How to use an electrical wire stripping tool?

Every professional electrician makes daily use of a standard tool referred to as wire strippers, and most own several different styles of this tool. 

Every DIYer who does any reasonable electrical repair should also own some version of this tool. There are best electrical wire stripping tools for beginners available in the market to start using effectively.

Especially useful could be a version commonly referred to as a mixture tool, which not only includes a wire stripping function, but also pliers jaws, cable-cutting blades, and a pair of threaded holes for cutting bolts commonly used with electrical boxes.

Wire Stripper Basics

In whatever form the tool takes, an electrical wire stripper contains a series of labeled holes that match the common wire gauges, typically 10-gauge to 20-gauge. 

After you insert the wire into the right hole and squeeze the tool’s handles, it precisely severs through the plastic insulation layer without damaging the copper wire. 

The tool then removes the wire insulation, using one in all two methods.

It’s important to notice that copper wire commonly comes in either solid or stranded forms. Stranded wire is slightly larger in diameter than solid wire of the identical gauge. 

For this reason, wire strippers often have two sets of numbers indicating the stripper hole sizes. 

As an example, the opening that’s marked for 10-gauge solid wire is the same hole you utilize for 12-gauge stranded wire. 

Always ensure you’re using the proper set of markings for the wire type you’re cutting.

How to Strip Insulated Wires?

Although different manufacturers offer different versions of the tool, the method for stripping wires is basically the identical with each tool. 

This can be the method for the quality or combination-style tool:

  1. Determine the gauge and sort. Identify the gauge of the copper wire to be stripped. you’ll find this on the outermost sheathing that binds multiple wires together inside an NM cable (non-metallic sheathed cable). 
  2. With a variety like 12/2, as an example, the primary number is the wire gage (in this case, 12). Also note whether the wire is solid or stranded copper.
  3. Match the wire to the tool: Match the gauge with the appropriately labeled hole on the wire stripper. 
  4. This step is essential: if you select a hole that’s too big, the insulation won’t be fully cut and you will have a tough time stripping it; if you select a hole that’s too small, the wire is also nicked or perhaps severed entirely.
  5. Open the tool and seat the wire. Open the wire stripper handles. “Seat” the wire into one side of the correct hole. Slowly press the handles together until they’ll go no farther. This action will traverse the insulation on the wire.
  6. Twist (optional): If the wire insulation doesn’t fully cut, you will need to gently rotate the wire within the outlet (or the wire stripper round the wire, whichever is easier). You do not have to rotate far: just 1 / 4 turn in one direction and back.

Strip the insulation: Pull the wire stripper towards the cut end of the wire to get rid of the insulation. 

The action is like pulling a sock off a foot. Some users find it easiest to push against the tool using the thumb on the hand that’s gripping the wire, while the opposite hand holds the handles of the tool firmly shut.

Combination Wire Tools

Combination wire tools, or combination wire strippers, are multi-function tools that have sharp cutting jaws to chop non-metallic (NM) cable or to trim individual wires right down to size. 

They’ll even have pliers jaws that may be wont to bend wires. 

The identical jaws may additionally be accustomed to ream the within metal conduit after it’s cut, using the outsides of the jaws once they are within the closed position.

Most combination strippers even have two different holes for cutting machine bolts, usually 6-32 and 8-32 sizes. 

You thread a bolt into the outlet to the specified depth, then squeeze the tool’s handles to chop off the top of the bolt. 

Once you twist the bolt of the opening, the threads within the hole realign the threads on the cut end of the bolt.

What is a Self Stripping Tool?

Another kind of wire stripper may be a self-stripping tool, or self-adjusting wire strippers, that removes wire insulation with a compound action. 

This implies that three actions happen after you squeeze the handle: grip, strip, and remove. 

After you exactly place the wire within the head and squeeze the handle, the stripper grabs onto the wire, cuts the insulation, and completely removes it from the wire, beating one motion. 

Self-stripping wire strippers are about thrice costlier than normal strippers. They serve one function only and are normally owned by professional electricians preferring specialty tools for every function.


This is the process of easily using electrical wire stripping tools. It is necessary to follow each step thoroughly so that you won’t miss anything that may cause issues while continuing your work.

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