Without the proper tools, even the smallest jobs can become problematic. This is especially true when it comes to smart homes and networking projects. Whether you’re simply running Ethernet from one room to another, or retrofitting an older home with an intricate structured wiring plan, you need some essential equipment in your toolkit to get the job done effectively and efficiently.

If you’re an electrical contractor who’s starting to add smart home networking and structured wiring to your menu of services, these are the tools and accessories you need at your side.

The tools you’ll need

  • Crimping tool
  • RJ Crimping Tool
  • Flush Cutter Tool

A reliable keystone jack crimping tool should be at the top of any ECs list for essential smart home equipment. It lets you seat, cut, and terminate eight wires cleanly so you can install, repair, and maintain Cat5e and Cat6 cabling with ease and with a high-grade professional finish. For those times you’ll be working with Cat6 and Cat6a snap plugs, you’ll also need an RJ crimping tool in your arsenal.

Speaking of professional finish, a good flush cutter is a handy tool to have in your toolbelt, so you can snip wires, cable ties, and fiber with precision—even in angled or hard to reach places.

Tool-less accessories

  • Tool-less Termination Module
  • Tool-less Cat6 Jack
  • Tool-less Cat6A Jacks

When it comes to managing new connections and terminations, there’s some essential accessories that can make any ECs job simpler. A tool-less termination module, for instance, features pushpin installation and lets you make connections without punchdown tools.

Similarly, tool-less Cat6 and Cat6A jacks feature a toggle that eliminates the need for individual wire punchdown to make new terminations a snap.

Structured wiring equipment

  • Standard Media Panel
  • PXU Series Network Switches
  • Cable Raceway

If you’re taking on more advanced jobs, such as structured wiring in either a new build or retrofit, you’ll want to add a media panel to your plans and make it the centralized distribution point for all connected components and services. Doing this makes an intricate smart home network easier to manage, maintain, and upgrade in the future.

When it comes to managing connections between devices inside that panel, you’ll want a robust Gigabit network switch capable of Power-over-Ethernet and simple plug-and-play connectivity.

Lastly, for those areas in a home where running cabling inside a wall might not be feasible, it never hurts to have some cable raceways on hand. These can blend in with mouldings, protect cable being routed through cabinets, and provide a cleaner look than exposed cable along a wall.