Five Ways to Strip Copper Wire

People new to the scrap metals business quickly learn that copper wire is king! Although there are more valuable metals out there, nothing matches copper wire’s availability, value and ease of handling. Stripped copper wire is worth three times as much as wire with the insulation, causing many to wonder: what is the best wire stripper? Should they use manual methods, or should they invest in a scrap wire stripping machine? In this article, we’ll explore some common ways to strip copper wire and explain what sort of results each method produces. Here are the five most common ways to strip wire, in order of worst to best.

Burn the insulation off in a fire

Technology Level: Dinosaur Scrapper
Likely Results: Poisoning the environment, $25,000 fines, five-year jail sentences
Scrap copper value: Low
Scrap copper quantity: Moderate

Back in Great-Grandpa’s day, before we understood how important air quality was and how our environment could be adversely affected by burning toxic materials, burning scrap wire to remove the insulation was common. Now, the EPA gives out $10,000 rewards to those who turn in illegal scrap wire burn operations. If you’re caught and convicted, you could receive a $25,000 fine, and a five-year jail sentence. Burning scrap wire is not worth it!

Remove the insulation with a sharp knife

Technology Level: Stone Age Scrapper
Likely Results: personal injury, slave wage earnings
Scrap copper value: Low to Moderate
Scrap copper quantity: Low

Just about every beginning wire scraper starts out with their trusty knife! It is difficult to completely avoid accidents when stripping large amounts of wire with a knife, so most beginners earn a few battle scars. Sadly, they also usually wind up selling a lot of unstripped wire for a low price when they realize how time consuming their manual stripping method is. Instead of using their time to make contacts, find new sources of material, and grow their businesses, knife-using wire strippers remain stuck in the Stone Age of copper wire scrapping. There are much better ways to do it!

Strip the insulation with a homemade gadget

Technology Level: Middle Ages Scrapper
Likely Results: frequent breakdowns, high levels of effort
Scrap copper value: Low to Moderate
Scrap copper quantity: Moderate

Scrappers, by nature, are innovative, entrepreneurial people. Most quickly realize that burning wire and using the sharp knife method will hold their businesses back, and they start tinkering about, looking for ways to improve their productivity. For a scrapper with excellent fabrication skills, a well-equipped workshop, access to high quality materials and the time to bring all of these things together, the homemade wire stripping machine sometimes works out well. For most scrappers, however, the tinkering results in devices that don’t work well and frequently break down. In the long run, this approach doesn’t get them any further ahead than just using a knife would have.

Cleaning wire with a manual wire stripping machine

Technology Level: Industrial Age Scrapper
Likely Results: fiddly adjustments,frequent breakdowns
Scrap copper value: Moderate
Scrap copper quantity: Moderate

Scrappers who decide to buy a wire stripping machine are astute business people who are highly motivated to make their business a success! Unfortunately, there are a lot of vendors selling inferior manual wire stripping machine designs and demanding premium prices for so-so quality. It is typical to spend a lot of time with these machines fiddling with their many adjustments, clearing jams, replacing expensive, hard to find cutting tools, and exerting a lot of physical effort using them. That’s not to mention having to wait weeks for the machine to arrive from overseas in the first place! There is a better way!

Strip that wire and build your scrap metal business with a StripMeister Original Automatic Wire Stripping Machine!

Technology Level
: Modern Scrap Metals Entrepreneur
Likely Results: Excellent Profits
Scrap copper value: High
Scrap copper quantity: High

The StripMeister Original Automatic Wire Stripping Machine is a quality piece of equipment that is a pleasure to use! The buzz about this machine on social media from copper wire strippers is that it really does the job better than cheaply built, overpriced manual stripping machines made overseas.

Yes, you’ll lay out a few more of your hard-earned dollars on this smart investment in your business, but you’ll see a return on that investment in a few hours or days of use. Many of those manual wire stripping machines never pay for themselves.

Made right here in North America out of aircraft-grade aluminum and stainless steel, it’s built using 5-axis precision CNC milling technology and will last many years. Backed by a one-year guarantee against manufacturing defects, it arrives quickly from one of our several North American distribution centers so you can start earning!

The StripMeister Original Wire Stripping Machine is the best wire stripping machine on the market. If you want to grow your scrap metal business, a drill powered wire stripping machine is the way to go! Order yours today!

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