Differences Between Fiber Pigtail and Patch Cord


Generally, people only know the difference in appearance of the Fiber Pigtail and patch cord. However, there are many other deep differences between them. In the articles, we will show you these differences.

Patch cords are made from either single or multi-fiber cables (usually rated for indoor use) and connected at each end with fiber cable connectors (either single fiber or multiple-fiber connector). Sometimes patch cords are called jumpers, especially if they are simplex or dulex. The connectors are selected to mate with the interfacing equipment or cable connectors. The important idea is that the cable has a connector at each end. The fiber can be either tight or loose buffered and the cable can be made of various diameters (1.2 mm to 3.0 mm are common).

The patch cord may have one type of connector (ST FC, SC, LC, etc) on one end and a different connector on the other as long as all the fibers are connected on each cable end – this is a transition jumper. Patch cords are commonly used to connect ports on fiber distribution frames (FDFs). And new developed connectors make it possible to run a single cable that automatically terminates 12 fibers in one easy plug in.

A fiber pigtail, on the other hand, is a cable with only one end terminated with an optical connector. Patch cords are often cut into shorter lengths to make two pigtails. Fiber pigtails are found anywhere, but more commonly in optical assemblages or optical components

Fiber pigtails are installed where they will be protected and spliced, lets say on the inside of the optical distribution frame and that’s why they are normally not sheathed. They have a coating color so that you can slice them on the corresponding color on the out coming fiber.

Nevertheless, patch codes are used between the optical distribution frame. If you cut a patch code for use as pigtail, then in case of future faulting where you are dealing with multiple pairs it will be difficult. But still if you need to cut the patch code, check on its characteristics.

In conclusion, the only major physical difference between patch cord and fiber pigtail is that patch cord is a fixed length piece of cable with dual ended fiber connector, while fiber pigtail is one meter standard OFC core with white colored jacket.