There’s something about having good hand tools. When you’ve got them, you never want to go back to anything less, and when you don’t have them, they really make an impact when you finally get to a point where you can put your hands on something that’s really designed well and performs perfectly for the job at hand. When we decided to rewire a two-story 1920 home in our neighborhood, it was obvious that the job would require great hand tools. For all of our wire stripping needs, we turned to Klein and their Klein-Kurve K1214 Dual NM (Non-Metal) Cable Strippers. These are reported to be among the best 12/2 and 14/2 wire strippers you’ll find on the market and they are something we see a lot of out in the work force.
What was attractive about these strippers, and we’d used a pair of basic Klein strippers/cutters before, was two-fold. First, we loved the Klein-Kurve design. It’s easy on the hand and it maximizes the squeezing pressure you can exert, while minimizing your hand effort. The handles are “double dipped” according to Klein, and the end result is that they’ll last a good long time without wearing out at the ends – provided you don’t use them as a punch, that is. The second thing we really liked were the dual 12/2 and 14/2 stripping slots. With these strippers, you can slide in just about any 12/2 or 14/2 jacketed cable and strip it back with an ease that we thought shouldn’t be possible. Where you once had to use a razor knife (carefully) or a cable ripper, the K1214 wire strippers present a more exact way to get your wire stripped for an electrical box or breaker panel.
In the Field Testing
We’ve used a variety of methods to strip cable in the past, and all of them will get the job done. What we appreciated about the Klein-Kurve K1214′s was the way in which they simply fit our hand perfectly and helped us accomplish stripping and wire-bending tasks more quickly. Klein really seems to have this tool down pat, and while there’s a lot of competition, the Kurve’s are missing nothing in the way of features that we’d want. The spring tension was perfect, giving us the right amount of opening force when we eased up on the handles, and the cutting edges were sharp enough that simply squeezing them down on 12/2 and rocking slightly front to back one time enabled us to completely sever the jacket – without even nicking the inner shielded cables. This meant fast stripping with little or no thought as to how to perfectly align or position the tool – everything just fit where it was supposed to. The individual 12- and 14-gauge stripping slots were also perfect, and we found that a simple squeeze and 90 degree back and forth rotation got us a clean cut every time. It became very easy to speed up the process of stripping wire, given the consistency of the tool.
Having used this tool to strip and prep well over 100 wires, we can say without a doubt that it will speed up your work process. If you’re in need of a new pair of strippers, or the ones you’re using aren’t “cutting” it, there’s really no reason to go with a generic solution on a tool you’ll use over and over again. For professionals this is an easy decision, and for the occasional user it will ensure that you have one less point of frustration with your wiring or rewiring project. For Performance, the K1412 Klein-Kurve Wire Strippers/Cutters earned an easy 9/10. For Value it’s also way above average at 7/10. The tool and its variants, which include a Canadian NMD-90 model and tools with alternate handles and supporting different wire gauges, comes in a retail package and is available at many hardware stores, dealers, and even some home improvement warehouses. Highly recommended – you won’t go wrong with these strippers.