11 gauge vs. 14 gauge wire

11 gauge and 14 gauge baling wire have different thicknesses, load strengths, and tensile strengths. We’ll take a look at why wire gauge matters and the differences between 11 and 14 gauge wire.

Wire diameter vs. wire gauge

Wire diameter is inversely correlated to wire gauge. The larger the diameter, the smaller the gauge, and vice versa.

Wire diameter refers to a given wire’s cross-sectional thickness. It is typically expressed in millimeters or inches, and it 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. 14 gauge black annealed single loop bale ties in the AWG system, for example, will have a specific diameter, but the diameter may differ between copper, steel, or aluminum wires due to variations in their physical properties.

Wire gauge originates from the baling wire manufacturing process, which involves drawing the wire through 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.

Each hole represents a gauge, so a 10 gauge wire has been drawn through 10 progressively smaller holes. This process is repeated until the desired diameter is achieved.

The primary gauge system in North America is the American Wire Gauge (AWG) system, while the United Kingdom and some other countries more commonly use the British Standard Wire Gauge (SWG) system.

Thickness and strength

If all factors are equal, a thicker wire will be stronger than a thinner one (e.g. an 11 gauge wire is stronger than a 14 gauge wire).

11 gauge wire

14 gauge wire


0.117–0.120 inches

0.077–0.079 inches

Tensile strength

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

60,000–95,000 psi depending on wire type

Load strength

932–1,850 lbs

402–478 lbs

Because an 11 gauge wire is 0.04 inches thicker than a 14 gauge wire, it has greater tensile strength and load strength. 11 gauge wire is used for baling heavier, more dense materials, as it has a higher load strength.

Read more about tensile strength in baling wire applications.

Baling wire finishes

Annealing improves the ductility and flexibility of our black annealed wire, and hot-dip galvanization coats our galvanized wire products in a protective zinc layer.

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 elongation, and reduces hardness to produce a smooth wire that is durable and easy to work with.

Galvanized baling wire's zinc coating improves the wire’s resistance to corrosion and 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.

At Baling Wire Direct, we offer Class 3 galvanization on all available gauges, delivering significantly higher corrosion resistance than standard Class 1 galvanization. Here are some of the distinctions between Class 1 and Class 3 galvanization:

  • 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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