What Is the Difference Between Metal Clad Cable and Armored Cable?

According to Radioshack, the difference between metal clad cables and armored cables is that armored cables are used for higher electrical draw installations, while metal clad cables are used for lower current loads. They differ in wire gauge, resistance, grounding, installation and limitations.

According to Ken Burnside of Radioshack, metal clad cables and armored cables are the two standards for prefabricated flexible electrical wire in metal conduits. Both are used in electrical contracting and home construction jobs. Metal clad cables go up to 18-gauge wire, while armored cables can span from 14-gauge wire to 1-gauge wire, which is the thickest. The thicker the wire, the lower resistance the current has.

The two types of cables are constructed differently. Armored cable is constructed around two to four copper wires, with each one individually wrapped with a fire-retardant insulator and a moisture-resistant material. Metal clad cables have two or more wires made of either copper or aluminum. These conductors are wrapped in polyethyline insulators instead of fire-retardant insulators. Armored cables are stiffer than metal clad cables, but they can still bend up to five times the radius of the cable, and they can be run around corners. Metal-clad cables are also less expensive than armored cables.