The 10 Best Punch Down Tools
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in November of 2018. Every network technician needs a good punch down tool in their bag. These simple devices make quick work of terminating twisted pairs of cables, easily accomplishing what would otherwise be a tedious task. Many of the options on this list are spring-loaded to save your hands from repetitive stress, while others include additional tools, like spudgers and hooks, to make your job even easier. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 28, 2020:
It was a fairly busy round of updates, especially for a hand-tool category. While the Epsilont EPS2000PD was removed due to availability issues, we also decided on eliminating the Trendnet TC-PDT to make room for some exciting new additions. On top of that, we switched out the Klein Tools VDV427-800-SEN for the Klein Tools VDV427-807 – which comes with an extension chuck and a four-piece bit set, effectively transforming it to a serviceable screwdriver – and replaced the Fluke Networks D914S with the Fluke Networks 11292000 Pro-Tool Kit — which puts the D914S in a practical tool pouch with a pair of D-Snips and a basic wire stripper.
Two of our notable new additions this time around are battery-powered models. The first of which, the Milwaukee 48-22-2165, essentially functions in the same manner as most manual options, but features a built-in LED worklight powered by two AA batteries, which is nice, when you’re trying to get work done inside a dark cabinet. The second model, the Jonard Tools EPB-11066, is powered by a 7.2-volt lithium ion battery, and purportedly can complete a termination in almost 40% less time than manual alternatives. Compared to the competition, the EPB-11066 is quite an expensive option, but for serious professionals, as well as users suffering from repetitive-stress injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, it may be an investment worth considering.
A few things to look out for in this category:
Manual vs. Battery Powered: Since the Jonard Tools EPB-11066 is the only truly battery-powered model we ranked, this consideration is essentially reiterating the point made a paragraph earlier in this editor’s note. While few professionals will dispute the value of a reliable power tool, it’s up to each individual user to decide whether the additional investment is merited by their situation.
Extras: As noted by another editor on the January 3, 2019, note for this page, few and far between are the differentiators separating most of these tools, with adjustable impact pressure, on-board blade storage and color-coded cut sides widely seen throughout the category. However, some models – including the Jonard EPD-91461, Southwire Tools & Equipment PDTP-K1 and Klein Tools VDV427-807 – go a step further, working integrated spudgers into their design, as an additional convenience. The Klein Tools VDV427-807 can also be converted into a screwdriver, and the Jonard Tools EPB-11066 and Milwaukee 48-22-2165 both include built-in LED work lights.
Warranties: The three-year limited warranty that comes with the Tripp Lite, or even the 18-month warranty that comes with the Vastar Impact, might be enough for you to make a confident purchase, but with so many options boasting lifetime guarantees – including the Jonard EPD-91461, Greenlee 3579 SurePunch and Klein Tools VDV427-807 – it may be worth considering whether it’s worth spending a little more on a professional-grade option that comes with no expiry date on in its insurance.
January 03, 2019:
Since most punch down tools follow the same basic layout, it's difficult to rank them — there aren't exactly a lot of bells and whistles to distinguish them. With that in mind, we focused on durability, ergonomics, and blade quality when making our selections. Every item on this list will get the job done — some just last a lot longer and make your life a lot easier in the meantime.