Cleavers: The Cutting Edge of Fiber Optics, …Literally!

The first step to a good fiber optic splice is a good cleave angle.  A cleave in fiber is usually performed when a nick is made in the fiber, then proper tension is either applied at the same time or after.  This tension makes the nick become the fracture point – which in turn results in a flat, cleaved end face.  The closer to 90 degrees the cleave is, the more success you will have with matching it to another cleaved fiber to be spliced or mated by a connector.   Most fusion splicers like this angle to be less than 3 degrees.  In order for this to happen, you must use a cleaving tool, most commonly referred to as a fiber optic cleaver. Fiber Optic Cleavers come in many different brands, shapes and sizes.  Mechanical cleavers are the most commonly used cleavers in the industry.  They use a diamond or tungsten wheel/blade to provide the nick in the fiber.  Tension is then applied to the fiber to create the cleaved end face.  The advantage to these cleavers is that they can produce repeatable results through thousands of cleaves by simply just rotating the wheel/blade accordingly.  Most mechanical cleavers are built tough and if in need of repair, they can usually be fixed at a relatively inexpensive cost compared to buying a new unit.  These fiber optic cleavers also have the ability to cleave multiple fibers at once with the use of the correct fiber holder.  Mechanical fiber optic cleavers are widely used and said to be the best value by many Installers in the telecommunications field. Scribes are the least commonly used cleavers as they are not as accurate.  The cleave angle is subject to human error and therefore varies greatly in repeatability.  Most field and lab technicians shy away from these cleavers due to their ineffectiveness.  Scribe cleavers are usually shaped like ballpoint pens with diamond tipped wedges or come in the form of tile squares. Ultrasonic fiber cleavers are utilized mostly by laboratory and semiconductor companies but can also be applied for telecom use as well.  These units add tension prior to the fiber being cleaved then vibrate the diamond cleave blade using ultrasonic technology.  Some units offer the ability to adjust the cleave angle from zero to fifteen degrees.  These are great for Polarization Maintaining fibers and Angled connectors (APC) that need the higher angle degree.  Ultrasonic cleavers are easy to use and offer very good repeatability but generally are more expensive in cost. To find pricing, information and more information on the different fiber optic cleavers currently available, visit eFiberTools.com.  Contact one of their friendly staff members to learn more about all the fiber optic cleavers with the best value that are present in the industry today.   Sign up for their newsletter to get informative news, posts and deals in regards to current products in the fiber optic field.  

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