Wire Resistance Calculator
Table of contents
Resistivity units and conductivity unitsConductance formula and resistance formulaConductivity of copper and resistivity of copperFAQsThis wire resistance calculator can quickly compute the electrical properties of a specific wire  its resistance and conductance. Resistance describes how strongly a given cable opposes the flow of an electric current, and conductance measures a wire's ability to conduct it. Two physical quantities are also associated with them  electrical resistivity and electrical conductivity. After reading the text below, you will, for example, learn how to estimate a wire's resistance using the resistance formula (socalled Pouillet's Law).
Nowadays, one of the most frequently used conductors is copper, which can be found almost in every electrical device. Read on if you want to find out the conductivity and resistivity of copper and what resistivity and conductivity units to use. You may also want to calculate the voltage drop on a specific wire  in this case, give our voltage drop calculator a try!
Resistivity units and conductivity units
Resistivity ρ
, unlike resistance, is an intrinsic property of a material. It means that it doesn't matter whether the wire is thick or thin, long or short. The resistivity will always be the same for a specific material, and the resistivity units are "ohm meter" (Ω × m
). The higher the resistivity is, the more difficult it is for the current to flow through a wire. You can check our drift velocity calculator to find out how fast electricity is.
On the other hand, we have conductivity σ
, which is strictly related to resistivity. Specifically, it is defined as its inverse: σ = 1 /ρ
. As well as resistivity, it is an intrinsic property of the material, but the conductivity units are "siemens per meter" (S / m
). Electrical current can smoothly flow through a wire if conductivity is high.
In some materials, at very low temperatures, we can observe a phenomenon called superconductivity. Resistivity in a superconductor drops sharply to zero, and thus the conductivity approaches infinity. We can say that it is a perfect conductor.
Conductance formula and resistance formula
Both conductance and resistance depend on the geometrical dimensions of a wire. Our wire resistance calculator uses the following resistance formula:
R = ρ × L / A
where:
R
— Resistance in Ω;ρ
— Resistivity of material in Ω × m;L
— Length of the wire; andA
— Crosssectional area of the wire.
You can use this wire resistance calculator to estimate conductance too, since:
G = σ × A / L
where:
G
— Conductance in siemens (S);σ
— Conductivity in S / m; andL
andA
keep the same meaning.
Click on Show resistivity and conductivity
to show the values of resistivity ρ
and conductivity σ
for the different materials. Select Enter a custom resistivity
to enter a resistivity for a material not listed.
Combining the above two equations with the ρ = 1 / σ
relation, we obtain a similar connection between resistance and conductance:
R = 1 / G
Have you already computed the resistance of your wire? Try our series resistor calculator and parallel resistor calculator to learn how you can calculate the equivalent resistance of various electrical circuits. You can also check out our wheatstone bridge calculator to learn how to measure unknown resistances.
Conductivity of copper and resistivity of copper
Materials such as copper and aluminum have low levels of resistivity, making these materials ideal for the production of electrical wires and cables. You should remember that resistivity (and, therefore conductivity) is affected by temperature. In our wire resistance calculator, we have σ ≈ 5.95 × 10^7 S / m
, and the electrical resistivity of copper is ρ ≈ 1.68 × 10^(8) Ω × m
.
How do I calculate the resistance of a wire?
To calculate the resistance of a wire:

Find out the resistivity of the material the wire is made of at the desired temperature.

Determine the wire's length and crosssectional area.

Divide the length of the wire by its crosssectional area.

Multiply the result from Step 3 by the resistivity of the material.
How does the wire length affect resistance?
The resistance of a wire is directly proportional to its length. Hence the longer the wire, the higher its resistance since the electrons have to travel a longer distance through the wire and suffer more collisions.
How does the area of a wire affect resistance?
The resistance of a wire is inversely proportional to its crosssectional area. Therefore, if we decrease the crosssectional area of the wire, its resistance will increase.
What are four factors affecting resistance in a wire?
The factors that affect the resistance of a wire are:
 The length of the wire;
 The crosssectional area of the wire;
 The material the wire is made of; and
 The temperature of the material.