Best Wire Strippers: The Top 8 Picks of 2020

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Trying to use a pair of poorly-made wire strippers is a special kind of torture.

Terrible wire strippers are a constant source of headaches. Having to re-strip wire is a frustrating waste of time.

On the other hand – a good pair of wire strippers are able to cleanly strip wire (with a comfortable set of grips for your hands). This adds up to a lot of time saved, and a lot less frustrating work.

There is no need for wire stripping to be painful. So in the quest to find the best set of wire strippers – we review the Top 8 Wire Strippers of 2020.

Buy with the confidence that you’re getting one of the best wire stripping tools on the market. Let’s jump straight into the buying guide.

best overall rating
Klein Wire Stippers
  • Cleanly shears 6-32 and 8-32 screws
  • Holes for looping and bending wire
  • Made in the USA
premium choice rating
Knipex Wire Strippers
  • Auto adjusts to the cable cross-section
  • Durable – cut cables up to 10-20 AWG
  • Self adjustment gauge
great value rating
Irwin Wire Strippers
  • Easily cut, crimp, and strip wire
  • Made of hardened, durable steel
  • Affordable price

Top 8 Best Wire Strippers

Klein Tools Wire Strippers – Best Overall

Klein Wire Strippers

Cutting and stripping electrical wires are a daily part of an electrician’s duties.

Klein Tools Wire Stippers allow you to cleanly shear, strip, and loop wire.

They have a variety of holes for stripping different standard sizes of wire.

The curved handles and double-dipped comfort grips are extremely comfortable (I’d expect nothing less from ‘comfort grips’). This helps minimize hand fatigue after a long day on the job.

Klein Wire Cutters Made in USA

Klein Tool’s wire strippers really are best in class, and firmly cement themselves as the best wire strippers on the market. The strong-gripped serrated nose makes it easy to bend, shape, and pull wire.

And: they’re made in the USA.

Here’s a list of features of Klein Tools Wire Cutters:

  • Cleanly shears 6-32 and 8-32 screws
  • Double-dipped comfort grips with curved handles
  • Cuts, strips, and loops 10-18 AWG (American Wire Gauge) Solid and 12-20 AWG Stranded wire
  • Holes for looping and bending wire
  • Precision ground stripping holes
  • Strong-gripping serrated nose for easy bending, shaping and pulling of wire
  • An excellent choice for wire stripping
  • Coil spring provides fast self-opening action
  • Easy-to-read markings
  • Made in the USA

Klein Tools have outdone themselves with this wire stripper. The amount that you’re getting for this low price has to be felt in your hands to be believed.

Klein Tools have a proven track record of good value for money (producing one of the best electrical circuit tracers on the market at a great price), so we can say with confidence that this is a great value buy. But don’t just take my word for it – check out the huge number of positive online reviews

Whether you’re an apprentice or Master Electrician – Klein Tools’ wire strippers are an excellent choice.

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What We Like
  • Cleanly shears 6-32 and 8-32 screws
  • Holes for looping and bending wire
  • Cuts, strips and loops 10-18 AWG Solid and 12-20 AWG Stranded wire
  • Best Wire Stripper Available
  • Made in the USA
What We Don’t Like
  • Grips only come in blue (seriously that’s the only downside)

Knipex Automatic Wire Strippers – Premium Choice

Knipex Wire Strippers

The Knipex Automatic Wire Strippers are an excellent choice for the everyday electrician. These wire strippers can cut wires that are about 2.5 mm2 thick. Its robust body is created from fiberglass reinforced plastic, making it great for heavy-duty tasks.

Its self-adjusting feature helps it stand out from its competitors. Since they are automatic wire strippers, you’ll have a more productive workflow and can complete your projects on time. As a result, the Knipex Wire Strippers are easy to use and fast.

Knipex Wire Cutters

The self-adjustable depth gauge allows you to remove insulation located at the end of the wire. The adjustable length stop ranges from 6.0 – 18.0 mm, giving you a constant stripping length when doing repetitive work.

You’re definitely paying for quality with these pliers. Its fiberglass housing makes it incredibly durable. They also allow you to cut aluminum wires up to 2.5mm – talk about convenient! Knipex has a proven track record for making high-quality pliers, producing some of the best electrical pliers on the market.

It’s a no-brainer why the Knipex Wire Cutters are the Premium Choice on this list. It’s able to work with single, fine, and stranded cables from 0.2-6.0mm2 thickness (with standard insulation), and is overall one of the best wire strippers money can buy.

The Knipex Wire Cutters are a great option for professionals who are willing to spend a little extra for a long-lasting pair of wire strippers. You won’t regret it.

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What We Like
  • Self-adjusting wire stripper
  • Use the precise setting you wish to strip from 22-8 AWG wires with ease
  • Works well with larger gauges
  • Durable - Can cut cables up to 10-20 AWG
  • Adjusts automatically to the respective cable cross-section
What We Don’t Like
  • Inaccurate tension for smaller gauges
  • Slightly pricier that alternatives

Irwin Vise-Grip Wire Strippers – Great Value

Irwin Wire Strippers

If you’re looking for a pair of wire strippers that are budget-friendly, the Irwin Vise-Grip Wire Strippers are a great option.

The Irwin self-adjusting wire strippers have a 10-22 AWG selection dial adjuster which helps electricians strip wires of varying gauges.

It has an induction hardened cutting edge that allows it to stay sharp for longer. For looping wire, it contains a plier-style nose that works well on copper and aluminum.

All of the tool’s stripping terminals are clearly labeled with bold descriptions, making them easy to use. Its spring-assisted jaw openings and quick-release locks make stripping tough wire a simple and quick process.

Irwin Wire Cutters

Equipped with a crimping section as well as a cutting section, these wire cutters were designed to remain sharp for long-term use.

With their soft rubber grip, the Irwin self-adjusting wire strippers offer superior control and handling, allowing you to use them without your hand getting sore. Irwin is known for making high-quality pliers at a great price, producing some of the best diagonal cutters on the market.

Overall, the Irwin Vise-Grip Wire Cutters are the best set of cable cutters for shoppers on a budget. Their functionality, cutting power, and intuitive design make them a solid choice for heavyduty projects.

While not the best wire stripper on the market, Irwin has made a wire stripping tool offering outstanding value.

Along with its affordable price, these wire cutters are one of the most reliable models on the market today. We recommend the Irwin vise-grip self-adjusting wire cutter to anyone looking to do electrical work on a budget.

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What We Like
  • Crimps insulated and non-insulated terminals
  • Can be used for cutting, crimping, and stripping
  • Has a 10-22 AWG selection dial adjuster
  • Affordable Price
  • Self-adjusting Wire Stripping Tool
What We Don’t Like
  • Doesn’t work well with larger wires
  • Have to pull the levers open after usage

Milwaukee Wire Strippers

Milwaukee Wire Strippers

Next on our list is the Milwaukee Wire Strippers. The handle spring is at a lower size than previous generations, making it easier to close (for little hand fatigue).

And the locking mechanism is a robust one-handed metal latch, instead of the usual two-handed plastic side clip.

These wire cutters can handle up to 10 gauge stranded wire and 8 gauge solid. Plus, the cutters have more arch–like most try cable cutters.

Milwaukee Wire Cutters

This gives you more cutting capacity and cut cables with less force needed. The shape also keeps the cables in place, so they aren’t riding up on the blade while cutting.

However, the wire stripper’s plastic handles might fall off due to limited adhesion. If it wasn’t for this flaw, these wire strippers would have given Irwin wire strippers a run for their money for the great value badge.

Despite this, this set of wire strippers from Milwaukee are still a great budget option for your electricians tools list.

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What We Like
  • Forged alloy steel
  • Curved cutting blade
  • Strips wire with relative ease
  • Rust protection
  • Great budget wire cutter
What We Don’t Like
  • Plastic locking clip
  • Jaws don’t align with the wire cutter section
  • Outclassed by the Irwin vise-grip wire cutter

Greenlee Wire Strippers

Greenlee Wire Strippers

Greenlee Wire Strippers are a good mid-range wire stripper.

It has multiple functions such as strippers, plier nose, bolt thread/shear, looping holes, and spring back with a low profile lock.

Workmen like these wire strippers due to their durability.

Since it’s made of cutlery grade stainless steel, the high-grade knives are resistant to marring and chipping. But, the rubber handles tend to fall off easily, making it difficult to keep a steady grip.

The blades on these wire cutters are quite sharp, so make sure to take extra care when wire stripping.

While Greenlee makes a great tone generator, this wire stripper is generally outclassed by its competitors. For workmen needing a quick replacement option, the Greenlee Wire Cutters are a good choice.

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What We Like
  • Low lock profile for fast and repetitive cutting
  • Serrated nose and looping holes for bending
  • Durable stainless steel design
  • Precision Ground Stripping holes
What We Don’t Like
  • Weak rubber handles
  • Poor insulation removal
  • Outclassed by Klein Tools Wire Stripper

Stanley Wire Strippers

Stanley Wire Strippers

The Stanley Wire Strippers are a standard pair of cutters that are good for DIY usage.

It features a handle box which helps you safely store them in a toolbox or tool belt. With its reliable spring return, it provides consistent and smooth operation.

If you’re using these wire strippers for basic stripping and cutting, you won’t be disappointed.

Stanley Wire Cutters

The Stanley Wire Strippers can cut copper wire and strip wire sizes ranging from 10-20 AWG wire.

With its powdered coating, you get a bit of extra corrosion resistance out of this tool.

We like that the Stanley Wire Cutters because of it’s full utility knife function.

But, the pliers have an awkward two-part construction on its fixed side. Unfortunately, these aren’t spring-loaded, which could have made our lives a lot easier.

While a decent wire stripper, overall these wire cutters are outclassed by some of the other best wire strippers on this list. Skip Stanley’s and go for the Klein Tools Wire Stripper instead.

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What We Like
  • Powdered rust which gives corrosion resistance
  • Spring return provides consistent and smooth operation
  • Handle lock helps with safely storing in tool boxes or tool belts
What We Don’t Like
  • Doesn’t strip wires as easily as we’d like
  • Bad wire cutter for 10-22 AWG wire
  • Weak copper wire stripper

Capri Tools Wire Stripper

Capri Wire Strippers

Up next is the Capri Tools Wire Stripping Tool. The stripper comes with outward moving prongs, making it easy to strip wires with one hand.

Also, it has a stop gauge that prevents you from stripping off more wire that is needed. While not a self-adjusting wire stripper, Capri Tools does offer this in a different model (you can see this model self-adjusting wire stripper here).

The Capri Tools wire stripper has a range from 8 to 22 AWG wire. It’s able to strip both stranded and solid types of wire.

Capri Wire Cutters

Because of its plastic and steel design, it’s lighter than other strippers in its type, which helps prevent hand fatigue.

Capri Tools Wire Cutters are recommended for people who want an all-around pair of wire cutters.

It doesn’t have any inbuilt extras or advanced features, but it handles its main purpose well.

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What We Like
  • Automatic Stop
  • Lightweight Wire Stripper
  • Easy One-Handed Usage
  • Easily strips lower wire guages
What We Don’t Like
  • Rubber handles are not very comfortable
  • Outclassed by the Irwin vise-grip wire cutter
  • Lack of auto adjustment

Neiko Wire Strippers

Neiko Wire Strippers

The Neiko Wire Strippers are the last recommendation on our list.

It has a protective black finish and has a durable steel alloy construction. Not the best on our list, but it definitely can aid the average electrician.

One of its main features is its heat treated blades. These blades can cut through aluminum, copper, and some soft steel wires.

Neiko Wire Cutters

This results in clean, smooth cuts, making your wire cutting process a lot easier.

Although, it does have a minor flaw. The wire strippers are limited in cutting motion; it’s unable to cut the wire at the jaw end.

This is a well-designed tool, and it is good if you’re working on thin wires, small jobs, and has a good mid-range price.

That said it’s generally outclassed by a lot of the other best wire strippers on this list. For stripping wires we’d instead recommend Klein Tools or Irwin Wire Stripping Tools.

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What We Like
  • Steel Tool Construction
  • Cuts Wires With Heated Blades
  • Crimps wires up to 12-20 AWG
What We Don’t Like
  • Has difficulting stripping 24 AWG wire
  • Handles are too small
  • Unmatched Wire Cutting Teeth
  • Not a self-adjusting wire stripper
  • Outclassed by Klein Tools wire stripper

About Blake Sutton

Blake has worked as an electrician for over 10 years, receiving his Journeyman Electrician license in 1998. Looking to take his professional electrical career further, in 2008 he received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) from the University of Texas in Austin. Blake now works full time as an electrical engineer, specializing in power systems.