Fiber Patch Cord VS Pigtail: What are the Differences?

fiber patch cord vs pigtail

Optical fiber patch cords and pigtails have similar appearances and are rich in variety, but they are not the same fiber optic product. This article will mainly make a comparison between fiber optic patch cords and optical fiber pigtails.

What is Fiber Patch Cord?
A fiber patch cord is a cable directly connected to a desktop computer or device to facilitate the connection and management of the device. The jumper has a thicker protective layer and is often used between the terminal box and the optical transceiver.

What is Pigtail?
Only one end of the pigtail has a connector, and the other end is an optical fiber connector, which is connected to other optical fiber cores in the form of fusion splicing, and generally appears in the optical fiber terminal box.

Fiber Patch Cord VS Pigtail: The Differences

fiber patch cord pigtail

Optical fiber jumper: a fixed-length optical fiber cable with connectors at both ends.
fiber patch cord
Optical fiber pigtail: an optical fiber cable with one connector at only one end.
The fiber optic pigtail has only one end with a fiber connector, and the other end is left open, While both ends of a fiber optic patch cord have connectors installed. It can be said that a complete optical fiber jumper can be cut into two optical fiber pigtails with shorter lengths.
fiber patch cord vs pigtails



The fiber optic patch cord is usually jacketed, while fiber optic pigtail is usually unjacketed. In addition, the fiber optic pigtail is spliced and protected in a fiber splice tray.

pigtail in splice tray

Fiber patch cords

  • Fiber patch cord come in simplex (1 fiber), duplex (2 fibers), and 12 fibers counts (MPO connector patch cables).
  • According to the structure of the interface, it can be divided into FC jumper, SC jumper, ST jumper, LC jumper, MTRJ jumper, MPO jumper, MU jumper, SMA jumper and other types.


  • Divided into multi-mode pigtail and single-mode pigtail. The single-mode pigtail is yellow, the wavelength is 1310nm and 1550nm, and the transmission distance is 10km and 40km respectively; the multi-mode pigtail is orange, the wavelength is 850nm, the transmission distance is 500m, and it is used for short-distance interconnection.
  • The pigtails commonly used in the transmission system have five interfaces: SC/PC, FC/PC, LC/PC, E2000/APC, and ST/PC. The shape and color of the connector are the same as those of the corresponding type of fiber jumper.

Application Scenario
Optical fiber jumper is usually used to connect to the port of the optical fiber distribution frame. It supports a variety of outer sheath materials such as conventional (OFNR), flame retardant (OFNP) and low-smoke zero-halogen (LSZH).

The fiber jumper is mainly used for the connection between the optical fiber distribution frame or the optical fiber information socket to the switch, the connection between the switch and the switch, the connection between the switch and the desktop computer, and the connection between the optical fiber information socket and the desktop computer, which can be applied for the management, equipment room, and workspace subsystems.


Fiber pigtails support terminal connection applications for field splicing. Available in Optical Distribution Frame (ODF), splice closure and optical distribution box.
Pigtails are mainly used in optical fiber communication systems, optical fiber access networks, optical fiber data transmission, optical fiber CATV, local area network (LAN), test equipment, optical fiber sensors, serial servers, FTTH/FTTX, telecommunication networks and pre-terminated installations.

Fiber Patch Cord VS Pigtail: The Similarities

  • Both are widely used in telecommunication equipment rooms and data centers.
  • OM4, OM3, OM2, OM1 and OS1/OS2 fiber types are available.
  • It can meet the network connection requirements of Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet and high-speed fiber channels.

In short, the main difference between optical fiber patch cord and optical fiber pigtail is that only one end of the optical fiber pigtail has an active connector, and both sections of the fiber patch cord have active connectors. Simply speaking, the optical fiber patch cord can be used as a pigtail by dividing it into two. Bonelinks provide both pigtails and fiber patch cords. Contact us if you have any needs.

Fiber optic patch cords can be cut into two pieces to make two pigtails. This is because testing a pigtail in the field is not easy. The unterminated end is difficult to check until the pigtail is spliced to the equipment. Some installers avoid this issue by buying an unjacketed fiber optic patch cord, testing its performance, then cutting it into halves as two pigtails.

Echo Huang

Echo Huang is an expert wordsmith and marketing professional at Bonelinks with more than 8 years of experience in high technology businesses – fiber optics, IoT, and telecommunication. She is very glad to share industry knowledge and communicate with others.

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