What’s the Difference Between Optical Fiber Patch Cable and Fiber Pigtails

What’s the difference between fiber pigtail & fiber patch cord. Can we use a patch cord as fiber optic pigtail by cutting in the middle of the cable? I find such questions now and then on the Internet, it’s true that there are still some peoples that are not familiar with but still interested in such knowledge. Keep this in mind, we would like to take this topic into the discussion by collecting opinion from related answers:

What Is Fiber Optic Pigtail and Patch Cable

For some people, an optical fiber patch cable is ruggedized (providing additional fiber protection) and a pigtail is not (and therefore more brittle).

“I would expect pigtails while dealing with optical components, while when dealing with patch panels, equipment interconnections, etc. I would expect patch cables.” “I would also expect patch cables to be double-ended (i.e computerized at both ends) and pigtails to be single-ended (or not terminated).”

Patch cables have connectors on both ends. While pigtails have a connector on one end and bare fiber on the other.

In my opinion, I would agree with all of the above comments, and also give the simplest understanding of myself: the fiber optic patch cable = fiber optic connector + fiber optic cable + fiber optic connector, while the fiber optic pigtail = fiber optic connectors + fiber optic cable. We can really use a patch cord as pigtails by cutting in the middle of the cable.

Officially speaking, fiber optic patch cable, often called fiber optic patch cord or fiber jumper cable, is a fiber optic cable terminated with fiber optic connectors on both ends. I have two major application areas: computer workstation to outlet and fiber optic patch panels or optical cross connects distribution center. Fiber optic patch cables can be divided into different types based on fiber mode, cable structure, connector types, connector polishing types and cable sizes. All types of fiber optic patch cables can be found at FIBERSTORE.COM, LC patch cable is the most commonly used, other connector types include ST, SC, FC, etc. Which can be either the same types of connector on both ends or different connectors on each end (Hybrid fiber optic patch cables).

Fiber Optic Pigtail vs Patch cable

Fiber optic pigtail is a piece of cable terminated with fiber optic connectors at only one side of the cable while leaving the other side no connectors so that the connector side can link to the equipment and the other side can be melted with optical cable fibers. Pigtail fiber optic cables are usually used with fiber optic management equipment like ODF, splice closures and cross cabinets.

Commonly used fiber optic pigtail types are FC, LC, MU, E2000, MTRJ and ST pigtail. According to the fiber mode types, there are single mode types and multimode types.

fiber optic pigtail

The pigtail, when separate from a line, looks like a bundle of loose, capped wires that are bound together at one end. The bound end connects to the main cable, where the individual strands of the fiber pigtail are permanently fused, or spliced, to the multicore cable. When the process is complete, the pigtail is a non-removable piece of the system.


For more information on fiber patch cable and fiber optic pigtail as well as the ordering & custom availability, please send emails to sales@fs.com.

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Fiber Optic Pigtails: What Is It and How to Splice It?