Jewelry Making Tips: Wire sizes, gauges and diameters

Still having trouble with wire sizes and gauges, and you’re confused which is which that you’re supposed to use for a particular piece of wire jewelry? Knowing the right wire gauge is just as essential as knowing how to use it and what is it good for.Craft Wire by Black Bear Haversack
 

Craft Wire by Black Bear Haversack

 

 

With wire work, if you work on the right gauge you should be able to handle and manipulate the wire with ease. If you’ve used the right gauge you’ll find that your handcrafted jewelry is sturdy enough to handle the weight of the beads, crystals or gems used and you don’t have to worry that the wire might break. As a result, you’ll be able to create a nice piece of wire jewelry.

 

For three years of making wire jewelry and learning through trials and errors, XQDesigns have learned what gauge of wire should be used for a particular type of wire jewelry. Here are some helpful tips on choosing the right size of wire and what is it good for making. Just take note, the bigger the millimeter or gauge size the smaller or thinner and pliable the wire is.

 

14ga (1.65mm) good for making:

clasps
thick jump rings
chain maille jewellery
neck rings
bangle bracelets
substantial formed links
eye pins for beads with very large holes

 

16ga (1.3mm) good for making:
clasps
thick jump rings
chain maille jewellery
neck rings
bangle bracelets
substantial formed links
eye pins for beads with large holes

 

18ga (1.0mm) good for making:
more delicate clasps
jump rings
formed links
eye pins, head pins
wire-wrapping
ear-wires (though 20 gauge is more common)
fits through most bead holes

 

20ga (0.8mm)good for making:
jump rings
delicate formed links
eye pins
head pins
wire-wrapped links
split-rings
earwires
fits through most bead holes

 

21 ga (0.75mm)good for making:

earwires

 

22ga (0.65mm)good for making:
wire-wrapping
wire-wrapped head-pins
wire-wrapped eye-pins
fits through almost all bead holes

 

24ga (0.5mm)good for making:
standard size for wire-wrapped bead links and head pins
wire-wrapping
fits through all but the smallest bead holes. Semi-precious gemstone beads and pearls often have smaller holes than other beads. This gauge fits through almost all of these.

 

26ga (0.4mm)good for making:
for wire crochet
wire-wrapped bead links and head pins
wire-wrapping
fits through all but the smallest bead holes. Semi-precious gemstone beads and pearls often have smaller holes than other beads. This gauge should fit through all of these

 

28ga (0.32mm)good for making:
for wire crochet
wire-wrapping
wire-weaving

 

Now that you have this table of wire sizes, gauges and millimeters, you’ll be able to make the perfect wire jewelry you intend to sell, give as gifts or simply making one for yourself.Let’s apply these tips on wire sizes and create a nice piece of fancy ear wires with Favecrfts video tutorial
 

 

Ciao!

 

 

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Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Jane Chew

Jane is the Chief Editor of Handmade Jewelry Club. She also founded DIY Jewelry Making Magazine @ www.diyjewelrymaking.com .For More Info, Visit my Google + Profile

    3 Comments On “Jewelry Making Tips: Wire sizes, gauges and diameters”

    1. Pingback: Learn jewelry making and beadingHandmade-Jewelry-Club

    2. I make lot’s of beads. I had a stroke so am needing a place to send my jewelry stuff to me, because l can’t shop like l used too. And l need some nice wire, my husband has bought some from Walmart but it isn’t fairy good and not much to pick from. So l need some from you. Thanks

      Reply

    3. I buy lots of wire from paramount wire in New Jersey. They ship fast. I always get it within the week. They have a large selection. If you want fine or Sterling silver wire I usually order from Rio Grande. They’re in California but they have everything a jewelry maker could want.

      Reply

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