Drilling a hole for an ethernet cable isn’t difficult, but deciding what size drill bit to use can be challenging. You don’t want to make a hole that’s too small, and you have to squeeze the cable through the hole. So, what size drill bit is perfect for an ethernet cable?
A 5/8 inch drill bit is perfect for a pre-terminated ethernet cable. If you’re running an unterminated ethernet cable through the whole, then you can use a ¼-inch or ⅓-inch drill bit. However, this will largely depend on the type of surface you’re drilling through and the cable’s size.
The rest of this article will explain how to choose the right size drill bit for an ethernet cable and what type of drill bit you’ll need for drilling through different surfaces. I’ll also explain why you should use different drill bits when drilling for terminated and unterminated cables.
How to Choose the Right Size Drill Bit For an Ethernet Cable
Always ensure you have a drill bit that makes the ideal hold for your ethernet cable.
The key is to get the hole slightly bigger than the cable – but not too big as this may look unsightly.
So, how do you choose the right size drill bit for these cables?
To choose the right size drill bit for an ethernet cable, you’ll have to look at the cable’s size, whether the cable is pre-terminated, and whether you’re using cable grommets to put the ethernet cable through the hole.
Always look at these factors when choosing the right size drill bit for an ethernet cable:
1. Measure the Ethernet Cable’s Size
While most ethernet cables measure around 6-7mm or ¼ inches wide, category 6 cables are 7-8mm or ⅓ inches wide.
Special types of ethernet cables can be thicker, but these are rarely used in residential areas.
While the cable’s size will usually be written on its surface, it’s best to measure it accurately.
You can use anything from a ruler to a measuring tape to get a mostly accurate size estimate.
In most cases, you’ll use a drill bit that’s the same size as the cable.
2. Use Grommets To Fit the Cable Through the Hole
If you’re drilling in a residential area and the hole is clearly visible, it’s best to use cable grommets before placing the cable.
Grommets are small pieces of cone-shaped plastic that make it easy to push cables through holes without damaging them.
If you’re using cable grommets, try to get one that’s slightly larger than the cable.
Measure the grommet’s diameter and use a drill bit of the same size.
Using grommets when moving wires through walls will help maintain the room’s appearance and can help prevent the hole from getting bigger over time.
3. Check Whether the Cable Is Pre-Terminated
Pre-terminated cables have a terminal attached to one or both ends.
For ethernet cables, this is the part that you’ll be connecting to your devices.
If you have experience working with wires or know how to terminate a cable properly, you can use unterminated cables.
You’ll need a 5/8 inch or 13mm drill bit for terminated ethernet cables.
While the hole will be bigger than the cable, it will be just big enough for the terminal to fit through.
If you want to have a neater hole, you’ll have to use an unterminated cable and preferably call an electrician.
Alternatively, you can use a 5/8 inch drill bit for a pre-terminated cable and use a cable grommet to avoid making the hole stand out.
What Type of Drill Bit To Use for Different Surfaces
Most people will use standard drill bits for drilling through brick walls.
However, if you have to drill through concrete or metal, you’ll need special drill bits and maybe even a heavy-duty drill.
If you’re drilling through a brick wall, drill bits made from high-purpose steel are ideal.
Most drill bits are made from this material, and you can use it to drill through wood, some types of metals, and plastics.
If you’re drilling through concrete or hard metal surfaces, use cobalt or carbide drill bits.
If carbide drill bits are too expensive, you can use carbide-tipped bits instead.
You’ll use a 5/8 inch or 16mm drill bit for most ethernet cables.
However, if you’re using an unterminated cable, you’ll need a hold about half the size, and a ¼-inch or ⅓-inch drill bit will be ideal.
The best way to know what size drill bit you need for the cable is to measure the actual cable and use a drill bit of the same size.
You’ll need to measure the terminal’s size if you have a pre-terminated ethernet cable.
If you’re using a cable grommet, use a drill bit around the same width as the grommet.
Cheers, tools owners!