Copper wire stripping explanation, cons and pros



Go to prices below Copper wire is a common name for all types of Cu cable. So copper wire recycling price depends on the kind of copper scrap. You can find it the table below. Feel free to call us if you want to sell your metal but cannot determine the type of your waste. Require a scrap metal pick up service or fill in the form on the contact page.

Copper wire stripping process could be very time consuming all depending on the type of equipment you are using. Most recycling yards have professional machines that are designed to strip large quantity of wires in the shortest period of time. Unfortunately, majority of people are not equipped with this kind of machinery and resort to use knives or any other type of sharp object to get the insulation off the copper, this process could be very timely but most important dangerous. Well you decide what works for you better after this quick mathematical break down.

Calculation for 12-gauge

12-gauge wire has 75% copper recovery, so after you are done stripping your wire you end up with 75 lbs. of copper and 25% of plastic garbage that you need to figure out how to dispose of. Here is the money break down (we are going to use today’s market prices for the following calculation). For 12-gauge wire average price is a $1.30 per lb. the way it is with insulation, that would translate in to $130.00 for your 100lbs of 12-gauge wire, without stripping it. If you were to strip it, your 75lbs of copper would bring you $1.90 per pound $142.50 the difference between stripping and selling it the way it was would be $12.50. So you will net $12.50 from stripping 100lbs of 12-gauge wire, at this point it’s your decision if you should do it or not.

Calculation for 250mcm-750mcm

250mcm-750mcm wire has 90% copper recovery, so let’s use same 100 lbs. if you were to sell it the way it is in today’s market you would get average $1.50 per pound so it would get you $150.00 without doing a thing to it, just bring it to a recycling yard and sell it. If you chose to strip it, you will end up with 90 pounds of copper don’t forget 10 pounds in plastic waste and in today’s market you will get $1.90 per pound for stripped copper wire so your 90 pounds will net you $171.00 difference of $21.00 between stripping it or selling the way it is, just want to mention one thing stripping larger gauge wire is much faster and easier then stripping smaller gauge but just as dangerous. Watch your fingers and good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Copper Wire Types and Current Pricing

#1 Bare Bright Copper Wire #1 Bare Bright Copper Wire
Copper wire that is not corroded or burned and must be shiny in its appearance. No contamination in any form. Must be thicker than a pencil lead. (10 Ga.)
#1 Insulated Wire #1 Insulated Wire
Insulated Copper wire that is 16 gage or thicker (1/16 inch). If wire is stranded, each wire must be 1/16” or thicker. Must have a copper recovery of 70% or more.
#2 Insulated Wire #2 Insulated Wire
Insulated Copper wire smaller than 16 gage (1/16 inch) and has a copper recovery of 55% - 69%. The copper wire may be coated by tin or nickel. All stranded wire smaller than 1/16”.
Communication Wire Communication Wire
It is used in various electronic systems, such as telephone and mobile networks, cable television, etc.
Romex Wire Romex Wire
Most of these cables are made of copper, and this makes them ideal for scrapping, as copper products are bought at good rates.
Insulated Copper Cable Insulated Copper Cable
These are used for power transmission and can be obtained from dismantled electrical lines and hubs, ignition systems, industrial machinery, etc.


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