Thermal Wire Strippers are the future of hand-held
wire strippers used in the electronic and electrical industry.
Patco Inc. is the manufacturer of the largest variety of thermal
wire strippers in the world.
Q. We are concerned about large amounts of toxic
fumes generated by thermal wire stripping. Can this be avoided?
A. Yes. Temperature of PVC strippers is preset to melt the
insulation. It does not burn the insulation.
Temperature on other models of cable stripping tools should be set according to the job and
insulation type. Even an excessively hot element will evaporate
such a negligible amount of insulation that the use of these wire strippers does not require
any special ventilation.
Q. Is it safe to use thermal wire strippers to strip wires
attached to PC boards containing ESD hardware?
A. Yes. ESD tests performed by an independent company showed
that PATCO thermal strippers generated typically 10 times less
voltage than mechanical coaxial cable strippers. As much as 1000 volts was
generated by mechanical strippers on certain types of wires.
Highest reading on the same type of wire, using thermal strippers,
was 26 volts. Mechanical stripper pinch the insulation.
High pressure, transferred from the blades to this pinched area,
creates considerable drag, thus generating high levels of static
charge. Thermal stripping elements do not exert any pressure
on the insulation. After the slug is thermally separated, it
is merely pushed off the conductor.
Q. Can Kapton be stripped thermally?
A. Kapton insulation is applied in a very thin layer and
does not provide enough gripping area to effectively pull off the
slug with the stripping element. This applies to both
thermal and mechanical strippers. The following procedure
should be used when stripping Kapton insulation. Use the
thermal stripper only to melt the ring around the insulation.
Bend the wire in the scored area. You will feel a crack and
see the exposed shield or conductor. Bend wire in opposite
direction to separate the slug completely. Pull off the
insulation with your hand. Use bare fingers or high friction
material such as neoprene to prevent slippage. Stubborn
insulation can be removed by sliding oversized neoprene sleeves
over the wire and the separated slug for a maximum grip force.