Hacking strippers to do your bidding

wire_strippers

[Alex] knows his strippers.

By his estimation, he has stripped millions of wires over the years, and he has seen his fair share of wire strippers come and go. That cheap set of wire strippers you have with the graduated holes, or that adjustable stripper you squeeze as you pull the wire through? They just stress the insulation as well as the wires you are trying to strip – he says you might as well just use them in your tackle box.

His favorite style of wire stripper is the automatic kind that grip the wire, then cut and remove the insulation just by squeezing the handles. His issue with this particular tool is that it’s difficult to get a uniform length of stripped wire when working in volume.

Since [Alex] needs uniformity in his line of work, he modified a set of automatic wire strippers to include an adjustable wire stop. He determines the length of wire he needs, adds or removes some washers from his wire stop, and off he goes. It’s a very simple yet very useful hack, depending on your application. We bet it is probably one of the most accurate ways to get uniform length, this side of a fully automatic wire stripper.

Comments

  1. captainbacon says:

    I was totally hoping this would be a social engineering hack…

  2. Richard says:

    I have a Weidmüller stripper that alrady have an adjustable stop…. Or am I missing something here??

  3. cm0n3y34 says:

    @captainbacon
    Same!

  4. Bob D says:

    A while back I got these ultra cheap-o auto adjusting strippers that have worked surprisingly well. They have a length adjustment built in.

    http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=6545

    (Ah, good ole cheap Chinese rip-off know-how.)

  5. Pinky says:

    Haha, I’m with you, captainbacon. Disappointed!

  6. NoOneSpecific says:

    Pretty sure I am not the only one thinking this article was gonna go a different route. Had a stack of $1 bills all ready too!

    =(

  7. Dillon says:

    I have the same pair as bob and they have served me extremely well, however they are not good for short lengths of wire as they pull the wire through the insulation sometimes…

  8. Andy says:

    try looking at facom wire strippers they cut the cable aswell as stripping both ends of where you cut adjustable to twithin 0.5mm would never be without my pair whilst panel building

  9. AvionicsTech says:

    Pretty nifty hack, but most come with an adjustable plastic stop. However, I do not use them. After enough repetition you develop an eye for it.

  10. Anon says:

    So not a hack…

    And I want my strippers

  11. Goja says:

    First: A good Wire-Stripper is quite expensive.
    Second: Most automatic strippers dammage the insulation a bit, where they grip the wire. There are industries, where only non-damaging wire strippers are allowed. These look much like the one in the pictures.

  12. CutThroughStuffGuy says:

    Speaking of strippers, did anybody else know that many stripper poles have bearings in them to enable angular rotation? I wonder what would happen if you installed thrust bearing instead?

  13. zool says:

    saw “Hacking strippers to do your bidding”, sadly the post was not what i had in mind

  14. Daley says:

    @CutThroughStuffGuy:

    did not know that… time for some research!

  15. tgbp says:

    Everybody likes a good stripper.

  16. CutThroughStuffGuy says:

    As we all know, angular rotation perpendicular to a shaft is best facilitated by a low friction surface. Preferably one with ball bearings.

    This video shows off the rotating effect quite nicely. She isn’t actually rotating herself (she can’t overcome that much friction anyway). The pole is rotating.

  17. Eggman says:

    @CutThroughStuffGuy

    “this video has been added to your favorites”

  18. Brock_Lee says:

    “That cheap set of wire strippers you have with the graduated holes, or that adjustable stripper you squeeze as you pull the wire through? They just stress the insulation as well as the wires you are trying to strip – he says you might as well just use them in your tackle box.”

    Gotta nit-pick a little bit about this. Automatic wire strippers are nice and all but I wouldn’t throw the cheapies in the tackle box. I can’t be the only one who occasionally solders one end of a short jumper to a piece of proto-board then realizes that I forgot to strip the other end. Bulky auto-strippers won’t save you there.

  19. jeditalian says:

    i just provide them with a little Methylbenzoylecgonine, and they do my bidding from that point on.

  20. CutThroughStuffGuy says:

    Methyl (1R,2R,3S,5S)-3- (benzoyloxy)-8-methyl-8-azabicyclo[3.2.1] octane-2-carboxylate doesn’t work as well as methane trichloride, one would think.

  21. jeditalian says:

    lol well ‘methane trichloride’ is much easier to ‘syntesize’, and cheaper to obtain, and probably somewhat more legal, but.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw5JGv9YdV0

  22. UltimateJim says:

    I totally expected tittys….

  23. apexys says:

    Haha, hacking strippers do your biting!
    The most simple way to unisolate thin wires is to use your teeth or your fingernails.

  24. apexys says:

    @jeditalian:
    “This video contains content from UMG. It is not available in your country.”
    What a pity!

  25. mahoney says:

    strip them with my teeth reowl!

  26. Sodor says:

    DUDE!!!! this was disappointing

  27. TDJ says:

    Weidmüller Stripex.

    Think model shown in the “hack” is American style.

  28. antonye says:

    I have a pair like this:

    They came in my apprenticeship toolkit over 20 years ago, and I wouldn’t use anything else!

    Adjustable length, an adjuster for different thickness of shielding and even a cutter built in too.

    Even for casual use, these make cable stripping as easy as squeezing.

    …but I’d still rather have the “other” version of this article… ;-)

  29. fartface says:

    “First: A good Wire-Stripper is quite expensive.
    Second: Most automatic strippers dammage the insulation a bit, where they grip the wire. There are industries, where only non-damaging wire strippers are allowed.”

    And these hold true to the regular strippers as well.

    Stay away from the automatic ones, they cause a LOT of damage.

  30. Fallen says:

    +1 for the automatic ones causing damage.
    At work we use a device that melts through the insulation. Not portable at all though…

  31. m42d says:

    >> captainbacon
    same here.

  32. pcmofo says:

    This pair works great… very similar to the one shown but with a plastic wire guide that moves in 1/8″ increments. (its the red plastic part. The two sides look like eyebrows that wink down grabbing the wire and pulling and cutting in one motion. I wired this with it… so yeah it works great…

  33. pcmofo says:

    Missed the link to the strippers…. Here they are

    http://unicornelex.com/detail.php?itemno=24-3020&

  34. octel says:

    Anyone know where to buy the EXACT wire stripper this guy has?

  35. squidarthur says:

    nice to see I’m not the only one. Teeth FTW!

  36. GuiltyPixel says:

    god damnit, i was expecting social engineering… fsck your misleading titles.

  37. anonymus says:

    @ Fallen

    “At work we use a device that melts through the insulation.”

    How does that cope with PTFE insulation? And how do you cope with the fumes?

  38. Scoops says:

    I have a groove in my teeth from striping wires. :)

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