I’ve done a lot of electrical work in my years of renovating homes. Most of it has been pretty basic—adding circuits, installing new appliances or fixtures, etc. To this day, my favorite go-to hand tool is a pair of ergonomic wire strippers. I’m not sure if the patent simply expired on the design many years ago, but everyone seems to make the exact same tool. As such, I was a bit surprised to find myself penning a review of the new Southwire ergonomic wire strippers which are made in the U.S.A.
Southwire Ergonomic Wire Strippers Features
Above all, these Southwire ergonomic wire strippers offer a bit more padding and cushion. Compared to the handles on traditional strippers I’ve used, the padding holds up well. They are nearly identical, in grip, to the Klein Kurve wire strippers, but use an adjustable hex bolt at the fulcrum instead of a fixed rivet. Aside from that, they have the double-dipped handles in Blue (with Red accent) and support for stripping 10-18 AWG solid and 12-20 AWG stranded cable. As you’d also expect, they can be used to cut and shorten 8-32 and 6-32 screws as needed.
The handle lock on the Southwire S1018SOL-US wire strippers is very easy to use one-handed. It also nestles in tightly, so the handles won’t spring open on you unexpectedly or in your tool pouch. The spring is solid, and should last the life of the tool. The blades also have a nice curve on them to keep the wire centered when cutting.
I cut off dozens of pieces of 12/2 Romex and each cut was clean, precise, and authoritative. The ergonomic handles certainly do more to fill out the tool in your hand than apply padding to the base of your thumb during a cut, but it still felt pretty comfortable.
Quick Specs and Info
- Made from durable heat-treated steel
- Strips and cuts 10-18 AWG solid and 12-20 AWG stranded wire
- Double-dipped comfort grip
- Shears 8-32 and 6-32 screws
- Precision, shear-type cutting blades for easier cutting
- Not designed for cutting steel wire
Electricians on the market for a replacement pair of wire strippers should consider getting more made in America tools. It isn’t a bad idea, and quality hand tools make the job easier. There’s a whole line of Southwire Made in America tools, and these wire strippers are just one of many. You would do well to get your hands on them and see if they might make good additions to your existing complement of tools.