What Size Wood Wick Should I Use?

Aside from the question of, how to use wooden wicks, the question we hear most often is “What size wick should I use?”  The tricky part is, there is no straight answer, but we are going to provide you with all of the information you need to get started, and make it as simple as possible.  We are only going to cover wooden wicks, as after all, we are The Wooden Wick Co!

Let’s begin with what a wick actually does (courtesy The National Candle Association)

“The purpose of a wick is to deliver fuel (wax) to the flame, with the wick absorbing the liquefied wax and carrying it by capillary action to the flame.  Different wick sizes allow for varying amounts of fuel to be drawn into the flame.  This makes wick selection critical to ensuring a safe and clean-burning candle that best meets the specific burn characteristics of a candle’s formulation.

Wick selection depends upon the total formulation of the candle; wax, fragrance, dye and additives. Changes in any one of these variables, even small changes, can have a larger-than-expected effect on the wick’s ability to bring fuel to the flame.”

Steps to choosing a wick:

Choose your wax.  Different types of waxes are going to require different wicks. For example, soy wax will need a thicker or wider wick than paraffin wax.

Choose your vessel.  The diameter of the vessel (height isn’t important at this point) is an important factor in choosing a wick size.  If the wick is too small for your vessel, a full melt pool will not be achieved and will result in tunneling.   If the wick is too large, the flame could be too high, the candle could get too hot, and you could have a potentially dangerous candle.  If your vessel has varying diameters, be sure to measure at the widest point.

Know the fragrance load.  The amount of fragrance you intend to use as well as any dye, will have a direct effect on the burn

Use our Wick Companion Guide to find the best wicks to begin your testing.  Here, you will be able to input all of the pertinent information and will be given several wick suggestions.  This is the simplest and easiest way to get started.  

Happy Candle Making!

We highly suggest you start by purchasing one of our Sample Kits, which are loaded with a variety of over 100 of our wicks including 20 wick clips.  Once you receive your kit, use our Wick Companion Guide for recommendations on which wicks in the kit will be the best place to start your testing.

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