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Old 04-24-2016, 06:45 PM   #1
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Default Wire Strippers for #18 stranded 2 conductor

Hi, looking for a bit of advice. I am doing my first apprenticeship and I am having to do wire termination with #18 stranded wire and am running into problems with my wire strippers. Right off I bought smaller scaled wire strippers as my normal ones did not have small enough holes for some of the smaller sensor wire I was stripping, but even with these I find depending on the wire type I have to apply different levels of pressure to not nick the wire. For example with the #18 power wire I have to give full pressure to start stripping but immediately let off or I will nick the wire. Even then I still have to cut off and restart now and then (and I have thousands of these to do) It gets even more annoying with the smaller sensor wires that seem to be in-between different wire gauges.

I was wondering if it would help to buy higher quality wire strippers. Mine were mid range (about $40), and I don't want to waste my first year wage on the high end ones if they won't make a difference. I seem to remember hearing something about the crimper's with the wire strippers inside the hinge being more accurate? I have tried my auto strippers but they mangle the wire. Just to add info, most of the cable uses a striping string to remove, and some of it is shielded with drain wire.

Also has anyone ever seen duel #18 wire strippers?

Any tips of tricks greatly appreciated. Cheers.
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:52 PM   #2
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For smaller wire, I have always used these from Xcelite.
There is a set screw, to precisely adjust for any gauge, but I've always just used 'feel' and never had a problem.

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Old 04-24-2016, 06:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emtnut View Post
For smaller wire, I have always used these from Xcelite.
There is a set screw, to precisely adjust for any gauge, but I've always just used 'feel' and never had a problem.

I still have my 25 yo Stanley ones.. They never fail once you set them.
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:31 PM   #4
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id try the stripaxe by weidmuller they handle anything small i throw at them.
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emtnut View Post
For smaller wire, I have always used these from Xcelite.
There is a set screw, to precisely adjust for any gauge, but I've always just used 'feel' and never had a problem.

I've found that something like this works best on anything smaller than 18AWG. I end up using them on 18AWG also, since when I use them it's with a mix of wire gauges.

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Old 04-24-2016, 08:15 PM   #6
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i do control work in NYC and all of our work is 18G or smaller, I've learned to use my linesman to strip without damaging wires at all. I have strippers for small gauge wire but sometimes the tolerance is off and nicks a strand or two
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:21 PM   #7
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I used to do a lot of control wiring. I used Channellock strippers like the ones below. I find with wire #18 and smaller it takes a little bit of feel not to nick the wire; I don't rely on the actual holes and labels on the tool. With a bit of practice you shouldn't have much trouble.

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Old 04-24-2016, 08:22 PM   #8
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I use my thumb and pointer fingers and dig my nails in.... Works great for a few wires but if you have alot I would look for a stripper that does stranded wire. Yes, it makes a difference- some strippers are for solid and others are for stranded
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:25 PM   #9
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Apparently this one does both

http://www.amazon.com/Klein-Tools-11.../dp/B00080DPNQ

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Old 04-24-2016, 08:31 PM   #10
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The key is to know your strippers and what exactly you are using. Most electricians use strippers that are marked for solid wire and that may be why you are having problems stripping 18 stranded. If your strippers are marked for solid wire than when you strip stranded wire you go down a wire size on the stripper. For example if you are going to strip #18 stranded wire with strippers marked for solid wire you use the # 16 notch.
Look at the below picture in the link provided and you can clearly see what I am talking about. One side is marked for solid and one side is marked for stranded. Notice that the same wire sizes for solid and stranded are not the same notch.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-Too...1054/203581434

Note these are Klein strippers and are marked for both solid and stranded although the notch is different for the same wire but the same is true for all brands of solid wire strippers in that stranded is a wire size down . Another example is for stranded #14 use the notch marked #12 if your strippers are marked for solid wire which most strippers are.
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Last edited by bobbarker; 04-24-2016 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
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This one's just like bobbarker says, the same hole is marked #18 stranded on one side, flip it over and it's marked #16 stranded.

If the #16 solid hole is a little loose for #18 stranded, tilt the blade a little rather than holding it right square to the wire. Tilt it just a little though.

The xcelite works very well for me. If you get the stopper set just right, nothing is faster, you don't have to feel, or find the right hole, just strip away. A good way to work if you're working mostly on one size wire, set the xcelite for that wire, and use the other strippers for everything else.
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Old 04-24-2016, 10:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splatz View Post
This one's just like bobbarker says, the same hole is marked #18 stranded on one side, flip it over and it's marked #16 stranded.

If the #16 solid hole is a little loose for #18 stranded, tilt the blade a little rather than holding it right square to the wire. Tilt it just a little though.

The xcelite works very well for me. If you get the stopper set just right, nothing is faster, you don't have to feel, or find the right hole, just strip away. A good way to work if you're working mostly on one size wire, set the xcelite for that wire, and use the other strippers for everything else.
These are all I ever used but now I want xcelite. lol
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Old 04-24-2016, 10:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
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These are all I ever used but now I want xcelite. lol
This forum has blown my tool budget
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:05 AM   #14
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Platinum Tools 15010 Cyclops 2 Cable Jacket Stripper

I'm no technology wiz, so put the above in Amazon and check it out. Works well for all different cable types and I've never had a single issue with nicking conductors.
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:13 PM   #15
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Platinum Tools 15010 Cyclops 2 Cable Jacket Stripper

I'm no technology wiz, so put the above in Amazon and check it out. Works well for all different cable types and I've never had a single issue with nicking conductors.
That's new ! ... Have you used this much ?
What types of cable are you using it on ?

Better for jacket on multi conductors, or with single conductors ?
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:42 PM   #16
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I've had one for probably 12 years and use it on all low volt type cables. Fire alarm, security, CAT 6. Works fantastic. I've done a lot of large commercial FA as well as a stint on a service van doing supermarket temperature controls, which was all multi conductor cables (sometimes as many as 12C).

Never let me down. It's to the point now, I don't even use the ripcord anymore. There's no need. The old method of razor knife a couple inches of jacket to expose ripcord, pull back, cut off part you razor knifed and trim off jacket is a thing of the past.
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emtnut
For smaller wire, I have always used these from Xcelite. There is a set screw, to precisely adjust for any gauge, but I've always just used 'feel' and never had a problem.
Agreed! Once you get used to this style, they're ideal for smaller wire.

Once you get used to them, no need to use the gauge, feel alone is perfect.
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:36 PM   #18
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I use these. Like a fancy version of the xcelite. The best thing is they strip up to #8 stranded, which is an awkward size for many strippers.

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Old 04-29-2016, 10:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I use these. Like a fancy version of the xcelite. The best thing is they strip up to #8 stranded, which is an awkward size for many strippers.



how does that work? ive never seen one before
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:11 AM   #20
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There's two opposing v grooves cut in the tips of the pliers, like a regular wire stripper turned sideways.

The screw is the adjust the depth for different wire gauges.

Personally, I hate that style, find them awkward to use.
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