How To Wire A Keystone Jack

by Tom Niswander on November 13, 2020
how to wire a keystone jack

A keystone jack is one of the most used items for creating an ethernet connection. It can be used in residential, business and data center applications. What might seem like an impossible task at first can easily be done with just a coupler steps and tricks. In this article we'll get you up and running in no time.

If you already have all the tools you need then jump to the wiring steps that match your keystone jack:

Tools Needed

First let's get you set up with the right tools for wiring a keystone jack:

  • Bulk Network Cable
  • Keystone Jack
  • Jacket Stripper
  • Wire Cutter
  • Punch Down Tool

All of these tools are not required but they do make it a lot easier during wiring. The tool that we recommended you do have is a punch down tool. A punch down tool helps punch down the cables wires in to the contact area of the keystone jack. This ensures that proper contact is made. Not only does a punch down tool help punch down the wires but it also cuts off the wires on the side at the same time.

Got your tools? Shop for the best ethernet cable tools and also grab your keystone jacks.

    How To Wire a 90° Keystone Jack

    1. Strip 1 inch of jacket with jacket stripper

    how to wire keystone jack 1
    how to wire keystone jack 2

    Using your cutting tool cut 1 inch off the jacket from the top of the cable. If you are using scissors or another cutting device make sure not to cut through the wires in the cable.

    2. Cut the pulling string

    how to wire keystone jack 3

    If your cable comes with a pull string inside simply cut off the portion that is showing. The pull string is there to help strip the jack as well so if you need to take a little more jacket off you can use it.

    3. Cut the spline

    how to wire keystone jack 4

    If your cable also has a spline / cross separator in the cable then cut off the portion that is showing. Try to cut off the most you can without damaging the wires.

    4. Unwrap twisted pairs

    how to wire keystone jack 5

    how to wire keystone jack 6

    Unwrap the twisted pairs so it's easier to insert on to the 90° keystone jack. The important part to this step is to decide which wiring scheme you want to go with. We recommend to go with t568b but you can use either a or b.

    t568b goes in order:

    1. Orange stripe
    2. Orange
    3. Green Stripe
    4. Blue
    5. Blue stripe
    6. Green
    7. Brown stripe
    8. Brown

    Using our 90° keystone jacks there will be wiring scheme guides on the side that you can follow along.

    Before putting the wires on to the contact area you can also bunch up the Orange pair and green pair together, blue and brown pair together. This helps with laying the wires on the correct sides.

    5. Jacket part stays outside of 90° keystone jack

    how to wire keystone jack 7

    Try not to insert the cables jacket too far in to the keystone jack. Try to get the jack just inside or touching the end of the jack. The other important thing to mention here is to not have any wiring exposed from the jack to the jack.

    6. Put the wire in the groove

    how to wire keystone jack 8

    how to wire keystone jack 9

    Using the wiring scheme you have chosen, lay down the wires in the grooves of the keystone jack.

    7. Put keystone jack in the 90° punch down tool

    how to wire keystone jack 10

    If you are using a punch down tool you can now insert the jack in to the punch down area of the tool. Make sure the degree of the punch down tool matches the degree of the keystone jack. Insert with open side facing the grooves of the punch down tool.

    8. Squeeze Punch down tool

    how to wire keystone jack 11

    how to wire keystone jack 12

    By squeezing down on the punch down tool you should have wires now firmly inside the contact area of the jack. The wires hanging off the side should also have been cut off. If some weren't cut off that is ok. Simply cut off the remaining portion using a cutting device.

    For this step make sure to double check the wires are deep enough in the contact area. If any of the wires are not in the contact area yet try using the tool again to punch them down. 

    9. Close the cap

    how to wire keystone jack 13

    how to wire keystone jack 14

    After the wires are punched down you can now grab the cap to the keystone jack and cover the wires.

    Congrats! You keystone jack is ready to go

    How To Wire A 180° Keystone Jack

    1. Strip 1 inch of jacket with jacket stripper

    how to wire a keystone jack 15

    how to wire a keystone jack 16
    Using your cutting tool cut 1 inch off the jacket from the top of the cable. If you are using scissors or another cutting device make sure not to cut through the wires in the cable.
    2. Cut the pulling string

    how to wire keystone jack 17

    If your cable comes with a pull string inside simply cut off the portion that is showing. The pull string is there to help strip the jack as well so if you need to take a little more jacket off you can use it.

    3. Cut the spline

    how to wire keystone jack 18

    If your cable also has a spline / cross separator in the cable then cut off the portion that is showing. Try to cut off the most you can without damaging the wires.

    4. Unwrap twisted pairs

    how to wire keystone jack 19

    how to wire keystone jack 20

    Unwrap the twisted pairs so it's easier to insert on to the 180° keystone jack. The important part to this step is to decide which wiring scheme you want to go with. We recommend to go with t568b but you can use either a or b.

    t568b goes in order:

    1. Orange stripe
    2. Orange
    3. Green Stripe
    4. Blue
    5. Blue stripe
    6. Green
    7. Brown stripe
    8. Brown

    Using our 180° keystone jacks there will be wiring scheme guides on the side that you can follow along.

    Before putting the wires on to the contact area you can also bunch up the Orange pair and green pair together, blue and brown pair together. This helps with laying the wires on the correct sides.

    5. Jacket part stays outside of 180° keystone jack

    how to wire keystone jack 21

    The different with a 180° keystone jack is that you can actually position the cable in two ways. Going straight on to the jack or from the side like you would for a 90° jack. Try not to insert the cables jacket too far in to the keystone jack. Try to get the jack just inside or touching the end of the jack. The other important thing to mention here is to not have any wiring exposed from the jack to the jack.

    6. Put the wire in the groove

    how to wire keystone jack 22

    Using the wiring scheme you have chosen, lay down the wires in the grooves of the keystone jack.

    7. Put keystone jack in the 180° punch down tool

    how to wire keystone jack 23

    If you are using a punch down tool you can now insert the jack in to the punch down area of the tool. Make sure the degree of the punch down tool matches the degree of the keystone jack. Insert with open side facing the grooves of the punch down tool.

    8. Squeeze Punch down tool

    how to wire keystone jack 24

    how to wire keystone jack 25

    By squeezing down on the punch down tool you should have wires now firmly inside the contact area of the jack. The wires hanging off the side should also have been cut off. If some weren't cut off that is ok. Simply cut off the remaining portion using a cutting device.

    For this step make sure to double check the wires are deep enough in the contact area. If any of the wires are not in the contact area yet try using the tool again to punch them down. 

    9. Close the cap

    how to wire keystone jack 26

    After the wires are punched down you can now grab the cap to the 180° keystone jack and cover the wires.

    Congrats! Your keystone jack is ready to go

    LEAVE A COMMENT

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published


    BACK TO TOP