7 Best Cord Strippers in 2020

Of the cord strippers we tested, the Jonard CST-1900 is the best cord stripper that you can buy today. We loved its unique “spiral stripping mode”, high adjustability and durability, and ease of use.

We tested a number of popular cord strippers to find the best cord stripper available. We liked versatile strippers that were made with ultra-tough, industrial-grade metals and non-toxic plastics and rubber and featured ergonomic designs for limited hand strain, and that are safe to use for all adults. Keep reading to see more excellent cord strippers available.

Top 7 Best Cord Strippers

 #1  Jonard Tools CST-1900 Cord Stripper

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: An innovative “spiral stripping” design and adjustable blade makes it a versatile tool for stripping PVC, rubber, and just about any other kind of cable jacket imaginable.

Pros
  • Patented “spiral stripping mode” for extra tough insulations
  • Replacement blades available for long life
  • Adjustable height for multiple cord sizes
Cons
  • Hard plastic grip could be more comfortable

The Jonard CST-1900 Cord Stripper is stainless steel and non-toxic plastic cable and cord stripper. We found that its patented “spiral stripping mode” design allows it to remove tougher insulation than standard cord strippers, making it a triple-action tool good for end stripping, spiral cuts, and circular cuts on PVC, rubber, or any other kind of cable or cord. Its adjustable blade and adjustable height means it can be used for a wide variety of cable sizes and shapes, ranging from 3/16” to 1 1/8” in diameter.

We feel its rectangular hard plastic handle could be more comfortable for extended use, but the available replacement blades and heavy-duty construction mean it’s a tool that can last a lifetime. That and its high adjustability and general ease of use make it indispensable, high-quality tool for a wide range of cord and cable stripping jobs. If you’re having some trouble with transport in your next job, you should also read our guide to the best hand truck.

 #2  Klein Tools K1412 Wire Cutter and Cord Stripper

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: Simple easy-to-use design, a durable construction, and super comfortable grips make it a great tool for both wire cutting and cord stripping, with shear-type blades for precise cuts.

Pros
  • Shear-type blades for precision
  • Narrow multi-bladed nose for easy bending, shaping, and pulling
  • Improved lock design prevents loosening during use
Cons
  • May not handle heavy-duty jobs

The Klein Tools K1412 Wire Cutter is a shear-shaped spring action cord cutter made of cast metal and non-toxic rubber. Its long, narrow nose features multiple blades for different cable shapes and sizes and a serrated tip for bending, pulling, and shaping. It’ll also strip 12/2 and 14/2 Type NMB sheathed cable, 12 and 14 AWG lead wire, and shearing solid copper wire. During testing, we found the “double-dip” rubber grips comfortable for use over long periods of time without noticeable hand strain. Its improved locking mechanism also definitely slippage and loosening while working.

It’s a good tool for many typical cord stripping purposes, but its limited blade options mean it won’t tackle every shape and size job. However, its durable construction, super-comfortable grip, and excellent locking mechanism make it great for safety-minded, frustration-free work that won’t strain hands even after long periods of work. If you want to add to your DIY collection, take a look at our guide to the best levels too.

 #3  Exgofit Universal Cable Wire Cord Stripper

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: Coming with two to a pack and multiple options for size, shape, and application, it’s an economical option for those looking to strip coaxial, telephone or flat cables.

Pros
  • Compact and light for maximum portability
  • Designed to keep fingers away from blades
  • Strips coaxial, telephone, flat cables, and more
Cons
  • Plastic casing could be more durable
  • Grip less comfortable for extended use than many models

The Exgofit Universal Cable Wire Cord Stripper is a stainless steel and non-toxic plastic cord stripper that comes in a two-pack. It features a coaxial cable stripper, round cable stripper, cutter and flat cable stripper, all of which have adjustable blades for varying insulation thickness. Its multiple blades and adjustability allow it to be used for UTP and STP cable, CAT5 round telephone cable, and other common cable types, and it features a reversible blade cassette for both RG 59/6 and RG 7/11 cables.

It’s a light (5.7oz), compact design that makes it ultra-portable, However, its hard, rectangular grip makes it less comfortable to use than many models, and its plastic casing is slightly less durable than others on the market. Still, multiple blades, adjustable height, dual-side blade cassette, and the fact that it comes two in the pack make it a great choice for a versatile, fairly easy to use stripper on a budget. If you want a way to measure your electrical output while you’re working, you should also read our guide to the best multimeter.

 #4  Greenlee Cable and Cord Stripper

Award: BEST FOR HEAVY DUTY JOBS

WHY WE LIKE IT: Extremely tough, high-carbon steel design made for professionals and an ergonomic grip for maximum comfort make it a go-to for tough jobs.

Pros
  • High-carbon steel construction
  • Rotary, linear, and spiral strip design
  • Built-in pocket for replacement blades
Cons
  • May be too large (12.5”x 6.13”) for some hands

The Greenlee Cable/Cord Stripper is a triple-action cord and cable stripper. This cord stripper is made out of high-carbon steel, a super-strong industrial steel used for making extra-sharp blades that resist dulling, making this cord stripper much more effective at tackling tough casing and insulation. Its non-toxic plastic casing is also highly durable, and we found the round, ergonomic design of its large grip is great for preventing hand strain. This model is specifically designed for stripping power and telecommunications cables from ¾” to 1-½” in diameter, and its blade rotates for circular, longitudinal and spiral cuts.

It’s an ultra-heavy duty cord stripper that at 12.5”x 6.13” and nearly 2” thick, maybe too large for smaller hands, and maybe more robust than is needed for general household and shop use. But for heavy-duty work over long periods of time, it’s a high-performing,ultra-comfortable stripper, and its built-in blade store pocket means you never have to interrupt demanding work. If you want to upgrade your workspace, you might also like our guide to the best workbench.

 #5  Capri Tools 20010 Precision Wire and Cord Stripper

Award: BEST FOR DELICATE WORK

WHY WE LIKE IT: Ultra-sharp blades, an alloy chassis design, and a molded, super-comfortable, spring-loaded grip, makes this a fantastic option for delicate jobs that require a certain degree of finesse.

Pros
  • Cast alloy chassis built to last
  • Tension-loaded design for great cutting power
  • Precisely machined for foolproof stripping
Cons
  • Not suited to larger cable and cord stripping work

The Capri Tools 20010 Precision Wire/Cord Stripper is a cast-alloy cord stripper for medium to small jobs and specially designed for 22-8 AWG wires, such as the kind used with audio visual gear like speakers and televisions. This cord stripper features recoiling spring design and tension loaded wire grip, allowing for more exertion of force with far less effort. Its stripping holes are precisely machined to remove insulation and casing without damage, and we found the non-toxic plastic and molded rubber grip very comfortable, with no hand strain during extended use.

We didn’t find it suitable for use on larger jobs, but we loved its high-precision design, ultra-comfortable grip, increased-force spring-loaded design, and high quality, durable alloy construction. It’s an easy to use tool that will strip wire quickly and precisely even for inexperienced users. This will definitely be added to your collection of best tools.

 #6  WGGE WG-014 Self-adjusting Wire and Cord Stripper

Award: MOST VERSATILE

WHY WE LIKE IT: Multiple adjustment options, built in-functionality for stripping, crimping, and more, and a comfortable molded rubber grip make it a versatile all-in-one tool for most common jobs.

Pros
  • Comfortable molded rubber grip reduces fatigue
  • Self-adjusting option conforms to wire size as you work
  • Extra sharp blade cuts copper and aluminum wire easily
Cons
  • Difficult to use in tight spaces

The WGGE 014 Wire/Cord Stripper is made of precision-cut cast alloy and stainless steel, with a copper adjustment knob and non-toxic plastic and rubber molded no-slip grip. We found it great for a wide variety of small to medium cord stripping jobs, and it performed especially well for 10AWG to 24AWG gauge stripping jobs on automotive ignition terminals and audio gear. We also liked that it’s designed for easy wire crimping and cutting. Moreover, we loved its unique switchable self-adjusting option, which adjusts tension on cables and wires according to their size as you work.

We liked its comfortable, molded, no-slip rubber and plastic grip, which makes safer to use than many models and reduces hand strain. Through our tests, we found it won’t handle larger cord stripping applications, but for most common household and automotive jobs, it’s a reliable, easy, and comfortable to use the all-in-one option that will save you drawer space and hassle.

 #7  Arolax Cable and Cord Stripper

Award: BEST QUALITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: Triple-blade functionality, for extra cutting power, and a unique swivel lever for cutting in tight areas, with high-quality build components and shipping with an extra blade for convenience.

Pros
  • The movable brace allows for a huge range of job sizes
  • Spare blade storage in handle and extra blade included
  • Unique swivel lever makes cutting in tight areas easier
Cons
  • Grip is less comfortable than on many models

The Arolax Cable/Cord Stripping Tool is a heavy-duty stainless steel and cast alloy cord stripper. We tested it on cables 3/16″ to 1″ in diameter and liked its moveable cable brace, knob for adjusting blade depth, and sharpened edge for safely and easily removing insulation. We also liked its unique blade swiveling lever that lets you adjust the blade as you cut, and has a built-in spare blade compartment in the handle that comes with an extra blade. Its spring-loaded brace also firmly holds cables in place and is easy to use.

We didn’t find its rectangular handle as comfortable and strain-relieving as some models, but its incredibly solid construction features the finest industrial-grade metals available and we found it has more cutting power than average. That combined with its wide range of size adjustability makes it a top-quality tool for large, heavy-duty jobs, and with proper care it could last a lifetime.

How We Decided

Wire stripping hand tools are available for a wide variety of wire gauges and types of wiring, but we liked cord strippers that can be used on a variety of cord and wire types of varying sizes, including coaxial cable, speaker wire, and PVC cables.

We also preferred cord strippers that are designed with comfortable, ergonomic handles or grips and which have features to reduce hand strain, especially for people who have arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

We favored cord strippers made with ultra-tough industrial-grade metals like stainless steel and cast alloys, and non-toxic, ultra-durable plastics and rubber, and which could also cut cables and wires in addition to stripping them.

Finally, we liked strippers that included extra features like replacement blades, cable holders, insulation cutters, and had innovative features like “spiral stripping mode”, safety features, and switchable blades for different applications on the same cable or wire size. We avoided automatic wire stripping tools and wire stripping machines such as the Klein Automatic Wire Stripping Tool.

Best Cord Stripper Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Adjustability
    There are a huge variety of cables, wires, and cords such tools are built for, and a lot of money could be spent finding a purpose-built cord stripper for each job. Fortunately, there are plenty of adjustable wire stripppers on the market that features multiple options when it comes to cable size, shape, and stripping or cutting function, and some even offer extra functionality for wire crimping and bending. Usually, (but not always), product descriptions will include diameters and cord types the tool is useful for, as well as any extra functions, so it pays to look carefully and know what kind of jobs you need the tool for.
  2. Ergonomic Grip
    It’s especially important if you’re going to be using your cord stripper frequently and/or for long periods of time to choose one with an ergonomically designed grip or handle. Many cord strippers feature grips with molded rubber or soft plastic that can relieve hand strain and provide a slip-proof texture for extra safe use, but also important is the shape of the handle. While strippers built for smaller jobs tend to feature some sort of ergonomic handle or grip design, some large cord strippers are rectangular in shape and lack any sort of rubber padding or no-slip molding, which may not be an issue for infrequent use, but if you’re often working with large cords, it’s a good feature to look for.
  3. Spring-Loaded
    Another good feature to look for that’s fairly common in cord strippers of all sizes is some sort of spring-loaded or tension-loaded design between the grip and the blade. This is a feature that can help dramatically reduce exertion while simultaneously increasing cutting and stripping power, which not only can reduce hand strain and fatigue, but make jobs quicker even on large cables with thick casing and insulation. Users with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or older users should always check to see if the cord stripper they’re purchasing features spring-loaded or tension-loaded mechanisms.

Cord Stripper FAQs

How do you remove insulation wire without cutting wire?

The answer to this is: use a cord stripper. For example, while you can cut a common speaker wire for length using household scissors, you’ll still need to strip a section of wire free of its casing and any insulation to attach it to a receiver or power amplifier. For that purpose, scissors are at best a clumsy tool, and damaging wire can lead not only to affected performance but in some cases can even start fires. That’s where a dedicated tool for stripping cables and cords without damaging the wire inside comes in.

What kind of wire stripping tool do I need?

There are as many different kinds of cord, cable, and wire strippers on the market as there are cords, cables, and wires. Product descriptions and names will sometimes- but not always- include the intended use of the tool, but often there’s only reference to the technical name and size of the wire or cords, so check your cords and wires and see what their technical names and gauges are, if you’re in doubt. For example, speaker wire stripping tools should be labeled for use with 20-10 AWG gauge wires, while an electric wire multi tool may be described for use with 10-22 AWG, or 24 AWG, et cetera. Due diligence should always be applied here.

Are cord strippers safe?

Since it does involve sharp blades, often used close to hands and sometimes in tight or poorly lit spaces, a cord or wire stripper and cutter can hurt you if you’re not careful and the tool isn’t built with safety in mind. Fortunately, many high-quality models include features like casing that surrounds the blade but doesn’t interfere with use, blades that are heat treated or made with high carbon steel for extra sharpness and durability, and ergonomically-designed grips for comfort and slip resistance.

What is the best cord stripper?

The best cord stripper is the Jonard Tools CST-1900 Cord Stripper, for its versatility, high build quality, and high performance. Other popular models include automatic wire stripping tools like the Klein Automatic Wire Stripping Tool. If you’re looking for other popular options like electrician wire stripping tools or wire stripping machines, there are plenty of online forums where users discuss their experience with various popular products.

Also why not check out:

Jed Smith

I'm a musician and recording engineer and live in Queens. I have a cat. Her name is Elsa. I love to write about consumer tech and musical instruments.

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