I don't have any major brand or specific network tool experience to compare the quality level. This kit's seem basic and serviceable.
I purchased the kit out of convenience (rather than sourcing different independent tools) to increase efficiency and be more flexible with custom length network wiring .
I am very disappointed they don't do any quality control on the testers they ship out.
RMA / Exchange. I haven't decided if will have monoprice do an exchange or refund. I'm not impressed so I will have a look over the individual network tools sold and see if something has good reviews (like the individual monoprice coax tools I have) .
PROS: Convenient kit with case.
CONS: Lack of manual / instructions about tool adjustments.
Punch down tool struggles with cat 6 keystone and the heaviest solid riser cat 6 cable (monoprice purchased) It is not always punching down the wire or when punched down it is not always cutting the excess wire off … despite heavy pressure and the tool visibly cutting into the square edge of the keystone. No idea if the keystone, wire or tool is to blame, or a combination thereof, but disappointing to lose time with this and being less reliable and effective than done manually with a small screwdriver & tiny wire cutter.
Network tester remote unit has a defective LED light, out of the box. Tested with half a dozen purchased wires. Switching base & remote as well. The remote shield LED is always dim.
Marginal instructions for the cable tester - which assume that you have both ends of the cable in front of you - and lack of troubleshooting. On one cable across different floors (50ft), I had two blinking lights on both base & remote and it had me hunting down an issue at both ends, not one. Impossible to figure out alternate blinking across that distance … it would indicate a crossed wire pair but was none such. One pair, correctly lined up, on one side were not punched all the way.
Also odd that two of the tools are stacked, not everything has its own space.
One person in a review wrote: "The wire cutter kept cutting the individual strands of my cat5e cable. It was extremely frustrating to have to keep cutting the cable further and further back until I finally gave up and just peeled off the cable myself with a razor blade."
I have always had trouble with those cutters and I know many seasoned IT people who say the same. It is crucial that the individual strands do not get cut, so do yourself a favor and don't rely on a tool like that. Do it with manual precision and ensure that things are done right. This is not a job that is worth cutting corners on.
PROS: After I received this kit I immediately quit wondering whether I would regret paying the price I did. Well, these tools are much better than the cheapies my friends have bought. They are sturdy and do their job. The cable testers work, which is more than I can ask for.
CONS: Not the most comfortable to hold, but that is a small gripe.
I took the plunge on this as a curious amateur who'd never before crimped a cable or punched down a jack. The price was right, and so I figured no big deal if I had any issues with cutting into wires stripping cables, or needing to use a razor blade to finish off the ends of wires after punching them down.
It took me a little bit to get the blade for the cable stripper in just the right position there's an adjustment screw to raise and lower it, but after lowering it, you have to just lightly shake the tool sometimes to get the blade to fall into place. (This will probably come in handy when the blade eventually needs to be sharpened or replaced.) But after a little bit of trial and error, I got it just where I needed it, and I haven't had any issues cutting into the wires inside cables.
Besides personal fun, I also got this kit to do occasional repair of wall drops at the middle school where I am a tech support. While patching drops isn't necessarily part of my job description, I figured why not reduce the load on the tiny county networking team that has to support 40+ schools?
After practicing with the punch-down tool with a spare cable and the two-jack wall plate, I tried to punch down the two cables that had been ripped from the plate. It wasn't an easy job, because whoever wired them through the wall left very little slack, and so getting the wires into position was tricky (especially for the second cable, once the first was done). But even as a total n00b, I was able to do it on my first try. (And really, my only try, because if I'd had to trim any more cable, I would have needed to get into the wall to free up the cables.)
It takes a little while to get used to the punch-down tool to where you can trim the wires consistently on the first go (or at least trim to the point where you can easily pull them off by hand), but as a beginner, it's hard to see that as a con.
Really, I can't find anything wrong with this set of tools. After reading some of the reviews, I was a little worried that I would struggle with the tools at first (or that I'd have to find another cable stripper), but with less than a day of practice, I'm having absolutely no issues stripping, crimping, or punching.
PROS: Lots of great tools at a great price everything feels durable comes in a nice case.
CONS: Adjustment mechanism for the cable stripper blade took a little getting used to.
If you need networking tools, consider this kit. The quality of the components appear to be good. I have only had it for a short time so I cannot comment further than that,
PROS: This kits contains the tools to perform networking, phone wiring, and even work with coax. This kit has good components that added up to much more than what I paid for it and it is in a nice case that makes it easy to carry.
CONS: Smaller pieces can easily fall out when case is opened.
I had never done any networking prior to purchasing this and other supplies at monoprice. This kit made terminating all my cat 6e cables a breeze. The case is solid, strong and lightweight. The crimper is hefty in a good way. The jacket stripper works beautifully. The only negative here is the cable tester: it's low-quality, has few features and won't read a cable run of over about 10 feet. You almost certainly have to purchase a separate cable tester if you intend to accurately test the cables you're terminated.
PROS: the hand tools are all well-made, extremely durable and function with precision
CONS: the cable tester does nothing but take up room in the case