Work with enamel wire

Or how do I remove the enamel from a enamal wire which you use for winding coils.

Some people say that you can burning it off with :

  1. a blob of tin on your soldering iron tip.
  2. or a gas lighter
  3. or a blowtorch 
  4. or chemical solvent 
  5. or use a X-Acto knife or scalpel knife

And for most modern enamel coated wires all of the above work. But when you work with thicker coated wire (especially for QRO transformers) or want to do it precise only option 4 and 5 really work. Option 4 is nice, but when your shack is indoors it isn't advised.

So long ago I choice option 5 but I don't use only the knife.

For that I use :

  • a small stainless steel plate (other harder metals can also be used like brass or normal sheet metal)
  • a small C clamp (a set of 3 for less the 2 Euro at Action).
  • a small hobby knife (a complete set for less the 2 Euro at Action).


Lets get started. Place the plate on the edge of you worktable and let it stick out a few 3.5 cm / 1.5 inch and use the C clamp to fixate it. 


Just push down the enamel coated wired on the plate, scrape the enamel from the wire by adding a slight downward force and move the knife away from you finger. Rotate the wire (depending on the thickness) and repeat.


Use tin and you soldering iron to tin the now enamel free wire.


Wind you coil and used the tinned wire end as the starting point. When you have the number of turns, place the coil on the point of the plate and use the hobby knife to scrape the enamel off the wire just like you did before. You can precisely remove the enamel very close to the toriod. 


Use tin and you soldering iron to tin the now enamel free wire.


Now you can solder the coil to the PCB and can almoste be certain that you don't have a non conductive connection.


That's it. It worked for me every time.