Punch Down or Feedthrough Patch Panel?

RJ45 patch panels provide a useful solution for cable management in data centers and other high-density environments. In the market, two types are offered like punch down and feedthrough patch panel. But consumers often find it’s difficult to make a decision on which one is better. This article is going to help your dilemma.

Punch Down Patch Panel

Punch down types are available in Cat5e or Cat6 patch panel. On the front plate, RJ45 ports (usually 24 ports) are used to directly connect Ethernet copper cable. All ports are numbered for easy identification. In the rear, it’s patch panel module with color markings for punching down Ethernet cable. Color coded labels are designed for T568A and T568B wiring configurations.


How to Punch Down a Patch Panel?

If you select punch down patch panel, firstly you need to terminate all cables into the patch panel. First, strip the outside protective jacket about 3-6 inches from the cable with cable stripping tools. Second, after removing the cable jacket, you should separate the wire pairs. Try to straighten the ends so that you can do the termination easily. Third, place the cable wires into the slot on the patch panel. Choose a port on the patch panel to begin terminating. Usually we start with the 1st port. Then insert each wire into its own slot. Consider whether you will use T568A or T568B configuration. Don’t leave wires exposed to much or twisted to avoid weakening signal. Fourth, terminate the wires. Lay all wires onto the slots and double check whether the wire matches the right configuration. Use a punch down tool with 110 blade to terminate each wire individually. The 110 blade should fully cover the wire on the patch panel. Push down the tool and cut the end of wire off. Fifth, secure the cable to the patch panel with a zip tie if there are slots on the patch panel. Sixth, inspect the wire. Once you’ve finished terminating the wires, use a cable tester to check if all the wires are correctly terminated.

When the punching down process is completed, you can install the patch panel into the racks with screws.

punch down patch panel installation

Feedthrough Patch Panel

Feedthrough patch panel provides patching without punching down the wires to the ports. There are generally Cat5e and Cat6 feedthrough patch panel configured in 1U (24 ports) or in 2U size (48 ports). Each feedthrough patch panel has both RJ45 ports on the front and rear side. And ports on front side are numbered for easy identification and installation. With feedthrough patch panel, the Ethernet patch cables can be inserted into the ports directly in an easy and fast way. The patch panel is quite suitable for high-density network system, which can protect cable and improve cable management efficiency.

cat6 utp feedthrough patch panel

Feedthrough Patch Panel Installation Steps

Install the feedthrough patch panels in lay racks or communication cabinets. First, find an empty rack space. Second, install the panel with supplied cuphead screws. Third, insert the Ethernet patch cables into the front and rear ports. Fourth, after patching all cables, use cable ties to secure the cables to lacing bar.

feedthrough patch panel cabling

Punch Down Patch Panel and Feedthrough Patch Panel, Which One Is Better?

To use punch down patch panel or feedthrough patch panel, people are feel confused. Some recommends traditional one because they can find , while some prefer to feedthrough. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. To decide which one to buy, you may consider the following factors: Cost–feedthrough patch panel is more expensive than traditional patch panel. If your budget allows, you can purchase feedthrough patch panel. Time–From the above content, the installation steps of punching down patch panel is obviously more complicated. Especially when you have lots of Ethernet cables to be punched down, it really takes a great deal of time. Using feedthrough patch panel can save you time without punching down procedures. However, it’s another case to small network. Network Error Possibility–During terminating wires into the punch down patch panel slots, you may match the wrong configurations. That can lead to link fault. But you don’t need worry about this issue if you use feedthrough patch panel.

Suggestions for Buying Punch Down or Feedthrough Patch Panel

Punch down patch panel requires high techniques and carefulness. For small network, you are suggested to buy traditional patch panel on condition that you’re skilled at punching down wires. For big project, feedthrough patch panel is the first choice.

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