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How I Cut and Strip Wire

An Easy All-In-One Tool For Cutting and Stripping Wire

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Cutting and Stripping Wire Doesn't Have to be a Pain

If you've been in this hobby for any length of time, you've probably had to cut some wire and learn to solder at some point. There are lots of ways to cut and strip wire. I've seen people use a hobby knife, wire strippers, scissors, even their thumbnails, but I've come to love and use the side cutters as my preferred tool.

Side cutters are super handy, they can clip the ends of zip ties, cut heat shrink, and best of all, they do a great job of cutting and stripping wire. I'm not talking about large heavy duty side cutters, I'm talking about small hobby grade versions.

When cutting wire, it's really simple, just figure out where you want the cut to be and snip away. I should caution you not to use these on hard music wire, or steel. Those can actually dent the cutters and nearly render them useless. We're talking about cutting relatively small diameter silicone wire used on speed controllers, motors, and batteries.

Stripping the wire is simple. Place the cutters on the wire with the flat side of the cutter facing out. I usually pinch the outer silicone sleeve a couple of times with the cutter all the way around the wire to weaken it and then squeeze lightly and lift off. The cutter digs into the silicone sleeve and then pulls away and rips it off, leaving the exposed wire behind. Just be careful not to squeeze the cutter too hard and cut into the wire. Practice a few times on some scrap wire to get the hang of it.

Now this isn't the only way to do it, and may not even be the best way, certainly wire strippers work great, but side cutters do the same job and more. They work for me and I've been doing this for a very long time. Feel free to reply and let us know your preferred tools and methods for cutting and stripping wire.

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Old Aug 19, 2013, 08:48 PM
Registered User
Canada
Joined Nov 2000
6,872 Posts
Is this some kind of Infomercial??
Cutting and stripping wire is Real Easy using just a Blade and one's thumbnail.
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Old Aug 20, 2013, 05:12 AM
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Illinois
Joined Feb 2006
4,963 Posts
I use an exacto or box cutter,roll the wire on the blade then pull the insulation off. Most of the time i use side cutters to cut the wire,for thinner gauge wire that use's jst connectors etc i use scissors.
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Old Aug 20, 2013, 05:43 AM
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Australia, QLD, Innisfail
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auto wire strippers for me, works great
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Old Aug 20, 2013, 10:04 AM
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Bishopville S.C.
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I use tin snips.
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Old Aug 20, 2013, 02:15 PM
Registered Crasher
United States, TX, Coppell
Joined Feb 2011
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I use a HOTWeezer.

Chumps
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Old Aug 20, 2013, 08:15 PM
Learn to build with wood.
Tucci's Avatar
United States, NC, Newport
Joined Sep 2012
824 Posts
I like a meat cleaver to cut the wire. Then I douse the end in some flammable liquid, and burn the insulation off.
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Old Aug 20, 2013, 08:40 PM
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C₄H₁₀'s Avatar
United States, AK, Fairbanks
Joined Aug 2009
12,372 Posts
I just use whatever bladed object I happen to have immediately at hand. X-Acto is preferable, but my very small Swiss Army knife also works, as will my pocket folder, a snap knife, scissors, toenail clippers... I think it's more to do with the user than the tool in this case.

Quote:
Is this some kind of Infomercial??
It's certainly started to seem that way.
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Old Aug 20, 2013, 09:34 PM
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United States, TX, Coppell
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HOTweezers are thermal wire strippers. Like this:
Hakko FT-800 Thermal Wire Stripper (1 min 35 sec)
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Old Aug 21, 2013, 09:32 PM
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United States, AZ, Tucson
Joined Nov 2010
4,008 Posts
As a Nasa Certified, USAF Electrician I prefer a razor blade and/or exacto....

However we do have a REALLY easy to use, brainless tool, check these out!

http://www.all-spec.com/products/110...FWQ6QgodigQALA

Many companies make a similar version, and all are pretty awesome, they hold, cut, strip then release the wire all in one motion.

You really do get spoiled!
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Old Aug 21, 2013, 09:36 PM
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Got those, and they are good. But I'm much faster with the tin snips.
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Old Aug 21, 2013, 10:01 PM
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United States, AZ, Tucson
Joined Nov 2010
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Really? When I have a big wiring job (I mean aircraft wiring harnesses with 30-200+ wires) they are awesome... If it is just a few then the razor is preferred...

Not really sure how you can beat that style of stripper, they are crazy fast!
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 12:22 PM
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United States, TX, Coppell
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Have you never used a thermal wire stripper? Easily as fast, and won't cut or nick the wire itself...
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Old Aug 24, 2013, 05:29 PM
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Joined Sep 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwmflying14 View Post
As a Nasa Certified, USAF Electrician I prefer a razor blade and/or exacto....

However we do have a REALLY easy to use, brainless tool, check these out!

http://www.all-spec.com/products/110...FWQ6QgodigQALA

Many companies make a similar version, and all are pretty awesome, they hold, cut, strip then release the wire all in one motion.

You really do get spoiled!
That's e exact tool I use. Klein is awesome.
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Old Aug 26, 2013, 08:45 AM
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Australia, QLD, Innisfail
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The HOTWeezer is the best thing I've seen all week!
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