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Should We Choose Punch Down or Feedthrough Patch Panel?

March 1, 2017

RJ45 patch panels provide a useful solution for cable management in data centers and home networks. In the market, two types of RJ45 Ethernet patch panels: punch down patch panel and feedthrough patch panel are provided. This article will help you to know the difference between these two copper patch panels and make the wiser choice.

What Is Punch Down Patch Panel?

Punch down type patch panel, some also simply call them patch panel, is a regular patch panel we can easily find. It is also called 110 bunk punch down patch panel as an improvement of the older type 66 bunk punch down patch panel.

Punch down patch panels are available in Ethernet cables such as Cat5e patch panel or Cat6 patch panel. On the front plate of punch down patch panel, RJ45 ports (usually 24 ports) are used to directly connect Ethernet copper cable. All ports are numbered for easy identification. In the rear, there are color markings for punching down Ethernet cable. Color coded labels are designed for T568A and T568B wiring configurations.

FS Cat6 punch down patch panel

How to Wire a Punch Down Patch Panel?

Punch down patch panel wiring is not an easy and timeless work. If you are interested in how an Ethernet cable is terminated to a punch down patch panel, check out the following video about how to punch down Cat6 cable:

What Is Feedthrough Patch Panel?

Feedthrough patch panel provides patching without punching down the wires to the ports. There are generally Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6a 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 the front side are numbered for easy identification and installation. Feedthrough patch panel is a straight through panel, with which the Ethernet patch cables can be inserted into the ports directly in an easy and fast way. The keystone coupler of feedthrough patch panel can be removed. Users can match the blank panel and the couplers as they like.

FS Cat6 feedthrough patch panel

How to Wire a Feedthrough Patch Panel?

Installing feedthrough patch panel follows these steps: Adding the panel with cuphead scews to the rack, and insert Ethernet patch cables into the front and rear ports. After all of this, using cable ties to secure the cables to the lacing bar, you’ll get a tidy cabling management system.

install a feedthrough patch panel and switch

Feedthrough Patch Panel vs Punch Down Patch Panel: Which Should I Choose?

Following factors should be taken into consideration if you have the needs of patch panels for neat cable management:

Cost: Generally feedthrough patch panel is more expensive than traditional patch panel. Many are suggested to use punch down patch panels when they have tight budget. However, things are different on FS. FS provides feedthrough patch panels that cost less than regular patch panels, so you are able to get feedthrough solution at a more reasonable price.

Installation: The installation steps of punching down patch panel are more complicated. Especially when you have lots of Ethernet cables to be punched down, it really takes a great deal of time. Installing feedthrough patch panel needs to insert an Ethernet cable at one side and another Ethernet cable goes from another side. It can save you time without punching down procedures especially when you have to change cabling constantly.

Troubleshooting and Maintenance: During terminating wires into the punch down patch panel slots, you may match the wrong configurations. That can lead to link fault. Pull the cable from panel and test it directly and you will be aware of which the offending cable is. Once there is something wrong with the connector, it is also more convenient to use straight through patch panel because you don't have to replace the entire panel, as opposed to punch down patch panels.

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 the condition that you’re skilled at punching down wires or you just want to do it manually. For big projects, feedthrough patch panel is the first choice. Both patch panels are accessible in FS.COM. Come and find your appropriate RJ45 patch panel.

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