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Another handy tip from Ladyada, How-To: Cut insulation off multi-core wire… have a handy tip on doing this too? Post it up in the comments!

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. ramriot says:

    I had thought I had invented this method years ago and was happily using it one day at work when a co-worker roundly told me off saying, ‘Don’t do that! you risk nicking the inner insulation, this is the correct way.’

    He then showed me the way he had been taught, as a telecoms apprentice 40 years previously, which I relate to you now.

    1/ Take the end of the cable, pull gently to stretch the outer insulation beyond the inner cores by an 1/8″ or so.

    2/ Cut an 1/8″ slice into the outer insulation-(OI) parallel to the cable.

    3/ roll back the OI to expose the inners, either grasping by hand or with two pairs of 81′s (serrated needle nose pliers) the OI in one hand and the inner cores in the other. Pull apart.

    4/ Stop when you have enough outer separated and holding the outer inside out slice into the outer insulation away from the inner cores to remove the excess.

    Now this method works great for 40 year old PVC covered cable, but unfortunately when I tried it later on more modern cables the inner’s had a habit of snapping before the outer would peal.

  2. deanes says:

    I don’t usually carry a razor blade to job sites…

  3. Rob says:

    use electrician snips (scissors). razors are dangerous.

    run snips with pressure on serrated edge around any cable to score. snap a pull and a twist all done. I do this on fiber optics, cat 6, electronics and power it just takes practice.

    small wires strip easily with the notches on the back.

  4. Bob D says:

    I use thermal strippers. There is ZERO chance of nicking a conductor.

  5. jammit says:

    I use this method myself with wire that really doesn’t like to strip. The important thing to remember is to not slide, or slice the razor into the insulation, put to push the blade in. Slicing isn’t very easy to control and you’ll cut too far. Make sure the blade is sharp. I normally leave the wire straight when I do this, making sure to only score the outer plastic and not cut through. When you bend the wire at the score, the insulation splits.

  6. Bert says:

    The easiest to do is to tear it open. Just make a very small incission a the end of the outer insulation, and then tear it appart from the incission. The insulation is very weak to tearing. If you’ve torn the insulation open for the desired length, it’s also pretty easy to tear of the split part completely, or you can just cut it off with scissors.
    If you follow the above movie, there is a risk to cut slightly through the inner insulation as well, which might come of while bending.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Ms Ada, this is so NOT the way to do it. Cut fingers, cut insulation, nicked wires, it’s all bad. Just take a pair of scissors, (or even an ordinary knife blade), stick it into the end of the bundle between the inner conductors and simply cut the outer insulation like it was a piece of paper. If the outer insulation is thin enough a single cut is enough to let you pull it apart as much farther as needed, or if it is too heavy, (or too flimsy) for that then the slightly slower but surer method of extending the incision is to simply keep cutting as you started. Much easier, much neater, no risk, etc.

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