MTW vs THHN Wire: 7 Considering factors

After the THHN vs XHHW Wire comparison, I have many queries to compare MTW vs THHN, which should be chosen for which applications, which are more compatible, which can withstand current leakage, and many more.

MTW is used in control panels, and THHN is used in regular panels. THHN can flow at higher power, suitable in both dry and wet locations. Also, they have solid or stranded conductors, MTW has only stranded conductors. MTW is more flexible and affordable, but THHN is durable and has better insulation.

Now, we’ll compare MTW wire and THHN wire and explore 7 key factors you should consider to help you choose the right type of wire for your needs.

MTW Vs THHN Wire: At A Glance

Comparison FactorMTW Wire THHN WireWinner 
Ampacity3 to 40 based on length 20 to 554 according to wire lengthTHHN Wire
Voltage (max)600V600VTie
Temperature Rating60 °C in wet
90 °C in dry location
75 °C in wet
90 °C in dry location
ConductorStranded, Bare or Tinned CopperSolid or standard, Bare Copper or AluminumTHHN Wire
Wire insulationPolyvinyl Chloride (PVC)Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) with Nylon JacketPolyvinyl Chloride
Installation ProcessEasyNeed more timeMTW Wire
LongevityLess durableMore durableTHHN Wire
FlexibilityMore flexibleLess flexibleMTW Wire
AffordabilityAffordableLittle bit highMTW Wire 
Best Fit forControl PanelRegular Panel According to the application

MTW vs THHN Wire: 7 Key Differences

So, if you are considering MTW or THHN wire for your next project, there are seven key factors to keep in mind in order to choose the right option.

These include voltage, amperage, temperature, flexibility, durability, ease of installation, and cost-effectiveness. Let’s break them out to get a complete overview to choose the right one for your project.

Comparing fact 1 of 7: Ampacity & Voltage

The ampacity of the THHN wire is more than the MTW wire. The maximum voltage is 600V for both types of wires.

The maximum current flow of THHN wire is 20 amp for 14 gauge. Similarly, 14 gauge MTW wire can flow 20-25 amp current. It seems MTW and THHN are the same.

As the MTW wire is used for machine tools or appliances, they don’t use as long as the THHN wires. THHN wires can flow up to 554 amp current for longer lengths.


So, if you need wire for higher current flow, THHN wire is the better option.

MTW Wire

Comparing fact 2 of 7: Temperature Rating

THHN wire can be used for higher temperature ratings in wet and dry locations.

The THHN wire can be used in dry locations up to 90° C, but in oil or coolant, it should not exceed more than 75° C.

In that case, the MTW wire can be used without exceeding 90° C in dry locations. But for wet locations, it can’t operate over 60° C.


So, for a greater temperature rating, my vote goes for the THHN wire.

Comparing fact 3 of 7: Conductor

MTW wire has a stranded bare or tinned copper conductor. Where THHN wire has solid and stranded both types of conductors, they are made of either bare copper or aluminum.

In terms of current conduction, the THHN wire will provide superior and stable electrical flow because they have solid conductors.

Solid conductors can withstand electromagnetic vibration and corrosion more than stranded conductors. Also, they have less surface area.

Besides, the aluminum conductor of THHN wire is around 61% more conductive than copper. Plus, it is 30% lighter than copper.


So, for superior electrical conductivity, THHN wire is the winner for this section.

Comparing fact 4 of 7: Wire Insulation

The wire insulation of both wires is made of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). But THHN wires have an extra layer of Nylon jacket.

For this reason, THHN wire can resist more electrical leakage than MTW wire. Also, the insulation of THHN can effectively preserve the material integrity as well as protect the wire from heat, moisture, or corrosion.


So, THHN wire has better wire insulation than MTW.

Comparing fact 5 of 7: Longevity

THHN wires are more long-lasting and durable of their conductor material, type, and extra protected insulation. They can be melted in high temperatures without any jacket over the PVC of MTW wire.

Besides, the THHN wire is water-resistant, whereas the MTW is not completely water-resistant. So, they are more prone to damage from voltage overload or outside components like water or heat.


This round, undoubtedly, goes for the THHN wire.


Comparing fact 6 of 7: Flexibility

MTW wires are more flexible than THHN wires. Because they have multiple strands of the conductor. As a result, MTW wires are easy to bend and install in machine tools.

The THHN wires are less flexible for the thick insulation and nylon jacket. But as they are used in large projects where higher current flow and leakage withstand capacity, they need to be less flexible and more stable. As a result, they can withstand stress and excess pressure.


But if you compare by the flexibility parameter, the winner is definitely MTW wire.

Comparing fact 7 of 7: Affordability

MTW wires are more affordable. Their price range is around $0.04 /ft, whereas the price range of THHN wires is approximately $0.22/ft.


So, the winning medal goes to the MTW wire.

MTW vs THHN Wire: Applications

As the MTW and THHN wires are different in almost every aspect, they are used for different applications too. So, it is important to know the difference between the two. So, which is for what?

Choose MTW Wire If You Need Wire For

  • Control cabinet
  • Transformer
  • Any three-phase system
  • Single-phase system
  • Any machine tool
  • Home and kitchen appliances

Choose THHN Wire If You Need Wire For

  • Outdoor home applications
  • Security sensors
  • Thermostats
  • Landscape Lighting
  • Automobile

Final Words

After discussing the 7 factors to consider in MTW vs THHN wire, we can say the THHN wire is the better option in most cases. However, the MTW wire is more affordable than the THHN wire.

Plus, they offer more flexibility and ease of installation. But doesn’t have the ability to resist maximum current leakage as it is not as durable and stable as the THHN wire.

So, if you are looking for affordable and flexible wires for home appliances, control cabinets, or machine tools, MTW is for you.

If you want durable, stable, and can flow more current, choose the THHN wire.


Are MTW And THHN The Same?

No, MTW is not the same as THHN. While both are types of insulated copper wire, they have different applications. MTW is used for general-purpose wiring in homes, and THHN is used for heavy-duty applications like in industrial settings.

What Is MTW Wire Used For?

MTW wire is most often used as the stranded conductor in control cables and as appliance wiring. It can be used for outlets, switches, and fixtures for excellent flexibility.

Can You Use THHN Wire For Service Entrance?

Yes, you can use THHN wire for service entrance wiring, provided that it is installed in accordance with all local building codes and regulations.