Various models are available, each designed to tackle particular wire stripping tasks, from light insulation peeling to cutting through tougher materials like copper and conduit. Many are based on the classic plier design.
Some of the different types of wire stripper are explained in more detail below:
Manual Wire Strippers
This is the simplest form of wire stripping tool, ideal for lighter jobs which require minimal force. They typically feature spring-loaded, self-opening handles and a safety lock.
- Adjustable strippers – these usually have both manual and automatic adjustment mechanisms; insert a wire and the device will automatically adjust to accommodate, but precise manual adjustments can also be made
- Triple action strippers – these professional models allow users to apply three different types of cutting action – spiral, linear, and rotary. Spiral is particularly well-suited to stripping materials like rubber
- Sheath strippers – by contrast with triple-action models, sheath strippers offer a simple yet effective rotary cut, ideal for leads and cables with two and three cores. They typically also auto-adjust for different diameters
- Pistol wire stripper – these models feature self-adjusting blades which both grip and strip cabling in a single motion
- Steel armoured strippers – these devices feature a reinforced blade designed specifically for cutting through the steel, copper, or aluminium shielding and conduits in fibre optic or armoured cables
- Insulated strippers – these have VDE handles, industry-standard certification that indicates they are insulated from electrostatic discharge
Automatic Wire Strippers
Auto or automotive models have synchronised jaws which allow users to easily cut through and strip away wire sheathing with a single squeeze of the handles.
Laser Wire Strippers
Laser wire stripping tools are a high-end alternative to conventional insulation removal solutions and are favoured when highly precise work is required. This could include cabling with an exceptionally narrow diameter, unusually tough insulation material, or cabling that is very specialist, such as cabling for use with medical equipment.
Laser radiation emitted by the tool vaporises the insulation material, but the inner components are highly reflective and so are unaffected by the standard beam. If the cable includes any metal shielding, a different type of laser can be used for cutting.
Laser wire strippers are usually desktop systems. Different models have varying capabilities and specialisms.