I need to some work with 1/0 Al SER cable but haven't dealt with
anything so large before. I assume careful use of a utility knife
will be adequate for removing the exterior sheathing. For cutting
conductors I usually use Klein Tools 1412, but it says "Cut Copper
Only" and seems a little small. What is recommended? And how about
stripping the 1/0?
I've not worked with cable quite that big, but you can use a hacksaw
with a very fine-toothed blade to cut large conductors. That Klein tool
will work just fine on soft aluminum, but it's not big enough for this.
(they don't want you cutting steel wire, or aluminum wire with a steel
messenger wire in it)
Just carefully strip the wires with the utility knife, being careful not
to nick the strands. Practice on a scrap before you attack the real
If you mean Triplex, you DO NOT want to cut the rigid steel (center
conductor) on the bare conductor with any sort of wire cutter. I
destroyed an expensive wire cutter the first time I tried to cut that
stuff. Hacksaw blades dont hold up either. The teeth are gone in
seconds. A bolt cutter is said to work, but it took a chunk out of the
cutting edge on mine too. Although it was not a top of the line
quality tool. So far, grinding it with an angle grinder or any other
grinder seems to be the only way to do it without wrecking tools or
fighting with it. I dont know what kind of steel they use on those
center conductors, but its extremely hard, and must be some sort of
stainless stell too, because they dont rust or corrode, especially
since they are encased in aluminum wire.
Triplex is two insulated conductors wrapped around a bare neutral
conductor. The bare neutral conductor is Aluminum Clad Steel reinforced
wire so that it can serve as the messenger to support the other two.
Type SE. Service-entrance cable having a flame-retardant,
moisture-resistant covering. SE R is only Type SE which is cabled to
have a round cross section. It is extremely rare to find individual
type SE conductors assembled as Triplex.
To cut these larger cable assemblies most electricians will use a
Utility Cable Cutter, such as a Klein 63035, or a Ratcheting Cable
Cutter such, as a Klein 63060 both are short enough to carry in a tool
bag and yet provide enough leverage to still do the job. Type USE and SE
can be readily cut with a hack saw.
Stripping the conductors can be done with a utility knife but it is
easier and safer to use a Curved sheepfoot slitting blade such as the
Klein 1550-24 Electricians Knife.
"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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