Round cable stripper – do you use this?

We’ve seen the wire stripping technique used by broke students and hobbyists, but some industry ‘vets’ complained. We found it interesting that nearly everyone had a -different- way of doing it (slice down with razor, cut down with dykes, cut with razor then bend, pull on insulation and /then/ cut down, pull on the internal cord, use a $300 thermal wire stripper…) but nobody pointed out thats there are $30-$50 tools designed just for this purpose. (We thought the best you could do was an autostripper for $100)

We like Cooper tools and the color black so here’s one example. They look rather nice, but never seen them in on a workbench or lab… is there any reason nobody uses them? I mean, spiral cutting how cool is that?

Round Cable Stripper

  • A professional stripping tool for round cables of all insulation types.
  • Features two interchangeable cable retention guides which gives incomparable stripping capacity of 0.18″ to 1.57″ in one tool
  • Positive locking positions for circular. lengthways and spiral cuts
  • Durable: Tested to over 100,000 cycles
  • Replacement blade available
  • Includes both large and small cable guides

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  1. I work in the Marine Corps on Radar Systems. We work with a lot of multi-core cables, and we have a slightly different model of these in our shop. Not used too often, but they do come in handy at times.

  2. I worked as a summer temp as a telephone guy, and we had a similar but cheaper looking tool for nicking the sheath on aerial drop and 3 pair. I recall just using my “Miller” strippers for everything though. I think it comes down to practice, because I don’t seem to be as good at it anymore!
    I liked the Millers because they fit flat in my back pocket and could be used as cutters, strippers, and in a pinch .. pliers. I used to score a ring around the telephone, CAT5, or aerial drop, like you’ve done with the razor, and then it could be bent open and pulled off without even coming close to damaging the conductors inside.

  3. if you have lot of stripping to do, this stripping tool really worth it… if you only need a few cable stripped using a knife is good enough… you have to take some extra care to do this to avoid cuting the inner isolation, it is quite tricky.

  4. I just use a pair of standard wire strippers – the ones with holes for each size conductor. Work well and hard to beat for under $10.

  5. Back when I worked in a telco node we had one of these in the “official” toolkit, but I don’t think I ever saw anyone actually use it.

  6. Seen those.
    Never tried them.
    In 22 years I’ve tried all the different automatic wire strippers: Xcelite, Paladin, Sargent, etc.

    For individual conductors, I’ve found that nothing beats some variant of the Ideal T-Stripper.

    By the way I thought it would be worthwhile to mention that most people don’t know that those combo stripper/crimper tools that have all the holes around the pivot point are meant for cutting screws. ( the holes that is)

    I’ve got a few pairs just for cutting screws. Most will cut as small as 4-40 cleanly enough that you dont bugger the threads.

    Really nice for when you don’t have the right length screw.

  7. Industrial electrician for a major international corporation. When stripping cable and needing to leave long wires, as in switchboard installation, this cable cutter excels. They can be problematic in the adjustment, though. For short leads, a hand automatic wire stripper (Ideal T) using the largest hole works well as stated previously. Or, the method that Adafruit demoed is acceptable. The main problem with the razor blade is that it can expose the conductor at the base of the cable stripped area and cause corrosion and conduction problems further down the road. Just my .02.

  8. Jack –

    I figured that would be the issue with that model stripper.
    (xcelite pictured above)

    I like the t-stripper. Much faster, consistently.

    And they do work well for many 4 cond jackets as well.

    [commend moderated]

  9. I really just prefer using the cheap stripper (Google Image result:

    I always remove the stop screw first thing. It takes a bit of practice, but I can strip just about any size without damaging the conductor. It even can strip sheathing off multi-wire cable if the bundle is smaller than about 6AWG.

  10. Jonathan Webber

    I’m an industrial electrician, I use mine every other day for multicore circular cable, stripping the outer sheath off for the length of the run inside the switchboard.

  11. I think it is interesting that each technique has its own problems

    razor: inexperience can nick the conductor
    ideal-t: has to be the right size hole or unexperienced can nick conductor.
    round cable cutter: slow, needs to be adjusted for cable
    cutting down side: sometimes no room, can cut wires if not careful
    pull, cut & peel: good for old telco wire only

    Could it be that there are many styles and each technique is good for certain situations?

  12. “Could it be that there are many styles and each technique is good for certain situations?”

    And there you go. Stripping cable as an analog for all of human existence. I like it!

  13. I have used a different version of this tool when I had tons of cable to strip (theatrical electrician, whole theatre rewire job.) It’s great for multi-conductor cable, but only bigger sizes. (I mean bigger diameter outer sheath, not necessarily bigger _gage_ wire.) Usually for small jobs, the bend and nick, then bend the other way and carefully apply pressure with the knife blade to part the insulation works fine.

  14. I have used some of those both for electric cables and fiber optics. They are unbeatable for F.O., but when it comes to electrical cable, NOTHING can beat my Swiss Army Knife and the method Limor showed.
    I think that with practice you get a much more controllable stripping of the cables. I did a lot of field instruments, network and machine cables in one of the oil fields of my company. The ones I did with my (sharp!) knife went much better!

  15. Jonathan Webber

    Depends on how I’m stripping, if I’m stripping offcuts down to bare copper for scrapping on larger cables (16mm2 and larger) I just put one end in the bench vise and go run with a razor down the hill on my front yard. It’s damn quick.
    But for installation work where damaging the insulation means a failed insulation resistance test, actual tools are king.

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