Whether it’s for a holiday or birthday, this Tools Under 30 Dollars Gift Guide Series shows you important, yet somewhat uncommon, tools that any gearhead would want.

Today, let’s talk about Wire Stripper Tools

The strippers from Knipex can strip and remove wire insulation practically automatically–shaving a ton of time off your wiring jobs in the process. (Image/Summit Racing)

You’d be surprised how many experienced DIY’ers make-do without a nice set of wire strippers.

While it’s possible to use a carefully-held set of diagonal cutters or maybe even a razor blade instead, a dedicated set of wire strippers makes a tedious wire stripping job quick and easy.

More importantly it saves you from the near-incomprehensible feeling of despair that comes with accidentally cutting a wire while you’re stripping it. (That’s how electrical gremlins are born, ya know.)

Heck, there are even automatic wire strippers that’ll do most of the work for you.

A lot of strippers have dies for different wire gauges. (Image/Summit Racing)

You’ll probably want one that can handle multiple wire gauges. For reference, wire diameter (thickness) is measured in American Wire Gauge (AWG) sizes. Most common wiring sizes range from 26 AWG (thinner wire) down to 8 AWG (larger wire). You can find several stripper options in that general ballpark.

Wire Gauge to Wire Diameter Comparison Chart

Wire Gauge
Wire Diameter

Here’s a handy primer on automotive wiring that may help.

Wire strippers are a fundamental tool that a lot of folks don’t have. That makes them a smart gift to give and receive. Better still, there’s a good chance you can find one for under 30 bucks.

Author: Paul Sakalas

Paul is the editor of OnAllCylinders. When he's not writing, you'll probably find him fixing oil leaks in a Jeep CJ-5 or roof leaks in an old Corvette ragtop. Thanks to a penchant for vintage Honda motorcycles, he spends the rest of his time fiddling with carburetors and cleaning chain lube off his left pant leg.