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#29452 - 09/18/03 05:16 AM Sidecutters as Strippers  
gunther  Offline
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 60
A lot of residential wireman in this area use their sidecutters as strippers, even though they do not have a manufactured stripping hole in them. I maintain that these pliers are neither designed or rated for stripping wire and it is far too easy to nick the wire. I have heard reports that they are ordered to do this because it is faster, and I actually saw one of those home remodel tv shows where the EC on the job was demonstrating stripping wires and making joints by this method. Any comments, or do you think, as someone said when I questioned them about it that "you don't know what you are talking about"?

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#29453 - 09/18/03 06:10 AM Re: Sidecutters as Strippers  
zapped208  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 196
Somewhere in USA
I have been doing It this way for 25 years! I do own a pair of T strippers though,less tools to carry!

Shoot first, apologize later.....maybe

#29454 - 09/18/03 07:26 AM Re: Sidecutters as Strippers  
George Corron  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 717
Lorton, Va USA
Been doing it that way for over 30 years. Course, that don't make it right.

I hate to admit to this, but the only time it was wrong was when we used aluminum or copper clad conductors, it weakens the conductor pretty badly.

I've had to administer/inspect/engineer some highly technical large scale projects and have done some fairly extensive research into this practice. I could find no definitive evidence that this was harmful, at least to copper conductors. If the guys are comfortable doing it this way, I see no reason to alter their practice, like we said, it's been done that way a very long time.

#29455 - 09/18/03 03:14 PM Re: Sidecutters as Strippers  
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
Oh great now I have to worry about violating the rating of my tools. As someone said "You don't know what your talkking about!" I am guessing you don't work in the trade.

#29456 - 09/18/03 03:38 PM Re: Sidecutters as Strippers  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
Wow! I have been doing it wrong for 20 years. [Linked Image]

It is very easy to strip the wire with side cutters without nicking the conductor.

Not one of the 200+ guys in the company I work for uses "offical" wire strippers for normal day to day work.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#29457 - 09/18/03 05:09 PM Re: Sidecutters as Strippers  
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
I've got a T-Stripper for stranded wire. You have to be careful with those because the slightest amount of excessive pressure or force when pulling and you'll nick a few strands of the conductor.

And yes, I AM using the right holes for the gauge of wire I'm stripping!

Is this normal or is my stripper defective? [Linked Image]

I'm thinking of getting one of those good automatic ones....I bought one at a dollar store (of all places) and amazingly, it strips any type of wire, without nicking it!!!!! WOW!!

I've mastered the art of stripping stranded wire using a very sharp razor blade. You bend the wire at the point you want to cut and then just apply pressure with the sharp blade. You don't even have to slice. Just touch it and it splits at the point!!!

Do it all around, taking your time and then pull off the cut piece gently.

I have to do this becasue my T-Stripper only goes up to like 16 Gauge wire and does me no good when I'm prepping 12 gauge or 14 gauge SJ cord for making the occasional extension cord or when I'm stripping VERY fine wire inside some piece of electronics and can't quite go in there with the T. [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 09-18-2003).]

#29458 - 09/18/03 05:58 PM Re: Sidecutters as Strippers  
Sandro  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 444
Stoney Creek, ON, Canada
The Yellow T strippers are for solid wire, and the Red T strippers are for stranded.

Makes a big difference!

#29459 - 09/18/03 06:11 PM Re: Sidecutters as Strippers  
CTwireman  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
Connecticut, USA
I hate using sidecutters to strip wire. I would much rather use my lightweight t-strippers than heavy pliers - much less wrist fatigue. T-strippers do a better job anyway.

[This message has been edited by CTwireman (edited 09-18-2003).]


#29460 - 09/18/03 08:03 PM Re: Sidecutters as Strippers  
gunther  Offline
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 60
Thanks for the input and replies, and I believe in being respectful about others opinions even if I don't agree with them. By the way, Scott, your guess would be wrong. I went through a four year IBEW inside wireman electrical apprenticeship and have been in the trade for close to 25 years, and have a master's license. I hadn't planned on giving my personal history, just thought this might be a forum for tradesmen to respectfully share experiences and opinions in a "workmanlike manner". You still haven't persuaded me to give up the opinion that you should use the proper tool to do the job.

#29461 - 09/18/03 08:30 PM Re: Sidecutters as Strippers  
LK  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
New Jersey
All we had was an electricians knife and linemans pliers. Oh' , and friction tape.
I showed up at a job with wire strippers and the guys asked me if I was going to build a radio or work on the job.
The good old days.

[This message has been edited by LK (edited 09-18-2003).]

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