How to Strip a Cable to Sell for Scrap Metal

Written by dan chruscinski
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How to Strip a Cable to Sell for Scrap Metal
The metal wiring within cables can be sold for scrap metal. (twisted pair cable image by Aussiebloke from

Do not throw way old or broken cables that are laying around your house. The metal wires being housed within the insulation can be sold as scrap metal, putting cash in your pocket. Before you sell your cables to a scrap metal buyer you may need to strip off the insulation so that all you are left with is the metal innards. This requires you to cut off the outer cable and strip the insulation from any covered wires.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Cable
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Wire
  • Stripping the Cable

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  1. 1

    Place the cable onto a flat surface. Press and hold 5 inches down from the end of the cable.

  2. 2

    Slide a pair of scissors just beneath the plug or connector on the end of the cable. Cut the end off and discard it.

  3. 3

    Apply pressure to the cable to keep it firmly on the flat surface. Hold a utility knife in your other hand. Place the blade of the knife lengthwise just ahead of your hand.

  4. 4

    Apply slight pressure to the cable and cut a straight line to the end. Peel the two sides of insulation along the line to see if you have cut to the metal or internal wires. Cut along the same line until metal is revealed.

  5. 5

    Peel the insulation back to reveal the metal or internal wires. Cut around the peeled insulation.

  6. 6

    Continue cutting down the cable, 5 inches at a time, until the outer insulation has been completely removed.

  7. 7

    Wrap any exposed metal wires around your hand until it forms a coil. Place to the side.

  8. 8

    Insert the first 5 inches of an insulated wire from the cable into the groove of a pair of wire strippers. These strippers feature several grooves for different wire sizes.

  9. 9

    Squeeze the handle of the wire strippers to dig into the wire insulation. Rotate your wrist from side to side to completely puncture the insulation.

  10. 10

    Move the wire stripper up and off the wire, revealing the metal beneath. Repeat along the length of the insulated wire only metal remains. Coil the metal wire and add it to your stock.

Tips and warnings

  • Contact the scrap metal yard you wish to sell the metal and find out if they require the cable to be stripped.
  • Check multiple holes of the wire stripper until you find the groove that holds the wire insulation in place.
  • Cable strippers are also available to remove the outer insulation.

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