In commerce, the sizes of wire are estimated by a device, also called gauges, which consist of plates of circular or oblong form having notches of different widths around their edges to receive wire and sheet metals of different thicknesses. Each notch is stamped with a number, and the wire or sheet, which just fits a given notch, is stated to be of, say, No. 10, 11, 12, etc., of the wire gauge.
The circular forms of wire gauge measurement devices are the most popular, and are generally 3¾ in. (95 mm) in diameter, with thirty-six notches; many have the decimal equivalents of the sizes stamped on the back. Oblong plates are similarly notched. Rolling mill gauges are also oblong in form. Many gauges are made with a wedge-like slot into which the wire is thrust; one edge being graduated, the point at which the movement of the wire is arrested gives its size. The graduations are those of standard wire, or in thousandths of an inch. In some cases both edges are graduated differently in order to allow comparison between two systems of measurement. A few gauges are made with holes into which the wire has to be thrust. All gauges are hardened and ground to dimensions.
In some applications wire sizes are specified as the cross sectional area of the wire, usually in mm². Advantages of this system include the ability to readily calculate the physical dimensions or weight of wire, ability to take account of non-circular wire, and ease of calculation of electrical properties.
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Just input source Voltage, Power/Current, and Distance and Wire Gauge Calculator will calculate the needed wire size in AWG and Circular Mils. Results given for both Copper and Aluminum Wire.