If you have ever opened the back of your electric guitar up and looked at the wiring, you may have noticed that electric guitar wires are pretty small. Each one of these wires is wrapped in some type of coating. Vintage guitars' wiring was wrapped in a braded cloth material. Modern guitar wiring is wrapped in rubber. This coating shields and protects wire while ensuring that the inner copper wiring doesn't touch another wire. Since the inner copper wire is supposed to be soldered to components and other wires, the ends of the wire coating must be removed. That is why wire strippers were invented. The wire coating is extremely important and it is also extreme annoying to remove unless your have a proper pair of wire strippers.
Wire strippers are made specifically to remove the outer coating from wires. These take all the work out of removing wire coating. Wire strippers look like a set of cutters with holes in the blades. These holes are designed to fit certain gauges of wire. The hole is just big enough to cut through the wire coating while leaving the copper wire intact. To remove the outer coating all you have to do is take your piece of wire and line it up to the correct size hole on the wire strippers. Place it about a quarter inch in the wire strippers and clamp down. The wire strippers with cut through the outer coating. Now pull the coating right off. That's all there is to it. You may need to practice a few time before you get the hang of it, so leave yourself some extra wire to cut off when you repair your guitar.
Wire strippers are an essential guitar repair tool. There is no easy way to strip a wire with a knife or razor blade. You need to have a set of wire strippers. Guitar wire can be very fine. I have seen some pickup wires that only have a few strands of copper in them. It is very easy to break and cut off these tiny copper wires if you don't have the right tool. I recommend getting a small pair of wire strippers. It will save you a lot of headaches. If you would like more information about wiring electric guitars, please see my guitar electronics repair article.