Measuring Wire Gauge


Some of my wire has gotten seperated from the bags they were in
which were labelled with the gauge of the wire. How can I figure out
what gauge each wire is? Any help would be appreciated.

Kathryn K.

You could get a wire gauge, measure the size of your wire with the
gauge and just read off the size. Or you could use a micrometer to
measure the wire and convert that measurement into the gauge size.


Hi Gang,

Just came across the following site which lists the inch & metric
size for the various wire gauges.

It’s got other info that probably won’t interest jewelers, but that
can be overlooked.


Buy a wire gauge. All jewelry tool suppliers make them.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

You could use a Caliper and a gauge chart to measure & identify.
There are sites on the web that will give you the gauge chart or buy
a wire gauge.

A round wire gauge for non ferrous metal can be purchased at any
Supply house. The gauge has several slots and you have to pass the
wire in these slots like a go nogo gauge. The gauge # and dia are

If you need to buy the gauge or any further info you can contact me.

Kenneth Singh
46 Jewelry Supply

Hi Kathryn:

The device you are looking for is called a B&S wire gauge. They’re
sold in lots of places, but here is a link to a picture of one so you
know what to look for Click on
#29 Scales and gauges for the picture. Good luck and I hope this

Kim Starbard
Cove Beads

Some of my wire has gotten seperated from the bags they were in
which were labelled with the gauge of the wire. How can I figure
out what gauge each wire is? Any help would be appreciated. 

Basically, two choices. The easiest is to go to a tool shop and get
a wire and sheet gauge tool (I think I found mine in the same rack
with the calipers and other precision measuring tools at Lowes
several years ago). The other way is to use your micometer, and
measure the pieces. Every Brown and Sharp guage has a metric and
decimal equivalent (the table’s in the back of books like Complete

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL
@Ron_Charlotte1 OR


There are a variety of measuring tools available from a wide variety
of suppliers that many of us use, i.e., Rio Grande, Otto Frei, etc.
Just check out their tool catalog and look under guages, micrometers,
etc. You need to buy one and then you will always be able to measure
wire and other items too.


Joel Schwalb

Hi Kathryn,

There are 2 ways I know of to determine the gauge of wire or sheet…

One is to use a tool called a ‘wire gauge’. It’s apiece of round
metal, about 3 3/8" in diameter & 3 /32" thick. There are slots cut
in it’s circumference that are the width of wire gauges from 0 gauge
thru 36 gauge. The diameter in inches is also stamped in the tool.
The tool is called: American Standard Wire Gage for non Ferrous
Metals. These tools usually cost between $15 & $20 depending on where
they’re purchased. They’ll last a lifetime.

The second way is to use a micrometer of electronic caliper to
measure the diameter of each wire & refer to a table of wire sizes
listed in books such as the ‘Complete Metalsmith’ & many other books
on metalsmithing.


You could use a Caliper and a gauge chart to measure & identify.... 

Now this is what I always do, but one thing I have noticed is that
the wire is never the dimension listed in the published charts. I
always am guessing what gauge they mean it to be… and I buy it from
a commercial supplier, so you’d expect it to be spot-on. I wonder if
my calipers are off? They’re a decent digital brand (mitotoyu (sp?))
but… Has anyone ever calibrated their calipers?



if you have any of the major catalogs you will find most of them
have a conversion chart located somewhere between the first and last


Invest in a wire gauge – as someone else observed, it’ll last a
lifetime. Just make sure it’s a gauge for non-ferrous metals. The
gauges for ferrous metals look very similar, but the gauges are not
quite the same.

Judy Bjorkman

With digital calipers, clean the jaws with a cloth/paper towel, push
the jaws shut and zero them. With them still closed hold them up at a
light and see if you can see a thin gap, if you can, they either still
have a little dirt, a burr (in the sense of a ding) or are "sprung"
from over-zealously applying pressure. If a burr, stone it down, if
they are sprung you are pretty much out of luck unless you want to
lap the faces parallel (difficult) although if they were expensive
you can send them out for repair.

To determine whether they are measuring accurately you need a
standard, micrometers usually come with them but calipers don’t - a
good reason to find a machinist friend and use his (or a gage block,
or known diameter dowel pin, etc)

Another thing to remember is that if you use too much force you may
be deforming the wire as you measure it - you want a light touch with