I recently added a new wire stripper to my collection of wire stripping pliers. This time around it is the automatic wire strippers from Klein tools – product number 11061.
Having used the Klein Katapult (11063) and realized it is just an elevated version of manual wire strippers, I decided to go fully automatic.
Unlike the Klein Katapult which you still have to select the correct stripping notch, the Klein 11061 stripping pliers adjust automatically to the wire size. As a result, this self-adjusting feature removes the guesswork from stripping wires and makes work a lot easier.
In case you are wondering, the Klein Tools 11061 adjustable stripper is not the only one of its kind. There are many competing brands and different styles but the Klein is the best in its category, IMO. And that’s why I bought it.
If you would like to see other worthwhile alternatives, check out this review of the best automatic wire stripping pliers.
Klein 11061 Automatic Wire Stripper FeaturesThis is a video review of Klein 11061 Self-adjustable stripping pliers by Pliersman.
Wire strippers come with many add-on features including built-in cutters and crimpers. But those are secondary.
A good wire stripper must first remove insulation from wires effectively before it can crimp or cut wires.
So what are the outstanding features of the Klein 11061 self-adjusting wire stripper?
Excellent gripping and stripping jaws
The Klein 11061 is a well-made wire stripper. It has a solid head with strong gripping and stripping jaws.
The gripping jaw has sharp serrations that bite into the insulation to keep the wire from skidding. The serrations on the top and bottom jaw face different directions to hold the wire tight.
The stripping side has a sharp edge both on the top and bottom jaw. This ensures a good cut into the insulation so that when you pull the insulation will come right off.
What I don’t like about this style of auto wire strippers is the fact that they don’t pinch the insulation all around. So, when you pull to remove the insulation, you end up with an irregular edge. This problem is more pronounced on bigger gauge wires. I did not like the end result.
When you want to strip only a specific length of wire, the Klein auto wire strippers adjustable stopper for that. It helps you to set and control the depth of the core strip.
The stopper is awesome if you are doing something like installing a car stereo or connecting automotive terminals. It allows you to easily strip off the same length on every wire.
What is so good about the stopper on the Klein is that it is metallic. It is not usual plastic that’s the first to break when the pliers fall to the ground.
The stopper moves freely and you can lock it down to any length between 0-0.4″. Just turn the locking knob clockwise.
But wait! I noticed a serious problem with the stopper on my Klein. Despite being made of solid metal, the stopper comes loose once the pliers experience some vibration from stripping a few wires.
This problem is more pronounced when you want to lock the stopper out of the way. I did that and the stopper kept swinging back in the way, especially when operating the pliers with the head facing down.
The loose stopper is a big letdown for such a good wire stripper!
Superb wire cutters
I have a soft spot for shear-style cutters because they cut clean and straight. And this is what the Klein Tools adjustable strippers come with.
To put the icing on the cake, the cutting edge is curved to make even smoother cuts on wires and cables.
I have used the cutters countless times to snip off wires and they do an excellent job every time.
Unfortunately, the blades are not heavy duty enough to cut very thick electrical wires. The manufacturer recommends cutting copper cables only.
I use mine to only cut wires that are not bigger than 10AWG. And by the way, they cut aluminum electrical wires just as well.
Comfortable multi-component handle grips
Though not the most comfortable, the grips on these pliers are solid and decent enough not to blister your hands. They have a plastic section and a rubber overmold on areas where you will be applying pressure with your hand.
Despite having solid grips, the action is not very smooth. You need some good hand strength to close the pliers in order to strip or cut the wire.
Unless you have giant hands, I don’t see how you can close the handles levers with one hand. The levers are quite far apart for an average hand to wrap around them nicely and comfortably.
What do I use the Klein 11061 Adjustable Wire strippers for?
As you probably know, most self-adjustable wire strippers are not everyday carry tool. Let’s get that right.
Most of them are hefty and therefore impractical to carry around all the time. They belong to the specialty tools bag.
Manual wire strippers are the ones that deserve a permanent place in the regular service bag. They are light and easy to carry around even in the belt pouch.
Klein auto wire strippers are not any different. They are hefty even though not very heavy. They only weigh 12 ounces but that’s a lot of weight put to carry every day when can get a lighter tool.
So, the few reasons I bought the Klein 11061 are:
1. To strip wire for automotive wiring
The number one reason why I purchased these cream-of-the-crop auto wire strippers is to strip automotive wire when installing car stereos or terminating them to terminal connectors.
The wire stripper removes insulation from wire nicely and uniformly especially when I use the depth stopper. It has also made the work lot easier because I can strip several wires at ago and I do not have to try different wire gauge slots.
Auto wire strippers are also awesome when the length of the core strip is of importance. As you know, automotive connectors require a specific length of core strip. You don’t want it too long or too short to make good electrical contact.
2. To strip flat cable
One job that self adjusting wire strippers do best is stripping flat cable. I like to use the Klein 11061 to remove the jacket on flat Romex cables and it does a great job.
It does not even damage the ground or wire inside provided the tension on the gripping jaws is set right. These pliers also do a decent job even in stripping wires inside the Romex cable jacket.
3. To strip multiple conductor cables
Lastly, I use the Klein adjustable wire strippers to strip cables with multiple conductors. The pliers remove sheaths without damaging the internal conductors. However, the tension knob must be set right.
What I don’t like about removing cable sheaths with these pliers is the irregular edge they leave behind.
Unlike strippers with round stripping slots, automatic wire strippers only pinch the insulation at two cinch points and pull it apart. As a result, this leaves a jagged edge on the insulation that is not appealing at all.
All in all, the Klein Tools 11061 automatic wire strippers are s worthwhile addition to my collection of wire stripping pliers. They make the work of wiring car stereos and panels a lot easier and neater. The tool is solid and I believe it will last a long time, hopefully like all my other Klein pliers.