How to remove insulation on a small wire for scrap

Written by steve bradley
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

There are a multitude of home-based businesses. One that is often overlooked is collecting scrap metals. This is a job that takes little training and is easy to do. While it is dependent on the market for the particular scrap you are collecting, copper can be a reliable use of your time. The best place to look for scrap copper is in everyday wires. All that is required is that you strip off the insulation and covering.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Wire strippers
  • Utility knife
  • Wire cutters

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Measure the length of the wire from which you want to extract copper. If it is longer than a foot, use a pair of wife cutters and cut the wire into one-foot sections. This will allow for easier stripping.

  2. 2

    Hold one end of the section of wire in your non-dominant hand. In your other hand, clamp wire strippers onto the wire. Pull along the length of the wire with the stripper to remove the rubber/plastic coating as well as the insulation. If the wire is especially thick, use a utility knife to score down the length of the wire's covering. Then peel back the cover and insulation by hand.

  3. 3

    Weigh the collected copper scrap on a standard kitchen scale until you reach one pound. Bundle the cord together using one of the sections of wire to wrap the bundle securely. Scrap copper is sold at a per-pound rate.

Tips and warnings

  • Bring a picture ID when you bring your scrap copper wire to a scrap dealer. Most buyers now copy IDs to help discourage copper thefts.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.