If you’re in the construction or demolition industry, you’ll know just how valuable copper wires can be. Some tradesmen often find themselves with hundreds of pounds of scraps left over from a job. But what many people don’t realize is that even if you’re the homeowner, you can often negotiate to keep the scrap. Generally, you’re charged for all of the material used. It’s impossible to do an electrical job with no waste, so hanging on to the scrap is a great way to save yourself some money. The same can be said for the old cable. Even if it’s no longer being used in your home, it’s still got significant value as scrap. Wire stripping machines can help you turn this scrap into cold, hard cash.
Copper Wire Strippers allow you to get the most bang for your buck. When you bring in pre-stripped cables, you’re getting paid scrap price for pure copper. If the insulation is still in place, scrap yards will pay much less as they’re forced to strip it themselves. Stripping copper is big business for scrap yards, and if you aren’t doing it yourself you’re leaving money on the table.
When you’re looking at a giant pile of copper wiring, the task can seem incredibly daunting. But when you’re armed with the right tools, the task is simple. We’ll be taking a look at the best copper wire strippers on the market. After, we’ll help you pick the one that’s right for you.
The Best Wire Stripping Machine
If you’re looking for the king of wire stripping machines, look no further than this Natwest tabletop model. This is one of the few wire stripping machine that is completely motorized. This makes it easy to strip large volumes of cable. It’s ideally suited for medium to large gauge wires, and has several important features that allow you to get your wires stripped on the first pass. It might seem simple at first, but once you’re halfway through a massive pile of scraps the last thing that anyone wants is to have to restart a botched cable.
It may look a little intimidating at first, but this wire stripping machine is very easy to use. On the right side you’ve got the powerful AC motor. just flip up the cover and hit the safety switch, and adjust the speed using the small dial to the right of it. As soon as you do, you’ll notice that the large V shaped gear on the right will begin to turn. This is the feeding wheel. It’s made from galvanized steel, and you’ll notice that there are several deep groves on the inside of it. These groves are designed to pinch the insulation of your cable, allowing it to force it through at high speeds without running the risk of slipping or binding.
It’s true that there are cheaper wire stripping machines on the market, but it’s hard to see the value when they’re going to wear out after only a few uses. Fortunately, every component on this stripper is built to an incredibly high standard. The entire system is made from galvanized steel, allowing it to withstand both impact torque damage.
This stripper is capable of stripping any diameter between 18 AWG and 4000 kcm. This roughly equates to 0.25″ to 2.25.” Honestly, it’s unlikely that you’ll be making much money if you’re stripping quarter inch cables, but you can rest assured that virtually any size cable you come across is going to strip easily. In terms of speed, the adjustable motor allows you to select speeds ranging from 30 to 200 feet per minute. In our experience, 60 to 100 feet per minute is the sweet spot. Obviously, tangled or looped cables will be easier to manage at the slower speeds, but you can really crank it up if you’ve got everything organized. That being said, this unit handles tangled cables much better than competing models. The primary reason it performs so well is the included brackets that help you feed cables both large and small. For the smallest sizes, you’ve got a small metal pipe you feed the cables through. On the larger ones, it’s a bit more like a cage than a tube. While it doesn’t look like much, this keeps your cables from going in on an angle and prevents them from slipping out. The end result is a wire stripper that can keep running without any hint of a hiccup.
Who is This Copper Wire Stripper For?
Many people will scoff at the price. It’s true that this is an unnecessary expenses for some people. If you’re only stripping a single batch and don’t have very much, you probably won’t make your money back. But you’d be surprised at how little cable material you need before this machine pays itself off.
Right now, copper is very valuable. You’re looking at a minimum of $2 per pound. Take a quick look at this chart to see how many feet of cable you’d need to get a pound of copper.
|Gauge||Feet per lb||Gauge||Feet per lb||Gauge||Feet per lb|
|12||50 ft ft||22||501 ft||32||7860 ft|
|14||80 ft||24||793 ft||34||8120 ft|
|16||126 ft||26||1260 ft||36||12800 ft|
|18||199 ft||28||1990 ft||38||19200 ft|
|20||315 ft||30||3140 ft||40||24000 ft|
This is just the smaller size cables, but remember that many homes are wired up with 14 gauge wire. It’s not uncommon to have thousands of feet of wiring for a moderately sized home, and a surprising amount of the ends up as scrap or unused. It’s not uncommon for professional electricians to make an extra $500 a month on scrap wire alone. This just goes to show that you can pay off an expensive device like this in under a month. That being said, you do need to have some decent volume to make this stripper worthwhile. If you’re dealing with less than 1000 feet on an irregular basis, there are more affordable options on the market.
Most Affordable Wire Stripper
If you’re stripping copper wire, then you’re looking to make a little extra cash. For that reason, the most affordable wire stripper isn’t the cheapest, but the one that gives you the best bang for your buck. To calculate this properly, you’ve got to consider both the purchase price and the total amount of output.
You’ll notice a lot of similarities between this and the Natwest machines. But when you buy a motorized unit, you’re spending a lot of extra cash on the motor itself. Instead, why not use a motor you’re already likely to have laying around in your garage? Drills provide both the torque and speed required to strip wire quickly and effeciently. Although it’s not quite as fast as a motorized model, you’ll still be able to whip through a few hundred dollars of cable before you know it.
To use this wire stripper, you’ll first want to adjust the input knob for the proper width. You’ll manually feed the cables in an inch or two, then connect your drill chuck to the beveled feed wheel. Upon depressing the trigger of your drill, it will take care of the rest of the work for you!
Since it’s made from a completely aluminum frame, this is a stripper that can stand up to quite a bit of use, and maybe even abuse. The only part of the stripper itself that’s likely to wear out is the blade. Each blade is rated to last several thousand feet, if not more. Usually, when a blade wears out the machine just gets a little slower. Manufacturers want to you to purchase lots of extra blades, so these ratings are usually very conservative.
this stripper can handle any cable size up to a total of 20mm in outer diameter. Although cables that thick aren’t very common, it’s important that the stripper supports it since those are the ones worth the most money.
The drill operated wire stripping machine is suited for single conductor cable. Take a quick look at the end and see what’s inside. If you see a single copper line, or multiple lines bound together, you’ll be able to strip it with this machine. If you instead see what appears to be many smaller cables bundled together with a ground, this one won’t be suitable.
Who are these Wire Stripping Machines For?
This is the ideal choice for people who don’t have to strip often, but when they do it’s a large batch. It’s able to move through massive amounts of wires at a very high speed, but use it too regularly and you’re putting your drill at risk.
Manual Copper Wire Stripping Machines
Sometimes, a job just requires a little elbow grease. Manual wire stripping machines are favored by people for two reasons. The first is durability. With no electric or moving parts, these machines can typically outlast you. The other reason is price. They’re simple in design, making them the perfect choice for people who occasionally strip small batches of wires.
When you first open up this wire stripper, you’ll have to mount it. The thick mounting plate on the bottom is easy to bolt down to a table, or tighten into a vice. For on the job use, a hitch mounted vice is likely the easiest way to get it set up. Alternatley, it only takes three quick holes with a drill and the included bolts to get started.
The large cast steel feeder is painted a deep red. There are two adjustment rings on the side that allow you to change the depth of the cutting wheel. These only take a few moments to set up before you’re up and running.
When it use, the cables are fed through the two eye hooks on either side. This keeps the cable nice and straight. With a bit of force, you can even use them to straighten out light tangles. From this point forward, all there is to do is pull. It doesn’t take a whole lot of force to get the cable stripped, but you do have to put your back into it a little.
With no moving parts, this is one of the most durable wire stripping machines on the market. You can easily toss it in the back of a truck without having to worry about it. The only thing that we’d recommend is picking up a few extra blades. with a motor fed unit, the cable is kept straight at all times. But when you’re manually pulling, it’s possible to yank the blade in the wrong direction and snap it. But when you consider the cost of additional blades against the cost of a motorized stripper, this model still provides incredible value.
These wire stripping machines can handle up to 00 gauge cable with ease. Since you’re feeding it manually, the difficulty is going to be based on how thick the insulation is. If you’re trying to strip waterproof ground buried cable, you’ll have a much harder time than you would with conduit fed cable.
Who is This Wire Stripper For?
If you just want to make a few extra dollars stripping the occasional batch of cable, this is the model for you. It’s so affordable, some users even buy one just to have as a backup for their motorized system.