As the name may suggest, wire strippers (sometimes known as 'cable strippers' or 'cable stripping tools') are the quickest, easiest, and safest way to remove the insulation or coating from wires.
This guide will take you through the ins and outs of wire strippers, including what to look for when choosing the right wire strippers for you.
Cromwell stocks an extensive range of quality wire strippers, from trusted brands such as Knipex®, Elliot Lucas®, Facom®, Ck® and more.
Wire strippers are a small-but-powerful handheld tool used throughout a range of industries. In terms of looks, they are akin to a pair of pliers, but with different jaws designed for stripping rather than gripping or cutting.
Wire strippers are a must-have tool for electricians and electrical engineers. To attach, crimp, solder, or splice a wire, you'll need access to the wiring core. The best way to get to the core is with wire strippers.
Unlike other methods of stripping wire, wire strippers excel at leaving the core wire completely undamaged whilst removing outer layering. This gives electricians peace of mind when working with important wiring systems.
Wire strippers are primarily used for - you guessed it - wire stripping. This makes them an invaluable tool for electricians and engineers across any industry.
For most wire strippers, the wire is inserted into the matching slot on the jaw. The user then clamps down on the wire and pulls off the coating with relative ease. As the wire passes through the jaws, the protection is completely removed, giving the user access to the core wiring.
If you're looking for the ideal set of wire strippers but aren't sure about the best type for your needs, feel free to ask our experts for specialised advice.
When choosing a pair of wire strippers, it can be hard to know what type to buy. Here are a few of the most common types:
• Adjustable wire strippers - Adjustable wire strippers are the quick, no-fuss option. Simply insert a wire or cable and the strippers will automatically adjust to provide a good cut.
• Sheath strippers - Sheath strippers are designed for quick and efficient rotary cuts, perfect for standard cables and leads.
• Steel armoured wire strippers - Steel armoured wire strippers are designed for heavy-duty wire stripping, and can cut through steel, aluminium, copper and other types of strong metal wire casing.
• Triple action wire strippers - Triple action wire strippers are designed for professionals to cut wires in three ways - linear, spiral, and rotary. The cut to use largely depends on the type of wire and the material used.
• Pistol wire strippers - Pistol wire strippers have blades that automatically adjust, enabling a quick grip-and-strip action.
• Insulated wire strippers - Insulated wire strippers have industry-standard insulation properties that protect users from electrostatic shocks and discharge.
• Manual / Automatic - Whilst most wire strippers are manual, if you're willing to spend more you can get wire strippers that use lasers to cut automatically. Laser wire strippers are typically used when extreme precision is required, although for most common applications a manual wire stripper is sufficient.
• Ergonomic / Insulated grip - Wire strippers should be comfortable and durable enough for long jobs, so it's worth investing in a comfortable grip if you plan on using your wire strippers extensively. Many have insulated grips which provide further protection and peace of mind to users.
• Locking handles - Locking handles can vastly increase the durability of your wire strippers, especially if you keep them loose in a toolbox. Locking handles keep the tool closed, preventing unnecessary wear to the jaws.
Can you strip a live wire?
This is not advised. Working with live wiring in any capacity is incredibly dangerous, so ensure to turn the power off where possible. When this is not possible, ensure that the appropriate safety measures have been taken, and use wire strippers with insulated handles. Cromwell offers a range of safety gloves to help prevent accidents or injury.