Home Enterprise StarTech Slim Cat6 Patch Cables Review

StarTech Slim Cat6 Patch Cables Review

by Dylan Bryan

The StarTech Slim Cat6 patch cables not only slim down cable bundles but are easier to pull through a mess of wires when removing one.

Anyone who watches our social media channels knows rack management and cable management aren’t our strongest suit. The lab is constantly turning over as servers, storage arrays, and other gear come in and eventually go right back out. That often leaves a pile of cables behind the racks and disappoints our social followers working in actual production environments. To help us better handle our cable management and lab organization, our friends at StarTech sent over a box of goodies featuring their skewer-thin StarTech Slim Cat6 Ethernet cables.

Startech Slim Cat6 Overview

Highlighting the pallet of goodies from StarTech, the slim Snagless Cat6 Patch cables do not disappoint. Patch cables may seem a forgotten commodity, but these are special because they’re only 3mm in diameter, about 36 percent thinner than a standard patch cable.

Slimmer cables allow for neater routing in tight spaces and less airflow obstruction. These patch cables have 28AWG copper conductors throughout the length of the cable and 50-micron gold-plated connectors. To ensure the best performance out of these cables, StarTech built them to meet ANSI/TIA-568-C.2 Cat6 Requirements. There’s also a free lifetime warranty and technical support with these cables, sweetening the deal should you have problems.

StarTech Slim Cat6 plugged in switch

StarTech sent us a wide variety of cables to play with, we asked for three colors to help wrangle our Ethernet cabling mess.

Snagless Cat6 slim patch cable part numbers

Black N6PAT10BKS Blue N6PAT10BLS Gray N6PAT10GRS

StarTech Slim Cat6 Thickness

We checked out StarTech’s claim that the 3mm slim cables were 36 percent thinner, and from our observation, we found that true. The majority of our cables are about 5mm thick. It may not seem like a lot, but 2mm but when you’re routing a lot of wires, the size adds up quickly.

Putting 10 of each cable together, the circumference of our existing cabling in the lab totaled 2-3/4 inches (69.85mm), whereas the StarTech cables measured 1-11/16″ (42.86mm), exceeding their 36 percent thinner claim. The thinner cables help with neatness and airflow, as mentioned earlier. Anyone who has been around the rack a few times knows it gets pretty toasty back there, and anything to help that air escape can help keep temperatures down.

StarTech Slim Cat6 size comparison

Buying these thin cables in bulk makes a neat cable run. However, buying bulk cables means self-terminating, which would take away the neat look. Another consideration for self-terminating these thin cables would be the size of the conductors. The 28-gauge conductors in the slim cables seem more challenging to work with than 23 or 25-gauge conductors. And the availability of jacks and ends for that size cable might be an issue.

StarTech Slim Cat6 Snagless Connector

We’ve all seen snagless end Cat6 before, but some manufacturers still tend to mess it up. There are the connectors with the little “hood” or boot over the tab that somehow gets stuck underneath the tab making it almost impossible for you to get out. We’ve also seen the Cisco Field Notice 63697 debacle where the boot on some cables would hit the mode/reset button on some switches causing unexpected resets.

Cable boot on cisco switch reset button

Two suggested remedies for this issue were

  • Use a snagless cable with a less-pronounced boot in Port 1.
  • Trimming the boot on the cable installed in Port 1.

StarTech Slim Cat6 protective clip

StarTech avoids these issues in their connector design by placing two ridges on either side of the tab. These ridges help ramp cables up over the tab without snagging on it or catching it. Some other manufacturers have these ridges but they are too soft and bend aside, leaving the tab exposed. StarTech’s design also avoids this by making the ridges and boot out of stiffer material, keeping the connectors from catching.

StarTech Slim Cat6 Application

Our Stack of Dell Poweredge R740s is one of the most stationary things in the lab, so we decided that would be a good place to drop in the slimline cables to see what sort of space (and sanity) we could regain. Since the networking on this stack is done over 25GB, that just leaves the 13 IDRAC cables to clean up. It’s not huge, but we did see a good bit of reduction.


Though we didn’t find a way to incorporate them into our racks, it is worth mentioning that StarTech also sent over some other organizational items:

Some of these items like the vertical raceways and the vertical cable D-rings didn’t want to fit well into our Eaton racks so that is worth keeping in mind. Our racks are an older generation from Eaton, so the compatibility may be better in other, newer models. For the rest of the items other than hook and loop, we just didn’t feel like we had a great way to incorporate them into our environment to show them off effectively. We will however make sure these get to good homes – perhaps a give away on our Discord would be appropriate.

The StarTech Slim Cat6 patch cables, although a small change, are a nice addition to the lab. These cables not only slim down bundles but are easier to pull through a mess of wires when removing one. These patch cables also seem fairly durable with the rigid boot, and a tough-feeling jacket to protect the conductors. In the long run, slimming down cabling can help in not only neatness but thermals. If you are using horizontal or vertical wire managers in your rack, you will also be able to fit more of these patch cables at once. After using these in the lab, these patch cables get our recommendation if you’re looking to clean up your racks.

Patch Cable Product Page

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