Wedge Valve Vs Gate Valve:Differences,Applications, Pros And Cons

In this blog post, you’ll read:Wedge and gate valves are one of the most popular groups of valves and even though they might look like one another, they have a lot of differences. Then, what is the difference between the wedge and gate valves? In this article, we will look at how each of these valves operates and what differentiates them from one another. We will also consider the situations where each Plumberstar valve fits best based on the application requirements.
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Wedge and gate valves are one of the most popular groups of valves and even though they might look like one another, they have a lot of differences. Then, what is the difference between the wedge and gate valves?

In this article, we will look at how each of these valves operates and what differentiates them from one another. We will also consider the situations where each Plumberstar valve fits best based on the application requirements.

What is a Wedge Valve?

Wedge valve
Wedge valve

A wedge valve is typical for managing fluid flow in a pipe. It is a metal wedge placed on the side of the fluid passageway. The size of the wedge can vary according to control for the number of fluid that passes through.

However, the oil and gas flow in pipelines is regulated using wedge valves. Moreover, they are used for control of water flow in the water pipelines. The Wedge valves are widely used in applications where high control is necessary.

Working Mechanism of Wedge Valves

The working of a wedge valve is generally simple. When the valve is turned on, a small wedge is inserted between the two parts of the pipe.

This wedge, in turn, gradually opens the gap between two sections of pipe, thus making it possible for the fluid to flow. Whatever the case of turning off the valve, the wedge is pulled out, and the gap between both halves of the pipe is made hermetic.

Wedge valves are applications with high pressure and high temperature, which means that the valve should endure a great deal of wear and tear. However, wedge valves are also included in all critical situations where safety plays an important role and thus the operation has to be successful and precise.

A wedge valve is one form of a rotary valve that is widely utilized in practical pneumatics and fluid power. Valves like ball valves and butterfly valves are among many others that have several advantages as compared to using a wedge valve.

  • Improved control over the flow of fluids
  • More accurate regulation of air or liquid pressure
  • External lubrication is not required
  • Corrosion and wear resistance

A wedge valve makes an ideal choice in case one seeks to install a rotary valve in the pneumatic or fluid power system.

Examples of Applications Where Wedge Valves are Commonly Used

Various industrial applications rely on wedge valves for very accurate flow control. In the hazardous or corrosive fluids pipelines. Piping Manufacturers use them for the chemical and petrochemical industry. Other facilities that use wedge valves as their significant application include:

  • Power generation facilities
  • Drinking water treatment plants
  • Oil refineries.

Moreover, wedge valves are used in HVAC systems, food processing plants as well as pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities among other sectors.

Due to their capacity to make a tight seal, wedge valves are an excellent option for usage in cases where leakage prevention is vital and that can be high-pressure pipelines. They also fit applications with infrequent adjustment valves, which are minimal maintenance requirements for long usage durations.

What Is a Gate Valve?

The flow of liquids and gases is controlled using a gate valve. It is a common valve in industrial and commercial settings. Two types of flow control include a gate valve for the flow of liquids and gases. It is an industrial and commercial valve used for a broad range of technical functions.

  1. Stem gate valves that rise as the gate is opened need a stem that rises along with the gate when the valve is opened.
  2. In the rising Stem gate valve, the stem is fixed in position without any change concerning movement upon opening of the valve.

One of the most common types of valves used around the globe is Gate Valve. Gate valves are ideally used for functions where a fluid is streamed, normally in an unbroken and continuous course.

When the gate valve is open, it offers very low resistance to flow and it can be applied for employment with various fluids such as liquids, gases, and vapors. Gate valves can also be readily maintained and repaired.

Non rising stem gate valve
Non-rising stem gate valve

Working Mechanism of Gate Valves

Gate valves are designed to operate at the full open or the full close setting. It is not recommended, however, that the valve-containing items be used in a rotated position because this can destroy the valve. Gate valves are commonly used in such applications wherein it is necessary to stop the movement of either the liquid or gas.

Some of them are water pipes and gas pipelines. When the gate valve is in operation, fluid flows through the pipe after lifting out the gate from its position. The gate normally has a link either to a handwheel or a lever that will operate to raise and lower the gate. The gate is readily closed to block the flow of fluid completely. When the gate is left open, it will allow fluid to flow through the pipes easily.

Examples of Applications Where Gate Valves are Commonly Used

It is common in industrial uses that various valves are used to control flow. The use of gate valves is widely practiced in:

  • Pipelines employing fluids
  • Water treatment
  • Power generation

They exhibit a high resistance to high temperatures and pressures while offering relatively low resistance against fluid flow.

Although they are less efficient and accurate, gate valves are still considered the main equipment for systems where such characteristics as durability, reliability, and exact flow regulation are important.

Source: Plumberstar Gate Valve Manufacturer in China

Wedge Valve Vs Gate Valve: Advantages and Disadvantages

Now, each of the two wedge and gate valves is great for industrial processes and infrastructure. But we can’t ignore the fact that each has some positives and negatives. Let’s take a look at the advantages and possible disadvantages of each in detail:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wedge Valves

Here are the pros and cons of Wedge Valve for industrial applications:


  • Superior SealingWedge valves perform well in high-pressure applications thanks to their customized wedge-shaped design, which ensures exceptional tightness and minimizes leakage, even in extreme conditions. This makes them extremely robust for crucial industrial processes.
  • Precision Flow Control: Its unique layout permits precise flow control, which is particularly advantageous when dealing with viscous liquids, slurries, and other slurries. This allows for smooth operation and avoids blockages, which is an important factor in a variety of industrial situations.
  • Strong ConstructionMost often, they are designed with strong materials and sturdy design, wedge valves can provide an extended lifespan and dependable performance in harsh industrial environments. They can withstand extreme conditions and corrosive fluids to ensure continued performance.
  • Possibility of Reduced Maintenance: The robust sealing performance of wedge valves could lead to less maintenance requirements than the gate valves they are paired with. However, this will depend on the particular operating conditions.


  • Accurate Actuation ForceThe operation of a wedge valve normally requires higher actuation force because of its multi-turn mechanism as compared to gate valves. This may be a drawback when it comes to applications that require frequent operation or with limited ability to manually actuate.
  • A higher initial cost: Wedge valves generally come with a higher cost of initial installation than gate valves, specifically when they are larger. This is a major aspect when budget restrictions are an issue.
  • More Bulkier Style: Although not necessarily the best compact valve, wedge valves can be bigger than gate valves, creating problems in areas with small space.
  • Potential for Seating IssuesIn some instances, wedge valves might require more careful initial seating procedures to create an ideal seal. This issue can be addressed by appropriate installation and maintenance procedures.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Gate Valves

Here are the pros and cons of Gate Valve for industrial applications:


  • Cost-Effective Option: Gate valves often dominate when it comes to initial costs, especially for larger dimensions. They are a great alternative for budget-conscious projects.
  • Space-Saving Design Their small size is characterized by a smaller face-to-face measurement, which reduces the need for space. This is especially useful in industrial environments where every square inch matters.
  • User-friendly:Operating a gate valve is generally quite simple and requires only a quarter turn because of its simple design. This allows for quick and easy operation, which is essential in fast-paced industrial settings.
  • High Flow ResistanceThe design of the gate valve reduces flow resistance, resulting in low pressure drops across the valve. This is advantageous for applications that require effective flow control.


  • Limited Pressure HandlingWhile they are suitable for a variety of scenarios, Gate valves are not the best choice for extreme high-pressure. Their sealing capabilities might not be as durable as wedge valves that are subjected to intense pressure.
  • Not suitable for throttles: Due to their form gate valves aren’t ideal for controlling flow precisely. They work best as off/on valves. However, a partial opening could cause disturbance, vibration, and even damage.
  • High Maintenance Needs: The simpler design of gate valves could cause leakage to increase over time, which could lead to regular maintenance as opposed to wedge valves. However, the right maintenance techniques can help to reduce the problem.
  • Highly prone to erosion: When used with high-velocity flow or abrasive fluids, the gate and seats of gate valves may be damaged, resulting in leaks and eventually requiring replacement. A careful selection of the material and working within the recommended parameters are essential to stop this.

Wedge Valve Vs Gate Valve

Valves are a set of tools. They are used for regulating the movement of fluids (liquids, gases, or slurries) through a piped system. Many valves that can be used come with different pros and cons. In the category of valves, wedges and gates are the most prevalent types of these valves.

In this case, what are the differences between wedge and gate valves?

  • Wedge valves work with wedged or conical discs; whereas the disc is flat in a gate valve.
  • The wedge valves had the sealing through the wedging action, while gate valves had their sealing processes based on linear motion.
  • However, wedge valves are much better suited to high-pressure applications than gate valves.
  • Wedge valves need greater torque while working as compared to gate valves.
  • Wedge valves provide more surface contact area between the disk and the seat in comparison to gate valves.
  • The wedge valve is more prone to leakages than the gate valve.
  • Wedge valves should be placed in the correct direction, or they will not sit well.
  • On average, wedge valves are also lighter and smaller than the gate valves.
  • Wedge valves are opened using an open hand wheel that is mostly turned in an anticlockwise direction, while gate valves are opened with a pulled handle.
  • Wedge valves mostly open 180, while gate valves only shift through 45 degrees.
  • Since a wedge valve is bigger than a gate valve, there will be a need for more space to operate the valve full port, and it is thus used in applications where space and weight restraints do not prevent it from being used.
  • Sometimes, the wedge and gate valves can be interchanged but it is necessary to consult both the specifications of gas valve types as well as the companies’ standards before making any changes to the assembly system.

Both valve types are endowed with benefits as well as drawbacks, and therefore, in the cases where the application’s need is not clearly understood, it is advisable to consult with a gate valve supplier so that they identify which variety is best suited for applications.

For instance, for tight seals, people should choose a gate valve, and in cases where space needs to be saved, then the wedge valve is ideal.

Wedge Valve Vs. Gate Valve: Quick Differentiate Comparison Table

Feature Wedge Valve Gate Valve
Disc shape Wedged or conical Flat
Sealing mechanism Wedging action Linear motion
Suitability for high-pressure applications Better suited Less suited
Torque requirement Greater Lesser
Surface contact area between disc and seat More Less
Leakage susceptibility More prone Less prone
Proper orientation is required for seating Yes No
Size and weight Lighter and smaller Heavier and larger
Opening mechanism Open hand wheel turned anticlockwise Pulled handle
Opening degree Mostly 180 degrees Shifts through 45 degrees
Space requirement for operation More space required Less space required
Interchangeability with gate valve Sometimes possible, but consult specifications and standards beforehand Sometimes possible, but consult specifications and standards beforehand


Parts of the gate valve
Parts of the gate valve

Source: Plumberstar Gate Valve

Product Name Heavy Duty Bronze Gate Valve
Materials Bronze with sand-blasted finishing
Size 1-1/2, 1-1/4, 1, 1/2, 2, 3, 3/4, 4, 5, 6.
Media Gas and Liquid
Thread Connection NPT, BST
Temperature Range 210°C to 180°C
Working Pressure 0 to 20 bar
Applications Applicable for handling a wide range of gases and liquids.

How To Choose: Wedge Valve Vs Gate Valve

Industrial gate valves
Industrial gate valves

A Wedge Valve is an advanced, adaptable alternative that can sometimes offer such benefits as ease of installation and a wider range of fluid compatibility. In contrast, a Gate Valve is built to last commensurately, needs less maintenance, and does not cause any heartburn because of unexpected turn of events.

One should choose either of them depending on the exact needs, and it is also sometimes worth looking over these two types before reaching the conclusion on which to go, as there are many positives and negatives in each alternative.

1. The Type of Fluid Dealing With

The main point to consider during the selection of the right kind of valve is the one dealing with a type of fluid. Following the liquid type may require a Wedge Valve or a Gate Valve.

  • Wedge valves are primarily built for liquids with very high viscosity and a high solids percentage.
  • Gate valves are factory-made valves for thinner liquids with fewer solids, best for chemical processing.

If doubtful about the type of valve required, it is advisable to seek guidance from your valves manufacturer. They may advise the choice of an appropriate valve needed.

2. The Pressure of the Fluid

If designed for low pressures at a gate valve would offer a tight seal with minimal leakage.

  • It is then preferred for hydraulic selection in an industrial plant.

Nevertheless, the gate valve’s openness increases with the fluid’s pressure. It assumes an intricate operation that can start leaking.

  • In such cases, a wedge valve is usually the optimal choice since it allows higher pressures to be handled with less leakage as compared with a ball valve.

Therefore, when picking between a wedge valve and a gate valve, look at the pressure of the liquid.

3. The Temperature of the Fluid

First of all, the temperature of the liquid differs.

  • Wedge valves are intended to process liquids under high temperatures.
  • Gate valves are generally used for lower degrees of temperature.

This is also something to take notice of while choosing a valve for the piping system.

4. Size Of The Opening

Gate valves are also more suitable than wedge valves for large pipes as they have a larger gross area. Although gate valves are bigger compared to check valves thereby they open larger pipes.

5. The Valve’s Lifespan

Wedge valves assemble from two units: a body and a wedge. The wedge is anchored to the body with screws, bolts, and other fasteners. With time, the grub screw fasteners tend to lose and the wedge can come off from the body. This results in a loss of pressure and could lead to leaks.

Contrastingly, gate valves are formed from one solid mass. The gate is fitted directly to the body and thus cannot swing away from the meeting point. This gives a gate valve more durability and thus is less likely to leak.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I require a valve for the high-pressure system. What is the best option such as a wedge valve and a gate?

For high-pressure applications, wedge valves are the best choice. Its wedge-shaped shape provides an even tighter seal on the valve’s seat, making it less susceptible to leaks when pressure is high. But, remember it takes wedge valves greater force to operate and can be more expensive than gate valve equivalents.

2. I’m working with a limited area and require a valve that won’t require much space. What is the best option?

In terms of compactness, Gate Valves are the most compact. They have the smallest “face-to-face” measurement, which means that the distance required to open fully and shut is lower when compared to wedge valves. They are, therefore ideal for tight spaces where every millimeter is important.

3. There are thick liquids or Slurries. Are there valves that can handle these?

Although both valves have functions, wedge valves tend to perform better when working in viscous fluids. Their design permits greater control over flow rates, blocking the flow and ensuring an easier operation. Gate valves, on the other hand, can perform well when working with less dense liquids, such as gas or water.

4. I’m on a tight budget and am looking for a cost-effective option. Which is the cheapest valve?

If price is a primary issue, gate valves are the best option. They typically cost less than wedge valves, particularly for larger dimensions. However, because of their less complicated layout, the less initial cost could be offset by higher frequency maintenance requirements for gate valves.

5. How simply can these valves be operated and kept in good condition?

Gate valves generally outperform other valves in terms of their ease of operation. Their quarter-turn closing and opening mechanisms require less effort than the multi-turn operation of the majority of wedge valves. However, wedge valves usually have better-sealing properties that can result in fewer maintenance requirements over time.


To conclude, the wedge and gate valves also have pros and cons. This is why the wedge valves are usually used for those applications requiring a tight seal.

While the latter are used for those applications in which flow control is more important. In case of uncertainties regarding the most suitable valve type for an application, please contact us for further details.






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