Sixteen-gauge wire, measured by the American Wire Gauge standard, carries a current of 22 amperes for chassis wiring and 3.7 amperes for power transmission. This gauge of wire is 0.0508 inches in diameter and features a resistance of 4.016 ohms per 1,000 feet.
The breaking force of copper 16-gauge wire at 37,000 pounds per square inch is 75 pounds. Generally, more than half of the wire gauges listed on the AWG standard are more robust than 16-gauge wire; OOOO gauge wire, at 0.46 inches in diameter, can handle significantly higher current for chassis and power transmission. At the other end of the range, 32-gauge wire, only 0.008 inches in diameter, can handle only a fraction of an ampere for either current mode.