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January 2013

How To Straighten Copper Wire

When it comes to wiring, copper is probably one of the most malleable and dexterous that you can use. Whilst this makes the wire extremely easy to bend around studs in the wall when used for electrical circuits, it does make the metal difficult to straighten out. Fortunately, with the right tools, you can straighten your copper wire in just a few short minutes. 

Step 1: Put on a pair of thick work gloves, as the ends of the wire may be sharp and can cut through skin easily. You might also like to put on a pair of safety goggles in case of stray ends.

Step 2: Place a vice on a flat surface (they can often be attached to a work bench) and slide one end of the copper wire that you wish to straighten into the mouth, clamping it down tightly.

Step 3: Take a pair of nylon-jawed pliers and use them to firm grasp the copper wire (without crimping it). You need to make sure that the wire has been seated in the point of the ‘V’ shape that the pliers make when they’re open.

Step 4: Pull the wire towards you, applying slight pressure, until it is taut. Repeat this step until you are happy with the straightness of the copper wire, then move on to the next strand.

The straightening process outlined above will also help to harden the copper wire, which helps it to hold a straight shape when you’ve finished. This will help to prevent the wire from coiling or bending when it is stored. You should also keep in mind that you should never attempt to straighten a copper wire that has a live electrical current running through it.