RG6 vs. RG58 vs. RG59 vs. RG11 Coaxial Cables

RG6 vs. RG58 vs. RG59 vs. RG11 Coaxial Cables

Coaxial cables, sometimes called coax cables, are indispensable for A/V and broadband signal transmission. Choosing the right type is very important for sending and receiving data across distances with minimal loss. The most common types of coaxial cable include RG6, RG58, RG59, and RG11. Here, we’ll look at how coax cable is constructed and used, as well as how the types differ.

A Primer on Coaxial Cables and RG Ratings

Coaxial cables are used to transmit and receive high-frequency signals, including radio, video, or broadband internet. A copper conductor wire at its core transmits signals. It is surrounded by a layer of dielectric insulation, which is covered with a grounded, braided metal shield, usually made from copper or aluminum. The dielectric material maintains a constant voltage differential between the conductor and the shield. A sturdy plastic jacket encloses the wire to protect it from damage and moisture.

Most types of coaxial cable carry what’s known as an RG, or radio guide, rating. The letters are followed by a number, such as 6, 58, 59, or 11, as we’ll explore here. These numbers are used to specify the correct type of cable for an installation and roughly indicate cable diameter; however, the number is not a specific measurement. Higher numbers are often larger than smaller ones. That said, some higher number cables may be thinner than lower numbers (e.g., RG59 is thinner than RG6).

Industrial Coaxial Cables

Key Considerations for Selecting Industrial Coaxial Cables

The application determines the type of cable required to transmit signals with minimal loss. The primary things to consider about an application include:

  • Signal Requirements. The size of the conductor determines the signal frequency, range, and strength for which the cable can be used.
  • Environmental Conditions. This includes where the cable will be installed and if it needs protection from extreme temperatures, moisture, physical damage, vibration, or outdoor exposure.
  • Handling. Different types of cable are more or less flexible, so consider whether the application will include frequent handling or flexing (during installation or regular use).

Additional considerations in facilities with unique operating requirements may include:

  • Fire Protection. Some cables need flame-retardant materials for high-temperature applications, such as near industrial furnaces and ovens.
  • Ingress Protection (IP). IP ratings ensure cables are protected from dust and moisture./li>
  • Certifications and Standards. Industry-specific standards, such as UL or CE marks, are important for safety, performance, and legal compliance.

Coaxial Cable Comparison: RG6 vs RG58 vs RG59 vs RG11

While there are many types of coaxial cable available, four very common types are RG6, RG58, RG59, and RG11. They share similar materials and construction; however, they are generally not interchangeable and have some unique features for different applications.


Coaxial Cable Comparison: RG6 vs RG58 vs RG59 vs RG11

This industry-standard cable can be used for indoor or outdoor applications. It is easily shaped and flexible. It is commonly used to carry A/V, HDTV, and broadband signals. This type of cable usually includes thicker dielectric material and an additional layer of aluminum shielding.


RG59 has a smaller diameter than RG6 cable and is best suited for lower-frequency, indoor applications that cover short distances. Like RG6 cable, it can be used for video, television, and CCTV signals. So are RG6 and RG59 interchangeable? They are not. The difference between RG6 and RG59 is the conductor inside a RG59 cable is smaller than the one in an RG6 cable, which means it does not provide the same signal quality, performs best at lower frequencies, and results in more signal loss than an RG6 cable. What’s more, RG59 cannot be used for broadband transmission.


Another type, RG58 cable, can be distinguished from RG59. It has a lower impedance of 50 Ohms compared to the standard 75 Ohms of almost all other coax cables. Lower impedance makes RG58 cable a good choice for signal boosting in low-frequency audio applications including radio and two-way radio. RG58 is also used for testing and measurement equipment in laboratory settings.


This type of coaxial cable is very thick and much less flexible than RG6 or RG59 cable. It is often used for outdoor and buried applications. Because the conductor is larger, it can be used for high-definition video signals and other high-frequency applications, and it can cover longer physical distances without compromising signal quality or transmission.

Contact Our Signal Transmission Experts for Standard & Custom Coax Cable Solutions

With an extensive selection of coaxial cables, electrical wires, and accessories, Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable can provide a custom solution for your needs. Our custom capabilities include in-line engineering, assembly with molding, overmolding, cut-and-shrink tubing, tinning and soldering, ultrasonic welding, wire crimping and braiding, and testing services.

Learn more about our coaxial cable products or contact us for information about our capabilities and to discuss your application.

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