What is The Difference Between a Wire Harness & Cable Assembly?

Wire harnesses and cable assemblies are terms that are often used interchangeably. While these two products are very similar, they differ in their overall design and function. Before getting into the differences between harnesses and assemblies, it’s important to first understand the difference between wires and cables.

Wires vs Cables

  • A wire is a strand of copper or aluminum designed to conduct electricity
  • A cable consists of two or more electrical wires that are bonded or braided together

What is a Wire Harness?

A wire harness is a single cable covered by an exterior sleeve. Wire harnesses are used in applications where the cable may require protection from extreme heat, moisture, dust, friction, and other environmental hazards. Wire harnesses offer a low-cost solution for preventing electric shock and reducing damage to devices.

Benefits of Wire Harnesses for Individual Cables

  • Less expensive compared to cable assemblies
  • Extends service life of cables and electronics
  • Improves organization of electrical systems

What is a Cable Assembly?

Cable assemblies are a group of wires or cables covered by a durable sleeve designed to provide protection and keep different types of cables organized. Our custom molded cable assemblies offer increased strength and flexibility to prevent damage to critical wiring components.

Benefits of Cable Assemblies for Bundling Cables

  • Provide an efficient method for threading multiple cables around a space
  • Offer improved strain relief and pull strength
  • Custom molded to provide a clean, sleek appearance


Wire Harnesses vs Cable Assemblies


Wire Harness

Cable Assembly


A single wire or cable encased in a protective sleeve

A group of wires or cables encased in a protective sleeve

Industry Applications

 Medical devices, military equipment, alternative energy products, high density telecom applications, and automotive/transportation

Military equipment, aerospace, automotive/transportation, medical devices, electronics, lighting, and a variety of multi-function applications

Sleeve Material

Shrink-wrapped thermoplastic, thermoplastic rubber, or vinyl

Overmolded thermoplastic, thermoplastic rubber,
or vinyl


Provide protection against  environmental hazards, extend service life of wires and/or cables, and are less expensive compared to cable assemblies

Provide protection against environmental hazards, offer improved strain relief and pull strength, and help keep multiple types of cables organized


Electri-Cord Mfg. Co. 2022

Your #1 Source for High Quality Custom Cable & Harness Assemblies

Streamline your wiring systems with custom wire harnesses and cable assemblies. As an industry leading electronic manufacturer for more than 70 years, Electri-Cord can provide you with the custom wiring solutions you require. Our qualified team of experts will work with you from design all the way through production to ensure you get exactly what you need. Request a quote today to begin discussing your project requirements. Contact us for more information.

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