How to Strip Wire?

How to strip wire?

Before stripping any electrical wire, you require certain tools. These include wire stripping tools, combination tools, etc. these tools are essential for removing the insulation cover of the electrical wire. Wire stripping tools have blades and notches which help you strip off the insulation. These notches are of different sizes which allows you to strip wires of different sizes. Combination tools also contain wire terminal crimpers within them. They help in just stripping the ends of the wires.

You should never use a knife or linesman plier for stripping wires. If you use a knife then the copper wire can get damaged. It may also lead to the cutting of wires which poses risk to security. In this post, I have mentioned four different ways with which you can easily strip wire.

Wire Stripping Methods

You can remove the insulating cover of the electrical wire with the following four methods:

  • Using a wire stripping tool
  • Using a utility knife
  • Stripping for scrap
  • Using abrasive surface
  • Using a wire stripping tool

Wire stripping tools prove very handy for stripping electrical wires. Also, they are very versatile. For stripping wire with wire stripping tool, you need to follow the given steps

  1. Choose an appropriate wire stripper according to your purpose. They can be easily bought online or from any electrical stores.
  2. Choose the gauge which suits your wire type. For example, if you have a 16-gauge wire then find the notch labelled with 16. If you don’t know the right notch number then you can try placing the wire in every notch and find the matching notch.
  3. After finding the desired notch, place the wire in the notch and slowly close the tool’s jaws. Keep the jaws away from the end of the wire for about 2 to 3 centimetres.
  4. Gently squeeze the insulation cover using the stripper handles. Don’t squeeze too hard. Squeezing too hard will cause damage to the wire under insulation.
  5. Spin the stripping tool around the wire to ensure that you have cut the insulation.
  6. Slide the tool of the wire to remove the insulation. While sliding off remember to keep the jaws pulled.

Using a Utility Knife

  1. Gently place the utility knife on the wire. The wire should be placed on a flat surface.
  2. Place the knife on the place from where you want to strip the isolation.
  3. While placing the knife on the wire, use another hand to roll on the wire. This would help in scoring the sheath from all directions.
    After scoring, just bend the wire to break the insulation on the scored area. This would take a little effort.
  4. Once the insulation is broken you can then remove the insulation from the wire easily.

Stripping the Wire for Scrap

  • If you’re stripping the wire for scrap then you can make use of mounted vice or clamps. Using them will allow you to easily hold the wire for stripping. You will be able to use both the hands for stripping the wire.
  • After the placing the wire uses a sharp blade for cutting the insulation of the wire. Make sure to wear gloves for protecting yourself.
  • Cut through the edges of the wire near the clamp so that you can easily strip off the insulation.
  • Once you have pierced the complete wire you can easily remove the insulating cover.
  • If you have a lot of stripping work to do then you can also buy huge stripping machines from online stores. A tabletop manual machine for stripping wire can be handy and affordable.

How to Strip Wire – Video Guide


Stripping wire using an abrasive surface.

Use sandpaper or nail file emery boards for this purpose. With such abrasive surfaces you can strip the wire in the following way:

  • Cut the sandpaper into small square pieces along with edges. The length should be around 5 centimetres.
  • Wrap your wire with the sandpaper near the tip of the wire. If you are using the emery board then place one board on the tip of the wire and one below it.
  • Squeeze the sandpaper with one hand and move the wire with another. Rotate the wire so that it is scraped from all the sides.
  • Repeat the process until all the enamel coating is off. The same technique can be applied with emery boards.

Joy Smith Administrator
Hi, I am Joy Smith and I love to play guitar daily. I got into guns when I was around 22 and started with YouTube videos, scouring forums, and eventually taking a bunch of classes. I soaked up as much information as I could online, at competitions, and from tinkering in my workshop. Now I hope to answer some of yours!

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