Learning, Wiring,

How to Straight Wire

We all know how difficult it can be to straighten out wires. If you need to straighten a wire, a few tools can help you out. In this guide, I’ll teach you how to straight wire.

As an electrician, I regularly need to straighten out bent wires for various jobs. I use several useful tricks in doing so.

Follow these simple steps to eliminate kinks and bends in a wire:

Insulated Wire

  • Wrap an end of the wire all around the shaft of a screwdriver
  • Grasp the screwdriver and wrap the wire with your hand
  • Straighten the coil’s end with your dominant hand
  • Continue pulling until the entire length is wrapped around the screwdriver

22 to 26-gauge Wire

  • Secure one end of the wire with a pair of needlenose pliers
  • Grip the wire just in front of the needlenose pliers with nylon jaw pliers
  • Straighten the nylon jaw pliers along the length of the wire
  • Redo the process with the pliers
  • Examine the wire for gouges that could weaken it

I will cover more details below.

Straightening an Insulated Wire

Step 1: Wrap an End of The Wire All Around the Shaft of a Screwdriver

You can use any screwdriver with a round shaft. Station the wire end at the handle’s base. Tightly wrap it around the shaft. Ensure enough wire is on end to get a good grip later.

Step 2: Grasp the Screwdriver and Wrapped the Wire with Your Hand

With your non-dominant hand, grasp the screwdriver and wrap the wire. Retain the screwdriver parallel to the floor in front of you. Sustain a tight grip near the base of the handle. Press the coiled wire section against the shaft with your thumb.

Step 3: Pull the Coil’s End Straight with Your Dominant Hand

Clip the short end of the coiled wire and start pulling it out perpendicular to the screwdriver. Keep the wire at the same level as the screwdriver to avoid accidentally twisting it again. The kinks in the wire will flatten out as they go around the screwdriver, assisting in straightening the wire.

Step 4: Continue Pulling until The Entire Length is Wrapped Around the Screwdriver

Readjust your firm hold, so your dominant hand is next to the screwdriver. If you don’t need the entire length of wire, straighten it as much as possible before cutting the end with wire cutters.

Alternatively, you may use a drill as shown below:

Straightening 22 to 26 Gauge Wires

Step 1: Run the Wire Through Your Finger to Remove Kinks

If your wire has a lot of bends and lumps along its length, bend it by hand to straighten it out. Maintain a firm grip on the wire’s end with your fingers. Draw the wire along its total length by pinching it with your other index finger and thumb.

Step 2: Secure One End of The Wire with Needlenose Pliers

It makes no difference which ends of the needlenose pliers you use. To keep the wire from slipping out, pinch it between the pliers’ jaws. Maintain a firm grip on the needlenose pliers with your non-dominant hand.

Step 3: Grip the Wire Just in Front of The Needlenose Pliers with Nylon Jaw Pliers

The flat plastic jaws of nylon jaw pliers do not leave marks on your wire. With your dominant hand, open the pliers and lightly pinch them around the wire. To work efficiently, start as close to the needlenose pliers as possible.

Step 4: Straighten the Nylon Jaw Pliers Along the Length of The Wire

Hold the needlenose pliers tightly to prevent the wire from slipping out. Apply light pressure as you slide the nylon jaw pliers down the wire. Straighten the pliers until you reach the end of the wire. Some of the bends and kinks should be flattening out.

Step 5: Repeat the Process with The Pliers until The Wire Is Straight

It’s unlikely that your wire will be perfectly straight on the first pass. Continue sliding it along the wire until you reach the end. Always begin just in front of the needlenose pliers and work your way down the wire until you’re satisfied with how it looks.

Step 6: Examine the Wire for Gouges or Grooves that Could Weaken It

Evaluate the wire along its length to see if it is thinner in some places than others. Small marks or scratches are only cosmetic, so you should not be concerned.

For 26+ gauge wires, you need a drill to straighten them out.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

Video References


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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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