Which tools should you be using for each stage of your cable prep?
Achieving consistent and uniform cable ends is actually a pretty impressive feat when you stop and think about it. It takes a unique combination of precision and force to shear and slice through sheaths and heavy-duty plastics without damaging the actual power cable.
But if you’re not careful enough, or if you’re persevering with tools that just aren’t up to the job, you run the risk of leaving untidy, jagged insulation and possibly compromising the cable strands.
So how can you make sure your choice of tools are the best ones for the job? We’ve put together a cheat sheet for you, matching our top picks with each step of the cable prep process.
See which tools we recommend for each stage, from the accurate stripping of outer sheaths, the scoring and cutting of semi-con and the removal of insulation. With the right tools, you can guarantee clean, professional cable ends on every single job.
Let’s do a closer comparison of each of the tools:
Sheath stripping tools:
- Adjustable cable end stripper: adjusts to cable sizes with spring loaded jaws, cleanly removes outer jackets, while leaving the neutral wires undamaged.
- Adjustable jacket slitter: can create both round and long cuts to remove cable jackets up to 6.3mm thick.
- HDPE PVC sheath ripper: hand held, can cut in any direction, with no limit on depth or length. The blade has blunt mushroom head which stops damage to the inner core.
- Outer sheath stripper ratchet: can create both round and long cuts to remove jackets up to 5mm thick. Designed to strip both ends and in the middle.
- Sheath stripping knife: an insulated blade with a shoe-shaped blade to limit cutting depth.
Tools to remove semi-conductive screen:
- Screen scoring tool: scores clean lines into the screen, allowing it to be easily peeled from the main insulation in strips. 0.4mm fixed depth blade.
- Semi-con scoring tool: creates ring, spiral and long cuts on cables up to 45mm. Check out our awesome in-depth video on how to use this tool. 0 – 4mm adjustable depth blade.
- Semi-con removal pliers: long flat nose, ideal for removing semi-con.
Insulation stripping tools:
- Adjustable cable end stripper: easy and efficient stripping with minimal effort, on cables up to 63mm in diameter.
- Plastic insulation stripper: Strips PVC or HD insulation from cables up to 40mm in diameter.
- Chamfering tool: removes sharp edges for slip-on accessories.
- HV ABC insulation stripper: ideal for HV ABC/CCT cables.
- Kevlar cutting string: easily cuts through plastic insulation materials.