How to Cut and Strip Heavy Gauge Wire Easily




In this Instructable, you will learn how to easily cut and strip heavy gauge wire, without using heavy duty or professional tools. Sorry about some of the images' quality. My camera was not behaving.

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Step 1: Tools

In the image are the tools you may need. Hover over the yellow boxes for more info.

Step 2: Make the First Cut

Make a small cut in the wire, then circle the knife around to cut through the whole outer insulation, around the wire where you want to cut it. Next, carefully pull the two sides apart, to form a small gap between the 2 pieces of insulation.

Step 3: Nibble

Now, slowly nibble away at the 3 or 4 individual wires inside, using the wire cutters. I found what worked for me was to grip one of the wires in the strippers, and then repeatedly twist the strippers back and forth over the wire, until the wire breaks. I also found that bending the wire in half at the cut point makes things easier. The wires inside are usually made up of 3 or more smaller strands twisted together.

Step 4: Strip

Once you have nibbled the wire apart, pull of cut back the insulation the desired amount, and strip in the usual way using either the wire strippers, wire cutters, or the knife. I used a combination of all three.

Step 5: The Final Result

Here is what the wire looks like when it has been stripped. Thank you for reading!



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    8 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I use cable cutters to get to proper length. I strip off the sheathing with a new razor knife. I strip the individual conductors with a wire stripper for that gauge wire. After thirty plus years of doing this I have never had a problem.


    EXACTLY!! But anyone in South Florida, please do anyway. I get paid even more money when I have to come in and fix some DIY'er "handyman" work who thought he could play electrician


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wire over 10 ga can often be difficult to strip. Do be careful not to nick the individual wires in the process, else you may have created a place for breakage to occur.

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Cutting a wire is actually a very simple thing to do, but I learned a thing ar two from your Instructable. VERY well put together! Thanks for posting it. Ken


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I've cut 6 gauge wire with a good pair of Klein diagonal cutters. Anything Over that, I use a pair of small bolt cutters.