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Wire strippers are designed to do one job: remove the insulation and plastic casing from wires. The tool makes electrical work quite easy and simple to complete as long as you have the right pair for the job. Our buying guide will help you find the best wire strippers for your toolbox, so you won’t get stuck when you need them the most.
Klein Tools Wire Cutter and Wire Stripper
IRWIN VISE-GRIP Wire Stripping Tool/Wire Cutter
IRWIN VISE-GRIP Self-Adjusting Wire Stripper
Benefits of Wire Strippers
- Easy to use. Although you can use regular pliers or even a knife to strip cables and wires, neither option is very convenient. Without the proper tool, the process of wire stripping can be rather tricky and time-consuming. That's why wire strippers are super handy, as they allow for ease of use and hassle-free cutting of insulation.
- Precision. Wire strippers allow you to strip all kinds of wires, regardless of the overall length and thickness. With regular tools, it might be difficult to strip the plastic at the desired length without damaging the wire itself. Wire strippers, therefore, allow for more precision.
- Increased Safety. When using a pocket knife or regular pliers to strip wires, you might not only damage the wires, but you could also hurt yourself. Wire strippers are much safer tools that give you more confidence and provide more stability during the process. They keep both wires and your fingers safe.
Types of Wire Strippers
These are incredibly popular wire strippers because they are very easy to use. They have blades with many holes to match wires of different gauges, which means no adjustments are needed. All you need to do is to put the wire in a properly sized hole.
Gauged strippers can also work as cutters or crimpers. They are versatile and get the job done quickly. However, keep in mind that each gauged stripper has a limited number of gauge holes. You might want to buy more than one tool, depending on how many different wires you're planning to strip and cut.
Those who are planning to strip wires of different gauges might want to check out self-adjusting strippers, too. These are quite versatile and convenient because they automatically adjust to accommodate wires of different thickness levels. With self-adjusting strippers, the process of stripping insulation becomes much faster and easier. Additionally, some of the self-adjusting strippers have built-in crimpers and cutters, allowing you to tackle different jobs with just one tool.
Gauged Automatic Strippers
These offer a combination of features from both self-adjusting and gauged strippers. With the self-adjusting head, they take out all the guesswork from stripping wires. You get to put in wires of different gauges, and the tool will do the rest, returning to the starting position right after making a clean cut.
Wire Stripper and Cutter
It's also possible to get a multi-purpose tool that can help you tackle different jobs. Many wire strippers have holes for stripping as well as sharp blades for cutting wires. Because they allow you to do both jobs without changing tools, wire strippers and cutters are convenient for DIYers as well as professionals.
Klein Tools is one of the world's leading companies when it comes to the production of hand tools. It was founded in 1857 and is located in Lincolnshire, Illinois. The reasons for the company's enormous popularity are various, starting with its dedication to producing high-quality products for both professionals and DIYers. Klein Tools offer more than 3,800 different tools, from pliers to screwdrivers to conduit benders. The Klein Tools Wire Cutter and Wire Stripper is one of the best picks on the market.
Irwin Tools is a well-known brand in the hand and power tool market. The company offers a wide range of tools to help professionals and hobbyists all over the world to tackle their everyday jobs. It was founded back in 1885 and is located in Huntersville, North Carolina. Irwin Tools is praised by handymen and women all over the world, and the IRWIN VISE-GRIP Wire Stripping Tool/Wire Cutter is among the most favored tools on the market.
Capri Tools is a company that prides itself on producing top-notch tools for its customers. It's located in Pomona, California, and has been one of the most praised tool manufacturers on the market for years. That doesn't come as a surprise, considering Capri Tools offers everything a professional and hobbyist might need, from automotive to power tools. When it comes to wire strippers, the Capri Tools Precision Wire Stripper is one of our favorites, and it made it to the top of our list.
Wire Strippers Pricing
- Under $15: Most gauged and self-adjusting wire strippers are inexpensive. At just a couple of dollars, you can get efficient and reliable tools that can help you strip wires of different lengths and gauges.
- $15-$30: Those who can spend some extra cash on their new wire strippers can get rather versatile and practical tools. At this price point, wire strippers have built-in cutters or crimpers, allowing you to tackle many jobs without changing tools.
Depending on the type, high-quality wire strippers have quite some AWG (American Wire Gauge) cutting terminals or can be adjusted to a high degree. Still, there must be a limit in numbers, which is why it's essential to check the AWG range before the purchase. You want to make sure a wire stripper can handle the wires you're planning to pull.
One of the crucial things to consider when buying tools such as wire strippers is the overall construction quality. High-end wire strippers are usually made from hardened metals such as steel and titanium. They are designed to withstand heavy use and last for many years. Steel and titanium not only resist daily damage but also water, rust, and other threats. Therefore, look for these materials while in pursuit of the best wire strippers.
In order to strip the insulation properly without damaging the wire or leaving a messy cut, you have to hold the tool securely and with confidence. That's why you need a wire stripper that offers quality handles. They need to provide excellent traction and allow for a firm hold, so you can strip and cut the wire with high precision. Thermoplastic rubber grips are one of the best options, but well-built plastic handles will work too.
- Ease of Use. It's also important to consider the overall design of wire strippers and the extra features they provide for hassle-free use. Some tools, for example, can secure themselves around wires and allow for a clean and easy cut. Others are less functional and require some experience for flawless results.
- Automatic or Manual. Consider which type works best for you: a manual or automatic wire stripper. The first type requires more effort because you need to center the wire with one hand and hold the tool in the other one. Still, they are convenient for delicate tasks. Automatic tools allow for effortless and quick cuts, but they might break small gauge wires.
Best Wire Strippers Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Choose a wire stripper that is compatible with the size wires you typically work with. Most will cut wires that are 10 to 22 AWG (American Wire Gauge). However, some tools can handle larger-sized wire as well.
- Do not remove wire casings with your teeth or a knife as you could damage the wires (and your chompers). These methods are not nearly as effective as using a good pair of wire strippers.
- Some wire strippers grips that are more comfortable than others. To prevent hand fatigue, choose wire strippers that have a plastic handle. Lighter tools also cause less strain.
Q: How long will a pair of wire strippers last?
A: It depends on the material and durability of the tool. It's really not possible to sharpen the cutting edges, which can rust if you don't properly take care of the tool. A wire stripper will last longer if you store it properly in a dry toolbox or drawer.
Q: Can I use wire strippers on wires that are covered in Teflon?
A: You can, but only if the brand is specifically designed to do so. It's very difficult to strip Teflon-coated wires using an average pair of wire strippers.
Q: Can I use wire strippers to crimp terminal connectors on the wires?
A: Several brands of wire strippers can do this task, but not every pair has the ability. If the strippers have slots for crimping wires then you're all set.
Our pick for the best wire stripper is the Klein Tools Wire Cutter and Wire Stripper. It easily bends, shapes, and manipulates wires of a variety of sizes.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the IRWIN VISE-GRIP Wire Stripping Tool/Wire Cutter.
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