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How To Use Wire Strippers

How To Use Wire Strippers

Imagine your life without the convenience of electricity. Hard, isn’t it? Our days and nights would be dull and dark without it. Almost all our necessities requires the power of electricity such as air conditioning, cars and other transportation, communication devices, lights, and even the internet.

As we all know, there are wires in every electronic device. Even our manufacturing plants and industries will ground to a halt should power be interrupted.

The grave toll to our economy should this happen will be disastrous like a hurricane and an avalanche tumbling down with unimaginable result to our lives. Seriously, we can hardly imagine our world without electricity. Almost everything we do is fueled by its power in our midst.

There are tools, gadgets, equipment and machinery that professionals and hobbyists alike use when dealing with electrical works and jobs.

Now that we know how important they are, we also know that unsafe use of them can also bring harm and at worse, can be deadly. Since safety is of paramount importance, we should know how to use them properly. One of the most common tools electricians use are wire strippers. Below, you will be able to find the steps on how to safely use them.

What is a Wire Stripper?

A wire stripper is a tool that electricians use, both hobbyists and professionals, to remove the electrical insulation or plastic coating of a wire for them to gain access and repair, connect with other wires, and modify it.

It is used to expose the copper part of the wire in order to connect it with other wirings and terminals such as splicing wires, installing recessed lights, and wiring receptacles. A wire stripper looks similar to a plier and functions almost the same. There are 2 main types of wire strippers: manual and automatic wire strippers.

Manual strippers are versatile because you get to adjust it according to the size of wire you need to strip. It is also lighter and has a plier-like design. There are also manual strippers that has designated holes on the jaws that has different size range.

This type of wire stripper is very cheap and simple to use. On the other hand, an automatic wire stripper or can also be called self-stripping, is very easy to use that even a total beginner would be able to make it work.

A downside of this type of wire stripper is that its range is very limited. It will not work on wires outside of its range and it can even damage them. Automatic wire strippers are a lot more bulky and expensive than manual ones.

Some wire strippers are also multifunctional as it comes with wire cutters or wire crimpers or both. For professional use, there are also wire strippers that uses laser to cut the coating of a wire.

This type of wire stripper is usually used by professionals and cannot be carried around easily as it can be very bulky. Wire strippers comes in various size, colors, and shapes. You can choose one depending on what you need and what can fit in your tool bag.

How to use wire strippers

Wire strippers are fairly easy to use. When you get to use them even once or twice, you will be able to work on future projects without effort. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to use wire strippers particularly manual ones.

  • Turn off the power

If you are working with something that is already a part of an electrical circuit, it is important to turn off the main power to avoid yourself from getting electrocuted. Just work your way to the main circuit and flip the switch.

  • Wear protective gear

Working with electricity is not something to take lightly. It is best to take extra precautions to make yourself safe from accidents.

  • Identify the size of the wire gauge

Find out what the size of the gauge you are working on. This information can be found printed on the most outer part of the wire. An example would be 14/2, the first one being the size of the wire gauge while the second one is the number of wires.

  • Match the gauge with the hole

Once you have found out the size of the wire gauge, you can now place it on the corresponding hole. The hole on the wire stripper would be marked so make sure that you place it on the appropriate size. If you ever place it incorrectly, there is a chance that you may damage the wire. Once you have matched it, it is now time to place the gauge in one side of the hole.

  • Press the handles

This part is pretty self-explanatory. Just press the handles together as tight as it can go. Make sure that you keep the wire away from exposed skin just in case.

  • Rotate or twist

If the coating does not fully get cut, you may need to help it a little bit by twisting the wire stripper. This can be done gently and does not require a lot of power.

  • Remove the coating

Pull the stripper towards the end of the wire to remove the coating. If done correctly, you will be able to do it smoothly without damaging the wires itself. In any case that a part of the wire gets damage, simply cut it off. Once you have removed the electrical insulation, make sure to dispose of it properly.


Electricity is probably one of the most important discoveries ever. It is being used on modern equipment in order to function. Without with, we wouldn’t be enjoying the comfort of using transportation, communication devices, entertainment devices, and even lights.

All electrically-powered devices has wires in it which makes having a wire stripper in any type of tool bag you have important. A wire stripper is used to remove the protective coating of wires. By removing the electrical insulation, you will get access to the copper wire and be able to modify, repair, and even connect it to other wires.

Dealing with electricity is not to be taken lightly as there are chances that you can get into accidents. Make safety precautions and follow the steps on how to use a wire stripper properly.


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