How To Strip Wire the Safe Way

When stripping insulation from wiring, you might be tempted to use the cutting jaws on lineman’s pliers instead use a wire stripper.

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You NEED a Wire Stripper

When stripping insulation from wiring, you might be tempted to use the cutting jaws on lineman’s pliers, needle-nose pliers or even diagonal cutters. Don’t do it! The sharp cutters on those jaws can create a score line around the copper wire, making a weak point where the wire can snap off. Spend a few extra bucks and get a wire stripper—they cost $10 to $25 at home centers.

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Multipurpose lineman’s pliers with built-in strippers are also available for $20 to $45. Just match the gauge of the stripper jaws with the gauge of the wire you’re stripping, close the jaws and strip away.

With the right wire nut connectors and terminals, it’s fairly easy to make safe, strong electrical connections. Learn How to Make Safe Wire Connections.