Strip copper cable

When stripping copper cables, a distinction must be made between the reasons for the stripping. Accordingly, there are tools and machines with which a copper cable can be stripped or peeled.

General information on copper cables

Copper cables are among the most commonly used metal wires. Copper wire has an extremely high electrical conductivity, which is why it is used so intensively. In addition, there is an equally high thermal conductivity (four times as high as that of steel). However, the copper wire or stranded wire (copper line twisted from many small wires) is used insulated, i.e. with a sheathing made of PVC or silicone, for example (more heat-resistant).

  • Also read - solder copper cables
  • Also read - pouring copper
  • Also read - soldering copper

Copper cables as a source of raw materials

The enormous demand for copper also results in a relatively high price for copper. In 2010, a kilo of copper cost up to USD 10. But even shortly before, when the price of copper was around $ 2.70 per kilo, it was a profitable business to return copper to the cycle of use. In mid-2016, the price was already hovering around $ 5 per kilo. This means that copper is stripped for different reasons:

  • stripping for wiring or soldering
  • stripping or peeling for copper recovery

Strip copper for wiring and soldering

You can use conventional insulation pliers to strip copper cables. Only strip as much copper wire as you actually need. You cannot strip the insulation for as long as you want, especially with copper cables that have already been laid and the length of which is fixed.

Depending on the application, for example soldering the copper cable or press joining, it is better to isolate too little than too much. If you do need more stripped copper cable, you can do this step by step.

This is particularly important when soldering copper wire

Please also note that not every copper cable may be soldered. According to VDE, soldering is no longer permitted in house installations.

Stripping or peeling the copper cable for recovery

If you have the opportunity to collect copper cables to sell to a metal dealer, you will of course have to strip the cables as well. But you won't get very far with conventional wire strippers. Depending on the quantity, you can therefore use mechanical stripping devices. A distinction is made here between manually and electrically operated peeling machines.

Machines for peeling or crimping copper cables

You also have to differentiate between the stripping technique. There are devices with one or two fixed blades, as well as roller devices in which the copper wire is pressed and the insulation is broken in this way. The latter method is particularly suitable for thin copper cables.

At the front of most machines there is usually a metal profile with holes of different sizes for different cable thicknesses. The blade behind it is adjustable and must be adjusted according to the cable thickness.

Prices, downtimes and wear

Then the insulation is cut or peeled off. Manual devices are available from around 50 euros; for electrical cable strippers with large throughput quantities, prices range from the upper three-digit to the four-digit euro range. Roller devices that break the insulation have practically no wear, but the service life of the blades is of course limited and must also be replaced regularly.

Tips & Tricks It makes perfect sense to collect cable scraps over a longer period of time and then insulate them according to their strengths. Then the use of a cable peeler makes perfect sense.