What wire is best for my machine?

To select the best baling wire for a baling machine, consider the baling machine, materials being baled, and where bales will be stored and for how long. The correct wire selection will decrease baler maintenance costs, increase operational efficiency, keep expenses low, and ensure employee safety.

How do I choose the right wire?

To choose the right wire, you’ll want to follow these 3 steps:

  1. Read the baling machine manual.
  2. Determine the materials being baled.
  3. Consider storage conditions.

Read the manual

Carefully read the baling machine manual. Specific balers often have specific wire requirements.

Some balers may even have specific wire gauge ranges that need to be used. If your manual isn’t clear, contact the baling machine manufacturer.

Determine the materials

Different recyclables may require different types of wire. Denser bales usually require a smaller gauge, larger diameter wire.

  • Black annealed wire is the most common type of wire used to bale recycled materials. It has undergone an annealing process that improves its ductility. It is useful for baling expansive materials such as rubber, foam, and cardboard due to its high elongation value (ability to stretch).
  • High-tensile wire is commonly used to bale dense or expandable materials due to its increased tensile strength.

Consider storage conditions

The two primary storage considerations are time and location.

  • Bales that will be stored indoors can be baled with uncoated wire such as bright bale ties. This allows significant cost savings. Bales that will be stored outdoors or in wet conditions should be baled with galvanized wire. The galvanization process adds a zinc layer that protects the wire from rust and corrosion. Even galvanized wire will eventually rust if subjected to extreme conditions for prolonged periods. Consider a thicker Class 3 galvanized wire for harsh conditions.
  • Bales that will be stored short-term (less than a year) can be baled with uncoated or black annealed wire. Black annealed wire is also suitable for long-term storage if bales are stored indoors in dry environments.

Check out our article on the best baling wire for each purpose for a deeper look at what baling wire is used for.

How to choose wire gauge size

Wire gauge is important because it determines load and tensile strength. While your baling machine manual is still the best place to start to find the best wire gauge for your machine, here is a breakdown of common wire gauge sizes used for common recyclables by baler type.

Horizontal balers

  • Cardboard: 11–13 gauge
  • Newspaper: 12–13 gauge
  • Plastic shrink wrap: 11–12 gauge
  • Other plastics: 11–12 gauge
  • Foam: 11 gauge

Vertical balers

  • Cardboard: 12–14 gauge
  • Newspaper: 12–13 gauge
  • Plastic shrink wrap: 13–14 gauge
  • Other plastics: 12–13 gauge
  • Foam: 11 gauge

Automatic wire baler

  • Cardboard: 10–12 gauge
  • Newspaper: 10–12 gauge.
  • Plastic shrink wrap: 10–12 gauge
  • Other plastics: 10–12 gauge
  • Foam: 10–11 gauge

Baling wire products we offer

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

Baling Wire FAQ

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