Powered Wire-Stripping Machine

Powered wire-stripping machines can be used to quickly and safely remove insulation from a large number of wires that are no longer needed in construction projects.


A powered wire-stripping machine is an engineering control that can help to reduce the incidence of cut or laceration injuries as well as musculoskeletal disorders, such as muscle strain. A wire-stripping machine consists of one or more adjustable blades designed to work with several wire sizes. This solution can work either manually or by electrical power. In some cases, a drill can be attached to this device to provide the power. Based on the wire size, the operator adjusts the gauge and runs the wire through the blade. For easier performance, it is recommended to cut wires into reasonable lengths (e.g., 6 ft.) before running them through WSMs. In all steps, the worker’s body is kept away from the blade, reducing the aforementioned risks, especially when compared to manual stripping with a blade.

Wire stripping is a common task of electrical contractors and typically has two main purposes: (1) removing a small portion of insulation so the wire (or copper) can be attached to an electrical device (e.g., receptacle, light switch, etc.); and (2) removing all of the insulation from wires and cables in order to recover and sell the copper. Powered wire-stripping machines introduced in this solution can be used for the second purpose only.

Powered wire-stripping machines can be categorized into two main groups: drill-powered and automatic.

Drill-Powered Wire-Stripping Machine

Drill-powered wire-stripping machines have a port to which the worker can attach the drill, then move the wire through the stripping housing (figure 1). This alternative is much quicker than using a blade to strip wire, or even a handheld specialized wire stripper. A subsection of drill-powered wire strippers is a hand-crank powered (manual) wire stripper (as seen in figure 2).

Figure 1. Drill-Powered Wire Stripping Machine (Source: http://www.copperwire.co.uk)


Figure 2. Hand-Crank Powered Wire Stripping Machine

(Source: http://top10bestpro.com/top-10-best-wire-stripping-machines)


Automatic Wire-Stripping Machine

Automatic wire-stripping machines are the most efficient wire strippers available today. They require no additional equipment or materials (excluding batteries and blades). They typically have very small motors that run wire through the housing, just as the drill-powered wire stripping machines do. Wire will feed through very quickly as the machine turns on. 


Figure 3. Automatic Wire Stripping Machine (Source: http://www.copperwirestripper.com)


These machines are designed to cut the insulation from cables and wires. Depending on the brand, a wire-stripping machine often has several edges with various gauges to fit different sizes of wires. To maximize efficiency and avoid adjusting the wire-stripping machine multiple times, it is better to sort wires into groups of the same size. Since many brands of wire-stripping machines are available, contractors must pay attention in selecting the machine that fits their requirements perfectly – e.g., wire sizes, work volume, ease of operation, space available and price.

Stripping wires can be done with ease if the right tools and techniques are used.  However, using inappropriate techniques and tools may not only cause injuries to the person undertaking the task, but can waste a lot of time and energy. The traditional hand-held wire strippers and standard blades can both be supplanted by a powered wire-stripping machine.

Risks Addressed:

Manual hand-held and blade wire strippers expose workers to the risk of injuries, such as cuts and lacerations, sprains and strains.

How Risks are Reduced:

Wire-stripping machines eliminate the need for workers to use tools to manually uncover wires. These apparatuses place the blade in a safe housing, which prevents injuries that may occur while using an exposed blade, such as cuts and lacerations or musculoskeletal disorders such as sprains and strains.

Effects on Productivity:

When insulation must be removed from a large volume of wires and time is limited, using a wire-stripping machine helps to strip wires about 2 -3 times faster and more safely than the manual process. 

Additional Considerations:

There are three general steps when using a powered wire-stripping machine to strip wires. First, a worker needs to place the wire in the correct size slot (approximately the same size as the wire). While the gauge is adjustable in almost all models, more advanced devices can be adjusted comfortably to a wider range of sizes. After placing the wire, a drill or machine (i.e., the wire-stripping machine itself) should be turned on to strip off the wire insulation. For larger wires, it may be necessary to run the wires twice through the wire-stripping machine. The cuts on both sides will help push the wire insulation off the wire. Finally, a worker may push the wire insulation off the wire by hand.



While wire-stripping machines are designed to require minimum maintenance, there are some essential services that need to be done frequently:

  • Greasing knife (blade) slider
  • Checking the oil of gear motor
  • Ensuring the sharpness of blade to maintain maximum efficiency in cutting
  • Ensuring that the machine is free from excessive dust and dirt.

Servicing operations must be conducted by a qualified person to reduce the risks of electric shock and injury.


Brett Farquhar - University of Nebraska- Lincoln

Sogand Hasanzadeh - University of Nebraska- Lincoln

Pouya Gholizadeh - University of Nebraska- Lincoln

Behzad Esmaeili, Ph.D. - University of Nebraska- Lincoln

Hazards Addressed:


To obtain information, visit http://www.bluerocktools.com/ or contact 1-206-604-8363

To obtain information, visit https://www.eraser.com/ or contact 1-315-454-3237

Copper Mine
To obtain information, visit http://www.copperminetools.com/ or contact 1-855-643-7491

Copper wire stripper
To obtain information, visit http://www.copperwirestripper.com/ or contact 1-888-419-3555

Wire Strip Meister Inc.
To obtain information, visit http://www.stripmeister.com/ or contact 1-800-681-8494

Rack-A-Tiers Specialty Electrical Tools
To obtain information, visit http://www.rack-a-tiers.com/ or contact 1-250-479-8124

Return on Investment

To find out the potential return on investment (ROI) for this solution, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator.

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