Which copper wire stripping machine is right for you?

Which copper wire stripping machine is right for you?

Here at Bluedog Wire Strippers we offer a large variety of copper wire stripping machines.  At first glance it might be hard to determine which machine is right for your application.  There are a variety of factors which you should consider before purchasing a copper wire stripping machine.

1 - Style of machine:

a) Hand Powered Units:  You power these units either by turning a crank shaft or by manually pulling the wire through some blades by hand.  These units are good for  people who do not want to spend a lot of money and do not mind tinkering and fine tuning.

b)  Single Blade Design Machines (SBD):  Machines such as the BWS-60 / CWS-1 are designed to slit only one side of the wire. The good part about this design is that you can strip a lot of cable by easily adjusting the blade height on the fly.   It may take a couple passes with SBD machines before you get the blade height set properly but eventually you will become a pro.  When running light gauge wire through these machines its generally easy to remove the coating because it is thin.  When you are running heavier cable with thicker coatings through these machines you may have to pass it a couple times in order to remove the coating.

c)  Mutli Blade Design (MBD):  These machines slit both the top and bottom of the wire coating. They are great for stripping the shield very quickly.   If your operator is not technically savvy they will be able to catch onto using MBD machines since there will be minimal setup involved and you do not need to change the blade height.  When it comes to blade changing you will need someone who is mechanical to take apart the machine to remove the old blades and install the new ones.  We have video's available and instructions which show how you can do this with minimal ease.   

2 - Single Feed Port or Multiple Feed Port Design:  Our BWS-40 has the most feed ports of any machine we offer with 17 in total. This means there are 17 individual holes with preset blade heights for you to put your wire into. We also offer the BWS-50 Multi Feed and the BWS-80 HD.  These machines make it quick and simple to strip because all you need to do is place the wire in the proper feed hole and it will strip off the coating.  

a) Single Feed Port Machines are versatile but you will have to adjust the blade height constantly depending on the thickness of wire you are stripping.  Also some SBD machines are not as good on the lighter gauge wires because they do not have enough support when being fed into the machine.  Our BWS-60 is rated for 16 GA wire which is pretty impressive.

3 - Horse Power of the Motor.  Are you using the machine for slitting light gauge material? Or are you slitting heavy wire with really thick coatings? Make note of the type of wire that you plan to slit. Generally the higher the motor's horse power  the thicker the coating that can be stripped.  Some manufacturers put lighter horse power motors on machines to help reduce the weight of the machine.  This isn't always a good thing if you plan to slit a lot of heavier cable because the machine will bog down.  When stripping very thick coatings you definitely want a machine with sufficient horse power like the BWS-90. You will also want agressive feed wheels to make sure the wire does not slip while feeding through the machine.

4 - Blade replacements.  Blades do not last for ever and you will have to plan to change them at some point in the future.    Blade change over times are definitely a strong factor to consider and SBD machines are definitely faster compared to MBD machines. Before buying a machine try to  understand what type of material the blades are made from.  We've seen some machines on the internet which do not mention the blade material and quite often they are made from mild steel.  If that is the case you will constantly have to be changing blades. Take note how many extra blades are included with the machine when you purchase.  Normally blade changing is very simple with (SBD) machines because you only have 1 blade to contend with.   When running wire through a machine make sure that you just slit the coating enough to expose the copper.  For maximum blade life you do not want the blade to hit the copper. Metal on metal will wear the blade down.

5 -  Warranty and Parts availability:  We offer a standard 1 year manufacturer's warranty on all our machines sold.  If there is a problem we caused we will fix it.  If its a problem caused from misuse or abuse this is not our problem.  You want to make sure whom ever you decide to buy a machine from has availability on parts.  The last thing you want to do is have a broken down machine and no way to fix it.  We have parts in stock and quick access to parts such as belts, chains, handles, covers ect. ect.  If anything goes wrong just call us: 866-901-2278 and we can get it for you.

6 - Machine Weight:  Is moving the machine around your workshop important? Or do you just plant to leave it stationary?  If you plan to move your wire stripper around we recommend lighter machines or else machines with casters.  Keep in mind with lighter machines the manufacturers usually reduces the Motor HP and Steel structure to save weight.

Written by JFW - July 2012.

Have comments about this article?  Please email: info@bluedogintl.com