BACK TO BASICS: Cable Compression Kit

Solid Signal makes great cables. But of course, you can too. With a little practice you can make the cables you need and by buying parts in bulk you’ll save a lot of money. You’ll also avoid problems with signal loss and messy installations by using only the cable you need.

That’s why you’ll need something like the Solid Signal Coax Cable Compression Fitting Kit. This kit is specifically designed for the DIYer who wants good reliable tools but doesn’t need to pay for something that has to hold up to everyday use. Combined with the cable and fittings that you choose for your project, this kit gives you the power to make your own cables.

The kit starts with a cutter designed for cables. Unlike a generic pair of pliers, this cutter gives you a notch that protects the dielectric and conductor from damage as you cut. It’s a sturdy tool that gives you a lot of control.

When you’re ready to prep, use the cable stripper to pull away layers of the cable without damaging any of the layers below. Use it to strip away the perfect amount of dielectric from the center conductor without nicking the conductor, or to cut the shielding to the perfect length so that no trimming is necessary after the connector is put on.

Finally, load almost any compression connector into the compression tool, feed that cable in and with a simple hand movement you’re in business with a perfect cable. This is the sort of tool the professionals use, but Solid Signal offers it to you in a consumer version that is less expensive and designed for occasional use.

You’ll be all prepared to make the exact cables you need! Remember, never use pliers or a jackknife to make cables… it’s too easy to ruin them. Save money by doing it right the first time.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.