How to Choose Fiber Optic Cleavers

How to Choose Fiber Optic Cleavers - SplicerMarket

Fiber optic cleaver is used to cut the fiberglass for fusion splicing, also ideal for preparing fiber for pre-polished connectors to make a good end face, and it is very important in the fiber splicing process. Usually it works together with the fusion splicer to meet the end needs. Fusion splicers are used to join the ends of two fiber optics. It is usually done by using an electric arc tip and then the bare fiber area is protected with a heat shrinkable tube.

Frequently overlooked when buying a fusion splicer, fiber optic cleavers are crucial tools that ensure perfectly smooth fiber ends. SplicerMarket offers tips on how to choose fiber optic cleavers.

The fiber cleaver is a tool that is often overlooked when buying a fusion splicer. Just ask any technician who has worked late shifts or faced the rush splice job how stressful a poorly functioning cleaver can be. Since a perfectly smooth optical fiber end face is crucial for a successful low-loss, low-reflectance fusion splice or termination, the following tips are useful when making a new cleaver selection.

1.Select a cleaver that meets your application requirements. Cleavers designed for fusion splicing require a low average angle that is one degree or less, while cleavers appropriate for mechanical connectors require angles below three degrees. Determine whether you need a single or multi-fiber cleaver that can precisely cleave up to 12 fibers at a time.

2.Buy your cleaver from a reputable manufacturer or distributor. Tempting offers of cleavers on eBay and Amzon List at highly discounted prices abound on the Internet. As with fusion splicers, there are a number of counterfeit knock-offs that replicate the body, look and branding of the leading manufacturers' cleavers. Look at the inner components and you may find cheaply made parts and blades with inferior metal alloys that can compromise your splice or break down during the work. By buying from reputable manufacturers, you will enjoy manufacturer support and warranties; Service for periodic maintenance and cleaning that extends the life of the cleaver; and a cleaver made of the best durable metal materials.

3.Think twice before buying a cleaver built into a splicer. The downside of these built-in cleavers is that if the cleaver or splicer needs maintenance, the technician loses two valuable tools that can hold the job in hand.

4.Buy a cleaver with the latest automation features that save time. Cleavers, like fusion splicers, continue to evolve with new and improved features, such as automated fiber scrap collection, automated scoring mechanisms, and the latest automatic blade rotation technology.

Fujikura CT50 Fiber Cleaver

Automated features save time and significantly improve the quality of the cleave by eliminating human error and subpar cleaves associated with scribes and manual cleavers:

Automatic fiber waste collection

Manufacturers now offer cleavers with fiber scrap catchers that automatically collect fiber scraps. These cleavers not only collect the fiber scraps, but also store the scraps in internal trash cans, ultimately saving technicians, cleaning and safe disposal time. As a standard safety practice, fiber shards should always be collected and properly disposed of, as fiber can easily embed into the skin.

Automated Scoring Mechanisms

Due to automated scoring mechanisms, cleavers can now complete a cleave and reset themselves for the next cleave in one or two steps, streamlining the cleaving process while perfecting the quality and reliability of the cleave. Manufacturers now offer handheld clamshell-designed cleavers that complete the cleave with a quick and easy press-and-release motion.

Automatic Blade Rotation Cleavers

This feature is one of the breakthrough technologies in cleaver design. The automatic blade rotation system automatically rotates the cleaver blade during use for easy, fast, and precise cleaves in a two-step process that prevents double scoring of fibers and solves the field technician's challenge of manually adjusting and rotating the cleaver blade position.

Standard cleavers cleave the fiber using the same blade position until that position becomes dull, resulting in poor cleaves. When this happens, the technician must rotate and adjust the blade height, which can be a very time-consuming process. Typically, with standard cleavers, the blade rotation process requires loosening a set screw and turning the blade to the next blade position. The height adjustment also requires loosening a different set of screws and raising or lowering the blade until it is in the optimal position, which can be determined by viewing the cleave angles on the technician's fusion splicer. If the angle is not achieved, the process must be repeated.

In the past, the difficult process of blade rotation adjustments has necessitated increased service and maintenance of the fiber cleavers due to the frequent improper cleaver, blade rotation, and height adjustments.

Cleaver with automatic rotating blade systems utilize the complete blade surface (unlike standard cleavers) and automatically increment the cleaver blade with each cleave. These auto-rotating cleavers remove the majority of cleaver maintenance; provide 48,000 consecutive cleaves with no necessary adjustments; and extend the life of the cleaver blade; while resulting in an excellent typical cleave angle of <0.5 degrees.

Quality optical fiber cleave is a must to maintain optimal cable and connectivity performance. Cleavers may be small, but they are one of the most important items purchased for the tool box.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.