The 8 Best Fiber Optic Cleaners
This wiki has been updated 11 times since it was first published in January of 2019. Fiber optics are a common method of broadband data transmission to households, with many high-speed internet service providers relying on this technology. However, the connectors at the ends of cables are susceptible to contamination by microscopic dust particles, which can lead to significant network data loss. Ensure that your optical connectors are kept clean and dust-free with these products. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 26, 2019:
Fiber optic cleaners are designed to clean the connectors of optical fibers – and not any other part of the cable. However, there are a variety of different connector sizes and configurations, which makes the task of identifying all-inclusive cleaning solutions a tricky task. The majority of connector heads use 1.25mm or 2.5mm ferrules, while a handful use nonstandard ferrule sizes and designs (like SMA 905/906 connectors) or no ferrules at all (like the VF-45 connector).
Fiber optic cleaners on the market can be broadly divided into two categories: (1) dry cleaning devices, which utilize microfiber tape to wipe away debris from connector heads; and (2) wet cleaning devices, which add a solvent to the wiping mechanism (an anti-static cloth, swab, etc.)
While wet cleaning is more thorough than dry cleaning, the difference in level of particulate removal is marginal. The vast majority of dry clean tools are either cassettes - the cheapest, most versatile solution - and pens – which are also cheap, but are limited to only cleaning one ferrule size. Thus, I made the choice to promote high quality cassettes in the rankings list. Where you see pens or wet cleaning kits above cassettes in the rankings is where I thought that these products were more convenient solutions.
The Microcare Sticklers MCC-FK03 is a particularly impressive choice for a kit at a reasonable price point compared to similar kits. Fibershack Pens are another easy option for the end user since they are offered in 2 sizes (1.25mm and 2.5mm) for standard ferrules on the vast majority of connector types; the Ipolex EDV-838 Electronic Cleaner is a similarly flexible option for end users who don’t know the size of their connector ferrules. Finally, the US Conec MT Series II is the 2nd generation product in the MT Series. The ‘MT’ refers to a multiplex configuration that uses snap coupling. MT/MPO is a fairly commonly used configuration for indoor cabling.