Welder cable size refers to the cable's cross-sectional area, which is measured by numbers known as "gauges." Cross-sectional areas of wires are measured in either circular mils (cmil) or square mm. A mil is a length of 1/1000 of an inch, and a circular mil is the area of a circle that is 1 mil in diameter.
AWG ratings for welding cable size will have three numbers that give the rating for the cable overall, the number of strands, and the rating for the strands themselves. Thus, a welding cable size of 2 AWG 625/30 has a total cross-sectional area of 2 AWG made from 625 strands rated at 30 AWG. Similarly, a welding cable size of 18 AWG 7/26 has a total cross-sectional area rating of 18 AWG with 7 strands rated at 26 AWG.
American Wire Gauge (AWG) reference table
|AWG||Diameter (Inch)||Diameter (MM)||Circular Mil|
PLEASE NOTE: AWG ratings for stranded wire, like welding cable sizes, refers to the total cross-sectional area and not the diameter. In stranded wire, cross-sectional area and cable length determine how much space there is for electricity to travel through, which directly affects the cable's electrical resistance (see welding cable ampacity for more information).
For solid wire, the cross-sectional area depends on the overall diameter. But for welding cable, the cross-sectional area depends on the size and number of strands. Thus, a welding cable size with the same diameter can have different cross-sectional areas due to different strandings. Also, stranded cables with the same cross-sectional area as a piece of solid wire will always have a slightly larger diameter.
Call us at 877.474.8209 to speak with an application engineer about your project.