Choosing the Right Fusion Splicer

There comes a time in every telecommunications company’s life when new fusion splicers need to be purchased.  With hundreds of options to choose from, this task can become very difficult in choosing the right splicer for the job.  Currently there are over 20 different manufacturers of fusion splicers and more are popping up as I am writing this.  Here is some information on the most common types of fusion splicers which include single fiber splicers, ribbon splicers and the differences between them. Single fiber splicers usually splice 250 micron fiber, but can also hold 900 micron jacketed fiber, flat drop cable and splice on connectors also known as (SOC or splice-on-connectors) used mostly for FTTH applications as well.  One piece of fiber is stripped, cleaned, cleaved then inserted into the fiber holder.  Another fiber repeats the same process to lay in the opposite fiber holder.  Most newer models can splice in less than ten seconds and estimate attenuation (loss of light).  Of course this is only an estimation and the fiber should be tested more accurately with an OTDR.  There are also different types of single fiber splicers that are used. Core alignment simply means they look at the core and use it’s diameter to align the fiber up.  Fixed V-groove splicers use “V” shaped fiber holders and rely on the outside parameters to align the fiber.  Generally, core alignment splicers are more expensive but fiber is becoming so precise and consistent when manufactured that using v-groove splicers is becoming more economical while providing similar splice loss.   Also, there are polarization maintaining a.k.a. “P.M.” splicers.  They use rotating motors on the fiber holders to align the endfaces up by looking at their cleaved ends.  These machines are not as common in outside telecom uses. Ribbon splicers can splice 1 to 12 fibers all at once.  The fiber holders usually have twelve spots for fiber on the v-grooves, some may only have four such as the Fitel S121M.  These machines are not nearly as popular as the single fiber machines, but if used on cable where more than one fiber needs to be spliced they are extremely efficient.  When fiber counts of over 96 are needed, there can be up to a 65% savings on per splice costs.  Let’s say on average a single fiber splice costs $25 and a ribbon splice is $110 each.  At a location that needs 144 splices, the single fiber machine would run a cost of $3600.  A ribbon machine would only perform 12 splices at a total of $1320.  The savings would be $2,280 respectively; please keep in mind a slight difference may be due to cost of ribbon cable versus loose tube. When it comes to choosing a splicer, many different factors such as budget, brand loyalty, and specific job requirements are all deciding factors in making an informed decision.  There are more and more companies becoming splicer resellers with no experience or history.  Buyer should be wary of small new companies that do not offer repairs and/or long term support for their products.   Many people are purchasing directly from small distributors and are left abandoned when they need repairs or service.  When doing your research, always shop around, weighing out price, warranties and how confident you feel in purchasing from that company. One company that can help you decide which machine is the best fit for you is, Inc.  The supportive staff will help narrow down the choices of equipment to fit your particular needs based on application and budget.  Visit their site for live chat or to download brochures, manuals and pdf files pertaining to equipment you want, need or currently own.  Also, contact them directly via phone, 623-582-5560 or toll free 877-773-3423 to talk to a friendly and knowledgeable staff member that can assist you without the high pressure sales pitches used by many of’s competition.  

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