Klein has a remarkably deep bench of hand tools with over one hundred fifty types of pliers alone. More than fifty of those are strippers/cutters/crimpers. Today, I have one of the brand’s newest additions, the Klein Kurve Heavy-Duty Wire Stripper. The “Kurve” moniker is a stylized reference to the curve in one of the asymmetric handles designed for comfort and leverage. This wire stripper is an upgraded version of the K12055, a Pro Tool Innovation Awards Winner.
What’s been upgraded? Let’s find out!
- Able to strip heavier gauge wire than the previous model
- Ergonomic Klein Kurve handle design
- Jaw knurling needs to be more aggressive
When you’ve got a good thing going, why change it, right?
That’s how Klein approached the Klein Kurve Heavy-Duty Wire Stripper with this one exception. They increased stripping capacity by shifting the range upward. Whereas the original version’s range was 10-18 AWG solid and 12-20 AWG stranded wire, the new kid can handle 8-16 AWG solid and 10-18 AWG stranded wire.
Was that a good move?
Well, given the heavy-duty nature of this tool, I’d venture to say yes. But I’ll reserve judgment for now.
- Forged steel; 4 times stronger than traditional Klein wire strippers
- Precision ground stripping holes for 8-16 AWG solid and 10-18 AWG stranded wire
- Knurled jaw for twisting, grabbing and looping up to three wires at a time
- 6-32 and 8-32 screw shearing
- Induction hardened cutting knives
- Hot-riveted joint
- Coil spring
Performance on the Job
I’m still going strong after thirty years as an electrician for the county school system. I have a few pairs of Kleins that have been with me nearly as long! There’s an irony since the hardest thing about using the Klein Kurve Heavy-Duty Wire Stripper is simply my familiarity and comfort with my regular pair of Klein strippers.
As I acclimated to Kurve, I began to find them quite comfortable in the hand and very capable of the tasks for which they are built. They strip wire well, cut it easily, sheared screws without breaking a sweat, and grabbed onto wires with a firm grip.
The beauty here is not just the durability but what is essentially a multi-tool. Typically, strippers and cutters come packaged together in one tool while pliers and shears are often separate tools.
If the Klein Kurve Heavy-Duty Wire Stripper has a weakness, it’s in its ability to twist wire. The plier’s leverage and nose size are plenty capable, but the knurling just isn’t that aggressive. It’s a bit odd because this is such a burly tool otherwise. My old, long-handled pliers with aggressive knurling out-twisted the Kurve handily.
The Bottom Line
All the great stuff from the first generation with an increased wire stripping capacity: that’s the Klein Kurve Heavy-Duty Wire Stripper. My only complaint is the plier’s gentle knurling where I think more aggressive knurling should be. Let’s hope Klein makes this slight change for the next generation because, as usual, they are really onto something.
Klein Kurve Heavy-Duty Wire Stripper Specifications
- Item Number: K12054
- Type: Screw Shearing Wire Stripper
- Application: Multi-Purpose
- Special Features: Four Times Stronger Than Traditional Klein Wire Strippers
- Material: Steel
- Insulated: No
- Strips and Cuts: 8-16 AWG Solid, 10-18 AWG Stranded
- Screw Shearing: 6-32 and 8-32
- Wire Gauge: 8-16 AWG Solid, 10-18 AWG Stranded
- Hold-Open Spring: Yes
- Length: 8 inches
- Height: 2.188 inches
- Width: 0.516 inches
- Handle Color: Blue/White
- Handle Finish: Comfort Grip
- Weight: 0.63 pounds
- Price: $32.97