9 gauge vs. 11 gauge wire

9 gauge and 11 gauge baling wire have different diameters, tensile strengths, load strengths, and use cases. We’ll discuss why wire gauge is important, and dive into the details of how these two gauges differ.

Wire gauge vs. wire diameter

A wire’s gauge is inversely correlated to its diameter. Diameter decreases as gauge increases, and vice versa.

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, 11 gauge galvanized single loop bale ties 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.

Wire gauge comes 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 pass through a hole reduces the diameter by a specific increment, and subsequently adjusts the wire’s gauge. For example, a 9 gauge wire has been drawn through 9 progressively smaller holes. This process is repeated until the desired diameter is achieved.

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

Thickness and strength

If all factors are equal, a larger diameter wire will be stronger than a smaller diameter wire (e.g. a 9 gauge wire is stronger than an 11 gauge wire).

9 gauge vs. 11 gauge wire comparison

9 gauge wire

11 gauge wire


0.148 inches

0.117–0.120 inches

Tensile strength

100,000–220,000 psi depending on wire type

65,000–200,000 psi depending on wire type

Load strength

2,040–2,150 lbs

735–1,832 lbs

A9 gauge wire is 0.03 inches thickerthan a comparable 11 gauge wire. 9 gauge wire is used for baling denser and more expansive materials, due to its greater load and tensile strength.

Baling wire finishes

The annealing process improves our black annealed wire’s ductility, and the hot-dip galvanizing process adds a rust-resistant layer of zinc to our galvanized 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 baler wire is coated in zinc during galvanization, 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.

Baling Wire Direct proudly offers Class 3 galvanization on all galvanized wire products, which delivers significantly higher corrosion resistance than standard Class 1 galvanization. Some of the differences between the different classes of galvanization include:

  • 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 better suited for harsh environments.

Baling wire products we offer

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

Baling Wire FAQ

Didn't find your answer?

Our team is just an email away and ready to answer your questions