How To Strip Wire

You need to remove insulation from metal conductors if you want to sell wire for scrap or work on an electrical project.There are a variety of wire stripping tools that fit wires of any size and type.It takes a practiced hand to cut and remove insulation with a utility knife.Since magnet wires are too thin for a stripper or knife, your best option is an abrasive surface, such as fine-grit sandpaper.

Step 1: You should get a wire stripping tool for your wire.

The wire strippers look like pliers.Different wire types andgauges can be fit by the different notch sizes.There are a variety of designs for wires, such as electrical cords, coaxial cables, or thin communication wires.You can find wire strippers at home improvement stores or online.

Step 2: Find the notch that matches the wire gauge.

If you know your wire’s gauge, you can find the notch in the jaws of the wire strippers.If you have a 16-gauge wire, look for the notch marked 16.Place the wire in each notch to find a match if you don’t know the gauge.The wire should fit in the notch.

Step 3: The wire’s tip should be placed in the notch.

Place the wire in the notch, then gently close the tool’s jaws.The jaws are about an inch from the end of the wire.If you want to use the wire for an electrical project, you need to remove the insulation from the tip.If you’re stripping wire for scrap, it’s more efficient to just slice down the length of the wire with a utility blade instead of pulling off a little bit at a time with wire stripping pliers.

Step 4: The handles of the stripping tool should be squeezed gently.

To cut through the insulation, try to use just enough pressure.You might damage the wire beneath the insulation if you squeeze too hard.It would not be suitable for an electrical project.If you use the right gauge, you should be able to cut through the insulation without damaging it.

Step 5: To cut the insulation, spin the tool around the wire.

After closing the stripper’s jaws, carefully rotating the tool around the wire.The tool has to cut through the entire insulation.

Step 6: Remove the stripper from the wire.

As you slide the tool off of the wire, keep the jaws closed.Pull the tool away from the jaws at the short end of the wire.

Step 7: The utility knife rests on the wire.

The wire should be placed on the work surface.The utility knife can be held from one end of the wire to the other.Don’t cut yet, just let the knife rest on the spot you want to cut.

Step 8: To score insulation, roll the wire under the blade.

The knife should be held with one hand.Roll the wire so the blade can score all the way around the insulation.You don’t want to press hard with the knife, or you could nick the metal conductors.It might take some practice before you can apply the correct amount of pressure.

Step 9: Break off the insulation by bending the wire.

After scoring all the way around the insulation, you will probably have to strip it.Break through the score completely by bending the wire up and down.When you break the insulation at the scored line, slide it off the tip of the wire.If you want to reuse the wire in an electrical project, you need to score and bend it.It’s easier to slice the wire with a razor if you’re scrapping it.

Step 10: Put one end of the wire in a vice.

To hold the wire, use a mounted vice.You can use both hands to cut the insulation and pull it away from the metal conductor.

Step 11: Take a sharp blade and slice into the insulation.

Before you start to cut, put on a pair of gloves.You can pierce the insulation near the end with a utility knife or razor blade.To avoid injury, slice down the length of the wire’s insulation.Since you’re only selling the wire for scrap, you don’t need to be as careful about nicking the metal conductor.A flat-edged blade is better than a serrated knife.The teeth of the blade would make a mess if they sliced through the insulation.

Step 12: Remove the insulation from the conductor.

Use one hand to slice the wire and the other to work the insulation away from the metal.Remove the insulation from the end of the wire.As you slice the wire’s length, grab the end of the insulation and pull it off.

Step 13: Purchase a wire stripping machine.

It can be difficult to strip a lot of wire by hand.Manual machines are the most affordable option at around $50.If you plan on stripping thousands of yards or meters per week, you should consider investing in an automatic stripper.Automatic machines can strip at least 200 feet per minute, but they cost hundreds of dollars.If you scrap wire in bulk, buying one will be worth it.

Step 14: Cut a small piece of paper.

You can get a piece of fine sandpaper.Take a small square piece and cut it in half.You can use two nail file emery boards if there is no sandpaper.

Step 15: Wrap the wire around with a piece of paper.

Place the square around the tip of the wire.The wire should be wrapped around the sandpaper from the tip to the top of the wire.If you only have emery boards, put one under the wire and the other on top.

Step 16: To remove the coating from the wire, pull it through the sandpaper.

You can use one hand to squeeze the sandpaper and the other to pull the wire through it.Pull the wire through again so you can get around the surface.Pull the tip of the wire through the sandpaper until you remove the coating.If you are using emery boards, use the same pulling technique.When you’ve stripped the desired length of coating off of the wire, repeat the process.