Use this guide to determine the right thickness of copper sheet for your project.
Copper sheeting comes in thicknesses ranging from very thin copper foil to thick copper plate. The unit of measurement used to identify the thickness of a sheet of copper varies, e.g., gauge, mil, ounces (per square foot), inches, millimeters. Below is a quick guide to help you determine which thickness best suits the needs of your project. If after reading the descriptions you are still not sure which size will work for you, please don't hesitate to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, via phone at 252-491-2812, or try our "live chat" feature for immediate assistance!
THICKNESS GUIDE: All of our raw copper sheets are pure copper-annealed (dead soft) with a smooth commercial finish manufactured to ASTM-B152-Alloy C110
1 MIL (.001 inches thick): This is very thin copper foil. It is approximately 1.5 times thicker than typical household aluminum foil and is easy to cut but also easy to wrinkle. You can tear the 1 mil with your hands or punch out various shapes with paper punchers. 1 mil is often used in scrapbooking or with other paper crafts and also for electrical, manufacturing and R & D applications.
1.4 MIL (.0014 inches thick): This is also very thin copper foil and is just slightly thicker than the 1 mil. 1.4 is approximately 2 times thicker than household aluminum foil. It will cut easily, and can also be torn by hand. It will also wrinkle to the touch. The 1.4 mil is often used in paper crafts and also for electrical, manufacturing and R & D applications. See a video thickness guide of 1 mil and 1.4 mil below.
3 MIL (.003 inches thick): This is thin foil. It is approximately twice as thick as 1.4 mil and 4.5 times household aluminum. It can be easily cut with scissors, torn by hand, and wrinkles fairly easy. 3 mil is used for various arts and crafts, electrical, and Research and Development applications. See a video thickness guide of 3 mil below.
5 MIL (.005 inches thick) 36 gauge: The 5 mil copper is approximately 7 - 8 times thicker than typical household aluminum foil. It weighs approximately 3.74 ounces per square foot. Often described as 36 gauge, 5 mil copper is traditional tooling foil. It does not tear by hand, but can be easily cut with scissors. It is extremely pliable and will dent with a light touch. It will not hold shape when under pressure. The 5 mil is often used for embossing, repousse, tags, die-cuts and other craft projects as well as for various home improvement projects and construction, electrical, manufacturing and other applications. Some customers also use this thickness for copper tabletops, copper backsplashes, copper bar tops, and copper countertops -however when using 5 mil for these applications, we strongly recommend attaching the copper to a substrate and applying a two part epoxy for long term durability. Check out some of our 5 mil patina copper sheets. See a video thickness guide of 5 mil below.
8 MIL (.008 inches thick) 32 gauge: The 8 mil copper is approximately 11 - 12 times thicker than typical household aluminum foil and 1.5 times thicker than the 5 mil. This is a heavy-duty tooling foil. 8 mil can be cut fairly easily with scissors and is still very pliable. It may hold shape a little better than the 5 MIL , but will not bear much weight and will yield to increasing pressure. See a video thickness guide of 8 mil below.
10 MIL (.010 inches thick) 30 gauge: These sheets are approximately 14 times thicker than household aluminum foil and are twice as thick as 5 MIL. Beginning with the 10 mil, the copper is less foil-like in appearance and response to pressure. It is still rather thin as it would take 100 sheets stacked on top of each other to equal an inch, but it is more rigid than the thinner material and at this thickness, the copper will begin to hold weight and maintain shape significantly better. The 10 mil copper (also known as 30 gauge) weighs approximately 7.4 ounces per square foot. Despite being more rigid, the 10 mil is still pliable and you can easily create a 90-degree bend with your hands. It can be cut with heavy-duty scissors and or a utility knife. It responds well to hammering and other texturization applications. 10 mil is often used in outdoor projects to protect wood from the elements, such as for flashing or capping poles or exposed beams in a structure. It is also used for birdhouse roofs and other garden projects. Other uses include indoor projects such as creating an inset in wooden cabinets or covering furniture (see the photo gallery for examples) and although it is a lighter gauge copper, some customers have chosen this thickness for creating copper tabletops, copper bartops, copper backsplashes, and copper countertops. See a video thickness guide of 10 mil below.
16 MIL (.016 inches thick)26 gauge: The 16 mil is approximately 1.5 times thicker than the 10 MIL. It would take approximately 62.5 sheets of 16 MIL stacked on top of each other to make an inch. Also called 26 gauge, the 16 mil copper weighs approximately 12 ounces per square foot. It is significantly more rigid and less pliable than the thinner material, but will also hold weight and can be bent/ formed into shape by hand or with tools. It is very durable. It can be cut with tin snips, shears or a utility knife with a heavy-duty blade. 16 mil is often used for sculptures, jewelry-making, and other arts and crafts projects. Our customers have used 16 mil for copper backsplashes, bar tops, countertops, tabletops, and range hoods as well as roofing projects and other outdoor structural projects where the durability of the material outweighs the need for more pliability. See a video thickness guide of 16 mil below.
22 Mil/16 Ounce Copper (.0216") 24 gauge: 16 ounce copper sheeting is a heavyweight copper often referred to as "roofing copper" or "roofing flashing." It weighs approximately 1 pound per square foot. It's often used for roofing and flashing, various art and craft projects, DIY projects such as copper backsplashes, copper countertops and copper range hoods, electrical applications, research and development and much more. 16 ounce copper can be bent and formed by hand but is very durable. Metals snips are needed to cut this thickness. (Also check our patina copper sheets for a variety of uses including bartops and countertops. It is also used for for various wall hangings and artwork.) See a video thickness guide of 22 mil below.
32 Mil/20 Gauge (.032") 20 gauge copper sheeting is heavyweight copper. It is approximately 50 percent thicker than 22 mil and weighs approximately 1.5 pounds per square foot. It's often used for various construction, art and craft projects, DIY projects, electrical applications, Research and Development and much more. 20 Gauge copper can be cut with heavy duty snips or sheet metal shears. While you can bend this copper with your hands, to get a sharp 90 degree bend, you must use a sheet metal brake. Check out this video to make your own homemade sheet metal break: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQlHqdudPvU
40 Mil/18 Gauge (.040") 18 gauge copper sheeting is heavyweight copper. It is approximately twice as thick as 22 mil copper and weighs approximately 2 pounds per square foot. It's often used for various construction, art and craft projects, DIY projects, electrical applications, Research and Development and much more. 18 Gauge copper can be cut with heavy duty snips or sheet metal shears. It is very difficult to bend by hand. Check out this video on the various tools used to cut sheet copper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAkoeagvweA