Working with Wire

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Contributors: Paul Smith
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Stranded vs Solid

Wire can come in one of two forms, stranded or solid core.

Solid Wire

Various colors of solid core wire

Solid wire is composed of a single piece of metal wire, also known as a strand. One very common type of solid wire is known as wire wrap. Stranded wire is composed of many pieces of solid wire all bundled into one group.

Stranded Wire

Various colors and sizes of stranded wire

Stranded wire is much more flexible than solid wire of equal size. For this reason, stranded wire is used when the wire needs to move around frequently, in a robot arm for example. Conversely, solid wire is used when little or no movement is needed, such as prototyping circuits on a breadboard. Using solid core wire makes it easy to push the wire into a breadboard. Trying to use stranded wire on a breadboard can be very difficult, as the strands want to separate as they are pressed in.