I'm curious how much current it is safe to pass through a 0.1" pitch pin header. I'm sure it will depend on the gauge and stranding of the wire attached to it as well, but assuming that is not the limiting factor how much could be safely passed?

  • \$\begingroup\$ it's about 0.3mm^2 cross section of copper fusing current is 10s of amps, - assuming both ends are welded to larger conductors. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 27, 2018 at 20:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ This would be answered in the datasheet for the header and the mating connector. The answer will also, or course, vary according to the specific connector. There are many many .1" pitch connectors with different capabilities out there. [Edited by a moderator.] \$\endgroup\$ Jan 27, 2018 at 22:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop I've got pin headers from a number of different sources and have never seen a datasheet for one. The exact figure will vary, of course, but a typical or lower-bound answer could be useful. [Edited by a moderator.] \$\endgroup\$ Jan 28, 2018 at 0:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ It really would depend on the thermal junction on each end of the pin and how much heat it could source, and a max temperature. Some people would consider 80C on a wire to be too much, some 120C, depends and bad question because its too broad. \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike
    Jan 28, 2018 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


Samtecs TSW standard 0.1" header has a variable voltage and current rating based on the matching connector it plugs into. This is due to how much surface area makes contact with the header. That says, it averages 4 to 6 amps per pin.


Based on the common design and material, most headers will have similar properties.

When used for stacking, as in two boards soldered to the same header, the max amperage is 3 amps @ 80 degrees C (I'm assuming per pin). Except for some of their dedicated power strips which have 8+ amp.

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    \$\begingroup\$ 4 to 6A assume a male is mated with a female. Now if you solder the wire (instead of using a solderless connector) or join two PCBs by soldering the pins, then the current may be higher. To stay on the safe side, within norms, I would stick with 4A to 6A, eventualy using two pins if it's not enough. If it's for a personal project you can take some more liberties IMO. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fredled
    Jan 27, 2018 at 21:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Samtec has some board to board headers so I'll add that in later \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Jan 27, 2018 at 21:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @fredled 3 amps when stacking. Per pin. Hope your power traces are sufficiently wide/ copper poured weight. \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Jan 27, 2018 at 22:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the info. It seems to me very little. I would expect something about 10A because the pin is quite short compared to a wire of the same cross section. How are they coming up with 2x higher values for mating contacts? Doesn't make sens IMO. Of course trace widths and copper weight are more relevant. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fredled
    Jan 27, 2018 at 22:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @far that's not the mating Samtec part and the tail and pitch is different. You can't mix manufacturer parts and expect the numbers to bethe same.t \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Jul 15, 2020 at 3:32

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