From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Wire Strippers

Dan MacLeod, CPE, MA, MPH

Common issues

Wirestrip1 wirestrip
Repetitive, forceful motions

When used repetitively, wire strippers can place significant strain on the hands. Newer designs of wire stripping tools can be ingenious and better than simpler tools, but still can be stressful depending upon frequency and the type of wire.

Options for improvement

Powered wire stripper

For high volume production, powered wire strippers offer many advantages. Multiple types and brands are available on the market.

Wire stripping device

The author created a low-cost lever device in a special situation, using a vacuum-based vise and a short length of PVC pipe. The device was efficient and easy to use.  Note the swivel ball joint on the vise, which enabled orienting the wire slots for good visibility.

wirestripA1 wirestripA2 wirestripA3
Before: Wire stripper with thumb push After: Place end in vise, pull open with full hand

The example above shows a hand wire stripper that requires pushing the end piece open with the thumb to place the wire.  The end piece is spring-loaded, which is slow and tiring for the thumb when done repetitively.

By fixing the end piece of the wire stripper in an adjacent vise, the full hand can be used to pull the end piece open, taking advantage of much larger muscle groups.