I have the little Klein telcomm scissors. They have the two notches along the spine of the blade. The notches look just the right size for 24ga wire and maybe 22ga. Problem is that when I try to use them, all I get are little colored shavings.
Is it my technique or is there a better tool for this?
Study Guides for VDV / Structured Cabling Installers
I have never found those stripping notches to be of any use.
You don't need strippers for this anyway. Just grab the end of the wire with your needlenose pliers and the insulation will come right off. Make believe the pliers are a stripper and pull.
This is actually the recommended method since there is no chance that you will nick the copper. Incidentally, when you wrap the wire around a screw or binding post it is important not to wrap more than 360 deg. In other words, the wire should never cross over upon itself. Reason for this is when you tighten the screw or nut on a wire that crosses over itself a notch will be created where they cross. This will cause the wire to be weakened and will break off with only slight movement.
If you watch a phone guy you will see them strip this wire in the "V" of partially opened blades of the shears. You don't jam it in, just let it grab the insulation and pull. There is a bit of a "touch" in doing this.
I have always used the notches on the scissors and had them work perfectly fine without any broken conductors due to nicking the copper, I have seen people trying to use the notched and doing nothing but cutting the wire shorter and shorter so I guess it is definitely something that you have to get a feel for. I lay the conductor in the corresponding notch either 22 or 24 ga like Haligan said and put my finger on the other side of the conductor and pull, you have tyo have the flat side of the scissors pointing towards the direction you are applying pressure to strip the wire.
I've often used the partially opened blade trick as well, although it's probably a good idea to practice on scrap first if you're not used to the technique!
I have a pair of scissors with the notches as well, although I've only ever tried using them a time or two and always reverted to my usual methods (blades or strippers).
Using less than a 360-degree wrap was always recommended on the type of screw terminals we had on the old GPO telephone blocks here. It would insure a good secure connection without the risk of cutting through the conductor.
I tried the needlenose method. Maybe I need more practice. Results weren't satisfactory. I will stick to my regular method....side-cutters used as strippers(I think some of you guys call them 'dikes'). After some practice, it is rare occasion the copper gets nicked.