How to Terminate CAT 5 Cable With an RJ-45 Connector




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In this Instructable, i will teach you how to Terminate CAT 5 Cable with an RJ-45 Connector. This is easy when you get the hang of it, and becomes second nature after about 15-20 minutes. After you learn to Terminate CAT 5 Cable, you will be well on the road to Terminate 4 & 6 Wire Telephone Cable, and have a slight idea about Coaxial Terminations. I will be VERY shortly be making an Instructable about Terminating Coaxial cable as well.

This is a great skill to know especially if you decide that you want to persue a networking career sometime in life. For those who have NO intentions on becoming a networking specialist, this is a great skill to have that will save you hundreds to pay someone to come out and do these things for you. You may need to shorten cable, change the location of the cable to a more convenient spot, or you might have moved, and now you are having trouble figuring out where you need to route your cables for your network.

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Step 1: Materials Needed

Here is what you will need to complete this project:

CAT 5 Cable (Length is custom to your project but its smart to have a few samples ready for practice)
RJ-45 Connectors
Connector/Cable Boots (they make matching color boots for your color of CAT 5)
RJ-45 Crimping tool (found @ lowes or home depot)

A word on your tools:
The crimper i have is a combo tool made by IDEAL that included a RJ-45 die, and a 6 wire Tele. Cable Connector die. it also included connectors for both types of cable and costed me about $50.00 give or take. this will be the most expensive part of your project, but in the long run worth every penny.

Step 2: Cut & Strip the Cable

On your Crimpers ther is also a set of wire cutters, and two cable strippers. Cut about 1/4-1/2 of the end of the CAT V cable off to ensure that you have an even cut on the inner wires within the cable casing. In the case of CAT V cable, you are going to use the CAT V side of the strippers. This is a half circle with a blade above it. Stick about 1" of the cable into the half circle of the casing stripper (the 1" should be on or after the blade). this is important because in the next step you are going to be unraveling all 4 pairs of the exposed wire and will need to cut off a considerable amount of the underlying wire to be even with the inside of the RJ-45 Connector.

Step 3:

After stripping the cable casing off of the 1" or cable, unravel all the pairs of wire and straighten them out as best you can. this makes it easier to insert the wires into the RJ-45 Connector.

The order of the wires is as follows:

Orange White (OW), Orange (O), Green White (GW), Blue (B), Blue White (BW), Green (G), Brown White (BRW), Brown (BR)

One of the pictures is actually tagged with the order of the wires.
After you have ordered the wires, you will have to trim the wires EVEN ALL THE WAY ACROSS. Leave about 1/4" of wire. this is important as the wires need to butt against the plastic of the RJ-45 Connector.

The screenshot diagram shows two ways that you can order and terminate the wires inside the connector, however i have tagged the one that i am using in this instructable. Technically speaking you can order the wires in the connector ANY way you want so long as the other side is ordered EXACTLY the same, and the cable would work the same way every time.

Step 4:

Insert the RJ-45 Connector with the cable routed correctly into the Connector Crimping Die, and then squeeze the handles together until you hear a click. that click is a cable clamp being secured into place to keep the cable from slipping out of place and tearing the wires loose fron their terminations.

Step 5:

Now your going to install a cable connector boot. this adds protection to the cable at the termination so the cable doesnt chafe and get ruined and extends the cable life. After you have slid on the first boot, you need to slide the second one on in the opposite direction so it can cover the termination on the other end of the cable.

Step 6:

Now you will repeat steps 2-5. and after your done with this termination, you will slide the "pre installed" boot down onto the RJ-45 Connector like you did with tha first termination and then your done!!!

Step 7:


If ALL went well, you have just Terminated your very own custom length CAT V Cable. I hope you enjoyed reading and utilizing this instructable as much as i enjoyed making it!!!

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please Comment below OR PM me!! I will be sure to get back with you as soon as i can!!!

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11 Discussions


3 years ago

thank you for invite me here


Reply 4 years ago

you're welcome. I've made so many crossover cables it's not even funny...but keep in mind, crossover cables have a specific function, and if not used for that reason, what you wish to accomplish won't work.


7 years ago on Introduction

I have a 15 year old business card with the diagrams that's becoming quite handy the older I get. What is a crossover cable & what does it accomplish?


1 reply

A crossover cable is an ethernet cable that has two of the four pairs of wires inside it crossed over into each other's respective spot on one end of the cable. in NORMAL x-over cables, its the 1st and 3rd pairs that get crossed over. SEE PICTURES BELOW. IE:


  1   2    3   4   5    6    7      8

X-Over End:

  1    2   3   4    5   6     7     8

The pictures below show what the cable terminations should look like.
Picture 1 is the crossover end, and picture 2 is the normal end.

The X-over cable's purpose is to like two like devices together to share a network connection (such as two laptops, two desktops, a desktop-laptop, etc.), and to link switches together.

Now this explanation is the simplified version. it does not include the Gigabit crossover cables, and "high performance" type x-over cables where MORE than 2 pairs are crossed over. usually a standard x-over cable can support gigabit connections, it just wont have the performance of gigabit.


Was really hesitant to put it there, but thanks. Remember back when I started doing ends. I was so confused, but now one could almost do it blind folded. Now you can show them how to do a crossover cable.
regular end

Crossover end

1 reply

7 years ago on Introduction

For the record everyone, i am currently working on a situation with my instructable where the tags that aid in the steps arent showing up...i know i mention to refer to the tags in a few steps, however i know not why the tags arent showing up. Whenever i figure out what the issue is, i will takt this comment down...until then it is staying up. Thank you for your patience with this matter and thank you again for reading my instructable!!! i hope it helps you!!

Thanks for the comment and better diagram of the termination!!! I actually had to take my camera and snap a picture of my phone's screen to get the diagram i included from my ElecDroid App (so handy to have haha).