Resistance – Will Doubling Thinner Wire Work Instead of Thicker Wire


I've been needing a jumper cable for a while and have plenty of 10 AWG copper wire lying around. From what I've read, 6 AWG wire is recommended for jumper cables. I want to make a 7 foot cable.

So, I was wondering if it would be possible to use three (or more if needed) 7-foot pieces of 10 AWG wire, and use them instead of one 7-foot piece of 6 AWG wire? Would the 10 AWG x 3 cable be able to handle as many amperes as a single 6 AWG wire can?

Best Answer

Yes, keeping in mind that the rule is that an increment of 3 in AWG numbers represents a halving of the cross-sectional area of a wire. The current capacity is directly related to that area.

This means that to create the equivalent of a wire of AWG(N), you need two strands of AWG(N+3), or three strands of AWG(N+5). Three strands of AWG(N+4) gives you some extra safety margin.