Skip to Content

12 Vs 14 Gauge Wire (Which is Better, Thicker, Stronger?)

Sharing is caring! Spread The Love!

Homeguideinfo! is supported by its readers. If you purchase something from one of our links we make a small commission at no extra cost to you."

Wiring and connections in our houses are essential for optimum outputs of electrical appliances and for avoiding disasters.

However, more often than not, homes with poor-quality wiring require higher maintenance costs. Putting this into consideration, choosing the best gauge wires is crucial.

Considering the 12 gauge wire and the 14 gauge wire, the best is the 12 gauge wire. It’s better because it is thicker and stronger than the 14 gauge wire.

is 12 gauge bigger than 14?

A 12 gauge wire is better than a 14 gauge wire. As stated earlier, this wire is thicker and, as such, can handle more load and supply higher-rated outlets than the 14 gauge wire.

Nevertheless, the 14 gauge wire also has its specific use, which is only best suited for. The significant difference between a 12 gauge wire and a 14 gauge wire is clear, Strength and value.

The 12 gauge wire has these two features, making it better than the 14 gauge wire. Gauge is the measurement of the thickness of wire diameter. The lower the gauge number, the higher the thickness of the wire.

The diameter of 12 gauge wire is 0.1048 inches, while 14 gauge wire is 0.0785 inches making the 12 gauge wire thicker.

Thickness comes with strength; therefore, considering a 12 gauge wire which is thicker than a 14 gauge wire by measurement, it is only natural for the 12 gauge wire to be, of course, stronger than the 14 gauge wire.

With that in mind, the 12 gauge wire is stronger and will last longer than the 14 gauge wire.

Also, the thinner the wire, the more electrical resistance since the area of a wire is directly related to its conductivity and indirectly related to the resistivity.

Therefore, the thinner wire will oppose more current and cause loss of electric energy and thus, generate more heat which will cause damage to electric circuits.

12 Gauge Vs 14 Gauge Wire: Which Is Thicker?

It is important to know how thick is 12 gauge wire and how thick is 14 gauge wire. Since the 12 gauge wire has a larger diameter, it’s thicker than the 14 gauge wire with a smaller diameter.

Earlier on, you got to know the 12 and 14-gauge wires (12 gauge wire is 0.1084 inches while 14 gauge is 0.0785 inches). From this, you can tell the thickness of the wires.

In gauge measurement, as the gauge number decreases, the diameter increases. As a result, the figures can be a bit confusing.

But remember, a larger diameter means a thicker wire. To illustrate, the 12 gauge wire is smaller in gauge number than the 14 gauge wire.

Therefore, the diameter is more significant than the 14 gauge wire. Note that the diameter is the thickness of the wire.

From their diameters, it is clear that  12 gauge wire is thicker than 14 gauge wire by 0.03 inches.

The thickness of a 12 gauge wire is 26 % more than a 14 gauge wire. It also has a larger cross-sectional area of 56 % than a 14 gauge wire.

By this, you should know that the 12 gauge wire is significantly thicker than the 14 gauge wire.

12 Gauge Vs 14 Gauge Wire: Which Is Heavier?

The 12 gauge wire has more mass and weight than the 14 gauge wire. Therefore, with all these factors in place, the 12 gauge wire is heavier than the 14 gauge wire.

Considering that the 12 gauge wire is thicker than the 14 gauge wire, it, therefore, implies that the 12 gauge wire has more mass than the 14 gauge wire.

Since it has a higher mass, the 12 gauge wire will also have a higher weight. You can also tell which is heavier with their diameters. It is possible to tell how thick they are.

Since a 12 gauge wire has a diameter of 0.1084 inches, which is more than the 14 gauge wire with a diameter of 0.0785, you can tell that the 12 gauge wire is thicker and heavier.

Also, in gauge measurement, the higher the gauge number, the thinner the wire. For example, a 14 gauge wire is higher than a 12 gauge wire (14 is higher than 12).

Thus, a 14 gauge wire is thinner than a 12 gauge wire. Making the 12 gauge wire heavier than it. I have noted that a 12 gauge wire is 40% heavier than a 14 gauge wire.

12 Gauge Vs 14 Gauge Wire: Which Is Stronger?

A 12 gauge wire has more conductivity and durability than a 14 gauge wire; therefore, it is stronger. On the other hand, a 14 gauge wire, which has less durability and is less conductive, is, of course, weaker than a 12 gauge wire.

Commonly, the strength of an object is directly related to its thickness, and this is no different for a gauge wire.

More thickness implies more weight of an object which constantly affects its strength. A 12 gauge wire is heavier than a 14 gauge wire.

To determine which is heavier, it has to do with the difference in their diameters. A 12 gauge wire has a larger diameter than a 14 gauge wire.

Due to this feature, a 12 gauge wire which is also thicker, is thus more substantial than the 14 gauge wire. Bear in mind that due to the thicker nature of the 12 gauge wire and its higher diameter, the 12 gauge wire can conduct more electricity.

This feature enables it to prevent the loss of electrical energy and subsequent heat energy generation, which damages electrical circuits.

12 Gauge Vs 14 Gauge Wire: Which Is Cheaper?

The 12 gauge wire is of higher quality than the 14 gauge wire. Moreover, it is bigger and better. Owing to all these, a 12 gauge wire is more expensive, while a 14 gauge wire is cheaper.

A 14 gauge wire is cheaper than a 12 gauge wire. For example, it costs little to wire a circuit of 15 amperes than a circuit of 20 amperes.

On the other hand, a 12 gauge that carries an enormous current load of 20 amperes is costly.

Though the 12 gauge wire is of higher quality and it’s advised to use it if wiring a circuit of 20 amperes, it’s normal to opt for something more affordable.

However, there are risks to face for using something of lesser quality. For example, the lamp or appliance can abruptly blow up or go off if a 14 gauge wire is used.

If you are looking forward to wiring your house with a low budget, go for a 14 gauge wire. It is cheaper than the 12 gauge wire. But it would be best if you went for the best, which, in this context, is the 12 gauge wire.

12 or 14 gauge wire for lights?

A wire gauge refers to its physical size, meaning the measurement of a wire in diameter. If you are wiring a circuit with light, 12 gauge wire is preferable.

A 12 gauge wire is not as flexible as a 14 gauge wire. Using a 12 gauge wire on a 15 to 20-ampere current is safer. A 14 gauge wire carries a limited current load of only 15 amperes.

A 12 gauge wire can handle more current without overheating, which is better than the 14 gauge wire.

A 12 gauge wire is also suitable for lights because it has less resistance due to its larger diameter.

In addition, since 12 gauge wire handles more current, it can carry heavy appliances in the home, such as an air conditioner. Finally, when using the 12 gauge wire, rest assured that the lights won’t flicker at home.

Should I Use 12 Gauge Wire Or 14 Gauge Wire?

Though the 14 gauge wire has a particular purpose and function with its advantage, it’s always an excellent choice to go for the 12 gauge wire for better quality.

Both gauge wires are perfect, and your choice should depend on what you want to use them for.

A 14 gauge wire can only be used for a current of 15 amperes. A 14 gauge wire is very suitable for low-budget house wiring because it is cheaper.

Though a 14 gauge wire is flexible, thinner, and cheaper, it has a limited current load it can carry. Therefore, it can’t carry appliances or light with a current load of more than 15 amperes.

Your appliances may go out or overheat if it carries a current load of more than 15 amperes.

A 12 gauge is suitable and preferable. It is thicker, stronger, and can handle a current load of 15 to 20 amperes.

In addition, due to the current capacity, it can handle heavy appliances such as air conditioners, lamps, etc.

Though a 12 gauge wire can be costly, it is of higher quality than a 14 gauge wire. Also, it is easy to use, and with it, appliances won’t flicker or overheat.

In addition, In cases where a large amount of power supply is needed, a 12 gauge wire is suitable for effective power transmission.

12 gauge wire has less resistance but enough thickness that helps in conducting electricity safely.

A 14 wire has more resistance than a 12 gauge wire. This makes the 12 gauge wire better for you.

Conclusion

It is better to use a 12 gauge wire than a 14 gauge wire when wiring a house and other building structures if there is enough financial strength.

However, if you don’t have enough resources to purchase a 12 gauge wire, a 14 gauge wire is also a good option and works fine.

Just ensure that the electrical appliances and the source of electricity are not so high to avoid damaging it.

The 12 gauge wire is way better than the 14 gauge wire. It is thicker, stronger, more durable, and more reliable than the 14 gauge wire.

Therefore, using a 12 gauge wire is more advisable than a 14 gauge wire.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/

http://www.whimsie.com/

Sharing is caring! Spread The Love!