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Copper Scrap Metal Price Per Pound

Copper is used in nearly every industry that requires metal materials. There is such a high demand for copper that it is always a prized metal for scrap yards. GETTING BEST PRICE FOR copper isn’t as easy as just showing up with a load, however. Copper’s price per pound can vary greatly depending on many features. The quality of the metal, the grade, the type of copper, and many other features all affect how much you can expect when you sell copper to a scrap yard. At Scrap Stop Metals, you can expect to get the BEST prices every time. Here’s what you need to know to estimate a fair price on copper scrap:

Types of Copper Scrap

There are three general categories of copper material, which we simply call #1, #2, and bare copper wire. These three grades can tell you how high the price might go.
  • Bare copper wire is 99% pure copper, which has to be at least 1/16 of an inch thick, and has to be uncoated. There can be no signs of oxidation for copper to be graded as #1.
  • #1 copper is copper that falls into the realm of #1, except it isn’t clean enough. This means it might have some signs of oxidation, or it may still have some coating. These should be minimal or no signs of soldering.
  • #2 copper is copper that is less than 94% clean. It still cannot have other metal alloyed with it, but it can be less than 1/16 of an inch thick. Some scrap yards might refer to this as “light copper” as well.

Current Scrap Copper Prices*

With all the many variables to consider, most people simply rely on the knowledge of the local scrap yard to set the price. But basic information for each type of copper really isn’t that hard to come by – and you may be surprised to find that other scrap yards haven’t been paying a fair price. Here are some prices to know:

Clean Copper

  • Bare copper wire is $3.30-$3.50 PER LB*
  • #1 is $3.20-$3.40 PER LB*
  • #2 is $3.00-$3.30 PER LB*

Insulated Copper

  • 14 AWG THHN - 6 AWG THHN IS $2.20-$2.50 PER LB*
  • 4 AWG THHN AND BIGGER IS $2.40-$2.70 PER LB*

If you can strip copper wire, you’ll be sure to get a higher price for it at the scrap yard.

Other current scrap prices that you may want to know include:

  • Electric motors can run between 10 and 20 cents per pound.
  • Copper transformers can run between 20 and 30 cents per pound.

All of these prices fluctuate based on the region and MARKET FLUCTUATION. There are just as many variables affecting the going price for copper scrap as there are to deciding the value of copper scrap.

Improving Your Copper Scrap Prices

If you want to get the top prices from your local scrap yard, there are several things you can do to make your scrap metal more valuable. For example, did you know that each load of copper brought in is graded by the lowest grade piece of metal in the pile? If you have a pile of top grade copper, with a few bits of lower grade copper thrown in, you’ll only be paid for a big pile of lower grade copper. So sorting your copper can help you get higher prices without changing any other part of your recycling habits.


Finally, simply understanding the grading system can help you get better prices for your scrap metal. In some scrap yards, the technicians may try to simply push your scrap through without grading it, or offering you a better price for better quality metal. When you know what grade your copper falls into, you’ll be able to negotiate for better prices overall.

When you want the best prices for copper metal scrap, without the hassle and headache, Scrap Stop Metals offers you an easy way to recycle all your copper and get excellent prices. Whether you have insulated copper wire, exposed copper from transformers, or low grade plumbing pieces that you just need to offload, we can get you in and out in a hurry.

* Feb 2023 price.
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See also:

Scrap type and price request
Bare Bright Copper Wire Quote
Electric Motors Quote
Alternators Quote
#1 Copper - Tubing or Wire Quote
#2 Copper Pipes or Wire Quote
Insulated Copper Wire Quote
#1 Insulated Copper Wire Quote
#2 Insulated Copper Wire Quote
Communication Wire Quote
Copper Transformers Quote
Insulated Copper Cable Quote
Romex Wire Quote
Compressors (Sealed Units) Quote
Starters Quote
Aluminum-Copper Coils Quote