What wire should I use to build Tesla coils?


For few of my recent projects I have to wind my own inductor and also make my own coils for projects like coil gun, Tesla coil etc. I have a huge collection of wire in my garage of varied thickness that are no longer used by my dad.

My question is which wire should I use to make coils? Can I remove the insulation and use the single strand hook up wires? 

No Casy, You cannot use hookup wires without insulation. The wires that are used for tesla coils are copper wires with enamel coating.

If you remove the insulation of a hookup wire then, the wire gets fully conductive and hence will create a short when you wind a coil. On the other hand these copper wires will have a enamel coating on top of it which will act as a insulator. If you fathers garage has some un-used Transformer or motor you can re-use the coils foudn inside them. Make sure you don't damage the enamel coating while removing the wire.  


  Joined August 17, 2018      2
Friday at 12:18 PM

Hi if you are trying to make your own inductor, then you can use the following formulae 

  Inductance (L) = [dn2] / [18d + 40l]


  • L => Inductance in Micro Henries [uH]
  • d => Diameter of coil [inches] - centre to centre
  • l => Length of coil [inches]
  • n => number of turns 


This formulae is applicable only for air core inductor, if you use a material then inductance will change. However don't relay on these values for sensitive applications.

Again as terry said you should use an enameled copper wire. The thickness and the length of the wire can be calculated using the above formulae 

  Joined August 16, 2016      995
Tuesday at 12:29 AM