Please don't judge me for asking this question i have never touch arduino before but We plan to use it in our thesis we are doing a budget plan and it must include wires. can anyone tell me the common wire sizes used? This is to estimate the prices.

  • Used for what? Different purposes need different sizes. Oct 26, 2014 at 15:34
  • 1
    Wire size (i.e. diameter) depends on the amount of current traveling through it. For most arduino stuff, wire size isn't really that important. You can just reuse wires from unused cables. Ethernet cables are a great source of wires. Decent diameter, and different colors (very handy).
    – Gerben
    Oct 26, 2014 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


Depends what you’re doing.

For low power (< 12v, 500mA) peripherals and digital signals:

If you’re going to use breadboard (and you really should start with breadboard) you’ll need solid core hook up wire. You can find pre-cut, pre-stripped sets with a variety of lengths and colours if you’re looking for neatness and simplicity. (An example can be found at: http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/jump-wire-kit-fs65v) Usually it’s 22AWG wire, so you could get a reel and cut it yourself if you’re going to need a lot or are going to solder it in place.

After you’re done breadboarding and want to make something more permanent you should look at rainbow cable. You can tear it to get anything from 2 to 32 way cables, and it’s almost impossible to get the wrong way around. You can solder it directly to a PCB or crimp connectors onto the ends for more flexibility. (You can find this stuff everywhere, but Sparkfun is always there if you can’t: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10649)

For higher power (> 12v, 1A):

Keep it away from the Arduino! Use switching transistors, relays, or MOSFETs and use cabling that meets, or preferably exceeds, the power that you’re going to put through it.

I don’t know where you’re going to buy this, but in the UK I use Mouser, Farnell, and RS for most of my electronics supplies. Never buy cabling off Ebay, a lot of it is counterfeit and won’t meet the claimed spec.

Hope this helps.

  • We have Mouser outlets here in the US as well. Also Digikey, Jameco, and quite a few others.
    – Duncan C
    Oct 27, 2014 at 23:10
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    Thanks a lot.. you really helped.. It's good to read an answer that makes sense.. Oct 28, 2014 at 11:10
  • I wonder in which way eBay cable can be counterfeit? Not the claimed gauge? Not tinned or not copper? Insulation not heat tolerant? Mar 18, 2021 at 10:50
  • @thomasrutter All of the above. I've seen "copper" core cabling clearly some bastard mix of metals to make it cheaper, 16 gauge wire sold as 12, and "silicone" insulation that flaked right off the reel (a fire risk for what we were going to use it for). Don't even ask about "un"twisted pair, "un"shielded, and coax that isn't. I'd always pay ~30% more and get the genuine stuff from a repitable supplier and save yourself a world of rage. Mar 18, 2021 at 13:08

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