How to Strip Speaker Wire (Step-by-Step-Guide)

Stripping wires requires a delicate touch and when it comes to speaker wires, this process gets even trickier. One might ask why is it so much harder with speaker wires? Speaker wires range from 12 AWG to 18 AWG. That means speaker wires have a thinner diameter than most regular wires. Because of that, you might find it difficult to strip speaker wires. So, today, I’m going to teach you how to strip a speaker wire with our guide below.

In general, to strip speaker wire, follow these steps.

  • First, separate the negative and positive wires.
  • Then, insert the positive wire into the wire stripper.
  • Clamp the wire stripper blades until they touch the plastic casing of the wire. Do not clamp the blades all the way.
  • Next, pull out the wire backward to remove the plastic casing.
  • Finally, do the same for the negative wire.

That’s it. You now have two stripped speaker wires.

We’ll go into more detail on the full process below.

5 Step Guide on How to Strip Speaker Wire

For this process, you don’t need lots of tools. You only need a wire stripper. So, if you own a wire stripper, you are ready to strip speaker wires.

Step 1 – Separate the Two Wires

Usually, a speaker wire is equipped with two different wires; positive and negative. The black one is negative, and the red one is positive. The plastic casings of these wires are bonded together. But, they are separable.

man separating two wire
Video | Z Reviews

First, separate these two wires. You can do this by pulling the wires in opposite directions. Use your hands for this. Do not use any tools such as a utility knife. It might damage the wire strands. Use a utility knife only to cut wires.

man holding black and red separated wire
Video | Z Reviews

Separate the wires only 1-2 inches from the tip.

Step 2 – Insert the First Wire into the Wire Stripper

Now, Insert the first wire into the wire stripper. The plastic casing of the wire should make contact with the blades of the wire stripper. So, choose a suitable hole according to the size of the wire.

Step 3 – Clamp the Wire

Then, clamp the wire by pushing the two handles of the wire stripper. Remember not to clamp all the way. The clamping should stop just above the wire strands. Otherwise, you’ll end up with damaged strands.

Tip: If the wire is too tight, you might have to try out a larger hole instead of the current one.

Step 4 – Pullout the Wire

Next, pull out the wire while holding the wire stripper tightly. If you correctly follow the procedure, the plastic casing should come out smoothly. (1)

Now you have a properly stripped wire on your hands.

Step 5 – Strip the Second Wire

Finally, follow the same process and remove the plastic casing of the second wire.

More on Stripping Speaker Wires

Stripping wires shouldn’t be a difficult task. But, some people go through a lot of trouble while trying to strip a wire. They might end up damaging the wire or cutting the wire completely. The main reason for this is a lack of knowledge and execution. (2)

wire strands in zoom
Video | Tech Infinite

Modern-day electrical wires have several strand types. Besides, from wire to wire, the number of strands might vary.

Wire Stranding

Mainly there are two types of stranding; bunch stranding and rope stranding. Bunch stranding comes with any number of strands in a random pattern. On the other hand, rope stranding comes with a wire assembly similar to a rope.

So, when you clamp the wire, knowing the strand type will help immensely. If a wire has a rope wire construction, you might have to be more careful while clamping the wire using the wire stripper.

For a complete chart for wire strands, visit – Calmont Wire & Cable.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) plastic –
(2) knowledge and execution –

Video References

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Z Reviews

Tech Infinite

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About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: 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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