Guide To Wire Strippers


You’re missing the link to James’ method. (There’s an “a” tag, so it’s blue - but it doesn’t have a href.)


The yellow handled guaged strippers work adequately for most applications, I’ve never had a problem with the minor nick that it embosses in the wire. The problem with them is that for small wires segments they tend to pull the wire out of the insulation.

The self adjusting automatic stippers are really the best solution because they grab and hold the insulation and wire before cutting and stripping so the wire and insulation stays in place. Plus if your prestripping a lot of the same wire lengths the guide makes the strip lengths nice an consistant.

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The super cheap ones actually work fine and are my preferred stripper over all the rest. The key is to ignore the depth adjustment entirely - after using them for a bit you get used to feeling how the resistance changes as the blades press through the insulation and you can always stop just short of the conductor.  (Don’t give me that look, I’m serious, these are the best!  :slight_smile:
A thumb against the hinge keeps the blades in position and allows an even pull to get the cut insulation off via tearing the last little bit you didn’t cut.
Once in a while I do run into wire that has rather “stretchy” insulation and that last little bit gets a “cheese string” effect and has to be massaged back down to the intended cut point, but that’s the only issue I ever have.


Speaking of which… Is the “more at BoingBoing” line at the bottom supposed to be a link? It sure seems like it ought to be, but that one doesn’t even have incomplete anchor tags around it. (Personally, I was hoping it would be a link to this forum thread, but features don’t seem to be doing that. Intentional?)

I was wondering the same, but there’s enough weird things with this firefox install that I didn’t want to ask. :slight_smile:

I suspect the relevant link is here.

What about the good old lighter trick?

  1. Using a lighter, briefly heat the bottom of the area of casing you want to remove
  2. Pull on the end to remove casing.


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That addendum about using the side cutters as strippers warms my heart. I do that all the time, but I also own a few pairs of those $70 Lindstrom side cutters. That trick doesn’t work unless you pay 3x more for your cutters than most people pay for their entire soldering kit.

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I definitely prefer the cheap adjustable strippers or a really high quality set of side cutters to any of the gauged/automatic strippers. The cheap gauged wire strippers never seem to work for me. The gauged automatic strippers are nice for volume work becaues they are fast, but not as versatile as simple cutters.

Not sure if this is an european thing but the list is also missing this kind of adjustable strippers:
The nut lets you lock the adjustment screw tight. But I often leave the screw completely retracted because they offer a reasonable amount of tactile feedback and control when stripping wire…

Also the fancy thermal wire strippers if you’re doing delicate electronics work and really don’t want to scratch damage the conductor.

I second on the cheapos. I have been doing electronic work for over 45 years and have used the cheapos for most of that time. I tried them all and the cheapos never fail. You definitely need to develop a feel but once you do they work on everything including the tiny wires in turntables which none of the other strippers will do. I remove the adjuster screw and toss it when I get new ones. I have used them on everything from tube amps to scientific instruments. These are probably best for folk that use strippers regularly. Best of all nobody will steal them from you which is a big bonus if you have coworkers with sticky fingers.


I thought it was how to send strippers electronically to other people’s stripper accounts.


if you look closely at the gauged strippers, you will see two sizes of holes that can be used for threading machine screws into. This allows the stripper to be used for cutting machine screws to a length and then cleaning up the thread for use as you back the screw out. An extremely useful function, and is why I keep a pair in my tool bag just for that purpose. The pair I have will cut and re- thread #6 to #10 screws. Makes a job a lot more efficient that using all 2 inches of the machine screw that was in your tool bag. As for my vote : I buy pre- sized strippers as I work with a lot of small gauge solid wire and any nick in the copper will cause problems. I buy the Kline brand that are spring loaded to open and come in two wire size ranges. I do not leave home without them.

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I remove the adjuster screw and the return spring as well. The cheapos work best for me with pointer and middle finger on the outside of one handle and ring and pinkie finger providing opposing pressure on the other side. You can fairly precisely manipulate and hold to a specific gauge that way.

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Professionals here in Germany tend to use this type, which I could not find in your list:

‘Hony’? I though the standard word for a fake famous-brand chinese gadget was ‘Fony’.

My favourite stripper for medium-sized wires, the Xcelite 104CG.

Good cross-cutting stripping, very handy needle-nose pliers on the tip, and crimpers on the inside side. Bonus: screw cutters!

I usually use cheapos and just judge the stripping depth/resistance, as mentioned upstream… that being said, these are actually my all-time favorite strippers: Gardner Bender GS-40 Milwaukee Clipper Stripper

I can’t insert an image, so here’s a link: picture on Amazon

$6.50 at amazon, these are almost the same as the normal cheapos, but instead of the near-useless set screw, there’s a clearly-labelled little star-wheel you turn to set the gauge. They also seem much better made than the average cheapos, and have stayed sharper for longer.