Best wire strippers
I have a funny story about wire strippers. When I was a teenager, I tried to change the cord on a desk lamp because somehow it blew up. I bought a new cord, and then I started on installing it. The plug itself was fine, so I thought of recycling it. I started putting it on the new cord. I took a sharp knife and started cleaning the rubber insulation from the wires. It did not go well the first time, the second either. I kept cutting the metal part as well, and the two wires inside the cord were uneven. While I was struggling, my father passed by my room and asked me what I was doing. Naturally, I was already angry and told him that I cannot cut the rubber off the wires so I can install the plug. He started laughing and left. I went back to my frustrating activity, but then he came back with some kind of clippers. At least that is what I thought they were. Instead, he had a pair of wire strippers. It took two subtle moves to strip the wire. He looked at me with a grin and told me that I am working too hard, but not very smart. And that was my first contact with wire strippers.
Wire strippers, or wire stripping tools, are clipper-like tools that can help you easily remove the insulation of electrical wires. While there are many smart ways to do that, the wire stripper does not use heat or anything else that can harm you while doing it.
Why you should invest in a wire stripper?
Wire strippers are not expensive, and you can find them in pretty much any hardware store. There are a few benefits to using such a tool, and here are my favorites:
- It is super easy to use – a wire stripper is like a regular clipper, except that you use it to strip the wire of its insulation, not cut it entirely. Just place the wire inside its designated space, squeeze and then pull along the wire. The insulation comes off, but the electrical wire is left behind. Intact, I might add.
- It is cheap – a high-quality wire stripper can be found for about $10. Some are even cheaper. It is one of those tools that you need to have in your toolbox, and for that price, you could have a dozen. The point is that there is no significant investment, but the utility is incredible.
- It is safe – if you used to do like I did, as in cutting the insulation with a knife, then chances are you got cut once or twice. I did, and I cannot remember how many times. The wire stripper, however, is the safest option. The only way you can hurt yourself with it is if you put your finger where the wire is supposed to go. Or if someone throws it at you. Otherwise, I cannot see how you can possibly get hurt by a wire stripper.
- It is convenient – if I think about it, this one should have gone first. Using a wire stripping tool is the most convenient way to strip a wire. There are no hazards involved, you will get right from the first try, and it will take you about a second. There is nothing to get frustrated about. Just give it a try, and you will agree with me.
What to consider when looking for the best wire stripper
Just like with anything else, it is a bad idea to go for the first product you see. That is how people make bad decisions. Instead, follow some selection criteria and make sure that you buy the best wire stripper you can find. Here is what you need to consider:
- Construction – the high-quality of the structure, when it comes to any tool, is a general rule, and a wire stripper is no different. After all, you will not be using it to mix your tea. It is a tool, and it will get a lot of abuse. That is why you need to go for a product that is made of a hardened such as titanium or steel. Maybe not titanium because it is too expensive, but steel is not. It will last for many years, and you can probably use it to make the same point as my father did, to your kid.
- Ergonomics – a tool that has poor ergonomics will be uncomfortable to use, can lead to hand fatigue, and basically, you will not like it very much. Not to mention that it can affect the precision and control you have over the tool. As far as this aspect is concerned, you need to look for wire stripper with a rubber grip. It is soft, the grip is secure, it will not slip, and the rubber provides excellent traction, especially when you handle stubborn cords.
- Multiple cutting terminals – if you want the best wire stripper, then you should go for the one that is equipped with various AWG cutting terminals. If you have no idea what AWG means, allow me to enlighten you. AWG stands for American Wire Gauge, and there are about 40 possible gauges. While you cannot find a wire stripper that can handle of all them, you can search for one that is designed to handle more common measures.
- Ease of use – not all wire strippers are as efficient as the label says. Some of them lack functionality or accuracy, which makes them difficult to use. You cannot possibly tell whether a product you see online is easy to use or not, but you could read some wire strippers reviews online. The people who have already bought a particular tool are the most qualified to give you a solution to that problem. Lucky for you, the internet is full of reviews.
Wire strippers alternatives
The reason why a wire stripper is one of the best solutions to insulation removal is that it is the safest. Safety measures are something you should always take into consideration. With that in mind, do you have any idea what are the alternatives to a wire stripping tool? There are tools out there that use heat, electricity, and chemicals to burn the insulation off the electrical wires. How can that possibly be safer than a set of clippers? Not to mention that the wire stripper is more cost efficient. Both when you buy it, and in the long run as you use it.
What are the best wire strippers?
I think that as long as you use the information I provided above, you should be able to choose the best wire strippers. Reading reviews is also a must. However, if you want someone else to do the searching for you, you have come to the right place. Below you will find three excellent wire strippers. Whichever one you choose, you will be satisfied.
Dowell 7-Inch Wire Stripper
The wire stripper from Dowell is one of the best products in its category. It is designed to handle copper and aluminum cables flawlessly, and the best thing about it is that if you want, you can also use it as a wire cutter. It is some sort of multi-purpose wire stripper that is guaranteed to make your work a little bit easier. It is a one-hand operation tool, and all you have to do is place the cable in its designated gauge, squeeze, and then pull the insulation off the electrical wire. It is that simple. It leaves clean cuts on all wires without damaging them.
The Dowell wire stripper is made of high carbon steel, which makes it highly durable. It will not break anytime soon, and the sharp edges will stay as such for a very long time. The handles are made of PP+TPR material. The ergonomic design makes it very comfortable, and the force transmission is optimal. The rubber ensures a secure grip so that you can use the tool even when your hands are wet or oily.
As for the cutting terminals, the Dowell wire stripper features 7 cutting terminals, from 10-gauge to 22-gauge. The gauges are readable in both AWG and millimeters. Furthermore, the tool has more than one function. You can use it for stripping, cutting, and crimping. You will find it most useful.
Zoto Self-Adjusting Wire Stripper
The wire stripper from Zoto is another product that I think you will enjoy very much. You can use it as a wire stripper, cutter, and a crimper. It is a 3-in-1 tool that you will find very handy. As for the wire stripping part, this model has self-adjusting jaws, and it can handle copper and aluminum cords from 10-gauge to 24-gauge. However, instead of existing terminals, the tool self-adjusts on the spot depending on the gauge of the wire you are cutting. Also, if the wire you want to strip is smaller than 24-gauge, you can use the swivel knob for micro-adjusting the tool. That should make your task a little bit easier.
As for the cutting part, this tool can cut only copper, but the blades will perform flawlessly. The metal part of the wire stripper is made of alloy carbon steel, which is highly durable.
The design of the Zoto wire stripper is ergonomic, the handles are cushioned with plastic for maximum leverage and comfort. You will not feel hand fatigue. It is very easy to use, and I am sure that you want to buy this for your toolbox, you will be satisfied with your choice. You cannot go wrong with this one.
Klein Tools Wire Cutter and Wire Stripper
Last but certainly not least, the wire stripper from Klein is yet another option that I think you may be interested in. It can cut, strip, and loop 10 to 18 gauge AWG solid wires, and 12 to 20 AWG stranded wire. If you have not figured it out already, not all wire strippers can do that. The 5 stripping terminals will provide some help and precision, while the holes are for looping and bending wire. As a bonus, the Klein wire stripping tool also cuts 8-32 and 6-32 screws.
As for the tool’s construction, the manufacturer used heavy-duty forged steel that is 4 times stronger than conventional materials. You will enjoy this tool for a very long time. The design is ergonomic so that your hands do not feel fatigue or pain from using the tool too much. If you are an electrician, you know what I am talking about.
The handles are cushioned with high-quality plastic that ensures leverage and a secure grip. Handling it should be easy because this tool is not as large as the other two. It is a bit more elegant, so to speak, and that is for your convenience. It is definitely worth its price.
Since I found the hard way how useful a wire stripper can be, I can guarantee that all three products will make your job easier. If I were to choose, however, I would go with the Zoto Self-Adjusting Wire Stripper. It has all the right features, it is multi-functional, and it is self-adjusting. I think it is one of the best wire strippers I have ever seen.
You do not really appreciate the usefulness of a wire stripper until you do not have one and need it. And my father was right. It is better to work smart than hard. I believe they made a whole saying out of that. As long as you have the right tool, nothing can stop you. It goes the same with wire strippers. As long as you choose the right one for you, your job will get easier. I am sure that all of the wire strippers above are up to the task. Click here to buy on Amazon
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