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How do I strip a small amount of insulation from the MIDDLE of a wire? Answered

I have a plan for a small strip of low-voltage lights. I want to solder in-line to the main wires, so I need to strip about 1/2" of insulation from the wire at some distance from the end. What is the best way to do this with minimal damage to the copper core?

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Best Answer 5 years ago

Two ways ;
  1. Use a stripper to cut the insulation and push on it ( both sides ) to compress the insulation to expose bare wire.
  2. Use the stripper to cut the insulation a ¼ to ½ to another insulation cut.  Now take a sharp blade and cut the short insulation tube length wise and remove it, laving a clear length of bare wire.

Some people might berate me for suggesting this but you could try T-Tap connectors.


Someone may have mentioned this but I tend to just mark a spot on the wire and hit it with my soldering iron for a few seconds to reveal the wire underneath. You can even scrape it a bit to really clean a spot. The plastic melts away and you have a great spot to make a join. Sorry for the zombie thread update.

I think the easiest way is to cut through the insulation in the middle of the wire, then pull the two halves of the insulation apart and further away.

I've done the following with solid wire, using a needlenose pliers that has smooth jaws (no teeth). I don't know how well it would work with stranded wire or using a pliers that does have teeth.

At both ends of the piece of insulation you wish to remove, cut through the insulation with a wire stripper.

Using a pliers, squeeze the insulation between the cuts. Squeeze tightly enough to deform the insulation but not so much that you squash the wire inside. Squeezing will thin the insulation and cause it to stick out from the wire on the sides.

Using the tip of the pliers, grip the part of the insulation sticking away from the wire and pull. With luck and plenty of practice, you'll remove all of it at once; if you don't, just pull chunks off.

If you're going to solder anyway, cut short pieces of wire the right length and strip the ends. A good solder joint won't have any more resistance than solid wire. If you're trying to add a dozen or more lights you'll never be able to strip them all without cutting the wire at least once anyway. A solder joint needs more than just laying the tab over a bare spot in the wire.

I appreciate that, but this is decorative twisted-pair wire, and I'm trying to keep the aesthetics as clean as I can.

When I get down to actually putting this thing together, I might end up doing as you suggest. It's going to be a question of balancing looks with practicality. :-)

If you carefully use a lighter you can melt it away. Just be careful.

As A says, once you solder at the stripped bit ,the insulation will retreat on its own leaving you with a nice clear wire