Stripping Romex Sheathing

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Verdeboy, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    I thought I had a decent wire stripper, but I can't find a way to use it to strip the sheathing from Romex cable. I end up using a pocket knife to score it and carefully peal it back. That seems too labor intensive.

    Can someone recommend a better stripping tool or a better approach?

    Here's a pic of my Calterm stripper. (made in China).

    Attached Files:

  2. snafflekid

    snafflekid Electrical Engineer

    Messages:
    45
    this is a NM cable stripper you can find at most hardware stores.

    [​IMG]
  3. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Thanks.

    I'll definitely pick one of those up. What do you think of the Klein dual or single cable strippers?

    Also, is there something out there that will work on tray cable? One of my customers bought an entire spool of it at a rummage sale and wants to use it to makes some runs. He can't find anyone who wants to work with that stuff.

    The colors are different as well: Black, blue, and red instead of black white, and bare copper.
  4. jbfan74

    jbfan74 Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    You can not use tray cable in a home.
    May be why he got it so cheap!
  5. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Tray Cable (Type TC) is not permitted outside a raceway or cable tray system. NEC 336.12. I suppose if you wanted to run it in conduit it would be ok, but that would be a real pain in a residence.

    The 3 colors indicate that it is intended for 3-phase service without an Equipment Grounding Conductor. Metal cable trays are sometimes used as the EGC, or a separate EGC is run in the tray.
  6. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Architect

    Messages:
    277
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    You should also look at the Klein Tool model 1412. I love it and it is about $15 at most places. It's the best $15 i've spent in a while.
  7. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT
    [​IMG]


    Buy these, they are the best investment you will make....
  8. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Bought a Croc's

    The guy at the electrical supply place talked me into buying a $30.00 Croc's NM Stripper. It's supposed to strip 14/2 Romex on one side and 12/2 on the other, but I haven't figured out how to do it yet. It does strip the insulation off 12 gauge wire easier than any other stripper I've ever used. I just need a lesson in stripping the Romex sheathing I guess.

    BTW, I told the customer that I wouldn't touch the Tray Cable. I'm sure that when it's time to sell their house, the building inspector will not like all the work that he already did using that stuff.
  9. sjcrawley

    sjcrawley Electrician

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    alberta
    i know the cdn code (table ??) states you cant use cable tray any where but tray but why?
    There is a thicker casing on tray cable then there is on NM so whats the reason, any idea???
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,026
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    stripper

    Why not spend a little more and get a "real" stripper. The "squeeze and pop" type.
  11. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    No one else has mentioned that type. Who makes it?
  12. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Everybody I know uses a razor knife.

    Slice both sides and slip off the sheath.
  13. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    "Real" in who's eyes???? Any "real" electrician will tell you that would be wither a razor knife or the ones in Chris' picture.

    If you mean these then you have no clue what is used in the real world. Maybe unless you are doing car stereo installs all day.
    [​IMG]
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,026
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    stripper

    That is what is used in my real world, and car stereos do not usually use a #10 wire, or larger.
  15. jbfan74

    jbfan74 Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Newnan, GA

    I find these things useless!
    To big to fit into the tight places.
  16. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The "squeeze and pop" type are very nice for stranded and small wire, and they save time if you are doing a lot of terminations in one place. I don't carry mine if I am doing general wiring with solid wire.
  17. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    This is what I bought. It's very similar to the Klein in Chris' picture. It strips and loops wire beautifully, but l still can't get it to strip the sheathing without nicking up or completely removing the insulation on the conductors.

    I don't even understand how it could work. I've got two different 12/2 cables, one by Essex, and the other by Winkler/Jorge. The Winkler/Jorge cable is flat (has all 3 wires on the same plane), while the Essex has the ground wire elevated above the other 2, so the sheathing is more triangular in shape. It seems to do a bit better job on the triangular one, but no nicks are acceptable.

    Attached Files:

  18. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Messages:
    446
    Location:
    Wet side of Washington State
    I like this one.
    [​IMG]

    Ideal #45-227
  19. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    I went back to the place I bought the Croc's stripper from, and the salesman admitted that no NM stripper will strip the sheathing from UF-B Romex cable. So, I got out the razor knife again.

    I'm getting pretty good with the razor knife, so I'll give up my quest for the perfect NM stripper for now.
  20. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I have found that the best way to strip UF is to slice it along the ground wire with a sharp knife, using the ground wire as a guide. Start it at the end and just run the blade along the wire, like you would carve a shaving off a stick, splitting the cable. Then pull the ground wire free of the cable.

    Then you can put a little scoring cut in the groove of the jacket where it was exposed by removal of the ground wire, grab the conductor with your lineman pliers, and yank the wires out of the jacket, one at a time. Cut off the wasted jacket and you are in business.
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