How to Terminate a Coaxial Cable

Updated February 21, 2017

The walls of a modern house contain cables for electricity, data, phones and television. Coaxial cable is commonly used to carry a signal to your television from your cable or satellite provider. Terminating this cable and fitting it with a connector is easy but requires specialised tools.

Cut the end of the cable with cable cutters. Coaxial cable has a central copper conductor covered with a plastic coating called dielectric. The dielectric is covered with foil and metal wire mesh. The mesh is covered with another layer of foil, which is covered with a protective plastic outer coating. Cable cutters are specially made to make a square cut on the end of the coaxial cable without crushing, and thus shorting, the conductors inside the cable.

Place the stripper over the end of the cable. Rotate the stripper completely around the cable three times. The stripper will make two cuts on the cable. The cut nearest the end of the cable will slice down to the solid copper core. The second cut slices only through the outer protective coating to expose the outer wire mesh.

Lift the wire mesh and fold it over the top of the outer plastic coating. The wires in the mesh should still be firmly attached to the cable.

Place the connector over the end of the cable and push firmly until it is completely seated.

Place the crimping tool over the collar of the connector. Squeeze the handles of the crimping tool together. Remove the connector from the crimping tool. Check the crimp by pulling gently on the connector. If it feels loose or comes off, replace it with a new connector and crimp it again.


If you slice through the wire mesh on your first attempt, make a fresh cut with the cable cutter and start again. The wire mesh is a conductor and must make good contact with the collar of the connector.

Things You'll Need

  • Coaxial cable
  • Cable cutters
  • Cable stripper
  • Coaxial connector
  • Crimping tool
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About the Author

Finn McCuhil is a freelance writer based in Northern Michigan. He worked as a reporter and columnist in South Florida before becoming fascinated with computers. After studying programming at University of South Florida, he spent more than 20 years heading up IT departments at three tier-one automotive suppliers. He now builds wooden boats in the north woods.