Wire Strippers
How-to & Tech Tools

Wire Strippers

LON-TT-Wire StrippersSo, you need to work on some wiring and connect two wires together.  It's not that complex of a job, but there is one tool that makes the whole process a lot easier: wire strippers.

Wire Strippers

A wire stripper is a plier-like device that helps you remove the plastic coating around copper wires. Removing the plastic coating exposes the copper ends so that they can come into contact with another wire or terminal.

A wire stripper tool has two main functions: cut the coating and remove it.  To use properly, measure your wire and insert it into the corresponding hole. Squeeze the handles together to cut through the wire coating and then, gently twist and pull the coating off the end, leaving the wire undamaged and exposed.

How To Use

First, you need to identify the gauge of the copper wire to be stripped. Most often, you can find this information on the outermost sheathing. With a number such as 12/2, the first number is the wire gauge and the second number (referring to quantity of wires) can be ignored.  The most common wire gauges in household wiring will be limited to 14 and 12 gauge. 10 gauge is less commonly found and will be used for high-draw appliances like dryers and air conditioners.

Wire StippedGrab the pair of Wire Strippers and match the gauge with the appropriate hole on the wire stripper. The hole will be marked. Open the wire stripper handles and put the wire into one side of the hole.  Slowly press the handles together until they can go no farther creating the perfect cut.  If the coating does not fully cut, you may have to gently rotate the wire within the hole (or the wire stripper around the wire, whichever is easier). You do not have to rotate far, just a quarter turn in one direction and back.

Once the coating is cut, gently pull the wire stripper towards the cut end of the wire. Discard the casing as it has no further use.

What's Next:

Do you have a set of wire strippers? Take some scrap wire and a pair of wire strippers and have a little bit of fun with them.  Luckily, when you are playing with scrap you won't short anything out. Go for it!

A good option for a pair of Wire Strippers: CLICK HERE


Author:  Charlene Bower

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