Fiber optic sensing technology is used extensively in several engineering fields, including smart structures, health and usage monitoring, non-destructive testing, minimum invasive sensing, safety monitoring, and other advanced measurement fields. A general optical fiber consists of a core, cladding, and coating layers. Many sensing principles require that the cladding or coating layer should be removed or modified. In addition, since different sensing systems are needed for different types of optical fibers, it is very important to find and sort out the suitable cladding or coating removal method for a particular fiber. This study focuses on finding the cladding and coating stripping methods for four recent specialty optical fibers, namely: hard polymer-clad fiber, graded-index plastic optical fiber, copper/carbon-coated optical fiber, and aluminum-coated optical fiber. Several methods, including novel laser stripping and conventional chemical and mechanical stripping, were tried to determine the most suitable and efficient technique. Microscopic investigation of the fiber surfaces was used to visually evaluate the mechanical reliability. Optical time domain reflectometric signals of the successful removal cases were investigated to further examine the optical reliability. Based on our results, we describe and summarize the successful and unsuccessful methods.