How do you strip this CAN Bus Wire?

We have tried all of our strippers and this wire just laughs at them. The yellow and green wires are sealed to the black casing with a very hard plastic. Is there a special stripper needed?

Have you tried using a utility or pocket knife to slice the seal? They are really quite useful in these situations, however it might be too small.

I’ve never had to buy a special stripper. I assume you have a stripper that has a few smaller and a few larger sizes than 20?

My usual MO is to use a small knife to slit the outer shell, pull it back and slice it off. Then, for the inner cable, go up or down sizes on the wire stripper till ya find one that works… fairly well.

XLPO has one of the highest cut resistances of common wire insulations, so you’ll definitely want to ensure your strippers are sharp.

Methods I do not recommend: Biting off the insulation with your teeth, or melting it off with heat.


I have invested pretty heavily in quality wire strippers for my electrical subteam; in fact, new strippers were our earliest purchase this school year.

These are excellent models. As a former electrician I also highly recommend Klein tools, but there are many quality products.

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I may have to give these a second look.

We had one in college that was literally the worst. Couldn’t handle the simplest of tasks, would either chop the whole wire in half or just barely graze the surface of the insulation. I’m assuming there was operator error or a bad blade involved, because I’m seeing them more and more.

Till such time as a second look occurs… I’m still into the Klien Katapult with an adjustable stopper for speed, and the old-fashioned pliers-ish-style for precision.

the hard plastic cover is essentially sealed to the green and yellow insulation. No matter what tool we tried we could not get the black cover off without stripping down to bare wire. It is unlike any wire I have ever seen. Since the wires are twisted, you can’t pull them apart or cut between them.

Oh! My general advice probably isn’t valid then. I will look at our stock tomorrow and see if I have any ideas. When I did electrical work I had a hook blade mounted in a retractable razor and used it on housing

We used this stuff a few years ago and it was the worst. It took so much effort to strip that I, as a mentor, was assigned to CAN wire stripping duty so the students could get on with the rest of the work. Definitely wouldn’t use again.

My eventual solution was to use a box cutter to cut a circle in the black insulation around where the end of the strip should be, being careful not to cut into the wires themselves. Once the black insulation that should be removed was separated from the part that should stay, you can pull and twist the stripped black insulation and it should come off the wires like unscrewing a very long, very coarse screw. The black insulation doesn’t actually bind to with wires, just itself. It’s still painstaking work, and not something I’d recommend to teams in the market for CAN wire.

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We had the same issue with this wire. We eventually gave up on using that cable and used the RevRobotics’ CAN wire instead.

That wire is literally the worst. I’ve caught kids doing downright perilous things trying to get that outer sheathing off. I threw out any traces of that cable that I could find. I’m not sure how it got there.

I managed to strip it once (when no-one was watching) by using a box cutter to cut around the sheathing part-way through, then I bent the cable at the cut and cut some more until I got down to green or yellow. Once I was through the plastic all the way, the sheathing did eventually come off without taking the green or yellow jacket with it.

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Disclaimer: I haven’t used this specific CAN wire yet (tomorrow morning I will be), but I have used similar types of wire.

I’ve found that this method works the best for any sort of wire that is made up of other wires encased together. Electricians will do that when wiring buildings. Cut a slit down the length of the wire with a knife, pull the wires out of it, cut off the casing with a knife, and then strip the individual wires as normal. All you need is a sharp utility knife and a wire stripper made for the size wire (CAN wire is 20 gauge wire). You have to be careful because it is usually very tough, meaning that it is hard to start cutting but the knife will eventually start gliding through it with minimal effort.

I have no idea how this would affect the effectiveness of the method I am talking about. It seems like it’s an issue with this CAN wire.

We purchased the JST housings and contacts, crimp tool, and 24 AWG PTFE stranded hook-up wire. With these resources, we built our own harness. To each, their own!

Are you familiar with Romex? The Razor blade method by several others (esp. minimattct) above here is used for Romex and other sheathed wire. That’s where the hook blade works; carefully cut a lengthwise slit down the sheath and then pull it away from the core wires, then cut off the sheath. Now that I know more about the wire you all are describing I can say with certainty that we don’t have any.

Romex has paper between the inner wires and the jacket…almost as if it were designed to be stripped. I think it’s a whole different animal.

We use these ones,stripping-a-crimping_tools/wire-a-_cable_stripping_tools/dn-ws

which are pretty much identical to the ones I use at work but with a different blade

They have an adjustment for how deep to cut into the insulation and work for all the types of wire we use.

I had the same issue, I threw the wire away and got different wire because it was to much effort to strip.

It’s also straight and not twisted like this wire. Romex is really easy to strip.

The problem with this wire is that the Black insolation is molded over the twisted can wire and forms to the shape of the twisted wire. The only way I was able to get the wire to strip was to take a knife and cut around the wire where we wanted it stopped back to and then cut down the length of the wire from the where I cut the circle around an then peel the black insulation back popping the can wire out. This is difficult because often times you might knick the can wire inside.

I would just buy CAN wire from Cross The Road Electronics, it’s much easier.

Can confirm - the jacket in the linked CAN wire is really hard to strip without nicking the wire insulation. We’ve stopped using it for that reason, which is sad because it’s good tough wire.

Basically don’t use AM’s CAN wire? I’ll pass that on.

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