Magnet wire is made from copper, aluminum or stainless steel and thinly insulated with enamel. Copper magnet wire is not magnetic itself in most cases, but it is used in magnetic applications for a variety of products, such as loudspeakers, electronic transformers, headphones and other electronic products.
When studying magnet wire information, you should know that the system used to measure gauge is American Wire Gauge, or AWG. The smaller the diameter of the wire, the larger the number.
Magnet wire pricing and costs depend on many factors, including the type of coating available. The right enamel varies depending on the application, but it can often add an additional cost of $5 to $15. Of course, type of metal the magnet wire is made from also affects price. Other options include:
1. The gauge of the magnet wire products.
2. The size of the wire spool.
3. Whether the wire is round or square.
Choose large gauge stainless steel magnet wire for big itemsIf you have a large job that requires magnet wire, you'll need a large gauge to provide the correct amount of electricity between connections. Gauge sizes below 40 are typically used for large electrical items like generators, alternators, motors and certain types of power tools. Cost depends on the size of the spool and the specific gauge, but you can get 10 to 30 gauge magnet wire in a 7-pound spool for $50 to $70. Fourteen-pound spools are also available for $70 to $100.
Buy small gauge magnet wireA small gauge magnet wire, AWG 40 or above, is often used for very small electrical systems, including headphones speakers and other electronic products. Smaller gauge wire is somewhat less expensive than larger gauge spools; a 5- to 9-pound spool costs between $20 and $40. You can also find spools that have more than 100,000 feet of wire which are priced by the foot, not per pound.
Order square magnet wire for your electronic projectsThough many gauges of magnet wire are round, some are square. This is due to the fact that aluminum wire needs 1.6 times the cross section area as copper wire to achieve the same amount of electrical conductivity. Square magnet wire is flat with rounded edges, which makes for an efficient use of the winding space. Square magnet wire usually costs $1 to $2 per foot.
- Because magnet wire is used for electromagnetics and other electrical applications, always check magnet wire info on the current capacity to choose the right amount of current for your project.