— Stren 11/18/2013

Wire seems a strange thing to review. Afterall isn’t one wire the same as another? By now you may know that Lutro0 obsesses over every detail of sleeving, and the choice of wire is part of that obsession. Currently Lutro0 offers four different versions of wire in his store. 22 AWG for low current applications (LED/some fans), 18AWG for power supplies and other high current uses, and then there are two types of 16AWG. 16AWG is thicker than most power supply wiring uses. 18AWG is the most common size. Thicker means more current capability (22A vs 16A) and less resistance (13mOhm/m vs 21mOhm/m) and therefore voltage droop:

16 AWG (left) vs 18 AWG (right)

Of course these resistance and current specifications are already perfectly acceptable at 18AWG for both normal and overclocked use but of course thicker wire has other tangible non-electrical benefits. Thicker wire and in particular a thicker core means a stiffer wire. The two 16AWG offerings from Lutro0 have similar external diameters but one has a much larger amount of wire strands in the core:

From Left to Right: Standard Lutro0 16AWG in Black, Custom Lutro0 16AWG in Black, Custom Lutro0 16AWG in White

A stiffer wire means that the shape of the cable can be “trained”. Of course the training is harder to do because the cable is stiffer, but once trained the cable will hold its shape over time much better than a less stiff cable which will be more “floppy”. Of course it’s also hard to crimp a fatter wire. Lutro0 helped with crimping by milling the best crimping tool in order to better crimp 16AWG. However the extra thick 16AWG is so fat that it has difficulty fitting into a crimp at all:

Inevitably a few strands end up sticking out and need to be trimmed. It is also impossible to pre-crimp the terminal in order to acheive more consistent crimping. While the end result is certainly stiffer, there is little visual impact based on the bulk between 18AWG and 16AWG:

Black sleeve contains white 16AWG wire, Red sleeve contains black 18AWG wire.

Overall I would recommend the extra thick custom 16AWG only for experienced sleevers who want the perfect look and are willing to jump through the crimping hurdles to get there. For everyone else I would recommend Lutro0’s “standard” 16AWG. In addition I would recommend using Lutro0’s modified crimping tool if you are planning to use 16AWG. If you don’t care about the final shape of your cables and training the shape of the cable, then 18AWG will work fine with a wider variety of tools.

Where to buy: Lutro0 Customs

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