How to Strip an Enamel Coated Wire

Written by chris stevenson
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How to Strip an Enamel Coated Wire
Unlike conventional wire, enamel coated wire requires a special stripping method. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Enamel coated wire, also known as magnetic wire, has its uses in radio circuits and other similar applications that require very thin wire that can be wrapped tightly in dozens or hundreds of winds. A small coating of enamel coats the magnetic wire, with such a thin covering that the wire can flex around very tight coils. Unlike regular insulated wire, enamel coated wire must be treated differently when the ends need to be stripped for connection points. Otherwise, the wire can be damaged in the process of stripping with conventional means.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Work bench
  • Electronic power wire stripper (variable control)
  • Electronic wire stripper operating instructions
  • Screwdrivers
  • Safety glasses

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  1. 1

    Place the appliance on a work bench for easy accessibility. Pull the wire from the appliance and extend it out to a suitable working length. If working with individual wire strands, choose the first one to be stripped and lay the others in order. Set the switch on the stripper power unit to 115 volts if you must use 115 volts at 60Hz. Plug the power cord into a wall socket, but do not turn the hand piece switch to the "On" position.

  2. 2

    Determine what strip length you need on the end of the wire. The electronic stripper unit contains a strip length stop adjustment incorporated into the head assembly on the hand piece tool. Unscrew the black nose cone on the hand piece by twisting it counterclockwise by hand.

  3. 3

    Locate the strip length stop screw located on the head centre shaft. Refer to the operator's manual to be certain of its location. Loosen the strip length stop screw with a screwdriver and move the stop forward or backward on the shaft slot to your desired location. The increments will be in fractions of an inch. Tighten the stop screw.

  4. 4

    Remove the adjusting screw completely and place it in the rear hole on the shaft if you desire very small strip lengths. Tighten the adjusting screw. Twist the black nose cone onto the hand piece. Set the variable speed control knob on the unit to the slowest speed. Place the end of the wire inside the cone head opening and push it in until it contacts the stop.

  5. 5

    Don safety glasses. Hold the wire steady inside the cone opening and press the button on the hand piece to activate the revolving blades. The blades will automatically close on the wire. Gently and slowly pull the wire from the nose cone. The end of the wire will be stripped bare and clean evenly around its perimeter. Perform the same procedure for additional wires. Adjust the variable speed control to a higher (faster) setting for thicker insulation.

Tips and warnings

  • To strip the total length of a wire, refer to the operator's instructions on how to remove the armature screw and remove the head assembly. Once the head assembly has been removed, unscrew the stripper stop length mechanism from the hand piece, then reassemble the hand piece, screwing the black nose cone on last. Run the wire continuously through the hand piece.

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