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January 26, 2020, 02:13:49 AM

Author Topic: Wire strippers  (Read 10979 times)

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Offline Doc B.

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Wire strippers
« on: August 29, 2012, 05:57:52 AM »
There are a couple of different styles of wire strippers. The best and of course most expensive are the ones that automatically clamp the insulation, cut and pull it off with a squeeze of the handles. Worth every penny in my estimation, but of course we're doing this stuff for a living. Less expensive models use arm power to do the stripping. Some folks insist that a pair of dykes is sufficient. With this I disagree.

We have had more than one amp across our bench that was suffering from an intermittent noise problem. Eventually it was traced to a wire that had broken off just inside the insulation. This was caused by the wire being nicked when being stripped and subsequent movement of the wire as it was installed created a fracture. That probably resulted from using too small a gauge setting on the wire stripper, or a pair of dykes.

You should probably do a quick test of the stripper when you get some new wire. Strip off end and pull back the insulation a bit to see if it leaves a nick in the metal.  If so try going up one size (that's a lower number) on the stripper.

Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.

Offline Grainger49

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Re: Wire strippers
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2012, 06:12:42 AM »
MCM Electronics (no affiliation, but a satisfied coustomer) sells these, the best one is ~$52.  Both are made by Ideal.

Better:

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/22-3045

Best:

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/22-3046
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 12:31:10 PM by Grainger49 »

4krow

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Re: Wire strippers
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 09:07:08 AM »
'You can never go back'   that's what I'm learning after having broke a pair of really good strippers. I was mis-using them when the center nut that holds them together, broke. Sure, I made some to hold them back together, but it just ain't the same. Good strippers can be great, but it's a one in ten chance of buying just right 'one'.

Offline porcupunctis

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Re: Wire strippers
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2012, 03:20:09 PM »
You never forget your first stripper.
Randall Massey
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Lifetime audio-electronics junkie

4krow

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Re: Wire strippers
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2012, 05:19:55 PM »
HEY!  Thats my mom your talkin bout.

Offline adamct

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Re: Wire strippers
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2013, 05:24:26 AM »
One of these days, I will learn my lesson...

I bought the Stripmaster wire strippers that Grainger recommended above. But I was too cheap to buy the Stripmaster Lite version, and I thought the Stripmasters would be more versatile (the Stripmasters will strip 16-22AWG, while the Lite version will strip 20-30AWG, although I think this varies depending on what cutting plate you install). Well, being cheap never pays. I should have bought the Lite version. While the Stripmasters are excellent, and I have zero complaints about the quality of the stripping, the Stripmaster has two annoying features:

1. They are too big. I've got VERY large hands, so the problem isn't my ability to hold them. It is that the head is physically quite large, and it is hard to strip short wires in tight spaces. I assume the Stripmaster Lite is considerably better in this respect.

2. You need to fully squeeze the handles together each time you strip a wire. You can't just stop squeezing when you reach the point where the insultation has been properyl stripped off the wire. Otherwise the part of the strippers that clamps the unstripped side of the wire won't release, and as you let go, the cutting plate on the stripped side of the strippers will wind up bending/crushing/deforming the newly stripped lead. This isn't a big deal (you get used to having to depress the handle fully each time), but it is annoying.

My last comment is less a complaint than an observation. I've owned 3 kinds of wire strippers.

(A) The automatic wire strippers that use a set of blades to grab onto the insulation and then pull on it, to create a break in the insulation. They look like these. These are very fast to use, since they automatically adjust to a number of wire gauges. You don't have to insert the wire into the right hole of anything like that. You just slap it in and squeeze.
The problem with these is:
- The location of the cut in the insulation (and the length of the resulting exposed lead) is almost impossible to predict, resulting in uneven and unpredictable results. This is annoying when you want to minimize the amount of wire that is exposed.
- The automatic size adjustment doesn't work particularly well on small-gauge wire, and can wind up cutting standed wire or nicking solid core wire.

(B) The manual wire strippers that have a set of holes in them. You have to put the wire in the right hole, then close the handle and pull on the wire in order to strip off the insulation. They look like this. These make perfect cuts in the insulation, without nicking stranded or solid core wire, since the holes are quite precise. They are also cheap and physically small. On the down side:
- They are slow to use because you have to make sure you put the wire in the right hole,  and checking each time wastes time,
- They don't automatically strip the insulation, and
- You have almost yank on the wire each time. If you have soldered one end of a short wire, stripping the other end can stress the solder joint on the first end.

The third version (the Stripmaster) is basically a compromise between the first two. It includes the precision of the 2nd style, with the automation and low physical stress (no "yanking") of the first version. But they are still slower to use than the first version, because you still need to make sure the wire is in the correct sized "slot". Still, I found it faster/easier to get the wire in the correct Stripmaster slot, than in the holes for style #2.

Best regards,
Adam

Offline grausch

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Re: Wire strippers
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2013, 09:07:21 AM »
I was really struggling to find the Stripmaster Lite in Europe, but it seems that MCM's parent company is located in the UK.

Thus, if you are in Europe, a good place to look is http://farnell.com/

Just search for product code 45-671 and you are good to go. Hope this help the European folk.

Kind regards,

Gunter
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Offline johnsonad

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Re: Wire strippers
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2013, 10:46:54 AM »
Does the stripmaster lite do well with the 22g Alpha wire supplied by Bottlehead? I find it a pain to stripe with standard tools.
Aaron Johnson

Offline azrockitman

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Re: Wire strippers
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2013, 12:51:45 PM »
I purchased a Klein Tools wire stripper specifically for the bottlehead work;  the generic one I had used for years didn't not work on the smaller wire.  The model number is 11057.  I love it.  It clips the outer jacket with an authoritative little "snip" and has never nicked the actual wire.  I think it works fantastic.
Esoteric DV-50, Technics SL1200-M3D, B&K Phono 10 Preamp, Sumiko Blue Point Special Evo III, Bottlehead Stereomour, Orca's

Offline johnsonad

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Re: Wire strippers
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2013, 01:17:03 PM »
Thanks! I'm trying to figure out if the 22g stripmaster blade set will work with the Alpha 22g wire which is smaller in diameter than most 22g wire. If so, it covers most of the wire I work with.
Aaron Johnson

Offline Grainger49

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Re: Wire strippers
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2013, 03:52:49 AM »
Found out 2 days ago that the Ideal strippers I bought don't go small enough for the Speedball wire.  Just a note. 

Of course I have other wire strippers, 3 more to be exact.  But I found the Ideal strippers, the second above, were not a do all stripper.  Neither of the ones I linked at MCM go to 23 AWG.

Still love it!
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 03:54:48 AM by Grainger49 »

Offline kxanthop

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Re: Wire strippers
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2014, 11:35:27 AM »
I am having trouble stripping Speedball's Teflon wire. I have used two different wire strippers, but the wire is too thin. Any suggestions on which wire stripper to use? Could I use Bottlehead's leftover wire instead?
Many thanks!

Offline Grainger49

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Re: Wire strippers
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2014, 04:34:59 AM »
I was doing this just yesterday.  I pulled out an Ideal T-Stripper model number 45-121.  It covers from 16AWG to 26AWG.

It is available for under $12:

http://www.specialized.net/Specialized/Ideal-45121-T6-Stranded-Wire-TStripper-2616-AWG-3720.aspx

I haven't used this seller.  But a Google of Ideal 45-121 will find a number of suppliers.

Yes, other wire will work.

Offline Maynard

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Re: Wire strippers
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2014, 11:48:55 AM »
oh ok, what gauge is the thin speedball wire??

Offline 2wo

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Re: Wire strippers
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2014, 12:29:52 PM »
If you are in the US, you can get one like this at Sears. #82544, with the yellow handle 16-26 AWG. pretty good quality...John   
John Scanlon