Milwaukee has released their line of professional networking and telecommunication installation tools, and today we’ve got our hands, er, hand, on the new Milwaukee Ratcheting Crimper. This new tool in the company’s VDV lineup claims to give you consistent and accurate crimps with RJ11 and RJ45 modular jacks. With an in-line head, it has the potential to not only improve visibility and allow for easy-access jack removal but also apply a consistent and even force when crimping with one hand.
Considering how much I use a crimper, I’m harboring some serious hope that this will make my job easier.
Crimping in Style
Traditional crimper designs use a pivoting action to crimp down. The problem with this is that you won’t get even force across all of the pins. This can result in bad connections.
The Milwaukee Ratcheting Crimper features two parallel ports, one for RJ11 jacks and one for RJ45 jacks. Milwaukee’s unique design, on the other hand, uses an in-line head that applies equal and consistent force across all of the pins. This ensures stronger connections so that you don’t have to come back out to do your work all over again. This becomes especially important for those of us using crimpers day in and day out.
The Milwaukee Ratcheting Crimper feels good in the hand. First of all, Milwaukee did a good job with the handle design. The overmolding is comfortable while a finger nub and some ribbing ensure that I can apply pressure without feeling like digging into my hand.
Secondly, the ratcheting action is simple and effective. I don’t have to strain myself trying to apply enough force to get a good connection, and the design allows me to see more of what’s going on. Plus, I can pop the jack out easily when I’m done.
While this is my favorite tool of Milwaukee’s VDV lineup, I miss having an integrated wire stripping blade when I use it. That said, Milwaukee has a spin stripper that I use instead. It means carrying around an extra tool, but the quality of the crimping I get done is worth the trade-off.
When you’re crimping as much RJ45 as I do on a regular basis, two things really stand out – the quality (or lack thereof) of the crimp and the comfort in your hands. Milwaukee nails both with this ratcheting inline design.
Is there room for improvement? Sure. I’d like to see an integrated stripper on the next model.
The Milwaukee Ratcheting Crimper has an MSRP around $50.00. This a higher price than you’ll pay even for Klein’s ratcheting crimper, though there are some significant design differences. Milwaukee does include a limited lifetime warranty, which means that, so long as you don’t lose it, you really ought to only have to buy this tool once.
Milwaukee Ratcheting Crimper Features
- Parallel crimp design
- Improved visibility
- Easy jack removal
- Consistent and accurate crimps
- Crimps RJ45 and RJ11
- Durable construction
- Accurate crimps
Milwaukee Ratcheting Crimper Specs
- Model Number: 48-22-3075
- Application: Crimping RJ11 and RJ45 Modular Jacks
- Lockable: Yes
- Weight: 1.25 lbs
- Width: 4″
- Height: 1.5″
- Length: 10.65″
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime
- MSRP: $50.00