Daily Wire Tip April 21: Wire Temper by Number

By on April 20, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
April 21, 2011


I want to buy some half hard practice wire in a store, but can’t find where on the spools that says it is half hard or not. Is there a different word or number that is used for whether it is half hard or not?

-Betty in Binghamton, New York


Betty, most craft wire purchased in stores does not state the temper or hardness, and about all of the wire in stores is dead soft. When you purchase jewelry making wire from a supplier, the temper might be labeled with a number. As shown in the table below, Half Hard is designated by the #2.

Wire Temper Number
Annealed/Dead Soft #0
Quarter Hard #1
Half Hard #2
Hard Temper #4
Extra Hard #6
Spring Hard #8
Extra Spring Temper #10

The most-used wire tempers in wire jewelry are dead soft, half hard, and spring hard.

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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One Comment

  1. avatar


    April 21, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Betty, you can harden dead soft wire by tapping it with a hammer. To prevent damage, fold a piece of soft leather over the wire and tap it a couple times all the way down the desired length. It will harden somewhat but you won’t know how much or how consistent the hardness is. Play with it on your craft wire. I do this with recycled electrical wire all the time and it does work. In fact, I’ve even tried this with colored aluminum wire and it hardened it slightly without damaging the finish, but aluminum can become brittle quickly if you tap it too much. Actually, all wire can become brittle if you tap it too long or too hard. That’s why buying the right hardness is preferred.