Cables and wires are usually insulated with a non-heat/electrical conducting material like plastic. If you want to use the wires, you must strip that insulation off. There is a tool for everything, even cutting live wire.
What Are Wire Strippers?
A wire stripping tool is designed to remove the insulation or to cover from electric wires. There are two main types of wire strippers – automatic and manual. In a pinch, you could pick up a pair of scissors, but the risk is damaging the wire and can result in serious injury.
The manual wire cutter looks similar to scissors with opposing blades, but in the middle, there is a notch to place the wire in the middle of the blades.
The stripper rotates to remove the insulation while keeping the wire intact. Wire strippers come in varying notch sizes, so you can strip wires of all sizes without twisting.
The automatic wire stripper has two sides – one grip and the other strips. It might sound great, and it certainly does make the process easier. However, it can break thinner or frail wires, so it can’t be used in every application.
How To Cut Live Wire
The first safety step to cutting wire is wearing eye protection. There shouldn’t be flying wires, but accidents do happen, so it is better to be safe than sorry. You should also inspect the tools you will be using to ensure they are in good condition because the right tools reduce the risk of accidents.
You will need to turn the circuit breaker off – and even if you have been working in the area and believe it’s already off, you should double-check. There is no such thing as being too cautious, so tear off a piece of electrical tape and cover the switch so that it isn’t accidentally turned back on while you are working.
Before you begin work, you should ensure the power is off by using a voltage tester. If it indicates any voltage, you should return to the breaker to find the correct switch and retest the wire.
Use your wire stripper to remove a few inches of insulation. There is no need to trim any excess off or deal with frayed edges, the stripper will remove it cleanly. If there are frayed wires or they are mangled, you can use the wire stripper to cut the damaged area off and start with a fresh section.
Use wire connectors or nuts to cap the end of your wires and twist each clockwise until it fits tightly. You can also use electrical tape to secure each nut to its paired wire. You do not need to cap ground wires.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re hanging a chandelier or installing a doorbell; stripping wire is a part of the process. It’s not a difficult job, but it’s much easier when you have the correct tools, and you take safety precautions. Slow and steady will always win the race when dealing with wires.