Hey people of the internet this is a quick and easy instructable that teaches you how to strip wire with just scissors. So many people think you need high tech gadgets and fancy equipment to make all that cool robotic stuff but the truth is you don't. All you need to be awesome is determination and imagination so today I'm going to show you the "hack" to strip wire. This is basically an essential skill for anyone that works with electronics and while you could buy a wire striper for 20 bucks or so, why would you when the tool you need is right at your finger tips. For those of you that don't know, wire striping basically is making your wire useable. Almost all wire has a non-conducive coating surrounding its conducive center. This is pretty smart if you think about it because if wires didn't have this coating there would be short circuits all over the place. However it does inconvenience us hobbyists as we have to take the time and energy to remove this coating to use the wire in our circuitry. I've found that the most common and efficient tool that accomplishes this is scissors.
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: What You Need to Know
Now there are a few things you need to know about striping wire. First there are two kinds of wire as far as striping them is concerned. I don't know any technical names so we are going to call the two types covered and coated. Covered wire is wire with a colored coating around it . To strip this wire all you need to do is remove the non-conductive material and expose the wire inside. There is, however a different type of wire. This copper colored wire looks like the inside of covered wire but its different. This type of wire is coated wire and while it may look like stripped covered wire it's not. This wire has been coated in a nonconductive material that must be scraped off to expose the conductive material inside. Striping this wire is not fun. If you ever have to choose between striping coated wire or covered wire choose covered. Lucky for us most wire is covered wire so you probably won't encounter coated wire that often. The last thing you need to know about stripping wire is some times there are wires inside wires so you may have to strip a wire multiple times. Well, now you know all you need to know about striping wires so lets get to doing it!
Step 2: Do It!
The first and easier wire to strip is covered wire. To strip this wire all you need to do is put the wire in-between your scissors blades as far back as it can go. Putting the wire far back allows you to make small movements with maximum force. Gently cut into the outer covering being careful not to cut the wire inside. Rotate the wire and repeat the process until the outer covering is severed in half. Lastly hook your finger nail or scissor blade in the gap and pull the covering off. You may have to do this multiple times if the wire contains more insulated wire inside. Take note that the smaller the wire is, the harder it will be to strip as its easier to cut through the covering and the wire by accident. Great, now that you know how to strip easy wire lets move onto the more difficult kind, coated wire. To strip this kind of wire place the wire on a flat surface that you don't mind scratching. Place a finger or a hand on the wire to keep it from turning and open your scissors as wide as they can go. Now I know this will go against the safety sense of some of you parents (it's like spidey sense but safer) but grip the blade of your wide open scissors. This will leave you with one exposed blade. Press this blade firmly to the coated wire and scrape twords your hand. You should notice a copper colored flacking coming off. Beneath this flacking should be a silver metal this is the conducive part. Now rotate the wire and scrape again. The wire is striped when its turned silver intend of copper. Great, now you know how to strip wire! If you have any questions or if this inscrutable helped you comment below I appreciate the feed back. Hope you like this instructable and it helps you be awesome!