Does your business find itself with the occasional or regular need to strip an electric wire? Luckily, the solution is simple – and much safer, and far more effective than using a Stanley knife. Indeed, wire strippers are an ingenious and yet super-simple hand-held tool that makes swift, light, and precise work for electricians, other tradies, or the full scope of industry and business to get that insulation off a wire in order to bond, repair, or replace it.
Where the world of wire strippers gets a little tricker is in the process of selecting the right product for your purpose. But the potential ‘con’ of a cluttered marketplace is actually also a ‘pro’ – because there is sure to be a specific tool that is an absolutely perfect match for your needs and your budget. However, with wire strippers coming in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and specific functions, which one do you need?
1. For simple wire stripping
If your operations don’t call for an awful lot of wire stripping, but you’d like an appropriate tool in the toolbox anyway, let’s start with the generic and adjustable wire stripper.
It’s as simple a wire stripper as they come, with an adjustment for the required wire thickness and a single notch on each blade to guide you.
2. For repeat jobs
If you know precisely what wire gauges you’ll always be working with, though, a gauged wire stripper is what you should go for.
Also simple, and arguably even easier to use, you just match the wire in your hand with the corresponding gauge notch – there will be several of them – on the blades. There’s no adjustment needed as with the generic type above, and you can also pair the stripping function with cutting and crimping on some types too.
3. To avoid manual adjustment
Some, though, just don’t want to deal with manual adjustment or the wonderful world of wire gauges at all. In that case, grab yourself a self-adjusting or automatic wire stripper.
It does exactly what it says on the tin – does the gauge adjustment for you.
4. For combination jobs
How about if you need to do both wire stripping and wire cutting? You could always get two tools to do those two jobs, but another option is to browse for wire strippers with a cutting feature.
Many stripping tools on the market include wire cutting abilities as standard, but the cutting feature might be more of an afterthought or added extra. Special combination strippers/cutters, though, place the emphasis on both functions, which is important – especially if the wire cutting is a more complex task such as in the event of dealing with coaxial cables.
Last but not least: don’t forget about quality
Finally, ask yourself how much you want to spend. If you predict that your wire stripping needs are relatively minor, you could get away with a product at the lower end of the quality scale. But if your budget allows, and you’re going to do a lot of wire stripping each and every day or week, make sure the quality, durability, and ‘stay sharp’ abilities of the tool you select are fit for purpose and long, effective life.