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Trying to find wire strippers

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Trying to find wire strippers
Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, April 15, 2018 8:42 AM

I'm looking to find some good all-purpose wire strippers and I'm wondering what people here recommend. I'm using 14, 18, & 24 guage wire on my layout, and I'm sure some of the locos, etc. use smaller than that.  The Ideal Strip Master is probably the best, but I'd need two of them to cover the range of wire and $80+ is pretty steep for me. 

Irwin makes a self-adjusting stripper that will strip 10-24 guage wire for $20 on Amazon that both customers and Amazon like--85% 4 & 5 stars and 35% lower return rate that competitors. But it's the Pros who dis it, saying stuff like it is un-reliable and don't bother. (Kinda like how I felt about Craftsman tools when I was in construction. Fine for the home owner, but not if you make your living using it.) And it wont handle the teenie stuff. 

I've found several of the plier-type cut-and-pull strippers that will cut from 20-30 guage in the $20-30. (I have probably 5 of these in the 10-20 guage range.)

So, what to you guys use to cover the gambit of guages. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by bearman on Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:05 AM

I have two, a channelock #908 that will strip 10 - 22 gauge and another of indeterminate manufacturer that will strip 20 - 30 gauge.  I got the channelock at Home Depot and the latter at my LHS.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

PED
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Posted by PED on Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:06 AM

My experience is that the wider the range of wire covered, the less effective it is.  For the larger wires, just about anything will work but for the tiny wire, get one that is focused on the tiny wire sizes

Paul

Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Circa 1970's in south central Oklahoma

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Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:21 AM

For small (28/30/32 gauge) you have a stripper attached to the end of your thumb, that has always work best for me and any cheapo for 10 to 26 gauge.  I have a pair of Klein strippers that have worked for me more years than I like to count for larger wire.
 
 
 
Mel
 
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Posted by sktrains on Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:34 AM
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Posted by willy6 on Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:50 AM

I bought the Irwin stripper from Amazon, it works fine for me.

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Posted by bearman on Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:51 AM

sktrains

klien makes a couple good ones, you still need 2 but they are less than $20 ea 

 

Grainger generally sells high quality tools.  I am not sure if anyone makes a decent stripper that goes from 10 - 30 gauge.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by richg1998 on Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:51 AM

sktrains

I have been using both of those for many years.

Rich

N

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, April 15, 2018 10:00 AM

I use the Klein.  Anything smaller, like the wire used on some prewired LEDs, I melt it off with the soldering iron.

There is also a stripper for use in the middle of the wire, like when you tap into a bus line. Don't know who makes them.

Mike.

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Sunday, April 15, 2018 10:18 AM

I have two that I bought on Amazing.com (free shipping). One goes 10-20, and the other goes 20-30. No-name brands. The pros might dis them, but I've never lost sleep from all the scoffing that pros do.

Besides, they work perfectly well. I've stripped, I dunno, a coupla hundred wires. I'm not a pro, just a moderately experienced amateur.

Good luck.

Robert 

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, April 15, 2018 10:48 AM

Klein and Craftsman (I think these were made by Klein when I got them).

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, April 15, 2018 10:51 AM

 The style of device that the Ideal Stripmaster is, or the identical Klein one, is really what you want because so many of those others that are 'automatic' like that only can stip the end of the wire, not the middle. For me that is the defining feature because it allows me to strip the bus in the middle of runs to attach feeders. I'd switch from #24 to #22 feeders before I'd switch to a different kind of stripper - that's how well the Stripmaster works.

                                        --Randy

 


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Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, April 15, 2018 11:00 AM

For small wires, I use a cheap Radio Shack stripper, but when I put the wire through the cutting blade I hold it firmly from one end and rotate the stripper 90 degrees so the blades get some extra tension to cut against.  That works fine for me.

For mid-bus stripping, I use the proper size hole in the stripper and just make two cuts in the bus wire's insulation.  Then I use a utility knife to strip the wire between the two cuts.  It's a nuisance, particularly beneath the layout, but I don't do it very often.  If I were starting over, I'd get a real mid-bus stripper.

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Sunday, April 15, 2018 11:32 AM

richg1998

 

 
sktrains

 

I have been using both of those for many years.

Rich

 

You can't go wrong with Klein's. They are the brand professional electricians use. I've had mine since the 1980s.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, April 15, 2018 7:33 PM

BTW, thought I would mention......

For stripping wire I circle the stripper around the wire first to cut through most of the insulation and then I attempt to pull it off.    Just found that way to be easier.   I have watched others strip wire and a lot of people just clamp down and try to move forwards down the wire........a little tougher to do it that way.    Both ways work and are probably OK.   I just find cutting through the insulation first before stripping to be easier.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, April 15, 2018 8:12 PM

CMStPnP
For stripping wire I circle the stripper around the wire first to cut through most of the insulation and then I attempt to pull it off. 

That's the way I do it, too.

willy6
I bought the Irwin stripper from Amazon, it works fine for me. Add Quote to your Post

How does it work for stripping the middle of a wire, like a bus wire?

MisterBeasley
For mid-bus stripping, I use the proper size hole in the stripper and just make two cuts in the bus wire's insulation.  Then I use a utility knife to strip the wire between the two cuts.  It's a nuisance, particularly beneath the layout, but I don't do it very often.  If I were starting over, I'd get a real mid-bus stripper.

That's the way I've done it in the past. I have a professional plier-type stripper like the one you describe (in fact I have probably 5 similar strippers) but none so elequent as to strip the middle of the wire easily. And none go smaller than 20AWG. 

I was hoping to find something that would do everything at once, but you are all confirming that to do so, I'll need 2 stripers. I figure I don't need a Stripall for the 20-30 AGW--the plier type will do. Now I just have to figure out if it is worth it to me to get a StripAll or Kline to do the 50 or so bus wire middle cuts I need to do on the layout.    

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, April 16, 2018 6:29 AM

Sometimes the right tool just makes a job that much easier. Plus I use it on house wiring too, so it justifies its existence. If it didn't cost so much to ship, I'd send you some of my #20 feeder wire, then all you'd need would be the Ideal or Klein.

                              --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by carl425 on Monday, April 16, 2018 9:24 AM

SpaceMouse
How does it work for stripping the middle of a wire, like a bus wire?

I've also got the Irwin Vice-Grip and have stripped the middle of the bus many times.  It works fine.  You do end up with a lose ring of insulation that needs to be cut off, but I'm not sure that any other stripper would work differently.

I bought it from Amazon in 2013 and it's worked for me on 12-24 ga solid and stranded wire without fail since.

My only complaint with the tool is that about half the time, the insulation stripped from the end of the wire stays in the tool and interferes with the next strip.  Not a problem if you remember to turn it over and give it a shake, but it's annoying when you forget.

Over all I'm satisfied with the tool.  I'd buy it again. Considering that it's only $20 it's an awsome price performer.

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Posted by peahrens on Monday, April 16, 2018 9:51 AM

I have the Irwin Vice-Grip ($20 Prime) auto-adjusting that was great for undertable mid-bus stripping for feeder wire connections when building the layout.  Worth the price for just that job.  It even works on making a mid-wire exposure for a decoder wire junction point.

I have 2 Klein plier types, one for larger (I'd have to look) and one for 22-30 AWG.  I like the plier types for stripping the end as it is easy to catch just the amount of insulation I want to remove. 

The Klein for smaller wires is ok up to a point.  I have found that either the decoder (LokSound) or supplemental (Soundtraxx) wire that I have been using is either 32 AWG or simply has less insulation, such that stipping the end requires angling the tool a bit vs. 90 degrees to get enough bite to cut the insulation.  I imagine it is the wire (not the tool) that is the issue.  I've got used to it so not a big deal.  If doing again, I'd see if a tool included 32 AWG.

My worst experience was dealing with some skinny signal wires that have silicone insulation.  It was a bugger to strip the end.  I got by but if doing again would get the tweezer type for that job.

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, April 16, 2018 11:22 AM

I'm trying to find my wire strippers, too.  I think they're in a box in the garage. Stick out tongue

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, April 16, 2018 11:48 AM

peahrens
My worst experience was dealing with some skinny signal wires that have silicone insulation.  It was a bugger to strip the end.

You were probably dealing with PTFE (Teflon) wire, silicone strips very easily:

 IMG_2716 by Edmund, on Flickr

I recently picked up one of these after finding the price has come down to a reasonable level:

 

https://tinyurl.com/yc6oqdxz

 

Mine arrived a few days ago and, as long as you dial the correct wire size on the adjusting wheel, they work great for teflon, PVC and silicone insulated wire. In fact, just last night I used them to scrape off the lacquer coating on magnet wire, (make several passes with that stuff).

 

I think I'll order a spare!

Cheers! Ed

 

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Posted by peahrens on Monday, April 16, 2018 5:12 PM

gmpullman

 

 
peahrens
My worst experience was dealing with some skinny signal wires that have silicone insulation.  It was a bugger to strip the end.

 

You were probably dealing with PTFE (Teflon) wire, silicone strips very easily:

 IMG_2716 by Edmund, on Flickr

I recently picked up one of these after finding the price has come down to a reasonable level:

 

https://tinyurl.com/yc6oqdxz

 

Mine arrived a few days ago and, as long as you dial the correct wire size on the adjusting wheel, they work great for teflon, PVC and silicone insulated wire. In fact, just last night I used them to scrape off the lacquer coating on magnet wire, (make several passes with that stuff).

 

I think I'll order a spare!

Cheers! Ed

 

 

Ed, indeed it was teflon.  Drove me nuts as fingernail, Xacto blade, etc. seemed not to work for me.  Thanks for the tip, I just ordered that special stripper, so I'll be ready next time.  Take, that, teflon!

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, April 16, 2018 5:18 PM

gmpullman
I recently picked up one of these after finding the price has come down to a reasonable level:   https://tinyurl.com/yc6oqdxz

Cool!

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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