Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
Onsharry
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:45 pm

Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby Onsharry » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:03 pm

Hello all!

I’m new to the forum and caught the spyderco addiction. Lol.

I’m an electrician and recently bought 4 knives (vg-10,h1,S30V and M390)

Can you guys help me on choosing a steel that I would be using for stripping LARGE wire (10awg-750s) I know more edge retention means less toughness and stripping this large wire is harsh. Could you guys recomend me a steel?

Thanks!

TomAiello
Member
Posts: 4750
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:34 pm
Location: Twin Falls, ID

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby TomAiello » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:11 pm

Is your H-1 serrated?

I think I'd go with the H-1 for that, personally. Partly because it's pretty tough and partly because it's generally cheaper than the M390.

dsvirsky
Member
Posts: 525
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: SW VA

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby dsvirsky » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:24 pm

Welcome to the forum.

No offense, but why use any knife when the right tool costs less and will do the job better? I understand why many of us who don't routinely strip insulation might reach for a knife, but not why a professional electrician would.

koenigsegg
Member
Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:36 pm

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby koenigsegg » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:34 pm

I wonder if anyone else here uses their spyders to cut wire insulation. I would only expect maxamet to handle it but I'm not sure how brittle it is. I've seen people shave aluminum off a rod with maxamet.
S30V, VG10, M4, XHP, BD1, Cruwear, Elmax, Maxamet, 204P, H1, K390, A11, Rex45, LC200N, M390, 20CV, BD1N, S45VN

500Nitro
Member
Posts: 703
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:56 am
Location: Australia

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby 500Nitro » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:45 pm

As per other poster, why use a knife
When great tools are available ?

Saying that I've used my Endura Serrated to strip wire when out bush and need to fix wiring.
The serrations are great for it.
3 x Endura 1 SE, 1 x Endura ? CE and a Black Pacific Salt. Want Aqua Salt, Fish Hunter and a Pacific Salt Yellow.

Onsharry
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:45 pm

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby Onsharry » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:12 pm

Yea there are tools for stripping wire and terminating. But when pulling wire through the conduit we would have to just skin the insulation of a wire about 10 inches to expose the conductor for trimming (with other cutting tool) to make a “head” smaller to pull multiple wires through easier. Yes I can use a box cutter but I kind of like a steel that I can resharpen. Instead of disposing box cutters. I’ve used my pm3 S30V to do this task but was just wondering which steel would suit me better.

Thanks!
Last edited by Onsharry on Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Onsharry
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:45 pm

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby Onsharry » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:17 pm

My h1 is pe Tasman salt 2. The hawkbill works for this task too but still looking for a better steel??

Onsharry
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:45 pm

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby Onsharry » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:25 pm

I’m talking about wire insulation stripping on larger wire like the picture in this link:

https://www.protoolreviews.com/wp-conte ... I.jpg#main

User avatar
npad69
Member
Posts: 504
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:07 pm
Location: Palawan, Philippines

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby npad69 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:04 pm

if you're looking for the best steel then get the native 5 in maxamet

500Nitro
Member
Posts: 703
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:56 am
Location: Australia

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby 500Nitro » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:32 pm

Onsharry wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:25 pm
I’m talking about wire insulation stripping on larger wire like the picture in this link:

https://www.protoolreviews.com/wp-conte ... I.jpg#main

So was I.

Looks very similar to the stuff we use on electric fences (not the fence itself). Strip the black off each end.
3 x Endura 1 SE, 1 x Endura ? CE and a Black Pacific Salt. Want Aqua Salt, Fish Hunter and a Pacific Salt Yellow.

User avatar
xceptnl
Member
Posts: 8587
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:48 pm
Location: Tobacco Country, Virginia
Contact:

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby xceptnl » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:40 pm

I have used my small H1 SE hawkbills to split 14/2 and 12/2 romex before with little issue. This was purely because I was on a ladder and only had one hand free. For the stripping of the individual strands, a proper electricians tool would be my first choice.
Image
sal wrote: .... even today, we design a knife from the edge out!
*Landon*

Bill1170
Member
Posts: 2106
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:34 pm
Location: San Diego North County

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby Bill1170 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:42 pm

A tougher steel would be good, something like M4. Also good is a less acute micro bevel for resisting lateral deformation.

User avatar
anagarika
Member
Posts: 1687
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:59 pm

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby anagarika » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:32 am

Insulation is soft. Any of your steel should do that. Wire core is copper, much softer than steel too, so cutting wire also can be done easily.

In my younger days, I used Leatherman (420?) blade and some cheap balisongs, no issue. As long as the edge is sharp, stripping wire is easy. If you think of strip & push, it will load the edge laterally, so don’t go lower than 30° inclusive. I’d say go with your VG10 or H1.

I don’t recommend maxamet or other high carbide steel due to potential lateral forces occurring during work.
Last edited by anagarika on Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
Chris :spyder:

User avatar
Surfingringo
Member
Posts: 5600
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:02 pm
Location: Costa Rica

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby Surfingringo » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:44 am

Hi Harry, and welcome to the forum. As Chris mentioned, most of the steels that are available in the Spyderco lineup should be capable of cutting insulation and copper wire without significant damage. The problem comes when you start introducing the lateral stress that comes when you strip the insulation. You want a steel that is hard/strong enough to to resist rolling but not so brittle as to chip. The best results I have had in this type of stressful cutting have been from m4. I have tested it extensively on fish bone, intentionally putting heavy lateral stress on it and it has shown very little tendency to roll or chip. I think it would make a capable tool for the work you want to do.

The angle at which you sharpen your edge is going to be important too. I would suggest (at the very least) putting a 40 degree microbevel on a 30 degree edge, but if you really want to minimize damage you might want to sharpen the entire bevel to 40 degrees. I think m4 at 40 degrees should handle that work just fine.

Another suggestion that might work well for you is serrated H1. Aside from being exceptionally tough (and harder/stronger than plain edge H1) the individual serrations can prove handy for stripping. The one caveat I would add is that the edge will need to be micro beveled thoroughly before using it for stripping wire. The chisel ground salts have a very acute edge. 15 degrees (or less) on one side and less than 5 degrees on the other so your inclusive edge angle is 20 degrees or less. This steel (at that angle) will definitely roll under lateral stress until you have added a large enough 40 degree microbevel to support the edge. Once you have established that microbevel though, I think serrated h1 would work very well and be easy to maintain.

One other thing. Regarding maintenance (of a plain edge or especially a serrated edge) I cannot recommend Spyderco's sharpmaker highly enough. If you don't have one already that should be on your short list for new acquisitions. It makes it super quick and easy to keep your edges extremely sharp.

User avatar
Evil D
Member
Posts: 22339
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:48 pm
Location: Northern KY

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby Evil D » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:01 am

I'd go with something serrated in H1. It's tough as nails and the serrations do a great job stripping wire.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

ThePeacent
Member
Posts: 2847
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:45 am
Location: Barcelona, Spain

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby ThePeacent » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:34 am

SE H1 and go for it

DrawBackwards
Member
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:25 pm
Location: Orem, Utah

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby DrawBackwards » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:30 am

Surfingringo said pretty much what I would have wanted to say - just with more detail & experience.

I don't have any experience with the H1 serrated - but it's especially tough, and H1 apparently maintains a better cutting edge when serrated. It also solves any issue you might have if it's really damp or humid where you're working.

Because the other direction to go is non-stainless steel that prioritizes toughness first, then perhaps some edge retention. Lance mentioned M4; I haven't used K390, but it might fit as well. But if you're working in damp/humid conditions, I would just go H1 for sure.

User avatar
ferider
Member
Posts: 812
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:41 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby ferider » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:39 pm

Find a PM2 with S35VN. That's what I use for this purpose anyways - and yes, I have the proper tools, but sometimes a knife comes in handy. And no, I don't have much use for serrated edges. It never is stripping only, there is cutting too. But that's just me.

User avatar
Donut
Member
Posts: 9426
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:47 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby Donut » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:44 pm

There was a dude a while back who made a thread about his use of the Rock Lobster as an Electrician. From what I understand, he did a lot of meter changes, so he was stripping some larger wires. Maybe not 750's, but probably #3/0's.

It sucks that photobucket is all messed up, he posted pictures of how he stripped the wire.

viewtopic.php?t=37989

The Rock Lobster is almost a wharncliff and it is VG-10. From what I remember, he would slice the insulation almost parallel to the direction of the cable and run the corner of the bevel brushing against the side of the strands and slicing a section of the insulation off, then once you get a strip of bare conductor, you just pull the insulation off the side and cut it.

I think the key is: do whatever you have to so that the edge doesn't contact the metal on the inside of the cable.

I have cut some small gauge copper wires with a S30V Paramilitary 2, but I wouldn't want to cut a lot of them with it, I'm sure it would eventually take damage.
-Brian
A distinguished lurker.
Waiting on a Squeak, Pingo, and Cliptools with a Split Spring!

User avatar
Donut
Member
Posts: 9426
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:47 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Re: Help me choose a steel for copper/aluminum wire skinning/stripping

Postby Donut » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:55 pm

Google had crappy versions cached of the pictures he had in his thread:

Image

Image

Image

Image
-Brian
A distinguished lurker.
Waiting on a Squeak, Pingo, and Cliptools with a Split Spring!


Return to “Spyderco General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Buddafucco, Craiger12, Google [Bot], JD Spydo, JMM, Skidoosh and 34 guests

cron