A Detailed Guide to Strip Wire Fast & Efficiently

Sometimes you find you have many scrap wires and cables in your trash, backyard, and or at the garage. Some of these are valuable wires and cables that can be re-used.

The wires and cables are often insulated with a plastic or other non-heat or non-electrical conducting material. In order to use the wires, the insulation has to be stripped off.

Stripping wires fast is a bit tricky. There are a number of ways of stripping the insulation from the wires. Some of the methods are fast whereas some are considerably slower. Some are more effective than others are.

The method you choose to strip your wires will depend on the wire length, size, and the quantity of wires you have to strip.

The method you choose will also be determined by the reason why you want to trip the wires in the first place. Whether it is for household use of resale.

The following are the options you have to strip your wires. The methods are discussed from the least effective to the most effective.

1. The sun warming method

You can only use this method when there is a bright sunshine that is quite hot. This is only possible during the summer.

Since most insulation is made of plastic, putting the wires out in the hot sun could help soften the plastic. This makes it easier to pull it off.

Once the wire is hot and soft enough pull the insulation to strip off the wire. However, the method might not effective for thick cables and wires that are heavily insulated.

The sun warming method can be used alongside other methods such as cutting or with a manual wire stripper.

2. Boiling method

You will need the following items to strip wires using this heating method.

  • A metal barrel
  • Water
  • Firewood

The first method you can use to remove plastic insulation from your cables is heating. To use the heating method you need a metallic barrel, water, and firewood.

  • Boil the water in the barrel and dip the insulated wires in the boiling water. This should be done outdoors or open area.
  • Let the wire sit in the boiling water for approximately 10 minutes or more.
  • Remove the wire and pull it to slide off the insulation. You should do this as soon as you remove it from the water before it gets cold and stiff again.

Care should be taken not to burn or scald.The heating method is not very effective when scraping thicker wires. Furthermore, the boiling process may release fumes that are toxic and not good for your health.

You should not burn the insulated wires to get the cables.Burning plastic cables pollutes the environment. This could get you in trouble with the law. Burning also destroys the wires and reduce their quality.

3. The cutting method

These the items you will need for this method.

  1. Cutting blade
  2. Thick gloves

The knife or the cutting blade you choose should be very sharp. You should wear thick gloves to protect you from cuts and bruises from the cutting. This method can be reasonably used only if you have a few wires to strip.

This method is easy to apply and the materials are readily available. However, you can only strip a few cables at a time. It is quite slow.

The process of cutting to strip a wire off start with marking the point or length you want to strip. Then hold the knife or the cutting blade you have over the market spot. Press on it and turn the wire.

When you turn the wire, the cutting blade cut through the insulation. Be careful to press it a little bit light so as not to cut the wire inside. Once you see the wire, grip the end of the cable and pull the insulation off. You can grip it with pliers or hand.

4. Using a homemade ta​​​​bletop wire stripper

Items you need are:

  • Wooden board
  • Pliers
  • 2 Screws
  • Cutting blade
  • Gloves

There are many methods to make a tabletop wire stripper at home. This is one of the easiest to make. You can easily make this yourself at the garage using the items listed above.

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The homemade stripper can come in handy when you have a couple of wires to strip. You can easily make this yourself at the garage using the items listed. Follow the video at the link below to make one.

5. Using a manual wire stripper

This is one of the faster methods to strip wires and cables. Especially if you have many wires to strip. They are mainly tabletop but manual. They do not use electricity. There are many wire strippers on the market and you can purchase one depending on your usage and budget.

The manual wire strippers are operated by hand using a hand-held motor and they are fixed with adjustable blades. The blades can be changed after some time if the initial ones become dull.

6. Using the electric wire stripper

Electric wire strippers are the best. They are most effective when you need to strip a great bulk of wires.

The electric wire strippers are a little more costly than the manual wire strippers are. They are a good investment if you want to strip wires for sale or for other commercial purposes. They are mostly used by scrap metal dealers but you can also purchase for home use.

You will need to read all the instructions of the machine before using. It is effective for stripping all types and sizes of wires.​

Final Verdict

As mentioned before the method you will choose to strip your wires will depend on the size, length, and quantity of the wires. However, you can combine methods to strip wires fast.

For example, if you have the tabletop wire stripper, you can warm the wire first in the sun before stripping. This makes the process a lot faster.

Whichever the method you choose you should be careful not to destroy the wires. Otherwise, a damaged wire will not be very beneficial. You should choose a method that is not only convenient but also that ensures that your wires are all preserved.

Joseph D. Allen
 

Hi! This is Joseph. Over the last 7 years, I have been working as a deputy engineer of RS Engineering farm in Texas, US.

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