Well, the myth’s true “Once you go with wire strippers, you never go back”. Stripping wires can now be done with the press of a button, only if you have one of these. These are indeed the fav tool for all electricians out there.
As always you’ll have to keep a couple of things under consideration like the type, precision, ergonomics, etc. Bear on with me in this hurdle and you’re sure to stay with just one for a long long time. This time we’re talking about getting yourself the best wire strippers.
In this post we'll cover:
- Wire Stripper buying guide
- Best Wire Strippers reviewed
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What tool is used to strip wire?
- Is it worth stripping copper wire?
- Is burning copper wire illegal?
- Can you cut wire without wire cutters?
- Are pliers and wire cutters the same thing?
- Can you sharpen wire cutters?
- Can you strip wire with pliers?
- How do you use a wire stripping tool?
- Final Words
Wire Stripper buying guide
As civilization is growing, so is the demand for modern tools and kits. We understand that getting a perfect wire stripper available in the market after studying their features, functions, and downfalls, is quite difficult and lengthy. Even many useful functions and information are often left out in the process. So the quality of the product gets compromised.
So to help you in the best way, we have studied and sorted out all the features and functions that you might need in your product. So you can easily have a clear idea of what you want and grab one of the top quality wire strippers for yourself.
Mainly there are two types of wire strippers available in the market- self-adjusting and manual. Self- adjusting is the most commonly used type of wire strippers between the two types. They are easier and faster to work with. You simply have to put the wire into the tool to the desired length then clamp and pull. The tool takes care of the rest.
Then there are the manual style wire strippers which are much simpler than the other type but they put more work on you. There are a number of cutting holes pre-drilled on it. The wire goes into the hole according to its thickness. So to work with these wire strippers you need to have an idea of the thickness of the wire or you can also get the hang of it by experimenting with it a little bit beforehand.
The working procedure of the manual type is similar to that of the self-adjusting ones. The only difference is that to work with the manual ones you need to know the thickness to insert them into the right hole and the self-adjusting ones don’t require you to know the thickness.
Wire range determines the capacity of the strippers to strip the size of the wire it works on. Most strippers in the market have a range of 10 to 22 AWG. But there are variations to it.
So before buying a wire stripper we highly recommend that you have a rough idea of what size wires you’ll be working on. In that case, you’ll be able to easily buy a wire stripper that will work best for you. Otherwise, it will just be a waste of money.
The cutting edge is one of the most important parts of a wire stripper. They ensure the accuracy of the cutting and stripping of the wire. No matter whether it’s a blade (on self-adjusting) or cutting holes (on manual), the precision of this part plays an important role in the performance of the tool kit. So before buying a wire stripper, it’s a must to look out for the precision engineering of the cutting edges of it.
Accuracy is like the most essential factor to consider since it determines the performance rate and efficiency of the tool kit.
Generally, a manual wire stripper gives more accurate performance than a self- adjusting one. The self- adjusting one may work a lot quicker and the work is easier with it. But as the tool kit is adjusting the cutting gap by itself, sometimes the cut isn’t as accurate as desired.
On the other hand, the manual ones require more work and time. There are usually pre-drilled cutting holes on the manuals so you need to put the wire into the holes according to their thickness. It takes a little longer because you need to figure out in which hole the wire will go into, but finally, it gives a more accurate result than a self-adjusting wire stripper.
Ease of Use
You’ll be using the stripper for a decent amount of time. And working with wire strippers requires you to grip it most of the time. So if the grip or handle is not comfortable to use when you can’t work with it properly and especially for a longer period of time.
So before buying a wire stripper, it’s better to grip it in your hand to see if it feels comfortable to maneuver and work with it. If it’s not, move on to another one.
The quality of the product material plays a core role in the performance and efficiency of the stripper. Besides, the product material determines things like corrosion resistance, the weight of the tool kit, durability, longevity, etc. so before buying a product, take a good look at the material of the product to see if it provides good qualities.
The price varies from product to product according to their features. Initially, you might feel encouraged to get a cheap wire stripper however you should never compromise the quality for the price. The cheap ones often miss out on a number of stripping holes. If you can’t find the required AWG rated hole when you badly need it, then it means nothing but a waste of money.
Best Wire Strippers reviewed
It’s high time we scrutinized the features and functions. To save you from this lengthy monotonous work, we have managed to sort out some. Now all you have to do is find out the one that has all your desired properties and can meet your requirements in the best way.
Aspects of Interest
The 1st one on the list is the IRWIN VISE-GRIP which is undoubtedly one of the top-notch wire strippers in the market. This is a self-adjusting eight inches stripper tool that has a capacity of 10 to 22 AWG wiring.
The tool comes with a crimping feature that can be both insulated and non-insulated. It helps the stripper to be more useful and helps it deal with a variety of projects and wiring issues. This crimping feature ranges from 10-22 AWG insulated and 10-22 AWG non-insulated. It can also crimp ignition terminals ranging from 7-9 mm. Moreover, it has a jaw width of 2 inches
This top-quality wire stripper has made wire stripping easier than ever. It has a stopper adjusted to it so you can easily decide how much of the wire you want to be stripped and the tool will automatically stop after reaching that length. It gives you the privilege to work without worrying about stripping more than you need for the required work.
Also, it comes with a lifetime guarantee so you can definitely consider this as a great option for you.
As much as it helps the users in many useful ways, the tool has some downfalls as well. You have to adjust the tension of this tripper and the measurement gauge can feel a little frustrating from time to time. Also, the insulation sometimes comes in the way after stripping.
2. Klein Tools 11055
Aspects of Interest
Know easy whether you are a professional or a beginner, Klein 11055 is always a great option for you. It comes with a variety of features and functions making it desirable to the customers. The tool can cut, strip or loop wire ranging from 10 to 18 AWG solid and 12 to 32 for standard wire. Besides, the stripping holes are precisely ensuring the most accurate strip. There is also a closer lock for convenient storage.
The durable Coil spring ensures fast self-opening action. Besides, the serrated nose makes the bending, shaping, and pulling of wire easier than ever. The tool is also associated with a screw shearer that can shear 6-32 or 8-32-sized screws very effectively. On top of that, there is a small wheel that allows you to adjust the tension yourself so you can work with much smaller strips.
Besides, the tool is very compact and user-friendly. The double dipped handles are grooved making the grip comfortable enough to help it hold for a long time without difficulty. There are also markings on both sides of the tool kit for making the measurements easier. And you can simply slip it in your pocket and carry it anywhere.
Some users have complained to have some struggle with the 32 gauge. Besides the wire cutter in handles can sometimes break or even stretch out.
3. Neiko 01924A
Aspects of Interest
This is a premium quality self-adjusting wire stripper that is mainly designed for one-hand operation. The jaws can grip the wire in such a way that the insulation is removed very easily even with one hand.
The product comes with a range of 10 – 24 AWG and it works best on copper and aluminum cables. It also has a tension wheel that lets you adjust the tension yourself for smaller wires beyond 20 AWG. The stripper also has an auto-stop that can work for lengths ranging from 1/4 to 3/4 inches.
The tool kit can work with wire ranging from 10 to 22 AWG for insulated wire and ranging from 4 to 22 for the non-insulated wire. It also works fairly well for auto-ignited terminals that are 7-8 mm. Besides the high frequency, heat-treated blades of the stripper provide clean cuts on the wire. Also, it’s very user-friendly.
Despite having some of the best features available in the product, it has some downfalls as well. The auto-adjust tension can be a little difficult to handle and the learning curve for one-handed operation is slightly steeper.
4. Wire Cutter and Stripper
Aspects of Interest
The Klein 11063 is a reliable option when looking for some dominating wire strippers raging the market. It has a stripping range of 8 to 22 AWG. The range is 8-20 AWG for solid and 10-22 AWG for stranded wire. So it can cut or strip very small wire efficiently. Also, its auto stop function ensures precise cutting by removing up to 1-Inch of the insulation layer.
The product has made stripping easier with a single squeeze gripping function. It’s very easy to hold the product and work with it in a confined place. Moreover, its special technology grips onto the wire gently while working on them so the wire doesn’t bend or tear apart.
Besides, the wire stripper has great durability that makes sure that the user can use it for a long period. The body is made of cast alloy with a heavy-duty e-coat finish that gives protection against corrosion resistance and enhances its longevity. So the tool kit doesn’t wear or tear away easily and can perform efficiently for a long time.
Like any other product, Klein 11063 has some disadvantages along with its advantages. The stripper does not have the auto-adjust feature and sometimes it needs replacement blades. Also, the tool kit is heavier and bulkier than most other wire strippers in the market.
5. Capri Tools 20011
Aspects of Interest
The next in the list is the premium quality wire stripper and cutter Capri 20011 specially designed for working in tight spaces. The product profile is slimmer than most other wire strippers that give the users the privilege to access and work in small and tight spaces.
The automatic self-adjusting function sets the tool kit to different gauges per required. It can cut, strip and loop wires ranging from 24 to 10 AWG. Also, the built-in cutter can cut wires ranging to 12 AWG. The single squeezing motion of the product makes it easier to grip the tool kit and work with it. The pistol grip also helps to make the process more convenient and its lightweight is an advantage in that.
The manufacturers used both hard and light plastic in the construction of the tool kit increasing its longevity. So the product is durable enough to perform for a long period. Moreover, you can get it at an affordable price.
The Capri 20011 has gained much reliance from the customers because of its distinct features and functions.
Despite having many distinct features, the Capri 20011 has some downfalls as well. One of its main disadvantages is that the wire stripper is not ideal for over 10 AWG.
Aspects of Interest
Knoweasy Universal is a multipurpose wire stripper that’s specially designed for the ease of working in different situations. The wire stripper is mainly designed for working on coaxial, network, round and flat cable. The stripping blade is adjustable so the shielding and conductors don’t get damaged and it can work on a number of insulation thicknesses.
The product is equipped with a two-in-one cassette which can be used in a reverse way as well. One side of the cassette works for RG 59/6 and the other for RG 7/11. Also, the toolkit has a cable cutter function as well.
The tool kit is very convenient and user-friendly. It’s compact and light-weighted so the users can use work with it for a long time without major hand fatigue and can carry it around with ease. It also has a function of humanized protection to save your finger from cutting while working with the sharp blade. The plastic grip also makes it more convenient.
The wire stripper is one of the most cost-effective strippers among the many others in the market. You can get it at an affordable price and it will serve you efficiently for a long time.
Some of the customers have complained that the blade tension is so high that it just cuts into the wire without stripping it and end up ruining the wire.
Aspects of Interest
No matter whether you are a professional or a beginner, this premium quality one of a kind wire stripper will always be a great option for you. Its self-adjusting jaw is just perfect for working on copper and aluminum cables. It has a cutting range of 10-24 AWG. One of its most noticeable features is the swivel knob which is thumb-operated and can strip wire much smaller than 24 AWG.
The wire stripper works on the wires in such a delicate way so the internal part of the wire doesn’t get damaged or ruined in the process. The built-in crimper comes with a range of 22-10 AWG for insulated terminals, a range of 12-10AWG/16-14 AWG/22-18 AWG for non-insulated terminals and a range of 7-8 mm for auto ignited terminals.
Besides the product is very user-friendly, convenient and easy to handle. The grip handle is made of plastic and cushion that makes the handle very easy to grip comfortably. Moreover, the non-slip feature provides maximum comfort so the users can work for a long time without any major hand fatigue and strain. So you can, without any doubt, consider grabbing this advanced designed wire stripper for your work.
Like any other product in the market, the ZOTO wire stripper also has some disadvantages that come with it. Some customers have complained that you have to constantly readjust the knob of the tool kit that sets your wire size.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers.
What tool is used to strip wire?
A wire stripper is a small, hand-held device used to strip the electrical insulation from electric wires.
Is it worth stripping copper wire?
If you chose to strip it, you will end up with 90 pounds of copper don’t forget 10 pounds in plastic waste and in today’s market you will get $1.90 per pound for stripped copper wire so your 90 pounds will net you $171.00 difference of $21.00 between stripping it or selling the way it is, just want to mention one thing …
Is burning copper wire illegal?
Burning insulated wire in the USA is illegal under the federal Clean Air Act.
Can you cut wire without wire cutters?
It’s possible to use a hacksaw to cut wire if no cutter is available. You’ll want to use a blade with a high teeth-per-inch (TPI) count for as clean a cut as possible. Regardless of the TPI count, using a hacksaw to cut wire is difficult unless the wire has a large diameter.
Are pliers and wire cutters the same thing?
Remember that wire strippers are best for removing the insulation from wire, while cutters are best for (you guessed it) cutting wire. Pliers help you reach, bend, grab, cut, hold and loop wire, and crimpers are the best tool to join two pieces of ductile material together.
Can you sharpen wire cutters?
But if you happened to be attached to the pair you have, it’s possible to sharpen your wire cutters. The easiest way is to take a nail file and file along the blade edge of your cutters. … A second option is to use a drill with a sanding strip and try to smooth over the flat sides of the cutters.
Can you strip wire with pliers?
Tools Not Recommended
Although a knife or linesman pliers would also strip the wires, they also may damage the copper wire by nicking the copper or cutting into it.
How do you use a wire stripping tool?
Q: Can wire strippers crimp terminal connectors onto wires?
Ans: Though this is not a universal ability among all the wire strippers, a lot of models can do this. Generally, wire strippers that include slots for crimping wires can do this.
Q: Are our wire strippers safe in electricity-related works?
Ans: There Are some products which are absolutely safe for any type of electrical work. You can look into the features of the stripper to know more about it.
Q: Can the range of a wire stripper be changed?
Ans: No, the range of AWG of a wire stripper is a distinct feature of it. It cannot be changed in any way.
Cutting wires may be an irritating job to do, but when you have the best wire strippers every second thought is a wastage of time. They are superb performing and perfect for cutting wires in the proper and effective way for any kind of profession. Yet one of these products might be the one you are just looking for.
IRWIN, Klein 11055, Neiko 01924A are some of the most commonly used wire strippers in the market. They all have gained customer’s faith with their own distinct features. They all work quite efficiently and are user-friendly. So, these three are great options for you.
Then we have the Capri 20011 which is a great option for you if you are planning to work in a tight and small space. Again if you are planning to work in a variety of situations then the Knoweasy automatic stripper with different cutting functions will be of great help.
I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.