Don’t get it twisted, Klein Tools makes some of the best wire stripping pliers. But even so, most people have difficulty choosing between the Klein 11061 vs 11063w automatic wire strippers. In this article, I help you tell apart the two magnificent auto wire strippers from Klein Tools so that you can select the model that best fits your needs.
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Both 11061 and 11063 Klein strippers are branded as automatic wire stripping pliers. They are also the cream of the crop wire strippers. But do you know they are fundamentally different? Here’s why.
Klein 11063 Katapult wire stripper
The Klein 11063, also known as Klein katapult, isn’t fully automatic even though it is marketed as so. You still have to select the correct stripping slot for your wire just like you do with manual wire strippers.
But the good thing is that you don’t pull the wire manually with one hand when stripping off the insulation. The gripping mechanism on the jaw does it for you.
Once you place the insulated wire through the stripping slot and squeeze the handles, the gripper side will grip the wire tightly and pull it away while the slotted blades cut into the insulation. As a result, the insulation comes off easily leaving a nice clean core strip.
The good thing about the Klein 11063w stripper tool is that it makes a clean and straight cut into the insulation. It does not leave a jagged edge. But you have to select the correct stripping slot to avoid severing the conductor core. Also, it is not possible to strip more than one wire at a time with the Klein katapult.
Klein 11061 self-adjusting wire stripper
The Klein 11061 is quite the opposite of the 11063 klein. It pinches and tears away the insulation instead of cutting it all around. This leaves behind an irregular edge that is noticeable when stripping thick cables.
Another major difference is that Klein 11061 is fully automatic while 11063w is not. So, you do not have to worry about choosing the right stripping slot.
Once you place the insulated wire between the jaws and squeeze the handles, the jaw mechanism adjusts itself to the wire size to strip it back. It applies just enough pressure to remove the insulation and leave the core intact.
It is not easy to damage the wire core with this adjustable wire stripper. Unless the gripper is too tight. That is the only time you would cut off a few strands or score the solid core. But there is an easy way around it.
Just make sure there is good tension on the gripper side of the jaw by adjusting the tension screw. I shared this video to show how to operate and adjust the Klein 11061 self-adjusting wire stripper pliers. Check it out.
Another great feature of the Klein 11061 adjustable stripper is the stopper. It enables you to set the length of insulation you want to strip back.
This feature is great when you want to remove the same length of insulation repeatedly. You will find it very useful if you work on panels and breakers that need you to strip back wires to a certain uniform length.
It is important to note that Klein 11061 has a straight stripping blade compared to the circular stripping slots on the katapult. While it might not be the best for stripping circular wires, it is a blessing in disguise for flat cables.
The straight blade provides better contact with flat cables and makes klein 11061 the best choice when you want to strip the cable jacket from flat multi-conductor cables.
And how do you avoid destroying the conductors inside a multi-conductor cable? Well, that’s easy. The self adjusting mechanism adjusts just enough to prevent any damage to the internal conductors. But if you notice any damage, you could back off the tension knob and you will be good to go.
In contrast, the round stripping slots on Klein 11063w work best for removing insulation from round single conductors. The round slots provide more contact on round insulation material and this results in a nice clean cut.
Which is better? Klein 11061 or 11063w
Definitely, the klien katapult 11063 is head and shoulders above regular wire strippers. It is hands down the best upgrade to any manual wire stripper because it allows you to strip wires faster with one hand.
But when you do a Klein 11063w Vs 11061 comparison, the latter carries the day, IMO. One of the reasons I think the 11061 self-adjusting stripper is better than the katapult is the fact that you can use it to strip back multiple wires at a time. This alone brings speed to stripping wires and cables.
Another reason is that you can use the Klein self-adjusting stripper to strip both round and flat cables. The katapult only works with round cables of up to 10 AWG. This can be a limitation, especially for electricians who encounter several types of cables including flat Romex and duplex cables in their work.
That being said, the katapult has its advantages over the 11061 strippers. The most important one is that these pliers allow you to make precise strip back steps on a wire.
For instance, if you had stripped back only 3/8″ but the manufacturer recommends 5/8″, you can strip the additional 2/8″ insulation precisely with the katapult.
Another advantage is that the head design of Klein 11063w provides great visibility to the wire. The slotted knives also allow you to cut into the insulation at a specific point. Remember you can replace the stripping knives when they become blunt, which is another plus.
The Klein katapult is the best option when dealing with round wires, especially when you need precision. And as I said, it is also the best replacement for a manual wire stripper because you can operate it with one hand.
But when you need speed in stripping wires, the best stripper is one that can strip off multiple wires simultaneously. And this is where the Klein 11061 shines.
You can put many wires between the jaws and strip them back to the same length in just one squeeze on the handles. The Klein 11061 is also the best option for removing cable jackets from flat cables.
There you have it! If you were wondering what to choose between Klein 11061 vs 11063w, now you know what works best where.
My suggestion is that you get both of these Klein wire strippers because they will be handy in different situations. But if you have to choose one, start with 11061 self-adjusting strippers if you already have manual strippers. Otherwise, start with 11063W.
Here is one of the places you can find them online.
If you would like to explore more varieties of automatic wire strippers, check out this article. I have also reviewed some of the best manual wire strippers on the market in this article.