epsilonGreedy

Electrician's insulator stripping tool.

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I am looking for a tool which might not exist.

 

Some time ago a pro electrician visited and I think he used a magic manual hand tool that cleanly stripped of the cable's insulator in one squeeze of the hand. Have I recalled events correctly?

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Some of these are pretty good, some less so.  I have a US made one that has replaceable cutting jaws, that I've owned for decades now, and still works OK.  It's an Ideal Inc. Stripmaster, and it's OK, but I don't tend to use it all the time, as often I'll just use the notch in my side cutters to strip wire, simply because 9 times out of 10 they are nearer to hand.

 

I've just done a quick search and it seems the Stripmaster is still sold, and looks identical to my 30 or 40 year old set: https://cpc.farnell.com/ideal/45-092/stripmaster-10-22-awg/dp/TL00598

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I too have a pair of stripmasters but I tend to only use them for electronic bench work for stripping small multistrand cabes.  For the normal house wiring stuff I just use sidecutters.

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17 minutes ago, ProDave said:

I too have a pair of stripmasters but I tend to only use them for electronic bench work for stripping small multistrand cabes.  For the normal house wiring stuff I just use sidecutters.

 

Interesting. Are these sidecutters with notches? Or just ordinary bladed cutters? I find the latter a bit fiddly to use, especially if I'm doing a lot of stripping of thicker wires.

 

The electrician that wired our house used something like this: https://cpc.farnell.com/duratool/ws-150/wire-stripper-5-in-1-automatic/dp/TL09913

 

Having stripped innumerable wires using sidecutters in the past, these were a revelation - so quick and easy!

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1 hour ago, ProDave said:

The stripmaster has a die set like this with a row of different sized holes https://www.heamar.co.uk/spare-parts-blades/40865-ideal-45-2685-1-custom-stripmaster-lite-blade-set-783250209897.html

 

Many different dies are available depending on the range of sizes of cable you are working with.

they are mega expensive --will stick with my side cutters with extra notchs to strip std t+e  conductors-

you can use them on bigger wires just don,t fully close them and they work fine on 4mm  as well

 

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But they last a long time.  These are around 40 years old and still work perfectly:

 

Stripmaster.thumb.JPG.0af8d459959db1455b0de59f7dec2a64.JPG

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I doubt i would get the use out of them --40years --i would be oldest self builder in the world .LOL

also they are not insulated --so picking up wrong wire  by mistake could be painful--

thats how my first pair of fancy side cutters were relegated to mechanical work  --picked up a neutral  that was still live  and blunted the cutting notch . LOL

one of those things if you not done it yet --you will  sooner or later when playing with system that some of it is still live--

 

 

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13 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

But they last a long time.  These are around 40 years old and still work perfectly:

 

 

Yep, mine must be 30 years old if not more.

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4 minutes ago, scottishjohn said:

I doubt i would get the use out of them --40years --i would be oldest self builder in the world .LOL

also they are not insulated --so picking up wrong wire  by mistake could be painful--

thats how my first pair of fancy side cutters were relegated to mechanical work  --picked up a neutral  that was still live  and blunted the cutting notch . LOL

one of those things if you not done it yet --you will  sooner or later when playing with system that some of it is still live--

 

 

 

I've already had about 40 years worth out of them!

 

I'm not a fan of insulated tools at all, with the exception of screwdrivers where it might be useful to tighten a live terminal (very rarely).  The reason is that my view is that they encourage unsafe working practices.  No one, no matter how qualified or experienced they are should be working on a live installation.  Isolate the power and check it's really dead before working on it is the golden rule.

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Just now, JSHarris said:

 

I've already had about 40 years worth out of them!

 

I'm not a fan of insulated tools at all, with the exception of screwdrivers where it might be useful to tighten a live terminal (very rarely).  The reason is that my view is that they encourage unsafe working practices.  No one, no matter how qualified or experienced they are should be working on a live installation.  Isolate the power and check it's really dead before working on it is the golden rule.

wouldn,t disagree with you --but sometimes hard  when there has been a dipstick at the wiring before hand and got loops going all over the place from 2 different consumer units .

and control wiring going along way  to a different part of house from the other unit --unknown to me at the time .

took some sorting out after that little incident cos neutrals were joined from different consumer units all over the place.

 

 

 

 

 

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This subject is more complex than I thought. Trying to catch up with the variety of solutions mentioned so far in this thread and I found this 8 minute breeze through the price/range of options useful though the presenter has an electronics focus rather than house wiring.

 

I doubt one tool will strip delicate control wires from an ASHP unit all the way to a 32amp cooker circuit monster wire.

 

 

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Not sure for the average DIY use that these are needed as there are very few jobs on a new build that you can do without being qualified/registered as its all under Part P. Whilst "technically" you could do the whole lot under your Building Regs submission, its unlikely the council would accept it as their BCO would need to be 17/18th edition certified to sign it off.

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Posted (edited)

yep you are correct  no one tool will do it all 

i have another set of wiring tools at garage for making up engine ecu wiring  which is very fine and needs miniature terminals crimped on to the wires .

one of the wires I use will carry 18amps @12v dc --but is about as thick as a strand of some others I use --

but that is silver coated wire £1 a metre

..but has to be that thin cos you need to put 2 or 3 in one of these mini timer ecu connectors ,has to be crimped and has to be tough enough to stand vibration and hot engine temps --aviation quality stuff. then there is all the heat shrink tools as well to make up the looms once you have got lengths correct.

240ac house wiring is easy in comparison.

If you doing lots of BIG 240 ac wires that are going to equipment  then a crimping tool to fit big ring eyes is worth having.or renting if they anybody does that 

I use something like that for fitting battery lead ends to cables.

you can solder but that makes wire stiff right next to terminal --not good for a lot of vibration 

 

 

Edited by scottishjohn

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17 minutes ago, PeterW said:

Not sure for the average DIY use that these are needed as there are very few jobs on a new build that you can do without being qualified/registered as its all under Part P. Whilst "technically" you could do the whole lot under your Building Regs submission, its unlikely the council would accept it as their BCO would need to be 17/18th edition certified to sign it off.

thats what i have done in past and will do on next job --pull all the wiring in and get it tested + signed off at finish 

 

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You may want to check it’s accepted as a lot of sparks will not test someone else’s installs as the regs are now very different. 

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/Knipex-12-62-180-SB/dp/B000C74WBO

 

The company I work for manufacture led signals for the road and railway. We have to use the automatic strippers as in the link above (other brands are available). These adjust to the cable automatically so less chance of stripping strands. Using side cutters and manually adjustable strippers here is a big no no for assembly work. 

Really handy but no good for stripping back the outer sheath of twin and earth ect 

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22 minutes ago, PeterW said:

You may want to check it’s accepted as a lot of sparks will not test someone else’s installs as the regs are now very different. 

 

Spot on here in Part P land, here in West Wiltshire there are no Part P people who have the ticket for inspection and test of third party work.

 

However, @scottishjohn is not in Part P land, so in theory there may not be such a big hurdle to overcome in getting the installation inspected and tested.  Certainly we used to be able to get inspection and test here before Part P was introduced, AFAIK.

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Yes there is no part P here. All building control want is an EIC for the installation.  I am not sure if they will accept it from "anyone"  The first time I did a new build in a new county (Invernessshire) they phoned me to check my qualifications before blindly accepting it.  In my usual patch, they just accept it because they know me.

 

If he can find an electrician willing just to test it and issue an EIC then he will be okay,  there is a "3 signature" version of the EIC where you can sign the design and installation sections, and the electrician (tester) signs the inspection and test sections.

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I've got a tool similar to what we used at college to strip the outer sheath off of T&E.  Bought it, decided not for me and never used since. 

 

Knife for me to neatly score around then slit up the centre peel back. 

 

For cores I've a Stripmaster esque one but for the odd bit I've a crappy old Wickes thing bought over 30 years ago with an added bolt that sticks out by 20mm. For critical stuff and especially the rock hard shellaced stuff at work a pair of adjustable CK ones.

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1 hour ago, JSHarris said:

 

Spot on here in Part P land, here in West Wiltshire there are no Part P people who have the ticket for inspection and test of third party work.

 

However, @scottishjohn is not in Part P land, so in theory there may not be such a big hurdle to overcome in getting the installation inspected and tested.  Certainly we used to be able to get inspection and test here before Part P was introduced, AFAIK.

lucky for me my sparkie has been a customer of mine for a very long time --,i will be consulting with  him before i start anyway and take his views on everything,so i will be like a subby to him  anyway

pretty sure he has all the tickets needed  he could even inspect my petrol station which is a very different thing    than a domestic build due to explosion risks etc .

time will tell ,even if all i can do is pull in cables and he has to terminate --that will do .thats where most of the time is in doing first fix and mounting boxs ,etc etc

 

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16 hours ago, epsilonGreedy said:

I am looking for a tool which might not exist.

 

Some time ago a pro electrician visited and I think he used a magic manual hand tool that cleanly stripped of the cable's insulator in one squeeze of the hand. Have I recalled events correctly?

I bought a Jokari for doing all my T&E around the house. Wouldn't do the single 4mm2 and 10mm2 cables I have, but did everything else.

https://www.jokari.de/en/Flat-cable-stripper.htm

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I've used plenty over the years- never really liked the Stripmaster,  but *do* rather like the new automatic jobbies like in post 2 above. Other than it being right-handed of course... Nice clean strip of inner and outer with a couple of squeezes.

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