10 gauge vs. 11 gauge wire

10 gauge and 11 gauge baling wire are slightly different in diameter and other characteristics. We’ll cover the importance of wire gauge and the ways these two gauges differ from one another. 

Wire gauge vs. wire diameter

A wire’s gauge is inversely related to its diameter, counterintuitive as that seems. The larger the gauge, the smaller the diameter, and vice versa. 

Wire gauge is a measurement that originated from the manufacturing process of drawing wires through a series of progressively smaller holes. The drawing process uses a draw plate, which is a tool with a series of conical or cylindrical holes that decrease in size.

As the wire passes through each hole, its diameter is reduced by a specific increment. This process is repeated until the desired diameter is achieved.

In North America, the American Wire Gauge (AWG) system is primarily used, while in the United Kingdom and some other countries, the British Standard Wire Gauge (SWG) system is most commonly used. 

Wire diameter refers to a given wire’s cross sectional thickness. It is typically expressed in millimeters or inches, and provides a direct measurement of the wire’s physical size.

The diameter of a given gauge of wire may vary depending on the material and manufacturing specifications. For example, a 12 gauge wire in the AWG system will have a specific diameter, but the diameter may differ between copper, steel, or aluminum wires due to variations in their physical properties.

Thickness and strength

If all factors are equal, a larger diameter wire is stronger than a thinner wire (e.g. a 10 gauge wire is stronger than a 14 gauge wire).

10 gauge wire

11 gauge wire


0.135 inches

0.117–0.120 inches

Tensile strength

65,000–220,000 psi depending on wire type

65,000–220,000 psi depending on wire type

Load strength

932–1,850 lbs

735–1485 lbs


Recycling: baling cardboard, HDPE plastic, aluminum, textiles.

Recycling: baling cardboard, plastic, aluminum, tissue paper.

Because 10 gauge wire is 0.0109 inches thicker, it has greater tensile strength and load strength than a comparable 11 gauge wire.

Baling wire finishes

Our annealing process makes our black annealed wire more ductile, and our hot-dip galvanizing process resists corrosion for our galvanized wire products.

Annealing involves heating the steel above its recrystallization temperature, maintaining that temperature, and then cooling it. This creates a uniform atomic structure, increases ductility and flexibility, and reduces brittleness to produce a smooth wire that is durable and easy to use.

Galvanized baling wire is coated with zinc during the galvanization process, which makes it more resistant to rust, even in wet and humid conditions. The zinc coating acts as a barrier between the steel wire and moisture in the environment, providing corrosion protection.

Here at Baling Wire Direct, we are proud to offer Class 3 galvanization on all available gauges, which delivers significantly higher corrosion resistance than standard Class 1 galvanization. Here are some of the differences between the two classes:

  • Class 1 galvanization. Our Class 1 galvanized steel wire offers a basic zinc coating that uses 0.28 ounces of zinc per square foot. Class 1 galvanized wire is more cost-effective, but will typically rust after anywhere from 2–11 years, depending on the environment. In coastal areas, Class 1 coating fails even sooner due to saltwater corrosion.

Class 3 galvanization. With 0.80 ounces of zinc per square foot, this premium galvanization is nearly 3 times thicker than Class 1. The robust coating is more resistant to corrosion, providing a lifespan of 13–30 years. Class 3 galvanization is the ideal choice for extreme environmental conditions.

Baling wire products we offer

Baling Wire Direct sells the following high-quality baling wire products.

Baling Wire FAQ

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