The Do’s & Don’ts of Wire Stripping

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Stripping wires can be delicate work, so it’s important to know what you are doing before you embark on a project.

What Are Wire Stripping Tools?

Wire stripping tools are handheld tools often used by electricians to strip insulation from wires.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Wire Stripping

The Do’s

  • The first do is simple – make sure you buy a wire stripper! There are other ways to remove insulation from wiring, but the safest and most efficient way is with a set of wire strippers. Automatic self-adjusting wire strippers are the best option for beginners, but for those willing to learn, adjustable or gauged wire strippers are more than sufficient.
  • Make sure you use the correct technique for the wire you work For example, if you are dealing with plastic-sheathed cables, you should use a utility knife to score the cable. The wire stripper can be used to strip the insulation off of the wires.
  • You should always use a voltage detector, even if you have taken precautions to switch the breakers off. It’s always wise to stay safe before you get to work. If the detector finds a live wire, test again when you return from the breaker.
  • Don’t be afraid to start over if you damage the wire. You can strip more insulation and work with fresh wire to ensure the result is high quality and durable.
  • When you purchase a wire stripper, buy a high-quality item from a reputable supplier. That goes for any equipment you need to purchase.

The Don’ts

  • Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to use the wrong tool. Don’t risk using scissors, don’t try a utility knife, and do not use your teeth. While an experienced wire stripper may use an alternative tool in a pinch, it’s not the safest option. And wire strippers aren’t an expensive tool.
  • However tempting it might be, don’t fall into the trap of using the wire stripper for every job. Different wires require different strippers, they need to fit snugly in the notch to ensure the insulation is stripped while leaving the wire intact.
  • Don’t leave the power on while you work. You might think it’s a quick job or it will be fine, but that’s a quick way to book yourself a trip to the hospital. You should always turn the power off and test it before you start working.
  • If you damage a wire, don’t use it. It’s easier than you think to damage a wire when stripping, simply cut the damaged area off and start fresh.

Invest In A High-Quality Product

As with any product, the cheapest option is not the best. It might save you a bit of cash now, but if you invest in a high-quality wire stripper, you will be able to rely on it for years to come. A cheaper product also increases the risk of damaging the wires you are working with.

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