Solid vs Stranded for Cat5e and Cat6 cables


Solid vs Stranded for Cat5e and Cat6 cables

Shopping for ethernet cable can be sometimes a little confusing if you are not used to the various terms that are used for the different types of cable that are available.  

One common point of confusion comes when trying to decide if you need 'Solid" or "Stranded" ethernet cable.  So let us try to quell some of the confusion.

Solid UTP

Solid UTP Category cables have solid insulated bare copper conductors. These cables are typically used in permanent and semi-permanent installations. They are designed for longer distance horizontal and backbone cable runs, PoE (power over Ethernet), and HD applications. Solid Category cables should not be over-flexed, bent, or twisted beyond the cable recommended specifications. All Cat5e and Cat6 solid UTP cables are designated with minimum bend radius for performance standards. Proper cable installation is essential in order to maximize the performance of the cable. 

Stranded UTP

Stranded UTP Category cables have multiple strands (typically 7 strands per conductor) of insulated bare copper conductors. These cables are typically used for patch cords/cables connecting workstations; from wallplate outlet to patch panel; and from patch panels to individual workstations. Because these cables are more flexible than solid conductors, they are excellent for portable uses and applications where repeated flexing is common.

Stranded Category Cables have a higher attenuation than solid category cables. Depending on your application, you should restrict their use to short distances. SCP recommends that you use stranded category cables for applications under 6 meters/ 20 feet. We manufacture long length stranded Cat5e and stranded Cat6 cables up to 100 ft/30 meters, but their use should be restricted to non-HD applications.

Stranded cables are expensive to manufacture and as such are more expensive than solid conductor cables for the equivalent length.

TXM sells both types in bulk and we also offer standard and custom patch cables for all types of situations. In addition, we offer high density patch panels. 

Please visit our site for more Ethernet products below