Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tool Review: Wire Stripper

I've been wanting to post about this tool for a few weeks now but it has taken a while to find the time. This has been a very busy summer!
Anyway, during my last Wild Wire Women Retreat, one of the gals, who came from Hong Kong, brought a wire stripper with her that she had just purchased at a local hardware store. Because I provide participants all the tools needed to make beautiful wire jewelry during a retreat, it's unusual for a student to bring a tool to class. Emcee bought a wire stripper because once she returns to China she may need to purchase her copper wire covered in a rubber sheath which she'll then need to strip in order to get at the wire inside.
This is fairly common, by the way. I know several artists who purchase wire that has to be stripped first.
As for me, I couldn't be bothered! I always purchase my copper wire from either Thunderbird Supply or Rio Grande, or from my local hardware stores in a pinch.
What makes this tool well worth looking into is the sharp, tough blade just behind the area on the tool where you strip wire. If you look at the tool above you'll see a serrated area near the tip; this is where you strip wire. The area just behind going back to the joint is straight. And surprise: It's a very nice flush cutter! I used it in class to flush-cut 12ga wire and to be honest it worked better than my most expensive wire cutters. It creates a decent flush cut on both sides of the wire. Not perfect—you'll have to file your wire ends a little bit to smooth them after cutting—but if you need a good cutter for heavy wire gauges, I strongly recommend this tool.
I just googled it, and you can find a lot more info here.
Happy wrapping,
p.s. I have a few more Wild Wire Women retreats scheduled! Here are the remaining dates in 2010:
Sept. 30-Oct. 4: four openings
Oct. 7-11: six openings
Oct. 21-25: five openings
Nov. 4-8: two openings
Nov. 11-15: six openings
For more information, click here.

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