone connectors,and they have the connectors for $2 for 20. Then you can not only repair broken cables but make custom length cables, which I find very useful for keeping things neat - no need to use a 5 foot cable to get between 2 ports on neighboring switches/routers, etc.
deeeveeeg5 years ago
Nice idea and well done Instructable. I've replaced a lot of cable ends too, but with a cat3/5 crimping tool. Many a time I could have used this idea to keep a network happy until a"real" cable were available..
barri_kid5 years ago
This is really nice, I need to find a few of these since I have a lot of broken ones.
mistere3275 years ago
I was told years ago that when these types of plugs (RJ-11, RJ-45) were designed (by some folks at Western Electric) they worked to a specification that required the connector should withstand 50 insert-remove cycles. This repair might well last longer than the original!
Gonazar5 years ago
Nicely done, but lol, did you break off the tab for the sake of the instructable?
laxap (author)  Gonazar5 years ago
Maybe I bought it pre-broken, lol.
bitterbug laxap5 years ago
I was going to put a new end on a broken cable, but now I'm going to have to try this out instead. And I actually have the "proper" tools. This just looks fun to try. Cool instructable :)
This is a great idea! I would normally crimp a new connector, buy hey sometimes you just cant ant the moment. Excellent instructable!
ecanod5 years ago
awesome, simple and effective. One of the best Instructables I have seen recently
laxap (author)  ecanod5 years ago
madmikeIII5 years ago
thanks to you, I have now found the need for some more tools in my Hi-Tech arsenel of computer repair tools................ Nice one too. Mike
Nice instructable. Helped me alot
jad515 years ago
Nice job, probably better than the original. Thanks for the instructable
fatrickuk5 years ago
Very good idea to use existing materials!!
seamster5 years ago
This is great!
Drakeler5 years ago
Nicely done, now i can fix that dang cable at home, it's really annoying lol
pantalone5 years ago
Brilliant! Thanks for this great tip.
ed lozada5 years ago
Nice idea. I have replaced a lot of broken plugs of this type but it have not occurred to be that it could be repaired. now i can repair a plug when one breaks the lock.
jray435 years ago
Nicely done. Great idea. Fixed 2 cables that I was going to re-crimp a new rj-45 on. Saved me the hassle and the chance of messing the TP order. THX for sharing! J
le-Sid5 years ago
whoa..... time to find those left out cables _
Really nice job
++ for my favorites
kissiltur5 years ago
The thing I really like about this is that the repaired cable is actually more robust than the old one: there's no way the replacement locking tab can get torn off when pulling the cable through a rat's nest of cables. Top marks!
rch5 years ago
I have been on this site for over a year, and this is the first instructable I have responded to. Excellent job on figuring out how to make a simple repair for a frustrating common occurrence. Better yet, being able to create an instructable to help us out of the dilemma! Kudos....
glut5 years ago
Simple but effective i'll use it shortly for my job
Marche5 years ago
Woah! You're my new favorite person! Thanks a bunch! I have huge bags of zip-ties and a ton of broken Ethernet cables.
laxap (author)  Marche5 years ago
Thanks, I feel so flattered :-)
denisedm45 years ago
Wow great idea!!!
mattccc5 years ago
nice idea
jxrgen5 years ago
Just fantastic! And so elegant.
knife1415 years ago
EXCLLENT!! What a neat, simple solution to a very common problem.
mowdish5 years ago
buteomont5 years ago
I love simple, elegant solutions to common problems like this. Brilliant!
allanspear5 years ago
Thanks for this great idea! I will certainly be using it.
robotguy45 years ago
l8nite5 years ago
thats a really cool repair ! !
brilliant. :] half of my cables are snapped.
osgeld5 years ago
I have a crimp tool but they are a tad pricey for what little use I give it, so kudos for a good idea