What is the multi-core insulated wire

Lines, cables, wires, wire, ... What is what?

Lines, cables, wires, wire? Nobody can see through that. Even experts have trouble telling these terms apart. Since the terms are all very vague and used differently everywhere, here is an attempt at a definition of the term.

Where are the differences?

  • ladder
  • management
  • electric wire
  • Vein
  • wire
  • Strand


A conductor consists of one or more metal wires that carry electrical current.


The line is the umbrella term for pretty much anything that carries electrical current. For example, cables for bridging spatial distances, high-voltage lines, telephone lines, sheathed cables, installation cables, etc.

Frequently used lines are:

  • Sheathed cable: Single or multi-core cable with sheath for fixed installation.
  • Hose line: single or multi-core flexible cable with jacket.
  • Ribbon cable: multi-core cable in which the cores are arranged flat next to each other and are surrounded by a thin sheath. Suitable for protected fixed installation under plaster.
  • Wiring cable: Single-core cable for the internal wiring of distributors, devices, systems and machines.
  • Twin cable: Two-core flexible cable in which the cores can be easily separated from each other.

electric wire

A cable refers to a sheathed electrical line. A cable can also be a combination of several strands, insulated wires or cores. The word cable is also always used in connection with underground cable, i.e. a cable that goes into the earth.

Examples of cables:

  • Control cable: Is an insulated multi-core cable that is used for control and not for power supply. It usually has a smaller cross-section. The conductor is a wire or strand.
  • Installation cable: Fixed cable for electrical installations. The conductor is a rigid wire.

Difference between cable and wire

There is no precise definition. But as a rule, cables are rigid and lines are more flexible. The terms are used differently depending on the industry and technical jargon.


A single conductor with its insulation is called a wire. Cores are current-carrying wires or litz wires or just the individual conductor of a cable.

Examples of cores:

  • Core line: Single core, mostly insulated stranded wire or wire insulated.
  • Pair or wire pair: Two wires stranded together.


The wire is a single, mostly rigid and massive conductor, which may not be insulated, and which makes connections in devices.

Special feature: the jumper wire

The jumper wire connects end points in distributors. Depending on the intended use, it can also be single or multi-core. Jumper wire has a diameter of 0.3 to 0.8 mm and is soldered, wrapped or applied using insulation displacement technology (e.g. LSA) at the end points.


A strand consists of many fine copper wires. This makes the line flexible and pliable.