Wire Stripping Tips and Tool Selection

Wire Stripping Tips:

When stripping wire it is important to know the diameter of the wire. Stranded wire typically has a slightly larger diameter than solid wires of the same gauge. In order to preserve the integrity of your wire, if you are unsure of the diameter of your wire it is best to start with a larger stripper size and gradually decrease size until the correct size is found.
If you are new to the world of wire stripping, make sure to give yourself some wiggle room when stripping wire. That way, if you happen to make a mistake you have room to cut off the end of the wire and start over again without wasting the full length of the wire.

Tool Selection:

Selecting the correct tool for your wire stripping job can save you time and money. While some wire strippers are more expensive than others, the labor cost savings provided by the more advanced strippers could make up for the extra cost. One of the most important things to pay attention to when selection a wire stripping tool is whether the stripper is calibrated for solid or stranded wire. As mentioned previously, stranded wire is slightly large in diameter than solid wire of the same gauge so it is important to have a tool that accounts for that difference.

Here are a few different tool options for wire stripping:


Perhaps the most convenient (or inconvenient depending on how you look at it) tool option

Wire-stripping-teethfor wire stripping would be something you already have in your possession: your teeth. Simply insert the end of the wire into your mouth, bite down, pull, and spit out the wire coating. Sounds simple, but we don’t recommend this option unless you have a very inexpensive dental plan. Otherwise, you will find that the cost of a more professional wire stripping tool is way less expensive than the dental bills you will rack up from chipping your tooth enamel. Seriously, don’t use your teeth!


Another option for a wire stripping tool would be another thing that many of you already have in


your possession: a pocketknife. In order to use a pocketknife to strip wire simply lay the wire on a flat surface and lay the knife on the wire as you roll it one full rotation. Once this is complete, the severed insulation should pull off easily with your finders. Sounds easy, convenient, and worry-free right? WRONG! Just because something sounds like a good idea doesn’t mean you should try it. It is very easy to nick the wire with a pocketknife, which could lead to major problems with your connections. Wire stripping tools are designed to make the stripping more quickly and precise than other methods.

Cheap Wire Stripper

There are many cheap wire strippers available that are basically scissors with a notch cut out for better use with wire. While they work with almost any gauge or type of wire, they are hard to adjust and can nick your wire if they strip out of adjustment. As mentioned, they are cheap and easy to find, but we don’t believe in using them in professional applications so we do not stock any on our website.

Gauged Stripper


Gauged strippers have precise holes for specific gauges of wire, which makes wire stripping much more efficient and foolproof. A few disadvantages are that the blades can’t be sharpened and that they only work for specific gauges. However, they are a very cost-effective alternative to the previous options listed. We stock both Ideal and Klein gauged wire strippers.



Here is a good-better-best analysis of the Klein and Ideal wire strippers that we have in stock:



Multi-Purpose Tool

Klein 1010

If you want to have a tool that can do it all, multi-purpose tools are available that can both strip and cut various gauges of wire. We stock the Klein 1010 long-nose multi-purpose tool, which strips and cuts 10-22 AWG wire.


Visit www.BgBsupply.com to purchase your Ideal or Klein wire strippers today!