Home Improvement

Wire stripping tools: difference between wire cutters and wire strippers

Whether you are a mechanic, an electrician, or you are in one of the many other jobs that requires the cutting, stripping, and joining of wires, then you will need the right tools to complete your task successfully. Working out what tools you need comes with understanding what they do. When it comes to wire stripping tools you need to know the difference between wire cutters and wire strippers. So, we are going to look at the two, and how they are used, to help you understand what type of wire strippers are best for your task at hand.


As the name suggests, these are wire cutters. They are handheld tools with curved handles, a fulcrum, and cutting jaws. The curved handle shape allows you to get extra strength, or pressure, in the cut. Although some the old school tradies use cutters to strip wires, unless you are skilled with them, you are more likely to cut too deep and damage the wires. Afterall, unlike the wire stripping tools, the wire cutters are meant to cut the wire. A job they do very well.


On the other hand, wire stripping tools are designed specially to remove the outer coating, or insulation layer, from the wire without damaging the actual wire. Generally, they have straight handles as they need more hold pressure than cut force and they can have small spaces in the jaw area that corresponds with different gauges of wire. You place your piece of wire in the correct space, close the jaws, give them a twist, then pull. The little blades in the jaw holes should cut deep enough to cut the insulation but not the wire. With wire stripping tools your days of ruining wire looms are over.


There are many different types of wire stripping tools and although the multi-sized strippers might be good for the home handyman, your business may need ones more suited to the job. Some of the wire stripping varieties include:

  • Adjustable stripper
  • Triple action wire stripper
  • Wire stripper pliers
  • Sheath stripper
  • Pistol wire stripper
  • Automatic wire stripper
  • Manual wire stripper
  • Steel armoured cable stripper

Not everyone will need all of these types of wire stripping tools, so for more information on the right wire stripper for you, then get some expert advice from our favourite, reputable dealer RS. They have a large range of wire stripping tools and what they don’t know about them isn’t worth knowing.

The difference between wire cutters and wire stripping tools is what they were designed to do. A set of wire cutters let you cut the wire and the wire stripping tools expose the wire ready for attaching to another wire, socket, or device. Although a cutter can be used to strip wire (not highly recommended, because accidents happens and cuts go too deep), a wire stripper doesn’t usually have the ability to cut, only strip. To get the right wire stripping tools for you, speak to the team at RS today.

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