WHEN you need to cut a fibre optic cable, don’t just plunge in with a knife, try to snap the fibre with your hands or cut it with side cutters, pliers or any other random tool.

By keeping wire cutters away from a fibre job, you will save yourself the hassle of endlessly polishing rough edges by using a more exacting technique cut fibre when building or expanding a fibre optic network.

One technique of cutting fibre is called cleaving (cutting) and you use a commercially available cleaver to scribe the fibre to leave a near-perfect 90-degree end face on the fibre with almost no irregularities. When you’re buying a cleaving tool consider the fact the more expensive the tool employed, the less loss you’ll face at the connection point.

There are various cleaving techniques but all relay on the weakening of the fibre by the application of a sapphire or diamond-tipped tool that cleaves the outer layers of the fibre. Pressure is then applied either by bending or pulling the cable until it shears into 2 parts with an almost perfect break.