So you want to figure out how to strip a wire the fastest way possible? I totally get that, because when I first started out as an apprentice electrician, this was something that I really had to learn. And not just learn properly, but also fast and efficient. But what are these methods and tools that allow electricians to strip a wire so fast and effective? This is the topic I want to cover in this article to help you in your own electrical projects.
The fastest way to strip a wire is to use the proper tools that are actually built to strip a wire fast and efficiently. I personally use primarily two types of wire strippers; the Knipex Ergostrip and a self-adjusting wire stripper. Both of these tools are fast and efficient in stripping most standard cables available.
There are many different types of tools that can help you to strip a wire quickly and easily. They all require some practice to use, in order to nail down the technique. However, the two types of wire strippers, I’m going to present, are so easy to use that almost any person would be able to use them.
What Is the Quickest Way to Strip Wire?
I want to make this article short and sweet, in order for you to get the most bang out for your buck. I will therefore not go into the technical details and specs of the individual wire stripper. As I suspect you just want to know which tools to use and how to use them.
Being an electrician myself, I use many different tools to strip wire on a daily basis. But the wire stripping tools in this article are the ones, that I ALWAYS have with me. The great thing about these two options is that they have other implementations than just stripping the wire. By bringing these two types of wire stripping tools together as a sort of package, they have the following advantages:
- Strip wire fast, easy, and efficiently
- Can strip wire in different cable sizes
- Can also cut wire simultaneously
- Can be used for stripping the outer/inner cap
- Are adjusted to remove the insolation of different types of wires.
Tools That Are Actually Built to Strip Wire Fast
First of all, I want to help you eliminate all the options that you should not consider when trying to strip a cable DIY-style. If you’re in the process of bringing out a scissor from your drawer, I will kindly ask you to leave it there. This is definitely not the type of tool we want for stripping a wire properly or easily. You will have the wire and cable scratched up, with all sorts of bruises, than can damage the wire. If you’re using improper tools to strip wire, you will more than likely end up with a broken cable. And you might also need some type of cloth to wipe up the blood on the floor from you hurting yourself.
To avoid any of these mistakes were going to use some tools, that are actually built for the job. The great thing about specifically the tools I’m going to introduce is that they are:
- relatively cheap
- light in material
- comes with a comfortable grip
- easy to use and quick in execution.
- universal; meaning they can strip any standard size wire.
1. Knipex Ergostrip Wire Stripper
This first option is called an Ergostrip Wire Stripper (Amazon Link) from the manufacturer Knipex. At first, when I stumbled upon these tools was the first day of my apprenticeship. At first, I didn’t really notice this small tool and started out to strip wire with some more standard tools out there. However, little by little I came back to this wire stripper, as I saw many of my journeymen using this particular tool. After using it for a long time now, it is practically the only one I use (with the exception of stripping lamp wire, which the next tool will handle more effectively).
How to Use the Knipex Ergostrip Wire Stripper
The more you use the Ergostrip, the more you will realize how many things it can do. However first of all it gets the most important things done. The first thing to do when stripping a cable is to estimate how much of the outer cap needs to be removed.
(1) When properly determined, you go ahead and remove the outer cap with either one of the other ends of the Ergostrip. You do that by placing the sharp inner knives carefully around the outer cap.
(2) Secondly, you carefully rotate the wire stripper (without pressing it all the way down). When you see a fine little cut around the cable, you remove the Ergostrip.
(3) With especially newer wires and cables, you will find that you can easily snap the outer cap right off. With older cables, you might have to twist it back and forth to get it right off. If this all seems a little complicated I suggest you watch this short video on electricianpal’s youtube channel.
(4) With the outer cap removed, you want to move on to the inner caps that are protecting the inner wires. On the side of the Ergostrip wire stripper tool, you will be able to see multiple small holes with numbers on them. These numbers tell you which hole to use, depending on the size of the inner cables. The most common cobber or aluminum sizes in cables are either 1.5mm2 or 2.5mm2. In most cases, you will be able to see a short description of the size of the cable written on the side (of the cable). After that, you go ahead and place the inner wire, to quickly hereafter pull the insulation off one by one.
Also Read: Why do electricians use Milwaukee tools?
1. Stripax Self-Adjusting Wire Stripper
Although I use the Ergostrip in most cases, there are some instances that I find it to be more appropriate to use a self-adjusting wire stripper (Amazon Link). This tool doesn’t have the same ability to remove the outer cap as the ergostrip. And as such I will usually have both tools with me on an assignment.
Why Would You Use a Self-Adjusting Wire Stripper?
The self-adjusting wire stripper is a particularly great choice when removing the inner caps on lamp wires. Unlike a standard cable, a lamp wire does not consist of one solid copper wire, but multiple smaller ones. If we want to have the most use of our lamp wire, we have to keep all those wires. By stripping a lamp wire with a typical wire stripper, we can risk removing a portion of these little copper wires. To avoid that, we have to use a self-adjusting wire stripper.
Also Read: Why do electricians use Klein Tools?
How Do You Use a Self-Adjusting Wire Stripper?
This tool is so foolproof that even the newest of newbies will be able to operate it. And there is practically no way to mess this up. You adjust the tools for the proper length you want for your inner cables. Secondly, you place the wire between the two clamps and you simply press, like you were operating a scissor.
Also Read: Which tools are used to strip and cut wires?
After you acquired the knowledge of using both of these types of tools, you will be able to quickly and effectively strip wire, every time. It is therefore a great investment of both your time and your money to get a hold of these tools. In my experience, they are the easiest and quickest options, that not only electricians use, but both the handyman and woman will be able to easily operate.