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  1. #1
    1towman started this thread.
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    Best wire cutters and best powered wire stripper

    So I know I won't get a lot of return on my time but I have access to a lot of scrap cars so I think it would just be a complete waste to let them go to the scrap yard with the big wire still in the car so I need some advice from the pros. Even if I don't get the small wire and just focus on the good size leads for the positive and negative on the battery I need some advice on the best brand of cutters so that I can just reach in and get as close as possible to the starter and sever the cable. I assume I'm looking for some that are 1-2 feet long and work on the shearing method. Also here goes another lame search for the best motorized wire stripper. Can be either a drill or a electric motor that comes on the unit. Last but not least am I correct in thinking that the time it takes to pull the smaller gauge wire isn't worth it? Thanx for any and all tips you guys can share.


  2. #2
    APA's Avatar
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    It’s time consuming. Think about focusing on more scrap cars. Palladium is at an all time high and catalytic converters are too. We are buying thousands of converters a week at top refinery prices.

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  4. #3
    Patriot76's Avatar
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    You might want to consider a battery operated sawzaw or reciprocating saw and hammer to remove the terminal wire and post. As far as wire strippers on battery cables I use my Buck knife and plyers.
    Give back more to this world than we take.

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  6. #4
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    My opinion and not a plug for any one manufacturer:

    harbor freight long handle dykes and electrician cable cutters. Split the loom and take 2 or 3 bights to cut. These do everything I need. Anything larger will be more costly although available. A reciprocating saw is quicker.

    Wire stripper that I have used is the larger square rectangular aluminum hand crank version available on eBay, Amazon, and even Walmart. Do NOT buy the smaller version as it is poor. Mount this on a piece of plywood, attach a variable speed drill to it set at a comfortable speed, and go. Abought $90 - 100. Works best on solid strand or 10 gage and heavier stranded. I quit stripping anything smaller, but if you choose too, small board with holes drilled and drywall screws threaded into holes, set in vise. Set depth of screw to heavy score plastic jacket and pull and pull....... Visit YouTube. Lot of info there. All in one units have come down in price also. Let your budget be your guide. Lot of trial and error involved in wire stripping efficiently and your patience will be tested. Time may not be worth payback and only you can decide.

    Hope this helps.

    Side note: with more yards having shredders now, semi valuable components in vehicles may not be worth disassembly. The shredder takes care of separation of alloys and yards pricing can reflect this. An example could be electric motors which are only couple cents more than sheet metal . Used to be motors paid lots better, not anymore. Around here anyway.

  7. #5
    hills's Avatar
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    My prime gig is ewaste but i've been experimenting with copper and aluminum over the winter. Most of the wire i run into is 16 gauge stranded or smaller.

    On the upside:

    1:Recovery seems to be fairly good. It seems to be running at a ratio of about 70% copper to 30% insulation by weight.

    2: You seem to get about 3x the return when you sell bare wire vs. unstripped.

    On the downside:

    1: It's time consuming to strip. I spent a day casually stripping in my spare time recently.It was just something to keep my hands busy & pass the time when i wasn't doing something else. It might have been a couple of hours in total. Net result : 8/10ths of a pound at the end of the day when i weighed it up.

    2: It's stranded. It's more difficult to strip than heavier gauge single strand wire.

    3: It's running at about 50/50 with about 1/2 being bare copper and about 1/2 being tinned wire -or- maybe even something else. The tinned stuff is a bit of a question. It ought to show some kind of green color in the flame when it's heated with a torch if it's got some copper content. It's not showing green so it might be an alloy of aluminum and magnesium ?

    4: Strictly speaking ... A stripped wire really ought to be classed as bare bright but your yard might downgrade it to #2 copper because the strands are smaller than a pencil lead. ( 14 GA.)

    All around : It seems like the disadvantages of stripping outweigh the advantages. It would be a lot quicker and easier just to sell it as insulated wire and get what you can for it at the yard.

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    My prime gig is ewaste but i've been experimenting with copper and aluminum over the winter. Most of the wire i run into is 16 gauge stranded or smaller.

    On the upside:

    1:Recovery seems to be fairly good. It seems to be running at a ratio of about 70% copper to 30% insulation by weight.

    2: You seem to get about 3x the return when you sell bare wire vs. unstripped.

    On the downside:

    1: It's time consuming to strip. I spent a day casually stripping in my spare time recently.It was just something to keep my hands busy & pass the time when i wasn't doing something else. It might have been a couple of hours in total. Net result : 8/10ths of a pound at the end of the day when i weighed it up.

    2: It's stranded. It's more difficult to strip than heavier gauge single strand wire.

    3: It's running at about 50/50 with about 1/2 being bare copper and about 1/2 being tinned wire -or- maybe even something else. The tinned stuff is a bit of a question. It ought to show some kind of green color in the flame when it's heated with a torch if it's got some copper content. It's not showing green so it might be an alloy of aluminum and magnesium ?

    4: Strictly speaking ... A stripped wire really ought to be classed as bare bright but your yard might downgrade it to #2 copper because the strands are smaller than a pencil lead. ( 14 GA.)

    All around : It seems like the disadvantages of stripping outweigh the advantages. It would be a lot quicker and easier just to sell it as insulated wire and get what you can for it at the yard.
    So in two hours you got less than a pound?.......Just trying to wrap my head around it and see that it is worth the effort than turning it in whole.........

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  10. #7
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    See ... that's the thing Mike. It's all new territory for me. Just experimenting with different things to see what's worth doing and what isn't. You never know for sure till you try it out for yourself.

    It's not all bad though.

    Things are pretty slow at work right now. My work days run 11 - 12 hours long. Sometimes it's half an hour or an hour between customers. The way i figure it ... there's no harm in keeping my hands busy as long as all of my other work is caught up. It helps pass the time.

    Kinda like giving myself a 50 cent or dollar per hour raise.

  11. #8
    mikeinreco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    See ... that's the thing Mike. It's all new territory for me. Just experimenting with different things to see what's worth doing and what isn't. You never know for sure till you try it out for yourself.

    It's not all bad though.

    Things are pretty slow at work right now. My work days run 11 - 12 hours long. Sometimes it's half an hour or an hour between customers. The way i figure it ... there's no harm in keeping my hands busy as long as all of my other work is caught up. It helps pass the time.

    Kinda like giving myself a 50 cent or dollar per hour raise.
    Gotcha.....as stated before obviously every one's situation is diff.....i have stripped some wire before mainly de-gaussing cables (sp) and stuff that was at least as big as my thumb....glad to see everyone staying busy!!


  12. #9
    ScrapmanIndustries's Avatar
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    its an old thread i know, but if you want something to get wires out quick, and i mean like entire looms in seconds, you need SAS forks on your loader or backhoe. but you probably can't afford that unless your running a big auto wrecking operation, so just go to the lowes or something and get the kobalt diagonals. and then the weird curved head looking electrical loppers. mine might be klines but i don't really know. we also used bolt cutters at the yard to get the batteries out.


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