How To Make a Category 6 / Cat6 Patch Cable

ComputerCableStore has created the following "How to Make Cat6 Patch Cables" to help you make your own custom length Cat 6 network cables. Within this "How To" article we have included you will need to find the materials, tools, and information on how to build straight through Category 6 Patch Cords and Crossover Cat6 Patch Cords.

We will discuss materials needed, cable preparation, as well as connector termination.


First of all, building quality network cables depends on ordering the correct materials.  The most important material will be the cable that we will be using. Bulk Cat 6 cable is available in a variety of different types:

Stranded is primarily used for building patch cables. The core of the conductors is comprised of many strands of copper enabling greater flexibility without damaging the copper conductor cores.

Solid cable is primarily used for in-wall or permanent applications. The copper conductor cores are comprised of a single solid strand of copper. This allows for greater transmission distances, however, it can not be flexed repeatedly without causing damage.

Plenum is primarily used for in-wall or permanent applications where the local building codes require that plenum be used. Plenum is essentially the same as solid except the jacketing is comprised of a PVC Teflon mix. This plenum jacket is a low smoke/flame retardant jacket that reduces the amount of toxic fumes that are released into the air in case of a fire.

Stranded is best for building patch cord. The flexible stranded cores will hold up well against the daily abuses these cords inevitably endure. Here at ComputerCableStore we carry Stranded Cat 6 cable in a variety of colors.

Stranded Category 6 is available in the colors shown below.

Other Materials needed:

Cat 6 8p8c RJ45 Modular Connectors with Load Bars
Stripping Tool
Conductor Clipping Tool
Crimping Tool

1000FT Quabbin Cat6 600Mhz Network Cable - Stranded - Beige PVC 1000FT Quabbin Cat6 600Mhz Network Cable - Stranded - Beige PVC

The 1000FT Quabbin Cat6 600Mhz Network Cable - Stranded - Beige PVC from the Computer Cable Store™ has 4 pair, 24 AWG stranded, polyethylene insulation, PVC jacket, unshielded. TIA Category 6 and ISO 11801 Class E patch/jumper cable. Backward compatible with 5 and 5e hardware. Performance tested to 600 M (More Info)
Tool Wire Cutter Tool Wire Cutter

The ICACSWRCTR is a must have compact and light-weight wire cutter. Knife-like blades provides an accurate shear type cut on the cable. (More Info)
1000FT Quabbin Cat6 600Mhz Network Cable - Stranded - Blue PVC 1000FT Quabbin Cat6 600Mhz Network Cable - Stranded - Blue PVC

The 1000FT Quabbin Cat6 600Mhz Network Cable - Stranded - Blue PVC from the Computer Cable Store™ has 4 pair, 24 AWG stranded, polyethylene insulation, PVC jacket, unshielded. TIA Category 6 and ISO 11801 Class E patch/jumper cable. Backward compatible with 5 and 5e hardware. Performance tested to 600 M (More Info)

Step 1: Before we start building our patch cable, you will need to cut a length of Cat6 cable. When cutting your cable be certain to make the correct measurements as there is nothing worse than building a patch cord that will not reach.

Now we begin, by stripping the jacket back approximately 1 inch from the end. To do this, we like to use Ideal's 45-163 Coaxial Stripper.

Exercise caution when striping back the jacket, making certain that the blade depth of your strippers will not damage the conductors but will still cut through the jacketing. If you nick the conductors, it may work fine at first, however, after time the conductors will break or begin to short out.

Strip the Cat6 Cable Pull off the stripped jacket

Step 2: Now that we have the jacket stripped back with the conductor pairs exposed, we will need to separate and straighten them. You can start by pulling the first pair and the last pair to their respective sides (Orange to the left and Brown to the right). Untwist them, but not any further than you have stripped back the jacket. Next we split the green pair. Pull the white/green conductor to the left and the green to the right. This leaves you with the blue pair in the middle. Untwist the blue leaving the white/blue conductor on the left and the blue on the right.

Note: Normally, we wouldn't untwist Cat 6 pairs except when building patch cords. It would be next to impossible to insert the conductors into the proper locations in the connector without untwisting them. (Keep in mind you want to keep as much of the twist of each pair intact in order to meet performance standards).

Cat6 Twisted Pairs Seperate the Pairs Untwist the pairs

Step 3: Now that we have separated and straightened all of the pairs, we need to arrange the conductors into the proper order according to which of the wiring standards you would like to use. For this example we will be wiring via the 568-B standard (most common in patch cords). Please consult the pin-out  to find the proper color codes that reflect your desired wiring standard.  After you have all the wires arranged in the proper order, place them tightly together as show in the picture to the left. Once you have done this, verify that the wires are still in the proper order before continuing to step 4.

Line up the Cat 6 Conductors

Step 4: Now we'll trim the conductors down to fit into the RJ45 connector. When trimming, make sure to make a nice clean cut at a 90 degree angle about 1/2 of an inch from the end of the jacket. If you fail to make a straight cut or cut too short, some of the conductors may not reach the contacts in the connector. If you leave the conductors too long, when crimping the connector, the jacketing will not be gripped leaving all the strain on the conductors. This is not a good situation!  For proper trimming, hold the wires securely in their proper order just at the end of the jacket.

Cut the Conductors Flush Flush Cut Conductors

Step 5: Now that we have our Cat 6 patch cable prepped for termination, we are almost finished.  While still holding the cable firmly, we now need to place the conductors into their proper location in the RJ45 Modular Connector. Hold the RJ45 modular plug with the pins facing up (towards you) and carefully insert the conductors holding firmly to be certain they retain their order. You will need to use a moderate amount of force to properly seat the wires against the contacts in the connector. When this is done, look at the tip of the connector. As illustrated in the picture to the left you should be able to see the end of each conductor indicating that they were fully inserted. Also take note of the colors. All whites on the top and all the colored conductors on the bottom.

Update 10/03/2007: Many customers have reported Cat6 Connectors with load bars much easier to use during the termination process. The load bar is used to align the conductors into the proper order and hold them in place during insertion.

Insert the conductors into the cat6 connector Properly inserted conductors

Step 6: Carefully insert the assembly which you have just completed into a modular crimping tool. When crimping the connector you want to make sure you use the full stroke of the crimp tool so that the contacts properly "bite" into the conductors.  After you have completed the crimp take time to look at the connector and make sure all the pins were crimped and that they made good contact with the conductors.

Crimp the Cat6 Connectors onto the Cat 6 Cable

Step 7: If you are building a straight through (standard) patch cord, terminate the other end by repeating this process from step one using the same wiring scheme as the first. If this is a Crossover cable, return to step one and continue, however, be sure to terminate this end using the wiring scheme that you did not use for the first end.  Terminating one end with 568-B and the other with 568-A creates a crossover.

Properly terminated Cat 6 Patch Cable

Step 8: That's it!  Use a tester to test for continuity and you are done.

Note: If the cord does not test positive for continuity, cut the connector off and start over, or buy one of our pre-made or custom length patch cables.

RJ45 Pinout RJ45 Pinout
Pin # Wire Color
1 White/Green
2 Green
3 White/Orange
4 Blue
5 White/Blue
6 Orange
7 White/Brown
8 Brown

568-A Color Code

Pin # Wire Color
1 White/Orange
2 Orange
3 White/Green
4 Blue
5 White/Blue
6 Green
7 White/Brown
8 Brown

568-B Color Code

568a and 568b Color Codes

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