How To Trim your Coax TV Cable

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Coax cables are one of the main culprits causing a mess behind home theater setups, usually because an excess length is left behind when cable/DSS is installed. A trip down to our local hardware store revealed the smallest they carried was 3 feet. So, instead of living with the coil or making an appointment for the cable guy, we decided to do it ourselves with just a few tools.

What You Need

Equipment and Tools

  • Coax cable
  • Coax cable cutter
  • Crimp or Screw-on F-connectors
  • Wire cutters or some strong scissors


1. Determine how long of a cable you need, and cut it with scissors. We wanted several inches, so chose 6 inches just to be safe and allow us to have some room for error. If you want to be frugal, reuse the end with the connector already attached, then you’ll only have to add one.

2. Strip the wire using the “outer” setting on the cutter. Give yourself about an inch of exposed silver insulation. Effectively, you are removing the black plastic coating. Put it in, clamp, and twist the cable to score it all the way around and pull to reveal the silver underneath.

3. Repeat using the “inner” setting to cut away the insulation to expose the copper wire. Go down about half way, and repeat the same twist then pull motion.

4. Attach a connector by sliding it down over the insulation and crimping it around the cable using the upper portion of the cutter/crimper. Be careful with how much you crimp, it can pop off. A few simple crimps will do fine, don’t make our mistake and overcrimp to make sure its secure.

5. Voila! You now have a shortened coax cable to use without nary a need for the cableman.

Originally posted on Aug 16 2007

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Want more smart tutorials for getting things done around the home?

We’re looking for great examples of your own household intelligence too!
Submit your own Home Hacks tutorial or idea here!
We support our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations to improve life at home. You support us through our independently chosen links, many of which earn us a commission.