A punch down tool helps electricians insert wires, such as an ethernet cable, to patch panels, blocks, or surface mount boxes. It gets its name because it “punches” the wire in place using an impact action. The parts of this hand tool include a handle, spring mechanism, and a removable slotted blade, and some tools include a metal hook to terminate ethernet cables. In many cases, the punch down tool proves more effective than a crimping tool since punch downs cost less and have easier assembly. After the tool makes the connection, the blade cuts off any excess wire.
Punch down tools typically have 66 or 110 blade options, which refer to the type of block the blade works on. When working with a punch down tool, the blade must match the type of block. Many blades work for both 66 and 110 blocks, but some only work on one specific type, so check the label to ensure the blade works on the correct box.
66-blades work on 66 blocks, which connect wires in telephone systems, although due to their larger size and 16 MHz signaling, 66 blocks do not work well for high-speed data circuits. 110 blocks mostly replaced 66 blocks, but you can still find 66-blocks in older systems and Category 5e Certified 66 blocks still meet standards for termination and can still install as new.
110 blocks support 100 MHz or faster signaling, and they work for both telephone and computer networks since their stacking capability allows a higher density of terminations than older blocks.
If you know you will be working on both types, get a tool rated for 66/110 panels.
HomElectrical sells many high-quality Klein Tools punchdown products and parts. Punchdown tools offered include:
HomElectrical also sells replacement blade such as:
In addition, tool kit options include: