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HomeTips & GuidesSolid Core Plug Wire – A Comparative Analysis Against Stranded Wires

Solid Core Plug Wire – A Comparative Analysis Against Stranded Wires

Solid core plug wires have been revolutionary in the wiring harness industry. Most buyers and users can appreciate its sturdiness and affordability thanks to its exemplary qualities. 

In addition to the solid core plug wires, we have stranded wires with a different design. Undeniably, both have served the electrical and electronics engineering space. However, each cable possesses features that make it ideal for distinct functions. 

In today’s article, we will focus on a solid-core plug wire and how it differs from a stranded wire.

What is a solid core plug wire?

A solid core plug wire or a busbar is a conductor cable for backbone and horizontal cable runs. It utilizes a single solid metal wire (such as copper) per conductor. Often, manufacturers make these wires for outdoor applications where you need higher currents, more durability, and less movement. Such applications include vehicle controls and building infrastructures. 

High voltage towers requiring solid wires

(High voltage towers requiring solid wires)

Generally, solid core plug wires are less costly, anti-corrosive, sturdy, and resistant to weather elements. On the downside, they’re a bit heavy. Also, you cannot repeatedly twist, bend, or flex them.

Stranded wire VS solid wire: Which one is better?

Before we discuss the differences between the two wires in more detail, let’s define a stranded wire. 

Stranded wires are thin, bundled wires that manufacturers compress and insulate using non-conductive materials. They’re more suitable for applications with constant bending and twisting. 

Solid and stranded copper cables

(Solid and stranded copper cables)

Solid and stranded wires have different applications based on their characteristics. We have summarized the differences in the table below. 

Features Stranded wiresSolid wires
Price Expensive They are relatively cheaper than stranded wires.
Noise Stranded wires have an attenuation of 20-50%, which means they’re noisy.They have low attenuation, hence less noise production.
Suitability They are suitable for short-distance applications. Solid wires have low voltage drops/less current dissipation thus ideal for long-distance uses. 
Proximity effect Have low proximity effect.Have a high proximity effect. 
Ease of manufacturing Complex – Stranded wires involve twisting multiple thin cables together. Simple – Solid cables have a single core. 
Voltage drop More They have low resistance, hence low voltage drop. 
Electrical resistance They have higher resistance. Low resistance.
Current carrying capacity Low High 
Wire flexibility Highly flexible Less flexible, thus will require frequent replacement. 
Routing Thanks to their flexibility, you can easily route stranded wires around obstructions.Difficult to route.
Termination and connection Complex Easy 
Effects of repetitive motionStranded wires have longer lifespans in operations that need repetitive motion. Repetitive motions tend to destroy solid cables over time. 
Corrosion Stranded wires corrode easily, especially when you use them outdoors. They are anti-corrosive because of their small surface area.
Transmission performance with high frequencies Medium performance Good performance 
Skin effect Stranded wires have less effect when employed in high-voltage transmission lines. When you use solid wires in high voltage and high power transmission lines, you risk experiencing a skin effect. 
Electrical conduction Low High 
Adaptability Highly adaptableLess adaptable 
Applications They include circuit boards and electronic devices like chargers, computers, etc.In building infrastructures and in backbone cabling. 
Stranded copper wires

(Stranded copper wires)

The above table shows that the stranded and solid cables have specific qualifications that make them suitable for certain applications. Therefore, depending on your environmental conditions, ampacity, motion, load kind, price range, and overall use, you can choose either of the wires. 

But briefly, if you need a simple, cost-effective wire that will last a long time, go for solid core cables. On the other hand, stranded wires will be your greatest friend if you have motion-based applications and need flexibility in your electric system.

How to connect solid core plug wire

Connecting a solid plug wire is simple and will only require a few tools to complete the process.

First, you will need wire nuts, strippers, 14AWG wires, and alignment pliers.

Wire nuts

(Wire nuts)

Steps in connecting the plug wires

  • The initial step is disconnecting the wires from the main power supply. For instance, if this is your car, turn off the engine. The purpose of a switched-off electric system is to ensure safety by keeping you and your products from electric harm. 
  • Next, cut away about half a centimeter on the wires’ plastic insulation using the wire stripper. You should be left with an exposed metal core.
  • The third step is twisting the exposed metal cores together using an alignment plier. Alternatively, you can use your fingers even though it will be time-consuming.

A man using a plier on electrical wires

(A man using a plier on electrical wires)

  • Once done, put the wire nut over the twisted metal cores. Start with the neutral cables (black and white wires in our case), then do the same for the electric ground wires (has a red color). 
  • Finally, to test if your system is working works, switch on the power supply.


To summarize, solid core plug wires have huge significance in outdoor and infrastructure applications, as opposed to stranded wires, which are good for electronic devices. In the post above, we’ve provided insights on the two wiring systems to help you make an informed choice during a purchase.

If you need further information on wiring harnesses, contact our team at Cloom. 

I am Lillian Yang, having been a sales manager for over 10 years.

I have received many positive reviews from customers. They have praised our excellent service, on-time delivery, and high-quality cable assemblies.

For your projects, please provide cable assembly files/images/smples, etc., so that I can send you a quotation within 24 hours.

Contact me now and let’s get started on building your wire harnesses!

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