How To Strip Copper Wire – Best Guide 2020


how to strip copper wire

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I do a lot of electrical work around the house regularly, and last month, while rewiring, and I had to strip copper wire.

My set of standard tools seemed inappropriate for stripping the copper wire as it did more damage.

This led me to research how to strip copper wire, and I decided to write this article to share the knowledge.

One simple way to strip copper wire is by using a wire stripper equipment.

There are numerous advanced copper wire strippers available in the marketplace which can be used for this task.

You can choose from the option of manual or automatic stripper based on your budget and requirement.

Detailed Information on How to Strip Copper Wire

how to strip copper wire

If you are a DIYer like me, then this detailed guide on how to strip copper wire would prove to be of great information to you.

I have explained various ways to strip copper wire in this write-up.

Please note that instead of focusing on one particular method to strip copper wire, I suggest that you check your needs and requirements first.

There are multiple ways to achieve this task.

Each method had a varying amount of expense, manual effort, the capacity to strip copper wire, and accuracy level.

You need to ensure that you choose the method based on your specific requirement.

Read ahead to enhance your knowledge on this topic.

How to Strip Copper Wire Using Different Methods

Let us now look at some of the methods used to strip copper wire.

There are various ways to strip a copper wire and my purpose here is to help you choose the best and simplest way to achieve this task.

However, it is important to understand that the choice of method to strip copper wire would depend on various factors that I will explain in detail in the coming sections.

Using a Utility Knife

This is an old school method where you can simply use a utility knife to strip copper wire.

Almost every electrician would have a set of sharp-edged utility knives in their tool bags.

I need to caution you that using utility knives may lead to some hand injuries if you are not too careful.

While stripping large volumes of copper wires, such accidents are common. Novice electricians and DIYers must do this at their discretion.

It is a good practice to keep a first aid kit handy in case of any minor injuries.

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There are a few important points to remember when using a utility knife for this purpose.

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  • It is a time-consuming method and requires great concentration and manual power.
  • Sometimes people experience sore hands or cuts while stripping copper wire using the utility knife.
  • It is a little painful method.
  • You should use a utility knife if only a small amount of copper wire is required to be stripped. Using a utility knife to strip large volumes of wires is not only laborious but also very tiring. This also leads to accidents like cuts and bruises.
  • You need to have great concentration and hand balance while doing this since it might cut the copper component which is sometimes not acceptable.

How To Strip Copper Wire Using Low-Tech Manual Wire Stripper

How To Strip Copper Wire Using Low-Tech Manual Wire Stripper

Manual wire stripping devices are typically mountable on a table or workbench and they have flexible wheels to help the wire and one pin-style blade for cutting into the insulation.

Honestly, they truly aren’t far superior to utilizing a Utility Knife.

On the off chance that you have a lot of wire, you will, in the end, think that it is tiring to set up one of these little machines on account of the consistent adjustment with it to strip different wire sizes.

If you using it for long hours, then your hands will become weary of getting the wire through the minuscule feed wheels.

Particularly if your wire is bigger than a half-inch in diameter.

With these wire stripping devices, it like going back-and-forth until the blade cuts into the wire.

Another factor is to immovably mount these units to the edge of your workbench else it will slip when you attempt to get the wire through the rollers with a lot of pressure.

Honestly, it is a lot of hard-working when using low tech manual wire strippers to strip copper wire.

Many other options can help you strip copper wise with easy and less discomfort.

How To Strip Copper Wire Using A Single Blade Manual Wire Stripping Machine With Drill Power

This is a little better option compared to using a utility knife.

You can consider it as a better method than any other traditional ones when it comes to stripping copper wire.

There are certain things to remember while using a single blade manual wire stripping machine with drill power.

You will have to do constant manual adjustments to the blade height to get the job done perfectly.

One of the most common issues that you would observe while using a single blade wire stripping machine is that the wire constantly slips out from under the blade a lot.

Over some time you will have to replace the burnt-out drills to let it function properly.

Moreover, the feed wheels are not built to last forever, so you need to consider having them change as and when needed.

The price of a single blade manual wire stripping machine is comparatively lower than that of advanced multi-feed drills.

However, with the price also, the difference is in the efficiency, which you might have understood multi-feed drills are better.

It is a cost-effect method but not the most efficient one.

How To Strip Copper Wire With Multi-Feed Drill Powered Manual Wire Stripping Machine

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This is a medium level technology product that can be used to strip copper wires.

The mechanism of this machinery is such that you need to do less manual work compared to other stripping methods.

It comes with a self-adjusting spring tension system and a drill power to minimize your physical efforts.

To strip copper wire using this machine, all you need to do is feed the wire into sized-feed, and the device does the rest of this work.

The quality of copper wire stripping is also impressive.

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These machines are heavy-duty and can be used to strip medium quantities of copper wires effectively.

You can connect a Drill to work the base feed shaft, or you turn it with the included hand wrench, and you are not required to adjust it manually.

If you need a manual drill controlled wire stripping machine, then these units are the best in the market.

However, are you are planning to use the multi-feed drill machine to strip 3/0 AWG or more, then your drill might wear out, and so would your hand.

How To Strip Copper Wire Using A Single Blade Electric Motor Wire Stripping Machine

This is one of the basic motorized machines used to strip copper wires.

In my opinion, you can use this type of machine for stripping the insulation of the wires with a 0.25-inch diameter to 2000 MCM.

However, it gets difficult to strip the wire if its diameter is less than 0.25 inches, so you need to think about your stripping requirements before you decide on using this machine to strip copper wire.

You can do plenty of adjustments with this single blade electric motor wire stripping machine and it works great with the same-sized wires.

Anything less than 0.25 inches would simply slip off from under that blade and would be very tiring for you to feed it again and again.

Here are the pros and cons of using this machine:

Pros

  • Strips copper wires with 1/4″ width up to 2000 MCM
  • This machine is great for stripping a similar size of wire
  • You can easily change its blades.
  • One of the best features of using this machine is that it is great for stripping wires with thick insulation

Cons

  • Stripping 1/4″ wire breadth and beneath isn’t suggested
  • Not suggested for stripping Romex Cable
  • Only cuts on 1 side of the protection on the wire
  • Requires a steady alteration for each wire with a big length.

How to strip copper wire with Multi Feed Electric Motor wire stripping machine

If you are looking for a way to effortlessly strip copper wire, then using a multi-feed electric motor might be the wisest choice you ever made. Stripping copper wires is a piece of cake for this marvelous machine. It is also the most economical and the fastest way to do so. All you need to do is put the wire in the feed hole with an appropriate size and let the machine work its magic.

Multi feed Electric motor wire stripping machine comes with a spring tension system.

This facility in giving you the least trouble when it comes to manually adjusting the machine for different sized wires as they have holes that are already per-pitched.

It comes with replaceable blades and it can strip copper wires from 16GA to 2-inch diameter. Moreover, it can easily adjust to each type of wire.

If you are someone who does not like to go back and forth readjusting the machine based on the type of wire, then a multi-feed electric motor wire stripping machine is best for your work.

How To Strip Copper Wire With Industrial Wire Stripping Machines

If you have a lot of copper wire that is required to be stripped, then I recommend going with an Industrial link wire stripping machine.

These are phenomenal for stripping power fundamental link, XLPE link, marine link, mining link, any kind of link with thick protection, and huge copper centers.

Mechanical wire stripping machines are considered to be best for scrap yards, destruction organizations, wire and link producers, electricians, enormous electrical temporary workers, etc.

The design of industrial wire stripping machine is robust and hence you can expect your investment to pay off in no time.

Moreover, these are heavy-duty machinery that weighs more than 1000 lbs.

Industrial wire stripping machines are capable of stripping copper wires on both sides of the insulation and hence is very effective and efficient.

You can use various options like reverse or forward directions.

If you need an Industrial workhorse for copper wire stripping, then this equipment is highly suggestible to you.

How To Strip Copper Wire With A Granulator To Process Bulk Scrap Wire

This is high tech scrapper that is used to strip copper wires in bulk quantities.

The mechanism of this marvelous machine is such that you can use it strip any type of wire-like communication cable, car wiring harnesses,  telephone cable, bulk cable, extension cords, coaxial cable, Ethernet cable, electrical house wire, etc.

One of the most impressive things about granulator is that it can fit the wires that no other stripping machine can fit.

Although this machine comes at a cost, I suggest its value for money if you have large copper wire stripping requirements.

The Granulator is an all in one solution to all your copper wire stripping requirements.

You do not need to worry about the size, length, manual labor, etc. when you use the granulator.

If you are looking for a wise investment that will make your copper wire stripping an easy errand, then Granulator is the best option for you.

Burning The Insulation

Burning the insulation is one of the most common methods of stripping copper wire.

This method can only be practiced on a handful amount of wires and should not be used for a huge load of wires.

It is illegal to burn large loads of wires as per Federal law and it may attractive heavy penalties.

There is also a high risk if you decide to burn the insulation for stripping copper wire.

The fumes of burning insulation are dangerous for health and may cause difficulty in breathing.

Moreover, the environment is badly affected by the burning effect.

So why do people use it to strip wire?

It has a very simple explanation – it is the cheapest method to do so.

However, I am against using this practice since there are so many other viable options to choose from.

How to Strip Copper Wire Based on Volume

Less than 100 Pounds/Month

Razor or Handheld Tool:

When you are dealing with a few loads of wire a month and not pulling in a large quantity, it may be worth it to just use a razor or handheld wire stripper for your copper.

While it can be a more tedious job to strip the wire by hand, it can save you money if you aren’t looking to spend a lot on a stripper.

When using a razor blade for stripping copper wire, be sure to cut away from you and use gloves for safety.

Make sure to wear gloves, we have heard too many stories of people cutting themselves.

A Few Hundred Pounds/Month

Tabletop Wire Stripper:

There are several different brands of tabletop strippers you can purchase or you can be handy and make your own.

Either way, there are affordable machines out there can you can check out.

Also be sure to check in with some other scrappers to see what kind of products they use, as they could have experienced with other brands.

Over A Thousand Pounds/Month

Electric Wire Strippers:

If you are managing a mass measure of wire it could be wise speculation for you to set something aside for an engine controlled stripper for your piece copper wire.

While it might be somewhat costly, you would have the option to take care of it with the wire you will be stripping all the more rapidly and effectively.

Much the same as we referenced before it is a smart thought to make sense of how much wire and copper you would need to jump consistently before you go get one of these.

Yet, in the event that you have the material, it will merit the venture.

Conclusion

It does not matter if you an experienced electrician or a novice worker or a DIYers as having a basic understanding of various option is very important.

Especially when you are working with electricity you would want to know all the best and possible options available to you.

I am a DIYer and work with electricity at my home as and when required.

I wanted to share the information gathered with you so that it could benefit the community.

After working at home on electrical equipment, the question kept coming up how to strip copper wire in the best possible way?

I realized that the answer to this depends on your requirement.

Therefore, I did a comprehensive research on the best ways to strip copper wire and decided to answer the question depending on your specific needs.

This article focuses on various aspects of how to strip copper wire.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and gained valuable insight into the best ways to strip copper wire.

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