Speaker wire is one of the few things in tech that hasn’t changed over decades. It’s pretty much the same as it’s always been. However, speaker wire is notoriously difficult to strip.
The cable is stiff, and the insulation is tough. One slip of the knife and you’ve cut through a wire, and you have a temporary speaker. In this blog post, we will discuss how to strip speaker wire.
How to strip speaker wire
Using wire stripper:
There are a few ways to strip speaker wire. The first way is to use a wire stripper. It is a tool that you can buy at most hardware stores. It has sharp blades that slice through the insulation on the cable, leaving you with clean, naked wires.
Hold the wire in one hand with about three inches sticking out between your thumb and index finger. Wrap the wire at the base of where you are holding it to have no slack hanging underneath. Apply pressure to the wire with your thumb and index finger and use a sharp knife to strip the insulation off of the wire.
The second way is to use a knife. It is probably the more common method. You have to be careful not to cut the wires inside your speaker cable.
If you are using a knife, it’s best to hold the wire so that the insulation is facing down towards the cutting surface. It will help keep the insulation from slipping off the wire as you’re trying to cut it.
Always be careful when stripping speaker wire, no matter which method you choose. You don’t want to cut through the wires inside the insulation.
The final step is to strip back about an inch of the wires jacket at the end of your speaker wire to reveal the bare metal inside. Do this by holding each wire with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Be careful not to bend or kink any part of the wire as you do this. You don’t want to get rid of the spring in your speaker wire.
Using Low Voltage Speaker Wire
If you are using a low voltage speaker wire, this is all there is to it. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
To confirm that you’ve stripped back enough of the insulation on your cable, look inside with a flashlight and see if you can see the bare metal inside the cable. If you’re using low voltage speaker wire, it should be solid copper. However, you still want to be sure that your cable isn’t hollow or else it will rust over time.
Using High Voltage Speaker Wire
If you are using a high-power speaker wire, this is where things get a little bit more complicated. It would help if you ensured that all of the wires were the same length and all twisted together in the same direction. It will help reduce noise and interference in your audio signal.
Once you’ve confirmed that your wires are all the same length, twist them all together nice and tight. You can use a pair of pliers to do this, but it’s much easier to use a special tool called a wire twister. It is a small, hand-held tool that will make twisting your wires together with a breeze.
Once your wires are all twisted together, you can then put them back inside the cable’s jacket. Make sure that you leave about an inch of slack at the end of the cable so that you have room to connect it to your amplifier.
Now take the end of your speaker wire and blow it gently. If you see any bare metal, you should twist your wires together a little bit tighter or repeat the stripping process with a new section of the cable until all of the metal is gone.
You can use electrical tape to secure the connection, but it’s unnecessary. If you use electrical tape, make sure that you wrap it around the wire several times so it won’t come loose over time.
Useful Tips for Stripping Speaker Wire
- Use a wire stripper to strip speaker wire or use a sharp knife. Make sure that you don’t cut through the insulation inside the cable, which will damage it over time.
- Be careful when stripping high-power speaker wires because there are more wires inside your cord. Plus, if they are not twisted together in the same direction, it can cause noise issues.
- Make sure that all of your speaker wire is the same length and that they are twisted together in the same direction before you put them back inside the jacket of your cable.
- Apply pressure to the wire with your thumb and index finger just above where you will be stripping it so that there is no movement when you cut.
- If you are using low voltage speaker wire, it should be solid copper. However, be sure to check that the cable isn’t hollow or else it will rust over time.
- Use a wire twister to twist your wires together easily and securely.
- Blow on the end of your speaker wire to check for any exposed metal. If you see any, twist the wires together a little bit tighter or repeat the stripping process with a new section of cable.
- Use electrical tape to wrap your speaker wire around several times to keep it from coming loose over time.
Stripping speaker wire is a pretty simple process once you know how to do it. Once your speaker wires are stripped, twist them together in the same direction and put them back inside their jacket. Finally, you know how to strip speaker wire and what you need for this process. So, go ahead and do it; then, use your speaker wire and be happy.
How do you strip speaker wire with scissors?
If you are using wire cutters or scissors to strip your speaker wire, make sure that you are careful not to cut through the insulation. You can use a wire stripper if you have one, but scissors will work in a pinch. Just make sure that you’re careful and go slow.
Can I twist my speaker wires together without stripping them?
Yes, you can twist your speaker wires together without striping them. But if you want to prevent corrosion and noise problems in your audio signal, you should probably strip your speaker wire first. However, this is a great way to get a quick fix for a broken cable that doesn’t need much more than a simple twist.
How do you strip speaker wire without a wire stripper?
You will need to use a sharp blade for this, so pay close attention when doing it. Make sure that your blade is sharp and cut slowly so that you don’t accidentally damage the internal wires of your cable.
Then blow on the exposed metal to ensure that all of the copper is showing. If it is, you should be good at twisting your wires together.
What tool do you use to strip a wire?
The easiest way to strip a wire is with a wire stripper, but you can also use an X-ACTO knife. Just make sure that your blade is sharp and go slowly because it’s easy to cut too deep when using an X-ACTO knife.