FOA Basic Skills

Lesson 2: Fiber Optic Tools, Test Equipment and Supplies  

Objectives: From this lesson you should learn:
Tools, test equipment and supplies will be needed to install fiber optics
Tools needed to learn the skills necessary to install fiber optics
Guidelines for using and caring for tools and equipment
How to use tools safely
Practice with basic fiber optic tools


In order to learn the hands-on skills needed to install fiber optics, you will need to acquire all the tools, test equipment and supplies necessary for the hands-on exercises.

Make certain before you begin that you have everything you need - tools, test equipment and components. Download the list of fiber optic technician's tools and print a copy for your reference. It is a comprehensive listing and not all may be applicable to the work you do. Check with each lesson to see what is needed for that lesson.

NEW: Purchase inexpensive equipment online and use it for hands-on lessons. Go here.

Fiber Optic Installersí Tools

    Learning the basic skills of fiber optics and the actual installation of fiber optics requires having the proper tools and knowing how to use them. These lessons will give you directions on what tools to use and how to use them. But first, you need to know what tools are required and how to take care of them. Here are some of the tools you use when working with fiber optics.

Fiber Optic Tools

3 fiber strippers
The 3 popular fiber strippers (from left): Miller, No-Nik, Microstrip

What Tools Do You Need?

    In the Basic Skills Worbook section on
Tools used in this lesson, you will find a comprehensive list of tools needed by the typical fiber optic technician who will install and prep cables, splice and terminate them, then test the installed cable plant. We also include typical supplies for termination. We do not include heavy equipment used for pulling cables.

    You can purchase fiber optic tool kits and/or termination kits that are prepared by manufacturers for either generic use or to install a particular component, usually a connector. Connector termination kits provided by manufacturers are specific for their own connector type and installation method. Some of these may be replaced by the more generic tools we list below, but some connector kits will be required for proprietary connectors, especially prepolished-splice connector styles.

Caution - be wary of cheap prices on brand-name tools. We have seen counterfeit tools being sold by distributors at low prices which are useless.

Taking Care of Your Fiber Optic Tools

    Nothing is more frustrating that trying to accomplish something and having problems with your tools. Whether it is not being able to find a tool or finding a damaged tool put back in the toolbox without being repaired or replaced. Read the
section on taking care of your tools in the Workbook  on Tools.

Setting Up A Workspace

We recommend working on a black table mat to make it easier to see the fiber (and any scraps). It is best to work on tile or concrete floors, not carpet. If you drop fiber scraps into carpet they can be very hard to find or pick up with a vacuum cleaner.

Fusion splicing workspace

Termination with adhesive/polish connector workspace
Clean up after your exercises carefully. Some of the scrap you generate can be harmful, such as fiber ends, so we recommend you not work anywhere near food preparation or childrenís play areas! Place clean paper over your work area to keep from harming the worktable surface.


Lennie works safely

Please Note: This is not the usual online course - it is intended to guide you as you learn new skills - the skills needed to install optical fiber cable plants. It involves using tools and components in a realistic manner. Some of the processes here can be hazardous, like working with sharp scraps of optical fiber and chemicals. The first lesson is about safety - we recommend reading it carefully and posting the safety rules for everyone to see. Always wear safety glasses when doing any of these exercises and dispose of all scraps properly.

In Lesson 1 you should have familiarized yourself with the safety procedures - follow them all the time. Do not work with fiber without safety glasses and a proper work area that is easy to clean up. It is recommended to not work on carpeted areas because fiber scraps can become embedded in the carpet and be difficult to find and remove.
As part of Lesson 1, you should have watched the FOA YouTube Video: FOA Lecture 2: Safety When Working With Fiber Optics      

Download a FOA safety poster for your work area.

Download the Workbook section
, watch the videos and read the references before going to the next lesson where these tools will be used in hands-on activities..

Fiber U Basic Skills Workbook (Download)

        Tools (PDF, 0.6MB)

List of Fiber Optic Technicians Tools

FOA YouTube Videos

All FOA "hands-on" videos and VHO tutorials show the use of tools, so videos will be referenced in each process lesson.

Online FOA References:

Fiber Optic Tools 

Book Reference:

Test Your Comprehension - Online Quiz On Tools  

Have you completed the Workbook worksheets that are the records of your having successfully completed the exercises?

Next:  Lesson 3: Fiber Optic Cables  

Return to Lesson Plan


Table of Contents: The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics

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