Module four: Specialist Electrician's Tools
Smaller diameter cables, such as twin and earth cables, and wires can be prepared using the tools discussed in the Pliers and Cutters section of the core electricians tools module.
SWA (Steel Wire Armoured) cable, pictured on the right, is very hard wearing and resistant to damage and so it is used to supply mains power to external devices such as lights and electric gates. It is also used as an underground network cable, for example it can be used to run power to sheds and garages.
It is made up of conductors, bedding/filler, wire armour strands and a protective outer sheathing and is available in a wide range of diameters to suit different applications, although the most common sizes are from 12 - 36 mm.
SWA cables are typically terminated into a connection box (see image on the left) by using a gland, which is a brass connector that securely fastens the cable to the connection box.
The traditional method of preparing SWA cable is to score the the outside cable armour with a hacksaw and strip away the outer sheathing with a trimming knife or cable stripper before being able to snap off small groups of the wire armour strands.
Video of SWA being Prepared.
As you can see, this method takes some time and skill to get 100% right. For this reason C.K tools have developed the Armourslice, The Armourslice has been designed to cut through the outer sheathing of SWA cables (from 12 - 36 mm in diameter) and accurately score the wire armour strands to a uniform depth, allowing them to be broken cleanly off without damaging the inner connections.
The auto-feed clamp means that there is no need for adjustment during the cut meaning that the Armourslice is easy to use and allows the cable to be prepared up to 50% faster compared to the traditional hacksaw and knife method.
Watch the video below to see how easy it is to prepare SWA cable using the Armourslice.