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Electrical wires can be covered with copper, rubber, plastic, or any heat-resistant insulation. All are easy to strip, so you can make connections. Striping a wire will allow you to repair a cord, connect the wire to another, or connect the wire to an outlet or appliance socket.
To repair the wire, make sure it is away from any power source. If is connected to a cord, or appliance, make sure it is unplugged. If you are working with wire in an outlet, make sure the fuse to those outlets are turned off. Go to the circuit box, and flip the fuse. You do not want to get shocked!
Once that is done, you are ready. Make sure you have a knife, or wire stripper, and a board. While a knife will work, wire stripper is specifically designed for this job. The knife fits directly around the insulation, and will not cut through the wire. However, it will work with either tool. Once you have one of them and the board, you can start. Just follow these steps depending on which tool you choose to use.
1. Strip wire using a knife
Press the wire against the board. Stabilize it with one hand. With the other take the knife and scrape the insulation off. Make sure you do not hit the wire. Once you have a piece of the insulation off, take the wire in both hands and peel the insulation away from the wire. Make sure no strands remain on the insulation. When you get is about an inch away from the end of the wire, take the knife and slice off any loose insulation. Make sure you cut it cleanly, so there are no strands. Do the same thing with the other wire. There are usually two together.
Then, take the ends of the wire and twist them clockwise. This will ensure the strands of each wire are together for a better connection. Now you can twist each wire to whatever you want to connect.
2. Strip wire using a wire stripper
This is what the wire stripper was designed for. So the work is easier. Just hold the wire stripper in one hand, and feed the wire into the hole of the correct gauge. It has several holes depending on the size of the wire. Then, close down on the wire stripper. When you squeeze the handle, the wire strippers will cut through the insulation. Rotate the tool to get an even cut all around the wire, and push the to the end of the wire. The insulation should fall off, away from the wire. Twist the ends to ensure the strands of the wire will connect, and you are set.