Network tools let you create connections to link the electronic systems in
your home, including multiple computers, a home theater system, Internet
access, telephone lines and even a fax machine. Having the right tools on
hand makes installation faster and allows you to easily resolve any problems
that crop up along the way. You may have some of these tools on hand already.
For those you need to buy, a good rule of thumb is to choose high-quality
tools you can depend on for safety and durability, like those you’ll find at
The Home Depot.
Below you’ll find a list of network tools you can expect to use, paired with an easy-to-follow guide to the tools you’ll need for four networking projects you can do yourself. Read our Networking Cables Buying Guide to learn more about network cable and wiring.
Network Tools You May Need
Cable f-Connector - Used for inserting stripped coaxial cable into an
Cutting Pliers – Commonly used in networking, these pliers have a cutting blade on one side and come in long, short-nosed and curved types. Look for a spring in the handle that automatically opens the jaws after each use, making your work easier.
Lineman’s pliers – These are heavy-duty side-cutting pliers with gripping jaws as well as cutting edges. With lineman’s pliers, you can cut wires and easily twist them together. Buy a high-quality pair—it should feel somewhat heavy in your hand and operate smoothly.
Long Nose Pliers – Also called needle-nose pliers. The jaws are long and pointed, useful for working in hard-to-reach places and twisting tight loops of wire that attach to screw terminals. Be sure to buy a pair strong enough for handling household wiring, as some models are made for finer electronics wires.
Spade Bits are used for drilling holes in wood, such as clearance holes for wire in floor beams. A spade bit has a flat paddle with cutting edges and a point on one end. The other end is sized to fit a 1/4–in. drill chuck.
Flex Auger Bits make drilling through walls quick and easy with a flexible spring steel shaft that drills through wood studs and other materials, and a tapered back that allows easy removal of the bit from the hole.
Ship Auger Bits drill long holes quickly through wood, heavy timber, vinyl and plastics.
Drywall Saw – Used to cut holes in drywall for installing a new wall jack or outlet.
Gender Changer – Also called a male-to-female adapter; use it to change a connection from male to female.
Wire/Cable Crimpers – Essential tools for wiring connectors in place.
Tools for 4 Common Projects
Refer to the table below for tools that are typically used for 4 common home networking projects. Be sure to refer to equipment manufacturers’ instructions or your project guide for a list of the specific tools you may need.