How to Strip Wires with Wire Strippers?
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The technique and procedure of stripping wire with a tool depends on the type of tool you are using.
1. Wire strippers with notches/slots: These wire strippers have multiple notches/slots for different wire gauges. You simply insert the wire into its correct gauge slot, close the jaws of wire stripper and pull the wire and stripper away from each other. The wire stripper slot will strip the wire and expose bare conductor.
Klein Wire Stripper & Cutter (Model 11055) is a great wire stripper of such type.
2. Self-Adjusting wire strippers: They don’t have notches or slots. They are one size fit for all type of tool. You simply place the wire in the tool and squeeze the handles. It will strip the wire very easily. There is a swivel knob available in such tools that adjusts the pressure tool applies on wire placed in it so that you may adjust it to your need if the tool is not stripping wire in one go.
IRWIN VISE-GRIP 8-Inch Self Adjusting Wire Stripper (Model 2078300) is a good choice in this type.
3. Automatic wire stripper: They are the simples to use. Just place the wire between their jaws and squeeze the handle like a trigger is squeezed in a gun and they will strip the wire.
Jokari Automatic Wire Stripper (Model 20050) is a great automatic wire stripper in this regard.
4. Replaceable Blade Wire Strippers: These wire strippers combine the precision of notched wire strippers with convenience of an automatic or self-adjustable one. Simply place the wire in correct gauge slot of the stripping blade and squeeze the handles together. It will separate the insulation from the conductor inside.
Klein Katapult 11063 Wire Cutter & Stripper is a great wire stripper in this regard.
Yes, you can but you should not. It is because there is a lot of chance that you would nick the conductor underneath the insulation. Nicked conductors have a tendency to overheat and cause problems in future.
You should always use a wire stripper for stripping wires properly. If you are used to pliers in your hand find it inconvenient to change tools during work, there are some pliers that have built in wire strippers such as Klein Hybrid Multipurpose Tool (Model J215-8CR) that might fit your requirement.
You can strip a 3 core flex in different ways depending upon the type of tool you are using. One of the common ways is to use a knife or paper cutter to slice the outermost insulation carefully and expose the inner wires. Once inner wires are exposed, you can strip them like any normal wire would be stripped.
Another way is to use a conventional wire cutter and instead of cutting the wire, you apply pressure on insulation and rotate the wire inside the jaws of the cutter so that a cut is applied over the circular circumference of the wire. Finally pull the wire cutter away and outer insulation will be removed.
Both of above mentioned ways require some experience. The most convenient way is to use a self-adjustable wire stripper such as the IRWIN VISE-GRIP Self Adjusting Wire Stripper (Model 2078300) and Klein Self-Adjusting Wire Stripper & Cutter (Model 11061) we have reviewed in our post. These tools can strip 3 core flex cables very easily and quickly as illustrated in the video below,
It is important to know how thick of a wire are we talking about. There are special tools available in the market for stripping thick wires and each tool has its own directions of use.
The thickest wire stripper of plier based design we found is Klein Kurve Wire Stripper & Cutter (Model 11053) that can strip stranded wires of thickness up to 6 AWG. It strips the wire just like regular wire strippers do i.e. by inserting the wire in correct gauge size and applying a pulling force.
For even thicker wires and cables we found Klein Large Cable Strippers (Models 21050 & 21051) that can strip wire of size up to 750 MCM and Jonard Tools Round Cable Stripper (Model CST-1900) that can strip wire/cable of size up to 1-5/8”. Both of the latter tools have their own directions of use for properly stripping wires and cables.
Since twin and earth is a flat wire with multiple conductors inside, it cannot be stripped easily with conventional wire strippers. Manual methods are easily available over YouTube and internet, however, since we are talking in the context of hand and power tools, we could not find any tool with high enough reputation to be recommended as the best tool for stripping twin and earth. That being said, the Jokari All-Rounder Cable Stripper (Model 30900) can come in handy but it is not the perfect one for the job and will require some getting used to.
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