13 gauge vs. 14 gauge wire

13 gauge and 14 gauge baling wire differ in thickness, tensile strength, and load strength. We’ll talk about the importance of wire gauge and the differences between 13 and 14 gauge wire.

Wire gauge vs. wire diameter

Wire gauge is inversely correlated to wire diameter. 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. A 14 gauge galvanized wire 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 derives from the 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.

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.

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

Thickness and strength

If all things are equal, a thicker wire is stronger than a thinner wire (e.g. a 13 gauge wire is stronger than a 14 gauge wire).

13 gauge wire

14 gauge wire


0.088–0.090 inches

0.077–0.079 inches

Tensile strength

80,000–180,000 psi depending on wire type

70,000–110,000 psi depending on wire type

Load strength

509–604 lbs

402–478 lbs


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

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

A 13 gauge wire is 0.011 inches thicker than a 14 gauge wire, and it has greater tensile strength and load strength. 14 gauge wire is used to bale lighter, less dense materials.

Baling wire finishes

The hot-dip galvanizing process applies a protective zinc coating to our galvanized wire products, and the annealing process increases the ductility of our black annealed wire.

Galvanized baling wire is more resistant to corrosion than non-galvanized wire, 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.

Baling Wire Direct offers Class 3 galvanization on all available gauges, delivering higher corrosion resistance than standard Class 1 galvanization. Here are some of the distinctions between the different galvanization 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 superior choice for extreme environmental conditions.

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

Baling wire products we offer

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

Baling Wire FAQ

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