6/2 6/3 8/2 or 8/3 wire for welder

6/2 6/3 8/2 Or 8/3 Wire For Welder: Choose Wisely!

Different types of wires are used in welding. So, getting confused between 6/2, 6/3, 8/2, or 8/3 wires is quite normal. However, once you know about them, it’s pretty easy to choose your ideal one.

Now, which one to choose – 6/2, 6/3, 8/2 or 8/3 wire for welder? 

You need to choose 6/2, 6/3, 8/2 or 8/3 wire depending on the power capacity. A welder with 40 Amp will work with an 8 AWG wire. However, a 50 amp or higher welder will need a 6 AWG wire. For conduct, 3 is recommended for earthing safety purposes. Generally, 6 AWG is a good conductor for any type of welding.

Still not convinced yet? Well, after going through this thorough discussion, you’ll be more than convinced.

Let’s get started!

6/2, 6/3, 8/2, Or 8/3 Wire For Welder Powering? 

Input amperage rating or simple, current capacity is different in welders. Welders’ voltage with high power needs more current input than smaller, lower-powered ones. So, for the welding power supply, you have to select the welding cable size  accordingly. 

welding cable
Source: welditu.com

Sometimes, it is confusing how much ampere and size you need for an electric tool. Besides welders, it can happen for other tools too. Such as, people often get confused if they need a 15 or 13 Amp table saw. Amperage increases with the strength of the tool. 

A medium-powered 120 volt with 30-40 Amp welder requires an 8 AWG wire. As an 8 AWG wire has an amperage rating or current capacity of 40 Amp.

A strong 220-volt welder with up to 40 Amp input requires a 6 AWG wire. A 6 AWG cable can take up to 60 Amp. For a small welder with less than 30 Amp input, 10 AWG cables will work fine.

But I will recommend, whatever the welder size is, go for a 6 AWG wire. As you can use it with every welder, no matter its power. 

Let’s move on to the conductor.

Even though some welders say it doesn’t require grounding, you shouldn’t avoid it. Electric earthing or grounding will protect you from short circuits. Improper earthing causes many hazards, Thus proper earthing is important.

So, you should use 3 conductors. And my final recommendation would be to use 6/3 wire for welding.

Welder Size Current InputRecommended Wire
Small (115V)Below 30 Amp8/3 wire
Medium (115-200V)30 – 40 Amp 6/3 wire
Big (208 – 230V)Above 40 Amp 6/3 wire

Let’s discuss different wire sizes for powering welder.  

6/2 Wire For Welder 

The 6/2 wire gauge is good for every powered welder. You can use it safely for high-powered ones, and also, small for welders.

6-2 Wire For Welder
Source: weldingheadquarters.com

But there are two conductors. That means no earthing. Although most of the welder manufacturers claim to already have earthing. You shouldn’t take the chance. 

6/3 Wire For Welder:

The 6/3 wire is the best wiring for powering any kind of welder. It will support welders of every power. Also, that extra conductor will save your welder and yourself from short circuits. 

Well, now that you know about its usage, why don’t you see some wire recommendations? These will help you to be firm about your choice-

You may use a small welder now. But there’s a chance you will go for a bigger welder in the future. In that case, you can reuse this wire. 

If you are confused about the amperage of your welder, getting this one will not disappoint. 

Woods 63950021 25′ 6-3 NMW/G Wire

  • VERSATILE CABLE FOR RESIDENTIAL USES: NM-B cable is primarily used in residential wiring as branch circuits for outlets, switches, lighting, and other loads. NM-B cable may be run in air voids of masonry block or tile walls where such walls are not wet or damp locations
  • DURABLE: Type NM-B cable (nonmetallic-sheathed cable) may be used for both exposed and concealed work in normally dry locations at temperatures not to exceed 90¬∞C (with ampacity limited to that for 60¬∞C conductors
  • EASY INSTALLATION: Coated in patented SIMpull Cable Jacket for easier pulling, stripping, and installation
  • QUICK SIZE IDENTIFICTION: This wire is color coaded for easy size identeification, White – 14 AWG, Yellow – 12 AWG, Orange – 10 AWG, and Black – 8 AWG and 6 AWG.
  • SPECIFICATIONS: Made in America, 6 gauge, 3 conductors with ground, 25′ per coil.UL Listed type NM-B
  • UL Listed type NM-B

Cerrowire 147-4203B 50-Feet 6/3 NM-B Stranded with Ground Wire

  • 50-foot stranded 6-gauge UL listed indoor copper building wire
  • 3 conductors with ground
  • Use in both exposed and concealed dry locations, and in air voids of masonry block or tile walls which are not subject to excessive moisture
  • Not for use in direct burial applications
  • Black 30 mil-thick PVC jacket

8/2 Wire For Welder:

For a small, low-capacity welder you may take it. If your budget is low, you can work with that. 

8/3 Wire For Welder:

8/3 wire is a better choice for a smaller welder than the 8/2 wire. As it has that extra conductor for earthing. 

Source: portablepowerguides.com

That’s why it’s easy to recommend this wire to most users. However, it’s imperative that you check all the good brands. Otherwise, your wire can cause serious damage. Here are some of the top products to look at-

But if you change your welder to a high-powered one, don’t forget to change this wiring. 

Wirenco 8/3 Metal Clad (MC) Cable with Ground

  • Soft Annealed Copper To ASTM B3
  • Suitable for installation in Motion Picture Studios, Theatres, and Places of assembly (100 people or more)
  • May be installed in approved raceways and as open runs of cable on a messenger
  • Interlocking galvanized steel tape armor applied directly over the core
  • Meets UL 1569: Metal Clad Cables

Southwire 63949221 25′ 8/3 with Ground Romex

  • Coated in patented SIMpull Cable Jacket for easier pulling; stripping; and installation
  • Primarily used in residential wiring as branch circuits for outlets; switches; and other loads
  • UL Listed type NM-B
  • 8 gauge; 3 conductors with ground; 25′ per coil

8/3 SOOW SO Portable Power Cord Outdoor Durable Flexible Wire Cable 600V

  • Conductor: Fully annealed stranded bare copper per ASTM B-174.
  • Insulation: Color coded 90° C EPDM
  • Jacket: Black thermosetting
  • Temperature Range: -40° C to +90° C.
  • Voltage Rating: 600 volts.
  • Application: Portable tools and equipment, Portable appliances, Small motors and associated machinery.
  • Features: Excellent resistance to oil and moisture. Good tensile strength, elongation and aging characteristics. High flexibility. Excellent abrasion resistance. Water resistant.
  • Size (AWG/MCM) 8
  • No. of Conductors 3 Strands 133/29
  • Nominal Insualtion Thickness (inches) 0.047
  • Nominal Jacket Thickness (inches) 0.095
  • Nominal O.D (inches) 0.760
  • Current (Amps) 40
  • Nominal Weight (LBS/MFT) 491
  • Voltage Rating (Volts) 600

Does Distance Matter For Welder Wire Size? 

Sometimes you may need a longer wire for powering your welder. And you may think of getting an extension cord. With the appropriate gauge and rating, you may use an extension cord in your welder. 

But it can affect the voltage drop. In longer cables, the chance of voltage drop is higher. It also decreases the power your welder will receive. 

Here’s an user taking the discussion of what size wire to use direct to Twitter-

Also, it may overheat as in long cables the resistance is higher. So, I will recommend not getting an extension cord for your welder. 

Welding Risks And Hazards 

Welding is a risky task to do if you do not maintain proper safety measures. Let’s see some of the common hazards during welding. 

Fumes and Gas Exposure:

Welding fumes contain many dangerous metals and gas. When you continuously inhale them, you will face many health issues. 

Physical Injuries:

If you don’t follow a protective dress code, getting hurt during welding is very common. 

Electric Shock:

Live exposed wires, short circuits can cause electric shock.

Fire Hazard:

Welding is done at an extremely high temperature. Also, during welding, the sparks spread around uncontrollably. If the sparks fall on flammable material, it can cause fire and explosion. 

Fire Hazard
Source: ishn.com

To avoid these hazards you must follow the safety measures. 

Always make sure that there are no inflammable things around you. Always keep a fire extinguisher and first aid kit near you.

Wearing protective clothing is the most important safety measure for welding. 

Protective Clothing:

First required item for protective welding clothing is a welding mask. This will protect your eyes and face skin from damage. Also, it will protect you from inhaling harmful gas and fumes.

protective welding cloth
Source: rockthetrades.com

Secondly, you should wear welding coveralls. You may think coveralls are heavy and uncomfortable. That’s why you’ll avoid wearing it. But nowadays, comfortable, lightweight coveralls can be easily found. 

Here are some lightweight coveralls and jackets you can try out:

Jewboer Leather Welding Apron with Sleeve

  • Leather
  • Drawstring closure
  • 40.5″ Welding Apron,Heavy duty cowhide split leather,solidly built,Anti-flame retardant and soft,fire,wear,insulated
  • Safe and effective high collar protection,The use of high collar protection,can effectively protect the welding process caused by sputtering damage
  • Easy belt with socket design,Simple jack design,according to the different size of the regulation
  • Applied in welding, splash proof, heat resistant and other safe workplaces, protecting the arms and torso from welding spatter and heat
  • Ideal choice (maker, welder, fabricator, handyman) as a carpenter apron, blacksmiths apron, garage apron, mechanics apron, gardening apron, farrier apron

Lincoln Electric Premium Flame Resistant (FR) Cotton Welding Jacket 

  • 100% Cotton
  • Imported
  • Snap closure
  • Machine Wash
  • PREMIUM FLAME RETARDANT (FR) FABRIC – The jacket is made from ASTM D6413 compliant 9 oz. FR black cotton which prevents and extinguishes fire / flames. The fabric also has an anti-static coating for added longevity and protection.
  • SUPERIOR COMFORT – The lightweight FR material is designed to be breathable allowing consistent airflow to keep you cool without sacrificing protection.
  • ADJUSTABLE CUFFS – Each cuff has chrome plated metal snaps allowing for important wrist and forearm protection from sparks, spatter and heat.

Black Stallion FN9-30C 30″ 9oz. Navy FR Cotton Welding Jacket

  • Cotton, Leather
  • Cotton lining
  • Snap closure
  • Hand Wash Only
  • 9 oz. flame-resistant treated cotton
  • Welder’s collar for enhanced protection
  • 6 convenient snap buttons, including collar button with leather reinforcements on all snaps

These coveralls will protect you from burns from sparks. 

Remember, do not use synthetic coveralls. It will melt in contact with sparks or heat. And can burn you too. Try leather, wool, or cotton coveralls. 

Finally, wear protective boots or leather shoes for protecting your feet. 

It’s easier to work on repairing jobs when you have a snap-on toolbox. You can find everything you need easily including First-aid kits and fire extinguishers. So, keeping a snap-on toolbox is a good practice. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do I Know The Amperage Of My Welding Machine?

It usually is written on a sticker stuck with the machine. If not, check the manual. Generally, you will find the output amperage clearly written. Sometimes input amperage is not written directly. You can calculate it by yourself. Just Divide the input watt / Volt. and you will know the amperage.

Can I Learn Welding At Home? 

You can learn welding at home. You can watch tutorial videos, and read books and articles about learning to weld. Use a small or medium-strength welder. It’s better to have an experienced person near you while using the welder for the first time. 

How Long Does It Take To Weld Something Together? 

Welding time depends on both the metal type and size. Also, it depends on the experience. An experienced welder can weld up to 140” per hour. If the metal is heavy, it can take some more time. 


Decided yet either, 6/2, 6/3, 8/2 or 8/3 wire for welder powering? I hope the suggestions I gave cleared your confusion. 

It is better to use a high-capacity wire just in case. But the decision is yours. Also, never forget to follow the precautions before you start welding. Good luck! 

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