There are many ways you can strip wires from their insulation, a common method being using a pocket knife to peel the coating away. However, if you value safety or have more than just one wire to strip, you may want to consider a good wire stripping tool.
These are designed specifically to carry out the task professionally and safely, as you can never be too cautious when working with electrical supplies.
When it comes to wire strippers there are two options: manual and automatic. The former uses a scissor like motion to grip onto a wire which you can pull through to remove the insulation.
The latter uses different mechanisms to remove the insulation with one squeeze from the user. You don’t have to do anything else, the automatic wire stripper does all the work for you.
A wire stripping tool is a possession that you never think you’re going to need, but once you obtain one and use it a few times, you’ll wonder what you ever did without it.
You never think you’re going to have to remove the insulation of electrical wires, but here you are – you need an electrical wire stripper and you don’t have one.
That’s where we come in. We’ve scoured the market trying to find the best electrical wire stripping tools so you don’t have to get lost within the thousands of models.
Below are five of our favourite wire strippers along with a buyers guide and a few frequently asked questions.
FATMAX range: even more robust and ergonomic, for intensive use
High performance: the heavy duty steel automatic wire stripper FMHT0-96230 STANLEY offers a satisfactory opening of the jaws to strip wires from 0.2 to 6 mm² in size, with the possibility of adjusting their length from 6 to 18 mm - offers an automatic adjustment of the jaws to the size of the wire for a considerable saving of time - Multipurpose: has jaws to crimp the lugs and a cutter part to cut the wires for more than versatility
Reduced effort: Features a length of 203 mm to transmit powerful pressure effortlessly. Its light weight promises easy handling and easy transport
Wire strippers are one of those tools that you don’t know what you’re missing until you need one.
Sounds simple, but it can be really frustrating when you need a wire stripper and you don’t have one within reach. This is why we think it’s best to get a jump on it and keep one in your toolbox just in case you should ever need it.
We’ve chosen the STANLEY FATMAX Automatic Wire Stripper as our favourite electrical wire stripper from all of our research.
Here are a few reasons why:
STANLEY is a very well known tool manufacturer who consistently brings out reliable and durable tools, so it stands to reason that their wire stripper is no different.
Incredibly versatile features.
Crimping section is colour coded to help you choose the right setting.
Best Electrical Wire Stripping Tool – Comparison Table
The STANLEY FATMAX Automatic Wire Stripper is the most versatile tool on this list while remaining strong and durable to last a long time. Not only can this tool strip wires from 0.2 to 6mm, which is an excellent range, it also has the ability to strip both inner and outer sheaths.
The jaws are hardened to keep them sturdy and durable while the handles are covered in two different materials to allow more grip on the areas where you need it the most. Wire stripping and crimping can take a lot of effort, so efficient and effective grip is a must have.
Speaking of crimping, this tool also allows you to crimp different types of wires. On the handle you can crimp insulated and non insulated wires, and these separate areas are colour coded to ensure you don’t choose the wrong one and ruin your wires. This attention to detail is amazing.
The PushLock adjustment enables you to adjust the wire strippper to the correct size easily and quickly to maximise your efficiency. You can also adjust the wire stop with a handy slider to keep your wires the same and ensure there’s no inconsistencies.
The handles are loaded with a spring in between them to keep them working well and most helpful for the user. STANLEY has been creating and developing tools for over 170 years so you can count on them to offer an excellent automatic wire stripper.
Colour coded features to ensure you don’t accidentally use the wrong one.
Comes from a well known and trusted brand.
A few users found it strips wires a little too harshly.
Doesn’t always grip wire as effectively as it could.
These bestselling wire strippers are as easy as they come to use. As with any automatic wire stripper, simply place the wire through the correct hole and watch the magic unfold. Before you know it you’ll have a stripped wire without having to put in any effort. This is perfect for avid electricians who have a lot of wires of all shapes and sizes to strip, as it’s much quicker than a manual wire stripper.
Stripping the wires isn’t all this tool can do, though. It can also be used as a wire trimmer, as well as being used to crimp auto ignition terminals and insulated terminals. This makes for a versatile and practical tool to have around the house.
DANIU has designed this tool with efficiency in mind, which can be seen through the innovative non-slip capabilities. You have the ability to adjust the holding mechanism to keep the wire you want stripping in place so that the job is both quick and efficient.
Moreover, this wire stripper is made of only high quality materials such as carbon steel and TPR, both of which are both incredibly durable and won’t go faltering on you any time soon. The handles have a non slip pattern on them to keep efficiency high and prevent your hand aching.
Can strip wires as well as crimp them and trim them, making for a versatile tool.
Durable materials used to create the tool.
Works on many sizes of wires.
A few users found it frustrating to use.
Quite aggressive so might not work well on small, fragile wires.
A manual alternative to all of the compound automatic wire strippers, ENGINEER’s Precision Wire Strippers do exactly what you need them to do with minimal extra effort. The carbon steel pincers are very durable and will strive to grip the wire insulation so tight that pulling it off will be a breeze.
Having said this, no damage will occur to the conductor wires inside thanks to the blunt edge. This is the main benefit of manual wire strippers as automatic models tend to be slightly harsher and have the ability to ruin wires more often. These manual strippers by ENGINEER eliminate this problem altogether.
The spring in between the handles keeps them bouncing back to a neutral position and allows easy usage. Once you’ve finished using them you can also latch this to keep them locked shut for safety and life longevity.
There are seven holes to choose from when stripping wires, ranging from 0.8 to 2.5mm, giving the user excellent versatility and allowing you to use it on the most common sizes of wiring. The handles have great grip made from thermoplastic rubber to prevent your hands slipping, even when oily.
Another useful feature is that the handles include holes to give you the option to attach this tool onto a ring and therefore your keys, tool ring or bag strap.
Less likely to damage the conductor wires.
TPR grips that work even when oily.
Great range of wire sizes.
Spring isn’t as durable as it could be.
Slightly more effort needed than automatic wire strippers.
Wire stripping comes up in a lot of professions and hobbies, so it’s always handy to have one in your bag or toolbox at all times. Dechengbao’s Automatic Wire Stripper takes whichever wire you place between it and automatically adjusts to the right diameter. This will give you an accurate and efficient result every time without you having to go back and redo it multiple times.
With a cutting range of 0.25mm²-6mm², this wire stripper is incredibly versatile and you won’t be having to buy more than this tool. Moreover, you can also cut wire with this model as well, and thanks to the sharp blade you’ll feel like you’re cutting through water.
While cutting or stripping your wires, this tool will ensure it keeps a firm grip on the wire with its clamping jaws. This allows the blade to strip the wire without damaging the conductor wires, so you won’t be left with ruined and redundant wires after using this.
This tool is so adjustable that you can set where you want it to stop so that each wire is consistent with the last. The blades can be easily replaced when needed, but thanks to the effective spring keeping the tool in the neutral position, Dechengbao’s tool is sure to last for a long time.
Self adjusting to the wires size.
Can cut wires as well as strip them.
Adjustable stopping length to keep your wires consistent.
Draper’s alternative design to manual wire strippers are suitable for both domestic and professional use. You can strip all sorts of electrical wires of their insulation in one swift motion with this tool. Moreover, you can also crimp both insulated and non-insulated wires.
The range of wire stripping is 0.13 to 6mm, which is super versatile and helpful for people who need to strip all sorts of wires often. The jaws are made of alloy steel which has been both tempered and hardened for extra durability, and they hold carbon steel blades which are so effective at cutting wire.
Each handle is covered in a simple rubber grip to ensure you have a steady hold of your tool while using. This can avoid those moments of frustration when something is not going right thanks to slippery hands.
These automatic wire strippers choose the correct width of each individual wire to prevent them being damaged during the stripping process. What’s more is that the crimpers are colour coded much like STANLEY’s wire stripper and crimper. This prevents you from making a mistake and using the wrong crimping mechanism for different wires.
Colour coded crimping section.
Great wire stripping range.
Low price point.
The grips on the handles aren’t the most effective.
No locking mechanisms to keep many wires consistent.
Best Electrical Wire Stripping Tool – Buyer’s Guide
You may be thinking that it is just a simple wire stripper, how hard can it be to choose a good one? Well, you’re right in thinking that it’s pretty straightforward when it comes to picking a good model, but why stop there when you can choose the most perfect one?
There are a few considerations to think about when choosing your new wire stripper to ensure it’s the best for you, and we’ll be discussing them below.
You may want your wire strippers for domestic purposes or professional use, or perhaps even both. People who want a pair for the former reason are less likely to use them often while professionals using them are more likely to use them daily. Depending on how much use you’re going to get out of them, you’ll either want manual or automatic wire strippers.
Manual strippers are often less harsh on the inside of the wire and therefore damage less wires, however they take a little more effort than automatic models and aren’t as useful when you want to strip multiple wires. They also often lack additional features.
Automatic strippers typically offer more features such as cutting and crimping wires, and are generally considered easier to use than manual models. They automatically adapt to the size of the individual wires so you don’t waste time finding the right setting. Moreover, they often have settings that allow you to keep each wire you strip consistent with the last, so they’re very beneficial if you need exact matching wires.
Wire Size Range
Many wire strippers on the market offer a wide range of sizes that they can strip effectively, however it is worth noting that there are some wires that fit outside the norm and therefore will need a specific stripper for either larger or smaller wires.
Decide whether you’re going to need a specific size range or the general range will work for you and choose a wire stripping tool accordingly.
If you’re thinking of using your wire stripping tool often, you’re more likely to want one with ergonomic grip on the handles to prevent hand aches and cramps. No matter how often you’re going to be using your tool, you’re going to want it to be comfortable, right? If you don’t have enough grip on your tool your hand may slip and damage the wires insides.
Stripping wires often requires a lot of pressure to complete the task effectively and efficiently, so you’re going to need a well constructed handle to keep it a pleasant experience. If the handles are too small or thin they may press into your fingers harshly, or if they’re too big you may find it difficult to get a decent grip to apply enough pressure.
There’s no use in purchasing an electrical wire stripping tool when it is going to break in a couple of months, so choose one made of durable and strong materials. Many wire strippers on the market are made of durable metals which have been further hardened to increase the lifespan of it even more.
If you’re choosing an automatic wire stripping tool, ensure to choose one with durable and reliable mechanisms, as if these break it is unlikely you’ll be able to use your tool at all.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the easiest way to strip wire fast?
There are many different ways to strip wire quickly, however the easiest and safest way to do so while keeping the inside of the wire undamaged is to use an automatic wire stripping tool. However, if you don’t have one of these to hand you can try one of the following methods.
Firstly, putting a wire insulated with plastic in the warm sun can potentially soften it and make it easier to pull off, or you can try boiling it to achieve the same result.
Alternatively you could just go all in with a knife and cut the insulation off freehand. Hold the knife to the wire, applying slight pressure and start to turn the wire. As you turn the wire you’ll see the insulation pulling off, but don’t press too hard as you may damage the wire inside.
Can you burn copper wire to strip it?
While you could technically burn any wire with plastic insulation to strip it, the fumes are very bad for the environment which could easily be avoided by stripping it another way. Moreover, burning your copper will degrade the value if you were wanting to scrap it for money.
Is it worth stripping copper wire for scrap?
Selling copper wires with the insulation still on will allow the buyer to lower the price thanks to the extra weight added. If you strip the wire beforehand, the same amount of copper is likely to be worth around three times as much. This means it is definitely worth stripping it before selling it for scrap.
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