Wire Gauge Chart and Sizes

Wire Gauge Chart to Choose the Appropriate Jewelry Making Wire for all Your Beading Projects!

This wire gauge chart lists the most common gauges of jewelry making wire, tigertail and beading wire used for all your wire and bead jewelry.

When you take a look at some of the many styles wire jewelry has, and is continually encompassing one is presently surprised as to the many beautiful and creative pieces able to be produced.

In saying this it is very important to start on the right foot by choosing the correct gauge for that special piece, so check out the helpful conversion chart below.

When first starting out you will need to practice the many different wire techniques so choose the less expensive, but always stick to the correct gauge the pattern requires or the results could be quite different.

Some Helpful Information :-

  • Use the largest diameter wire that will go through the smallest hole in your beading design.
  • Gauge is a measure of the wire’s diameter or thickness.
  • The higher the gauge number the thinner the wire. For example 14g is much thicker than 24g.

  • Any wire will harden as you work with it. It is easier to harden than it is to soften.
  • The gauge you choose affects the type of wrapping technique you can use, which in tern affects the overall design.
  • To determine what type to purchase always consider what has been recommended for your beaded jewelry project.

Wire comes in three different forms of hardness which describes it's temper or malleability:-

  • Dead Soft
  • This is the softest and can be bent with your fingers, has no spring in it and is most often used in wire jewelry.
  • Half Hard
  • This is slightly stiffer so it holds its shape well and is about middle of the range hardness. It has some spring in it but malleable. This can be made harder than dead soft by being pulled through a draw-plate.
  • Full Hard
  • Hard is slightly stiffer so will hold its shape well. Full Hard is pulled through a draw-plate more times than half–hard wire is so becomes harder than half-hard. This process stretches the wire and shrink it’s gauge.

Wire Gauge Chart

wire gauge chart
Wire Gauge Chart

Any wire will harden as you work with it, but for more rigidity you can hammer it on a steel block or anvil. Hammering can be done before or after shaping it but this will flatten the shape.

If you want to harden a soft wire and shrink its gauge yet not change the shape then simply draw it through the jaws of your nylon jaw pliers a few times. Which ever process you choose you should feel it heat up and become stiffer and give the desired result. Refer to the wire gauge chart for suggested application of all sizes.

Hardened wires hold their shape better and are overall stronger but care must be taken as they can break if you overwork them.

Wire Gauge Chart

wire gauge chart
Wire Guage Chart Round

wire gauge chart
Wire Gauge Chart Square

The diameter of the wire you buy depends on its country of origin. The two units of measurement in use are the AWG (American Wire Gauge) system, and the SWG (Standard Wire Gauge) system. Use the size in your design that is closest to the recommended size.

There are no exact conversions for wire gauge sizes, so for your jewelry making components that are exposed to stress than I suggest you choose the slightly larger diameter. For all your finer work a slightly finer one would suffice. This wire gauge chart is a great tool to assist you with your choice for all your wire and bead jewelry.

Wire Gauge Chart

Thickness and Usage
  • Very thick and heavy. Often requires heavy duty tools to shape wire hard to work with.
  • Only available as dead-soft.

  • Use for neck wires, bangle bracelets.
  • Unsupported shapes. Rings and Buckles.
  • Lampshade forms and styles requiring a solid framework.
  • Very thick and heavy. Often requires heavy-duty tools to shape it.
  • Only available as dead-soft.

  • Unsupported shapes.
  • Often used as a base to wrap other wire around.
  • Neck wires and bracelet bases.
  • Clasps.
  • Thick jump rings and chain maille jewelry.
  • Very thick and heavy. Often requires heavy-duty tools to shape it.
  • Dead-soft.

  • Eye pins for beads with large holes.
  • Unsupported shapes.
  • Clasps.
  • Thick jump rings and chain maille jewelry.
  • Styles requiring a solid framework.
  • Lampshade forms.
  • Medium thick, can hand shape. Also requires tools (regular) to assist.

  • Wire wrap large heavier beads with large holes.
  • For making more delicate clasps.
  • Large jump rings and chain maille.
  • Candle sticks, wine bottles.
  • Medium. Use regular tools.
  • Easy to bend so you can use either half-hard or dead-soft.

  • Good general purpose wire for loops, jump rings, delicate formed links and other findings.
  • Custom earring findings.
  • Make head pins, eye pins, ear wires.
  • Wrapping. Wig Jig work.
  • Fashion wire clasps.
  • Fits through most bead holes.
  • Medium. Use regular tools.

  • This is an odd size but is specifically used for ear wires. Custom earring findings
  • Medium – Thin. Use regular tools.
  • If 20g is too thick than this gauge is ideal.
  • Easy to bend so you can use either half-hard or dead-soft.

  • Good for wrapping with Austrian crystals, semi-precious gems.
  • Often preferred for ear wires.
  • Loops jump rings.
  • Head pins, eye pins and other findings.
  • Chain making, formed links.
  • Thin. Easy to work with. Use regular tools.

  • Use for wrapping of smaller crystals, pearls, semi-precious gems as these often have smaller holes.
  • Wire wrap Gem tree and links.
  • Viking knitting.
  • Very Thin. Fine tip tools, including nylon jaw pliers.

  • Wire wrap for hair combs, tiaras.
  • Coiling over 20-22g wire.
  • Free form work. Small and delicate work.
  • Wire crochet.
  • Wire-wrapped bead links.
  • Very very thin. Fine tip tools, including nylon jaw pliers.

  • Perfect for weaving. Beaded flowers.
  • Free form wrapping using small beads.
  • Use for some types of crocheting, weaving, knitting.
  • Twining and other delicate applications.
  • Viking knitting.
  • Very very thin. Fine tip tools, including nylon jaw pliers.

  • Perfect for weaving.
  • Free form wrapping using small beads.
  • Some pearls and gemstones with tiny holes.
  • Use for some types of wire crocheting, weaving, knitting.
  • Viking knitting.
32 to 34
0.20 mm to 0.10mm
  • Very very thin. Fine tip tools, including nylon jaw pliers.

  • More suited for crocheting and knitting.
  • Can be included in combinations with other wires of more structure.

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