Best Wire Strippers: 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.

Badly made wire strippers are a source of constant headaches. Having to constantly re-strip wire feels like cutting wood with a butter knife. Not fun.

On the other hand – a well-made set of wire strippers is able to strip wire quickly and efficiently (with a comfortable set of grips for your hands). This adds up to a lot of time saved, and a lot less frustrating work.

In the quest to find the best set of wire strippers – we review the Top 8 Wire Strippers of 2020.

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 Wire Strippers – Best Overall

Klein Wire Strippers

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

Klein 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’s wire strippers really are best in class. 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 Wire Cutters:

  • Cleanly shears 6-32 and 8-32 screws
  • Double-dipped comfort grips with curved handles
  • Cuts, strips, and loops 10-18 AWG 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
  • Coil spring provides fast self-opening action
  • Easy-to-read markings
  • Made in the USA
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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
  • Easy-to-read markings
  • Made in the USA
What We Don’t Like
  • Grips only come in blue (seriously that’s the only downside)

Knipex Wire Strippers – Premium Choice

Knipex Wire Strippers

The Knipex Wire Strippers are an excellent choice for the everyday electrician. These wire strippers can cut wires that are about 2.5 mm^2 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 their 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). Thus, making it a great option for professionals who are willing to spend extra for a long-lasting pair of wire strippers.

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What We Like
  • Self adjustment gauge
  • Automatic stop feature
  • 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 Wire Strippers – Great Value

Irwin Wire Strippers

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

The Irwin’s Wire Strippers has 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 strippers were designed to remain sharp for long-term use.

With their soft rubber grip, the Irwin 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 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.

Along with its affordable price, this product is one of the most reliable models on the market today.

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What We Like
  • Made of hardened, durable steel
  • Can be used for cutting, crimping, and stripping
  • Easy to Use
  • Affordable Price
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 strippers 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 toolbox.

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What We Like
  • Forged Alloy Steel
  • Curved Cutting Blade
  • No Loose Screws
  • Rust protection
What We Don’t Like
  • Plastic locking clip
  • Jaws Don’t Align With the Cutter Section

Greenlee Wire Strippers

Greenlee Wire Strippers

Greenlee Wire Strippers are a good mid-range pair of wire strippers.

It has multiple functions such as strippers, plier nose, bolt thread/shear, looping holes, and a 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.

Greenlee creates high-quality table benders, but their wire strippers are not suggested for daily use. 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

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.

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 easier.

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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
  • Requires added strength to strip wires
  • Bad for Standard Wire
  • Weak Copper Wire Stripper

Capri Wire Strippers

Capri Wire Strippers

Up next is the Capri Wire Strippers. 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.

These wire strippers have a range from 8 to 22 AWG. 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 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
What We Don’t Like
  • Rubber becomes difficult to hold
  • Auto stop is difficult to use
  • 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; its 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 mid-range price.

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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
  • Cutting Ability
  • Handles are Too Small
  • Unmatched Wire Cutting Teeth

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.