How multi-function cable preparation tools improve safety for line workers

18th January, 2024

Line workers and electricians are exposed to a vast array of hazards – from working with high voltage electricity to the risk of falling from great heights, the possibility of an accident is just around the corner. In fact, according to Lineman Central, 2,400 out of every 100,000 linemen suffer serious injuries each year.

That’s why it’s paramount to use the best available tools to minimize risk and increase safety in the workplace. This is particularly important for jobs that require the use of blades, such as cable stripping.

Multi-function cable preparation tools are a good step towards enhanced safety. By minimizing the amount of tools – and hence the weight – line workers need to carry, they facilitate and speed up the job, without compromising on precision or efficiency. Crucially, less weight also means increased safety, as a lighter and less cumbersome kit will allow line workers to operate in a more agile way, especially in bad weather or unsteady footing conditions. 

An extra benefit is the cost factor of multi-purpose tools: by purchasing less equipment, it’s possible to save on upfront costs while still being able to tackle a wide variety of jobs. 

At Ripley, we understand one of the biggest challenges to all our customers is time management: after all, time is money. When repairs or new installations are urgently needed, it’s important to be able to quickly move from one job to the next – without making mistakes that could force a rework. In this sense, multi-purpose tools can help save valuable time that would otherwise be spent rummaging for the correct tool or part.

A revolution in cable end stripping
It’s no coincidence that multi-purpose tools for cable preparation are on the rise. However, the wide variety of cable materials and diameters means it’s often hard to rely on a multi-purpose tool to get the job done. It can also be difficult to gauge whether the selected tool will be compatible with the rest of a kit.

That’s why at Ripley, we have decided to go the extra mile and provide tools that truly allow our customers to drastically reduce the amount of equipment they need to carry. The latest addition to our versatile product portfolio has been developed by Ripley Labs, our Connecticut-based R&D department, which designs and manufactures the most innovative equipment to meet the growing challenges of the cabling industry.  

To provide cabling professionals with a safe and versatile tool to precisely end strip cables’ insulation, Ripley Labs has launched the VariStrip™ Series, an all-in-one kit that replaces 20 or more traditional bushings with just five variable bushings. 

Thanks to the patent-pending spring-loaded design, the five bushings in this kit can accommodate various cable diameters – from #1 to 400 MCM, with 500, 600 and 750 MCM variable bushings available individually or as part of a tailored kit. This ensures extremely precise end stripping while providing a kit that is five times lighter – and significantly smaller – than competitors’ counterparts.

Crucially, the VariStrip™ Series can be used on both aluminum and copper cables, and the tool body can be attached to any standard drill, ensuring full adaptability. With all our tools, safety is paramount which is why we have designed the tool to feature a quick-change collar for an easy and efficient substitution of bushings without having to remove safety gloves. Another great safety feature is the lack of exposed blades, which reduces the risk of cuts and lacerations. To help further, the bushings are color coded for easy size identification, allowing customers to save valuable time. 

The rise of multi-function cable preparation tools testifies to the importance of keeping a worker’s kit as lightweight and flexible as possible. By relying on high-quality, precise and adaptable tools, cable preparation professionals can significantly improve the safety of their teams, while allowing them to work faster and more efficiently. 

You can view all of Ripley Tools multi-purpose tooling portfolio here, or you can get in touch with our expert team for questions, requests and advice.  

Products mentioned in the article

US21 Kit

VariStrip™ Series End Strip Kits

Revolutionary bushings designed to end strip a range of wires with common conductor sizes

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