Author Topic: Recommend me some wire strippers (and a soldering iron)  (Read 738 times)

Recommend me some wire strippers (and a soldering iron)
« on: November 01, 2019, 08:21:29 pm »
I have some really shitty old ones, so it's time for something new. I quite like the look if those fancy automatic ones. I've seen them at various price points but I'm not sure how much I need to spend. Obvioulsy I'd rather not spend a fortune, but if the cheaper ones are rubbish, then so be it.

How about these:

C.K Automatic Wire Stripper

The wires I need to shorten and then strip are pretty small. Will those be up to the job?





Any recommendations much appreciated. Ta.
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2019, 08:45:28 pm »
People ask me this occasionally, and I really don't have any good suggestions.  The wire strippers I always come back to are some of this style disposable cheapies, with the depth stop opened all the way up.  I'm sufficiently well practised with them that I can usually get good results with wire in the 18-26 gauge range entirely by feel, which is quicker than faffing about with a proper tool.  (Small stuff's a bit hit and miss, and they're rubbish at anything with more than about a 6mm external diameter.)

OTOH, I've recently invested in a set of Wera allen keys and wish I'd done so a lot sooner.  Maybe I'd have similar feelings about some posh Knipex wire strippers?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2019, 09:27:55 pm »
I guess the problem is I'm not sufficiently well practiced at using that style of stripper and end up taking half the core with the insulation!
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2019, 09:41:45 pm »
I've got a pair of this type branded as Elliott Lucas.



I've had them for years and have hardly used them, as I very rarely strip wires. They work well enough but are not "automatic" as you have to set the thickness of the cut by adjusting the screw.

I normally use a knife as I usually have one on hand, and wire strippers are not really necessary for occasional use.

https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Elliott-Lucas

Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2019, 09:43:49 pm »
I've always put wires like that in scissors sideways (i.e. parallel with the direction the blades move). If you do it at the right distance from the hinge it'll cut the sheath and leave the core untouched. Obviously it slowly ruins scissors, but, priorities.

(either that or my teeth)

Like Kim I've never had decent cutters - there are a million different types and there doesn't seem to be any consensus amongst celebrity electronicists (ok, youtubers) about where to start, so I've never bothered.

nicknack

  • Hornblower
Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2019, 10:20:10 pm »
About 40 years ago (Oh, god - really?) when I used to wire multicores and suchlike I had some automatic strippers that looked rather like the ones referenced in the OP. They were a considerable improvement in both time taken and quality of strip (IYSWIM) over the other sort mentioned here.
There's no vibrations, but wait.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2019, 11:10:01 pm »
I have a pair a bit like the CK ones.

As long as they are set up right, they have been good for me.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2019, 11:15:23 pm »
I've got those CK wire strippers. Seem pretty good, a lot quicker and easier than the simple type.
Works for most wires I've used. Though sometimes not so good on really thin wires, it doesn't always grip it, maybe need to tweak the adjustment.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2019, 11:19:46 pm »
I use ones which I inherited from my former work, which are semi-automatic.
I can't find a picture on the Internet, so I'll post a photo tomorrow.
They don't look the linked item, but may be similar in operation.

They are like pliers, but with a row of cutting teeth of different diameter.
You put the wire in, and as you close it, the mechanism does several things in sequence.
It closes the cutters around the cut-point, and then it closes some grabbers onto the tail of insulation to be pulled off, and yanks it a few mm down the wire.
They work really well for wires of the intended diameters, in particular, electrical T+E, which can stand fairly rough handling.

For very thin wires, mechanical stripping can often just rip the wire as easily as the insulation.
For these, I use the old soldering iron of meltyness ( the one you use to make holes in plastic cases ) to 'chop' the insulation ( assuming it's not some high-temp insulation that can't be melted in this way ), and then tease it off with my fingernails.

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2019, 08:46:36 am »
I use the semi-automatic ones too. Like this.

These ones look a bit brutal with their V-shaped notches.  Those on mine are semicircular.  I do have a V-shaped notch between my two top incisors, though.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2019, 01:17:11 pm »


these are a  copy of a wire stripping tool design that has been widely used for decades by folk who strip wires all day every day. Having owned and used both the originals and these, I can say that these knock-offs seem perfectly functional, on the wire sizes that fit.  They are also practically idiot proof, and it is actually difficult to damage the conductors with them (*).   If you look around you can find them for about a fiver.

(*) I've met a lot of people who claim to be able to strip wires with all kinds of odd tools like side cutters. Some of them are pretty good at it too. However inspection of their cut ends almost invariably shows that the conductors are damaged too often for real quality work.

cheers

Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2019, 01:49:48 pm »
CK autos for me.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2019, 02:01:06 pm »


these are a  copy of a wire stripping tool design that has been widely used for decades by folk who strip wires all day every day. Having owned and used both the originals and these, I can say that these knock-offs seem perfectly functional, on the wire sizes that fit.  They are also practically idiot proof, and it is actually difficult to damage the conductors with them (*).   If you look around you can find them for about a fiver.

(*) I've met a lot of people who claim to be able to strip wires with all kinds of odd tools like side cutters. Some of them are pretty good at it too. However inspection of their cut ends almost invariably shows that the conductors are damaged too often for real quality work.

cheers

These were supplied to HW development and in-house techs in one of the companies I worked for.  IIRC they were quite pricey at the time. 1980s or earlier.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

nicknack

  • Hornblower
Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2019, 03:05:08 pm »
I expect my auto strippers came from RS. Most things did.
There's no vibrations, but wait.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2019, 05:32:36 pm »
Just checked mine, and they look pretty much the same as that picture, but they are red and are RS branded.

Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers (and a soldering iron)
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2019, 05:48:22 pm »
OK, cheers for the replies. I think I shall go and get some CK strippers tomorrow.

Now, what about a soldering iron? I've just checked mine and it's 30W. I'll be using it for wiring up guitars. Every video I've seen on this recommend a 40W soldering iron. (I have used my 30W no problems for this before though....)

Is there any need to spend lots of money? Or will something basic like this do?

Soldering Iron 40W 230V
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers (and a soldering iron)
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2019, 06:13:06 pm »
We've got a couple of soldering iron threads, but the short answer is that anything thermostatic is vastly superior to something like that where the tip temperature is mostly controlled by how big a lump of thermal mass you've just been soldering.  On the other hand, if it's just cable and connectors, then good temperature control isn't actually that important, beyond how long you get before the plastic bits start melting.

Don't get too worried about wattage, it's only really important for large heatsinky components, chunky connectors and such,  I'd imagine it doesn't get much worse than a 6.3mm jack on a guitar, which shouldn't be too challenging for anything north of 25W or so (possibly a bit higher with lead-free solder).  If you're doing okay with a 30W iron, you don't really need more power[1].

For most of my life I've soldered quite happily with an unregulated mains powered 15W iron.  Larger connectors were a problem, and it was before the proliferation of lead-free solder (which needs higher temperatures), but the temperature it maintained was about right for the smaller electronics stuff I was mostly dealing with.  You learn to compensate.


[1] Though with a thermostatic iron, more power is harmless, there when you need it, and means it heats up quicker.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers (and a soldering iron)
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2019, 06:32:47 pm »
We've got a couple of soldering iron threads, but the short answer is that anything thermostatic is vastly superior to something like that where the tip temperature is mostly controlled by how big a lump of thermal mass you've just been soldering.  On the other hand, if it's just cable and connectors, then good temperature control isn't actually that important, beyond how long you get before the plastic bits start melting.

Don't get too worried about wattage, it's only really important for large heatsinky components, chunky connectors and such,  I'd imagine it doesn't get much worse than a 6.3mm jack on a guitar, which shouldn't be too challenging for anything north of 25W or so (possibly a bit higher with lead-free solder).  If you're doing okay with a 30W iron, you don't really need more power[1].

For most of my life I've soldered quite happily with an unregulated mains powered 15W iron.  Larger connectors were a problem, and it was before the proliferation of lead-free solder (which needs higher temperatures), but the temperature it maintained was about right for the smaller electronics stuff I was mostly dealing with.  You learn to compensate.


[1] Though with a thermostatic iron, more power is harmless, there when you need it, and means it heats up quicker.

OK, does this count as a thermostatic iron?

Draper Soldering Station 40W

I guess it does, but it's the cheapest one I can find!
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers (and a soldering iron)
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2019, 07:00:36 pm »
Not quite.  That looks like the type that uses a lamp dimmer type circuit to give you control of the power, rather than a thermostatic feedback loop to control the temperature.  It's certainly an improvement, but won't add power automatically to maintain the temperature when you bring the tip into contact with a big lump of whatever.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers (and a soldering iron)
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2019, 08:29:04 pm »
If you stick "936 soldering station" into eBay and look for the *blue* ones, you'll find proper thermostatically controlled irons sold under various Chinese brands for that sort of money. 936 is the model number of the Hakko (which is a decent brand) soldering station they're clones of. Lots of cheap compatible replacement irons and tips too.

Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers (and a soldering iron)
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2019, 08:45:14 pm »
OK, cheers - I'll take a look.

I've just seen a recommendation for Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station for guitar wiring. It's doesn't appear to be available directly in the UK, but it looks exactly the same as the Draper. Hmmm....
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: Recommend me some wrire strippers (and a soldering iron)
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2019, 07:02:16 am »
We've got a couple of soldering iron threads....

...Which I've now found! I might not even bother with a new soldering iron now. Doing further research on guitar wiring, most people just seem to use bog standard irons.
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: Recommend me some wire strippers (and a soldering iron)
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2019, 07:07:28 pm »
I got the CK strippers in the end. Just had a play with them and they're awesome! So quick and easy. Can do multiple wires at the same time. Smallest wires I've tried were from an old USB cable. Handled those no problem. All in all very pleased  :)
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: Recommend me some wire strippers (and a soldering iron)
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2019, 07:10:31 am »
Looks like they have built in crimp pliers too, is that the case?

Re: Recommend me some wire strippers (and a soldering iron)
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2019, 11:19:44 am »
Looks like they have built in crimp pliers too, is that the case?


That is the case yes. Not tried them though...
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!