Sep 232008
 
Possibly the Best Tool EVER!

Vise Grip Wire Strippers - so simple, and yet so much fun!

For the craftsman and the shade tree mechanic alike, tools can represent an extension of oneself and a useful companion who eases the journey to a finished project. This amazing tool is a true companion which turns one of the most tedious aspects of electronics into a simple pleasure.

The IRWIN Vise Grip Self-Adjusting Wire Stripper has a satisfying click and solid feel. As it mercilessly rips the rubber sheath from that offending bit of copper, you can’t help but feel a sense of pico-accomplishment. It’s a smooth action, smooth operator and it takes the tedium out of wire stripping. And I loathe wire stripping. I raise a glass to you, wire stripper mechanical engineer!

These babies should be fairly easy to find, and they seem to sell for about $23.
Photo courtesy of Bre Pettis

 Posted by at 1:33 am
  • kyoorius

    $23 for a quality stripper you can place your hands on? An excellent value by any standard!

  • Jim

    The part I like best is there are only two settings. Strip length but I took that little slider off mine and blade tension. Once the tension is set for a type on insulation I rarely need to adjust them.

    I used to work on custom motorcycles and have used and abused two pair of these for several years. They will do far more than they claim if asked.

    Just head down to you local Radio Shack and get their version, the Kronus™ Heavy-Duty Automatic Wire Stripper/Cutter for $17.

    http://www.radioshack.com/sm-kronus-heavy-duty-automatic-wire-stripper-cutter–pi-2062787.html

    Add a nice self-igniting butane soldering iron like an Ultratorch (costly but oh so worth it), Weller Portasol (not bad), or R$ Mini Butane Gas-Powered Iron (for the budget minded remote hack). They will not replace your regular iron but can’t be beat for field use.

    Jim

  • http://worldofslippy.blogspot.com Slippy Lane

    I work in electronics, and the automatic strippers from Elcontrol are the ones I use most often for quick jobs which don’t require a neat finish ( http://www.amazon.com/Automatic-Wire-Stripper-with-Cutter/dp/B0002KR95W ). However, all of the self-adjusting strippers have the same drawback – they can place undue stress on the conductor and damage the insulation near the strip. For a perfect strip every time, there are two tools most pro’s use, both made by Ideal Industries. The T-Stripper ( http://www.idealindustries.com/whatsnew/press_releases/view.jsp?news=t-stripper-jun07 ) and the Stripmaster (http://www.idealindustries.com/products/tools_totes/wire_strippers/stripmaster.jsp) Neither of these tools are self-adjusting, but the stripmaster has interchangable blades, and you can get a bolt-on adjustable strip-length guide. I’ve had my stripmaster for 20 years, and I’ve only been through two sets of blades in that time

  • Victoria

    Where can one purchase it?

  • wwward

    Victoria, it’s available online in a few places – just search on the tool name to find the current deals. I don’t know what physical retail establishments have it, but I’m sure a few are out there.

    Even now, it remains a tool of much admiration in the community toolbox. Mostly for the poor folks who have a lot of wires to work through on the more complex kits.