20 Gauge vs. 25 Gauge Steel Studs [Compared in 2021]

Have you ever noticed and examined the differences between the 20 gauge steel stud and 25 gauge steel studs?

Several technical engineers choose or prefer to use one more than the other. This can be linked to their distinguishing factors, which make one suitable for a task than the other. The distinction is basically related to their varying uses and conditions of use.

20 gauge vs 25 gauge metal

Now, what are the differences between 20 gauge steel and 25 gauge steel stud? let’s find it out here with a bit of helpful explanation.

The Difference in The Thickness

They both have their professional thickness, which is mostly determined by the work done with them. The smaller the number of a gauge, the thicker the sheet steel. There are few differences in the gauge’s steel size in different parts of the world.

For example, In the USA, 20 gauge sheet steel is 0.036in/0.9144mm thick, while a 25 gauge sheet steel is 0.021in/0.5330mm thick.

In Great Britain’s Imperial measurement, 20 gauge sheet steel is 0.036in/ 0.091mm (there’s a little bit of rounding in shape here), while a 25 gauge sheet steel is 0.020in / 0.51mm.

Their Ease of Use

20 gauge steel uses self-tapping screws, which offers it a high anti-loose capacity, but for 25 gauge steel, you will have to use pointers.

Though the 25 gauge steel stud is a little easier to cut with snips, all connections must be clamped before you can screw the studs together. The studs of 20 gauge can be easily distinguished by the diamond pattern on the stud webs.

Note that, irrespective of the level of ease of use, both steel studs require distinct technical know-how.

The Wall Types

The way these gauges are used is majorly dependent on the kind of walls, shapes, and dimensions.

25 gauge steel stud is known for interior non-structural walls, while the 20 gauge steel stud is suitable for the exterior structural walls. The exterior structural walls are built in a different way to the interior non-structural walls.

25 gauge studs can only be used on walls that are not taller than 10ft because this stud performs poorly in some situations, especially on drywall. On the drywall, 25 gauge steel stud’s screws peel off, the wall structure flex, and other fittings become very difficult to install whenever they are pressed tight on them. This is because the 25 gauge steel studs are light and have little or no ability to stand weights on them. These are the studs that are usually seen at stores that deal in home upgrade items.

Due to the high thickness, 20 gauge steel studs are typically considered as the standard. They enable the bugle-head of drywall screws to be fastened perfectly to sink its head under the drywall flush. This enables them to be effortlessly coated with joint compounds. Also, substances such as shelves, toilet accessories, and fire extinguishers can be securely attached to them.

Ability to Hold Substance

20 gauge steel is stronger, while 25 gauge steel is lighter. The 20 gauge is typically tagged as the standard gauge of non-structural steel studs for commercial use because of its strong support capacity. The 25 gauge is often characterized as performing very weak and poor even for supporting its own weight. 25 gauge steel is, therefore, often referred to as the light gauge metal stud.

Their Popularity

20 gauge steel stud is more popular than the 25 gauge steel stud. The popularity is more significant in the interior aspect because the 20 gauge is extremely useful for the interior non-structural parts. It is well known for its thickness and strength. It is strong enough to accommodate heavy home appliances being screwed to them or hung on them.

25 gauge steel stud is more popular in the exterior structural aspect because of its lightness. It can also be easily bent from one shape or form to another, compared to 20 gauge steel studs.

Their particular popularity lies in the kind of work they are technically used for and how they are used.


The above content has given us most of the differences between the two examining variables (20 gauge steel and 25 gauge steel studs).

It is now clear that as these gauges increase, the strength, and thickness of steel diminishes.

The critical aspect is the efficiency and effectiveness of these gauges as to how, when, and where they are used, because using low-quality gauge steel where a high-quality gauge is needed may cause collapse.

You will need to use a suitable gauge for doing the job in perfection.

In short, 25 gauge steel is suitable for basic non-structural stud, and it is best used for non-bearing partition work. It is technically appropriate and recommended that if you are working on a wall taller than 10 feet, you should use the strong 20 gauge stud. Its thickness enables it to carry the loads mounted on it without stripping getting weak.

2 thoughts on “20 Gauge vs. 25 Gauge Steel Studs [Compared in 2021]”

  1. To the author,

    This article appears to contradict itself. In part of you you say that 20 gauge studs are best used for interior non-structural walls and that 25 gauge is best for exterior walls.

    Then later you say the opposite.

    Maybe it was just a typo or three but you might want to check it out.

    I’m just wondering which I should use for structural exterior walls. I’m assuming 20 guage.


    • Hi David, Thank you very much for pointing that out!
      It was a typo and I rectified that. About your issue, you are absolutely correct. Use 20 gauge for structural exterior walls.


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