Wire stripping can be very delicate work, which makes it all the more important to be very confident in what you are doing. There are a number of things that every user should know before they start using wire strippers and clippers.
Using the right tool for the job
One of the most important pieces of advice for users is to always make sure they are using the correct wire stripping tool. Many beginners often make use of the likes of scissors or a knife to try and strip a wire and, in some cases, even try to use their teeth. All of these are bad ideas. It is easier to spend a little money on a good wire stripper to avoid accidentally cutting through all of a strand or nicking a wire, let alone doing damage to your teeth.
Buy a wire stripper
There are a number of different options for different types of jobs in regard to wire strippers, including gauged, adjustable and even self-adjusting automatic wire strippers. It can be difficult to correctly adjust adjustable wire strippers, so they may be a poor choice for beginners. Gauged strippers are good but are only for particular wire sizes. Self-adjusting automatic wire strippers are really the best choice but are really only worth purchasing in high-quality and reputable brands.
Use a variety of different tools
When you get a new wire stripper, especially when you have never used one before, it can be tempting to overuse them and bring them out for almost any type of job. However, this can actually cause more harm than good, making it important to be ready to change tools depending on the particular type of wires you are dealing with.
Use the right technique for the wire
When dealing with plastic-sheathed cables and electrical cords, a utility knife should be used to score the exterior and thus expose the wires within, and then the insulation can be removed with the use of a wire stripper.
However different techniques may be necessary when dealing with different types of wires. Wires that are particularly thin may require the use of a gauged stranded wire stripper as this lessens the likelihood of accidentally nicking the wire than would be the case if an automatic wire stripper were used. Wire strippers may not be necessary at all when dealing with underground cable, as a utility knife can be used to strip the sheathing and they could then be pulled back simply by hand.
Avoid working with live wires
Safety should always be the number one priority when you are working with electricity, so you should never work with live wires and if in any doubt as to whether a wire is live or not always perform a test before commencing any work.
Do not use damaged wires
Wires can be damaged by nicks and cuts to strands from manual and automatic wire strippers. If this happens this part of the wire should not be used again as it can result in electrical issues.
Be sure to purchase a reputable wire stripper to make sure you have the best possible tool for your task.
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