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post-wstrippers.jpgWe’ve all found ourselves using a pocket knife to cut away a wire’s coating at one time or another (please tell us you don’t use your teeth), but at street pricing under $10, there’s really no excuse for that.  While these tools have been a staple in car stereo installers’ and electricians’ toolkits for years, we’re always surprised at how few homeowners own a pair. 

Automatic wire strippers use a jointed-plier configuration to first grasp the wire then pull it through a small hole of just the right size to remove only the wire’s coating.  In simple terms, you lay the wire in the appropriate indention in the tool’s jaws, pull them closed, and the wire is cleanly stripped every time.

Heck, we used ours just today when replacing a light switch with a dimmer in our office.  (No more bright mornings for us!) 

You can find these at your local Radio Shack for $12.99, but similar tools are available online for less. 

Kronus Automatic Wire Stripper [Radio Shack]
Grizzly G9723 Wire Stripper [What’s This?] [Amazon]

Update: In the comments, a reader suggests this tool from Klein as a better alternative to the ones we mentioned.

 

3 Responses to Automatic Wire Strippers

  1. dallesasses says:

    Working in the electrical field, I would rather use a Klein wire strippers. You can controll the amount of wire you want to strip.

  2. Myself says:

    This type is also notorious for nicking or breaking stranded wire, or small (22-24ga) solid wire. They might be okay for home AC wiring and the occasional automotive job, but they’re totally inappropriate for anything calling itself “electronics”.

    Speaking as someone with a little experience, I’d suggest a set of electrician’s snips. Honestly. With a little practice you can produce consistent, nick-free strips in any gauge wire. The larger stuff you cut around and slice off, the smaller stuff you just grab and pull. I’ve worked everything from 750kcmil “kielbasa” to 32ga “hair” with my snips, and there’s no tool I’d rather have. Klein and Ideal both make very nice snips.

  3. WM WELSH says:

    PRECISION GAUGED STRIPPERS GENERALLY ARE REQUIRED FOR PRODUCTION WORK. IN THIS WORLD YOU USUALLY GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. ONE IMPORTANT POINT WITH ANY STRIPPER, SHOULD YOU DISTURB THE CONDUCTOR IN ANY WAY THEN THE CURRENT CARRYING CAPACITY HAS BEEN COMPROMISED. IT IS A GOOD IDEA, WHEN TESTING A STRIPPING TOOL, TO PERFORM A TEST STRIP. STRIP SOME INSULATION AND NEXT, STRIP MORE INSULATION PAST THE INITIAL CUT. EXAMINE THE EXPOSED CONDUCTOR AT THE POINT OF THE FIRST “STRIP”.

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