Insulation Stripper?

Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
I grew up using dikes to cut and strip:


Now I usually use something like this, my small to medium wire/cable cutter:


I score the insulation. Bend to stretch and break if I'm trying not to nick fine strand wire.
If stiff insulation like on 2/0 house wiring, or to remove insulation in the middle (like for a split bolt), then I split it lengthwise with a razor or X-acto knife.

Using that to cut larger cables I have to nip through, so I got this one:

 

smoothJoey

SmooJo
250 mcm is roughly equivalent to 4/0?

It's hard to tell but it looks like the blade slightly scored the strands. Correct?
A bit bigger than 4/0
I think the blade did touch the wires but I went another couple of rounds at least past that point.
Those strands are pretty robust.
 

HRTKD

Boondocker
these work more than adequate to my requirements.

Those look similar to the Klein cutters that I bought at Home Depot. I knew they were going to be tough to use when I saw that 2/0 was the largest wire they were rated to cut. I really have to muscle them to do 2/0. Getting a straight cut when struggling is tough. A ratcheting cutter might have worked better.
 

Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
Something the size of bolt cutters would be the way to go, but I was cheap (and get tired of lugging heavy 3' long tools), so I got that $25 ratcheting cutter.

I have the same strength problem with my ratcheting crimper set. But at least it has two dozen die; have only used a few.
I got the el-cheapo HF hydraulic hex die one for cables. Would be nice to have one with correct die sizes.
 

Zil

Solar Addict
Please tell me you’re joking. Getting decent information about working with thicker than 10 gauge is difficult. I’m sure it has lead to some very questionable DIY installations because of some of the bad info.
No joke. Disclaimer; I got the technique from Rod Collins of Maine Marine. I have not used the technique on anything but marine grade cable. It took me about three or four tries to get perfect stripped cable. Just squeeze the cutter, open and move the cutter and squeeze, repeat around the cable. Reasonable care is required, but not overwhelming. I make a lot of 2/0 cables and all are perfect with no damaged strands. There, I passed on one secret of my studio. Don't expect many. :)
 

Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
No joke. Disclaimer; I got the technique from Rod Collins of Maine Marine. I have not used the technique on anything but marine grade cable. It took me about three or four tries to get perfect stripped cable. Just squeeze the cutter, open and move the cutter and squeeze, repeat around the cable. Reasonable care is required, but not overwhelming. I make a lot of 2/0 cables and all are perfect with no damaged strands. There, I passed on one secret of my studio. Don't expect many. :)

For battery cables, which have softer insulation than house wire, the trick is to not cut quite all the way through with the cutters. Then bend the wire to stretch and break the insulation along the cut. That way, no nicking of the wires.

The wire cutters I linked have a concave shape at the edge, which follows the round wire more closely so it doesn't take as many squeezes to cut around the wire. Two different radii, use the one that fits wire best. It is also sharp enough to slice as it is rotated around the wire, not quite touching the copper.

I've done that for 2/0 battery cable.

For stiffer THHN (and mostly smaller wires), either similar technique or else I pinch with dikes, causing insulation to bulge out. Then nip through the bulges. Position dikes rotated 90 degrees from before so edges fit into the cuts and pull to strip. For larger gauge, nip through additional locations first.
 

Zil

Solar Addict
No nicked copper. No bending to tear the insulation. Hardest part for me is following around the cable to meet the starting point. I need eye transplant.
 

HRTKD

Boondocker
No nicked copper. No bending to tear the insulation. Hardest part for me is following around the cable to meet the starting point. I need eye transplant.

Yeah, cutting a straight line has been challenging. Fortunately, heat shrink tubing covers up all my ragged edges.
 
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TimzxX

New Member
Almost all the tools I own were made as a gift from my father. Thanks to him, I can fix everything in the House. Unfortunately, he wasn't a big fan of gardening and machinery. He taught me everything I know, but I wanted to grow my fruits and vegetables myself. That's why I decided I had to buy everything myself. Thanks to this site https://www.hausandgarten.com/collections/garden-tools, I can take pride in my machines. They are of good quality, and the prices do not bite you either. This was super important because I do not have a well-paid job, and I am comfortable with what I have. If someone buys them, please write me your opinion, whether or not you are satisfied. I will wait for your response.
 

Dan Sinclair

New Member
Newbie here but I bought and used the Jokari. First few tries at 2/0 I cut quite a few strands, I was going in one direction, I looked at the picture instructions and it seemed to indicate to go back and forth. I tried that and had much better results, not saying it was perfect but I did several with no strands cut. If I was cutting 2/0 everyday I would look for a better solution, but I think for the price I am happy with the results.
 

Lt.Dan

Photon Sorcerer
I have used these Jokari strippers that were posted earlier, and I have used it to strip the jacket off of 6/4 SOOW cable. I use it for anything bigger than 10ga.

It can strike the inner wire, but you can really feel when you get through and know when to stop.
 

Firstascent

Solar Enthusiast
earlier in this thread @HRTKD mentioned a cable stripper by Dewalt. I'm already very much into the Milwaukee battery ecosystem so I purchased their version of a battery powered cable stripper. (Part #: 2935X-21)

I just tested it for the first time today and first try, it just worked! perfectly! Obviously more expensive than the $30-40 manual options, and no I'm not stripping large wires daily, but enough to where it's worth it for me. My kit will do 1/0 to 500MCM which is way larger than I'd ever need.

My initial test was on some 2/0 wire from Ancor, the insulation was just a tad too large to fit into the 2/0 fitting so I used the 3/0 fitting and it worked perfect. the blade on each fitting is also adjustable so whether you have thicker or thinner insulation you can adjust to that if needed. It also has a user settable depth gauge to strip off as much as you need whether 1/2" or 4".

Super excited about this. It took 2 seconds and didn't nick a single strand!

Getting ready to strip this 2/0 wire
IMG_0001.jpeg


Perfect strip
IMG_0002.jpeg

Complete kit showing the tool and the various quick release fittings for different wire sizes.
2935X-21_KIT.jpg
 

Micky

Solar Enthusiast
Something I haven't tried but have in the toolbox and am going to experiment with is a tubing cutter. It should be fairly easy to progressively cut the sheath without damaging the wire. Up until now I've used the Fiskars also but ya gotta be careful. I also find they don't seem to stay sharp very long if you use them to cut a bunch of wire.
 

Just John

Photon Sorcerer
earlier in this thread @HRTKD mentioned a cable stripper by Dewalt. I'm already very much into the Milwaukee battery ecosystem so I purchased their version of a battery powered cable stripper. (Part #: 2935X-21)

I just tested it for the first time today and first try, it just worked! perfectly! Obviously more expensive than the $30-40 manual options, and no I'm not stripping large wires daily, but enough to where it's worth it for me. My kit will do 1/0 to 500MCM which is way larger than I'd ever need.

My initial test was on some 2/0 wire from Ancor, the insulation was just a tad too large to fit into the 2/0 fitting so I used the 3/0 fitting and it worked perfect. the blade on each fitting is also adjustable so whether you have thicker or thinner insulation you can adjust to that if needed. It also has a user settable depth gauge to strip off as much as you need whether 1/2" or 4".

Super excited about this. It took 2 seconds and didn't nick a single strand!

Getting ready to strip this 2/0 wire
View attachment 66316


Perfect strip
View attachment 66317

Complete kit showing the tool and the various quick release fittings for different wire sizes.
View attachment 66318
Ancor has some pretty heavy-duty insulation. I'm impressed. I'm also impressed with the price but in a different way.
 

Firstascent

Solar Enthusiast
Ancor has some pretty heavy-duty insulation. I'm impressed. I'm also impressed with the price but in a different way.
It was too easy, cut through it like butter, no exaggeration.

Agreed on the price though. It did include a battery which I didn’t need but always nice to have more. However, I did get a good deal on sale where it was “only” $350. Still a lot but compared to $500… it’s a great deal from that perspective.
 

Just John

Photon Sorcerer
It was too easy, cut through it like butter, no exaggeration.

Agreed on the price though. It did include a battery which I didn’t need but always nice to have more. However, I did get a good deal on sale where it was “only” $350. Still a lot but compared to $500… it’s a great deal from that perspective.
That price does make it more palatable.
 

DerpsyDoodler

Photon Sorcerer
It was too easy, cut through it like butter, no exaggeration.

Agreed on the price though. It did include a battery which I didn’t need but always nice to have more. However, I did get a good deal on sale where it was “only” $350. Still a lot but compared to $500… it’s a great deal from that perspective.
Eh, couldn't they make an attachment for a cordless drill? Another power tool just for cable stripping? This would be overkill for me.
 
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