When it comes to stripping insulation from a wire, it’s a much better option to use wire strippers instead of a knife. The first reason is a safety aspect, since you’re extremely unlikely to cut yourself using a pair of wire strippers. The second is that when using wire strippers, you’ll get a much better finish, and not damage the copper wiring inside.

There are two different kinds of wire stripper available, automatic and manual.

However, not all of these are created equal. As such, it’s important to highlight what the best wire strippers are so that you have an informed decision on which make and model you should by.

KNIPEX Automatic Insulation Stripper (180 mm) 12 62 180 SB (self-service card/blister)
Amazon Brand - Umi Wire Stripper 8inch/200mm, 5-in-1 Multifunctional Stripping Tool 20-10AWG (0.8-2.6 mm), Crimping Tool, Cable Cutter, Screw Cutting, for Electricians and DIY
KNIPEX Automatic Insulation Stripper (180 mm) 12 62 180 SB (self-service card/blister)
Amazon Brand - Umi Wire Stripper 8inch/200mm, 5-in-1 Multifunctional Stripping Tool 20-10AWG (0.8-2.6 mm), Crimping Tool, Cable Cutter, Screw Cutting, for Electricians and DIY
KNIPEX Automatic Insulation Stripper (180 mm) 12 62 180 SB (self-service card/blister)
KNIPEX Automatic Insulation Stripper (180 mm) 12 62 180 SB (self-service card/blister)
Amazon Brand - Umi Wire Stripper 8inch/200mm, 5-in-1 Multifunctional Stripping Tool 20-10AWG (0.8-2.6 mm), Crimping Tool, Cable Cutter, Screw Cutting, for Electricians and DIY
Amazon Brand - Umi Wire Stripper 8inch/200mm, 5-in-1 Multifunctional Stripping Tool 20-10AWG (0.8-2.6 mm), Crimping Tool, Cable Cutter, Screw Cutting, for Electricians and DIY

Last update on 2022-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Knipex Automatic Wire Strippers

With respect to automatic wire strippers, these can be a bit hit and miss. A lot of them will sufficiently remove the insulation material, however, they will also cause damage to the copper wire underneath.

The exception to this rule is the Knipex Automatic wire strippers.

Of course, the biggest advantage of the Knipex Automatic stripper is the fact that you don’t need to determine the proper thickness of the wire  that you’re removing the insulation from. For those that are just starting out with DIY, this is a major bonus.

What I really like about this is that it’s actually a pretty narrow unit. Since it’s got a unique shape compared to other wire strippers, it means that you can use it in tight settings, or those with obscure angles.

An initial concern I had with it because it of the size was how durable it is. From my rigorous testing, it’s been excellent and also very durable as well.

It can strip a variety of different gauges, ranging from 0.2mm2 to 6mm2. Not only did it pass my durability test, but it also passed the ease of use test. It really is as simple as inserting the wire into the teeth, pulling the trigger and removing the unwanted insulation. Every time I carried out this task, the finish was flawless.

I also really liked that there is a wire cutter in it as well, which is handy to have on the unit and it always delivered a clean cut.

Sale
KNIPEX Automatic Insulation Stripper (180 mm) 12 62 180 SB (self-service card/blister)
  • Strips cables with standard materials without any need for manual adjustment

Last update on 2022-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Amazon Brand Umi Wire Stripper

Of course, there will always be  those that prefer to use a manual wire stripper instead of an automatic one. That’s a fair argument, and I always encourage DIYers to use the equipment that they’re happy with.

During my testing, I found that a really great manual wire stripper is from the Amazon Brand Umi Line.

Ergonomics are a big thing when it comes to manual strippers. If the grip isn’t right then it’ll impact on the quality of the stripping ability.

The good news is that the Amazon variant fells really good in the hand, and provided the right amount of grip as well.

In terms of results, the technique when using manual strippers can impact how well the insulation is removed, without actually removing any of the copper wire inside.

I found it to be a fantastic wire stripper, but depending on your ability, your milage may vary.

It can cut wire between 0.8mm2 to 2.6mm2. What I thought was a nice addition is that Umi have also put the corresponding gauge of wire on the strippers as well (20-10 respectively) if you’re more used to that metric. Granted, the range is a bit less than the Knipex above, but it is also a third of the price.

What I really liked about the Umi wire strippers is that it’s actually multifunctional. It does have small plier teeth at the front which are ok and will help you out in a pinch, but I’d still recommend that you have a dedicated plier set.

In addition to this, it also has a crimper in it as well. The crimper was really good and made it really easy to crimp wires. I’ve used some crimpers before which have been terrible, so having this in the Umi strippers and to have it work so well was a real treat.

Likewise, the wire cutters on it did a tremendous job. It left a very clean cut and you’d think it had been done by a tool at a much greater price.

One aspect I was really curious about was the ability of it to cut screws. I’ve very rarely had to do this over the years, but I did get a box of new screws to test it out. It can cut screws in the following sizes: M2.5,M3,M3.5,M4 and M5.

For each screw size, it made a really clean cut. There were no sharp edges left in the screw itself. I wasn’t expecting much at all from this and it wasn’t the reason I bout these wire strippers. However, I would feel confident that going forward I would be able to use the Umi strippers to cut these size of screws. I would definitely recommend these as a handy addition to your toolbox.

Last update on 2022-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API