Selecting the Right Steel Gauge

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Selecting the Right Steel Gauge

selecting right steel gauge

A few months ago in this space, we went over some of the basics of the metal gauge system. This system tracks the thickness of metal, which unique measurements that you need to know if you regularly work with metal products.

At Wasatch Steel, we can help if you’re looking to buy steel or another metal and are unsure about which gauge you should be using. Let’s go over some basics to consider as you’re making your choice.

Size Basics

Firstly, a few simple basics on gauges and thickness:

  • For metal sheet, gauges begin at .010” and range up to .170”.
  • For metal plate, sizes begin at .188” and range up from there.
  • For sheet, gauges are sold by gauge or the equivalent decimal number. This will generally require a device to determine the exact thickness (we’ll go over one such device in our next section).

If you’re unsure which gauge to use for your project, here are a few tips:


The most common and most precise tool used to measure metal thickness is called a caliper, which is a hand tool that can be used by anyone with a basic knowledge. It’s meant to measure the distance between two given points, making it the perfect device to measure metal thickness for a project.

To do this, simply fit the two tips of the caliper around the metal you’re measuring, and read the device. Some older calipers read manually, while newer models have digital measurement readouts with more precision. Calipers are relatively inexpensive, often available for under $10, and will prove to be well worth it if you regularly need to measure metal thickness. They’re particularly useful for replacing a piece of metal, as the new piece has to have a thickness that matches the area it’s being added to.

Reference Guide

For measurements that don’t need to be quite as precise, there are numerous basic online and offline resources that can help with basic charts and measurements. If you’re unsure which guide to use here, contact our pros, who can point you in the direction of one that uses the same kinds of products and language as our site.

Contact Our Pros

And if you’re already thinking of getting on the horn with our experts regarding your steel thickness, why not just go the whole way? We’re more than happy to assist you with these kinds of basics – our staff has years of experience with every type of metal project, and can point you in the right direction no matter what your needs are. If you aren’t quite sure what type, grade or gauge of metal you need, we’re always on hand to help.

To learn more about this or any of our other steel services, speak to the pros at Wasatch Steel today.