Basic Differences between Wires and Cables
Wires and Cables
  • by Havells India
  • April 17, 2018
  • Wires and Cables

Basic Differences between Wires and Cables

Nothing is left untouched from the process of evolution. And the same applies to the technology of making wires too. Ever since electricity paved the way into our spaces, we are using wires and cables to meet our electrical requirements. More often than not, people use terms like wires and cables interchangeably. However, these are quite different from each other.

The first way to distinguish between them is to consider that wires are a component in cables. And wires are much more used, or have a wider scope of use, than cables. If we talk in simple terms, a wire is generally a single strand or a group of strands of conductive material, like copper or aluminium; while a cable consists of two or more insulated wires wrapped in a jacket. The simplest way to tell between the two is that the wire is typically visible, but a cable is generally insulated. Let’s know more about how wires are different from cables.


As stated earlier, a wire is a single conductor strand or a group of conductor strands, sheathed in a jacket of insulation to prevent the conductors from making unwanted contacts. Wires are generally used to carry electricity and telecommunications signals; however, it can also be used for mechanical loads. Essentially, there are two types of wires, namely, solid and stranded. While a solid wire is actually a long length of single conductor, a stranded wire comprises of multiple thin strands of conductor twisted together. Solid wires offer low resistance, and are ideal to use in higher frequencies. Stranded wires are more flexible and thus, have a longer life. Furthermore, stranded wires have superior cross-sectional area than solid wires for the same current carrying capacity.


A cable is, generally, two or more wires running together or bonded, twisted or braided together. They are mostly insulated to offer better protection than just wires. Cables are largely employed in power transmission, and to carry electrical and telecommunications signals. There are many types of cables, such as, twisted pair cable, coaxial cable, multi-conductor cable, and fiber optic cable. If we talk about the twisted pair cable, it comprises two cables twisted around each other, and is mostly used for carrying signals.

On the other hand, a multi-conductor cable is made up of many conductors insulated from each other, and is used to protect signal integrity by reducing hum, noise and crosstalk. Coaxial cable is made up of an inner solid conductor surrounded by a paralleled outer foil conductor, protected by an insulating layer, and is generally used in TV Cable. Fiber optic cables help to transmit signals by a bundle of glass threads. These cables have a much greater bandwidth than metal cables, indicating that they can carry more data.

Basic Difference Between Wires and Cables

Wires Cables
Classification Single conductor Two or more conductors
Uses To allow mechanical loads, to carry electricity and telecommunications signals. Also used in heating, jewelry, clothing, mesh, automotive or industrial manufactured parts, pins, needles, fish hooks and bulbs. To allow power transmission, to carry electricity and telecommunications signals.




1.     Solid wire

2.     Stranded wires


1.     Twisted pair cable

2.     Multi conductor cable

3.     Coaxial cable

4.     Fiber optic cable





Solid wires offer low resistance, thus, perfect for use in higher frequencies. Stranded wire shows higher resistance to metal fatigue. Higher strength, heavy duty, and insulated.


To Conclude

In succinct terms, a wire is a single conductor while cable is a group of two or more conductors. Perhaps now you are in a better position to differentiate between wires and cables. At Havells, you can get all types of wires and cables, which are built with high-grade materials for better performance and enhanced protection.

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