Wire gauge is a reference tool that’s often used by craftspeople. The gauge is used to determine the diameter of a wire that will be used for a specific role. It’s important to know the type of wire and the sizes beforehand so that you can have a better shot at getting the right designs.

A wire gauge is one of the easiest ways of determining how thick a wire is, especially for construction or artwork. You cannot take chances with measurements like these, or you will end up with the wrong designs.

When using a wire gauge, it’s easier to know the correct size of the wire you have, especially if it’s an unknown wire. This is useful for you since you will be able to complete the project by matching the type of wire to the one that perhaps you have used previously, and help you identify the type of wire that the unknown one is. This way, you won’t end up using the wrong wire for a task that it’s not supposed to handle.

One of the important roles that wire gauges perform is that they help you eliminate the need for guesswork, especially when you’re taking measurements. You will find gauges with imperial and metric inscriptions, which are either found on the reverse or on the same side of the gauge.

Size of wire for jewelry making

It’s advisable that you determine the right size of wire for jewelry making, art, or whichever craft purposes. In this regard, you have to choose the right wire for the task that you’re performing.

The following are some of the options available to you:

  • Small Wire

This wire is useful when working on an intricate design, especially for adding fine finishing details. This is usually 28 gauge.

  • Medium Wire

This wire is ideal for making small wire clasps, which are used to join together different beads. It’s usually 20 gauge.

  • Large Wire

The large wire is best used in making base layers or structure layers when you’re creating project models. This should be 16 gauge.

How to Measure Gauge

Step 1

First, remove the insulation from wires if available, before you measure their diameter. Use a wire cutter to clip one end of the wire, and then bite half an inch into the insulation from either end.

Step 2

Use a gauge to measure the wire for nonferrous wiring. Remember that nonferrous metals have no iron in them. Insert the wire in the circle slots near the diameter. Use the gauge carefully because the tools used for nonferrous wires use a different scale compared to those that are used for ferrous wires.

Step 3

Take the measurements for the wire using the Standard Wire Gauge (SWG) or whichever measuring standard that’s applicable to you.Insert the bare wires into the holes. Make sure you use a gauge that suits the wire you’re using, without leaving any spaces around the wire.

Step 4

Get the measurements for the diameter of the wires. Be very careful and use scientific Vernier calipers on either of the sides to check for the accurate measurement.