Tips & Techniques for Stripping Wires for Copper

Selling scrap metal in Calgary is a great way to make some extra cash, and scraping copper can be particularly lucrative. One of the best and most abundant sources of scrap copper is copper wire, but, in order to scrap copper wire, you have to strip it of its insulation first.


Here are some helpful tips for stripping and for getting the best Calgary scrap metal prices for your copper wire from the scrap metal recyclers at Federal Metals:


Warming copper wire in the sun

Copper wire becomes much easier to strip once it has been warmed up, but it is extremely dangerous for the environment and against Calgary bylaw to burn the insulation off. Burning your copper wire will also most likely downgrade it. You can, however, leave your copper wire out in the sun on a warm day to soften up the insulation and make it easier to remove.


When to use a handheld stripping tool
If your wire stripping operation is fairly small and you're only dealing with a few loads of scrap copper wire every month, then stripping the wire with a handheld tool such as a knife, a razor, or handheld wire strippers is your best and most financially sensible option. When using handheld tools, make sure that you wear gloves and that you always cut away from yourself.


When to use a tabletop wire stripper
If you're dealing with over 100 pounds of copper wire every month, then it will save you a lot of time to invest in a quality tabletop wire stripper. These table-mounted units will help you strip your wire much more efficiently, and there are many different units to choose from, so you can pick the one that best suits your needs.


When to use electric wire strippers
A tabletop wire stripper will be good for most of your Calgary scrap metal recycling needs, but, if you expect to be processing several hundreds of pounds of copper wire every month, then you should consider using electric wire strippers for the job. Though costly, an electric unit can quickly pay for itself by helping you strip wire very quickly and efficiently.


Separating #1 and #2 copper wire
Once you are finished stripping all of your copper wire, you should separate it based on grade before bringing it to the scrap yard. Copper wire is considered to be #1 when it is clean, unpainted, unsoldered, and unplated. Wire that is coated in silver, tin, or lead, or is soldered, painted, or dirty will be graded as #2.


Copper Wire Recycling in Calgary
Once all of your copper wire is properly stripped and sorted, you can bring it to Federal Metals, a trusted scrap metal recycling facility located in Southeast Calgary.


Visit or contact Federal Metals today if you have any more questions about processing and getting the best prices for your scrap copper wire. Our friendly metal recycling experts will be happy to help you out.

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