How to use the wire stripper

Wire strippers are tools used in electrical wiring work. It is a commonly used item, but sometimes it is not used accordingly because it can be substituted with other tools. This article will guide you in how to use different types of wire stripper.

What is a wire stripper?

Wire strippers are specialized tools for stripping the insulation of  wires and conductors. Wires are generally covered with insulations like vinyl or PVC, so it is necessary to strip it from the part to be used without damaging the core wire inside when connecting it to crimp terminals. There are several types available, including manual types that clamp and pull out the insulation, and automatic types that automatically strip the insulation by spring force.

Manual type

Lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to handle. Since there are several hole-shaped blades to match the thickness of the wires and core wire, it is necessary to select the hole to match the wire each time.


Example of manual use


Auto type

The advantage of the auto type is that it can strip wires quickly, although it can handle only a small number of wire diameters. Simply bite the wire into the wire stripper and hold the grip, and the insulated portion will automatically slide out and be stripped.


Example of auto type use


Straight type

This type strips not only the tip of the wire but also the insulation in the middle of the wire, making it ideal for wiring connections and work on cramped wiring boards, etc.


Uses  of wire strippers

The purpose of wire strippers is to strip the insulation without damaging the inner core wire. Some people use other tools such as cutters, pliers, or nippers to strip the insulated area instead, but this is dangerous because it is highly likely to damage the core wire. If the core wire is damaged, the resistance of the electric current will increase and heat will be generated, which may cause a fire.

There are two types of core wire structures: a single ‘single-core wire’ and a ‘stranded wire’ consisting of several wires bound together. In the case of stranded wires, not only does the resistance to electric current increase when the core wire is cut, but it may also loosen quickly after being secured, and the cut end may come into contact with other wires, increasing various risks. In speakers and other equipment where more stranded wires are used, sound quality may be degraded or noisy. In any case, it is better to use a wire stripper, to produce a better output. Wire strippers are also essential for improving work efficiency at electrical construction sites.

How to use wire strippers

Below is a guide on how to strip the insulation using a manual type wire stripper.


1. Select a hole that matches the wire thickness.

The thickness of the wiring is usually indicated on the package, etc. However, it is important to note that the indication method differs depending on the product, such as the type indicated by the AWG number or the type indicated by the cross-sectional area or diameter of the core wire. If the wiring is represented by AWG, check the number next to AWG.

As an example, for ‘AWG22’ wiring, the hole marked ‘22’ on the wire stripper is suitable. If you are unsure of the wire thickness, you can try starting with the larger hole.

2. Fix the position you want to strip.

Place the wires between the holes and fix them in place by lightly gripping them. After confirming that the size of the hole and the wire and the position to be stripped are aligned, pull the wire out with a firm grip. The insulation should peel off smoothly.

For the auto type, simply bite the wire into the wire stripper and hold the grip. The coating will come off from where the blade bites the wire, so be careful about the position where you bite the wire. The same applies to the type that can strip the middle of wires.


Wiring work requires careful handling, that is why it is important to know how to properly use tools such as wire strippers to produce better output.