How to scrap copper wire

Written by kirk brown
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How to scrap copper wire
Scrap copper can fatten your wallet. (

Collecting and selling scrap copper wire can result in extra income if you have the time and the tools for the job. Removing the insulation from scrap copper wire makes it more valuable, but the task can be time-consuming and labour-intensive.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Gloves
  • Pocket or utility knife
  • Wire strippers

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  1. 1

    For longer pieces of copper wire, place one end in a vice and use a pocket or utility knife to slice the insulation, which will then peel off. Wear gloves for safety.

  2. 2

    Use wire strippers to remove the insulation on smaller pieces of scrap copper. Some scrappers do this chore while watching TV or sitting in traffic during their daily commute.

  3. 3

    Keep an eye on prices for this commodity because they can fluctuate broadly. In the spring of 2008 scrap copper was worth nearly £3 per pound. Since then prices have plummeted as the economic downturn has led to a reduced demand.

  4. 4

    Find a local scrap processing specialist with certified scales when you have a load of scrap copper that is ready to sell,

  5. 5

    Remember to bring a picture ID when you haul your scrap copper wire into sell. Most buyers now copy IDs to help discourage copper thefts, which have become increasingly common in recent years.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid being a victim of copper theft. Keep your scrap copper wire in a safe place, preferably under lock and key.
  • The insulation on copper wire can be burnt off, but doing so releases unhealthy toxins into the environment. Burning copper wire is illegal in many places and universally frowned upon.

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