Wedge Valve Vs Gate Valve: What's the Main Difference?

Home Wedge Valve Vs Gate Valve: What's the Main Difference?

Wedge and gate valves are some of the most common valves used in the oil and gas industry, but despite their similar appearances, they’re pretty different from one another. So what is the difference between a wedge valve vs a gate valve? This article will explore how each of these valves works and what sets them apart. We will also look at applications for which each dombor valve may be best suited, depending on the application needs.

What is Wedge Valve?

Dombor Wedge Valve
Source: Dombor 

A wedge valve is a type of valve used to control fluid flow through a pipe. It consists of a wedge-shaped piece of metal placed in the fluid’s path. The size of the wedge can be adjusted to control the amount of fluid allowed to pass through.

Wedge valves are commonly used in pipelines to regulate the flow of oil and gas. They are also used in water pipelines to control the flow of water. Wedge valves are often used in applications requiring a high degree of control.

The operating principle of a wedge valve is relatively simple. When the valve is opened, a small wedge is inserted between the two sections of the pipe. This wedge gradually opens the gap between the two pipe sections, allowing fluid to flow through. When the valve is closed, the wedge is removed, and the gap between the two sections of pipe is sealed.

Wedge valves are often used in high-pressure and high-temperature applications, and as such, they must be able to withstand a lot of wear and tear. Wedge valves are also used in critical applications where safety is a concern, so they must be able to operate reliably and accurately.

The wedge valve is a rotary valve often used in pneumatics and fluid power applications. There are many advantages to using a wedge valve over other valves, such as ball and butterfly valves. Some of the benefits of wedge valves include:

  • More accurate control of fluid flow
  • More precise regulation of air or liquid pressure
  • No need for external lubrication
  • resistant to corrosion and wear

A wedge valve is an excellent option if looking for a rotary valve for the pneumatic or fluid power system.

What Is a Gate Valve?

Gate Valve
Source: Dombor 

A gate valve is used to control the flow of liquids and gasses. It is a widely used valve in industrial and commercial applications. Gate valves are classified into two main types: rising stem and non-rising stem. Rising stem gate valves have a stem that rises along with the gate when the valve is opened. Non-rising stem gate valves have a stem that remains in the same position, even when the valve is opened.

The gate valve is one of the world’s most widely used types of valves. Gate valves are well suited for applications where a straight, uninterrupted flow of fluid is required. When the gate valve is open, there is very little resistance to flow, and the valve can be used with various fluids, including liquids, gasses, and vapors. Gate valves are also relatively easy to maintain and repair.

Gate valves are designed to be fully open or fully closed. They are not meant to be used in a partially open position, as this can damage the valve. Gate valves are often used in applications where it is essential to completely shut off the flow of liquid or gas. Some examples of this include water and gas lines.

The gate valve operates by lifting the gate out of the way so that fluid can flow through the pipe. The gate is usually connected to a handwheel or a lever to raise and lower the gate. When the gate is closed, it completely blocks the flow of fluid. When the gate is open, fluid can flow freely through the pipe.

Wedge Valve Vs Gate Valve

Source: istock

Alt-text: Wedge Valve Vs Gate Valve

Valves are devices used to control the flow of fluids (liquids, gasses, or slurries) in a piping system. There are many different valves, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. Two of the most common valves are wedge valves and gate valves.

So, what are the critical differences between wedge valves and gate valves? Here are ten key differences:

  • Wedge valves have a conical or wedged-shaped disk, while gate valves have a flat disk.
  • Wedge valves rely on a wedging action to seal, while gate valves rely on a linear motion.
  • Wedge valves are well-suited for high-pressure applications, while gate valves are not.
  • Wedge valves are more expensive than gate valves.
  • Wedge valves require greater torque to operate than gate valves.
  • Wedge valves have a higher percentage of contact between the disk and the seat than gate valves.
  • Wedge valves are more likely to leak than gate valves.
  • Wedge valves must be installed in the proper orientation, or they will not seal properly.
  • Wedge valves tend to be smaller and lighter than gate valves.
  • Wedge valves are not as widely used as gate valves.
  • Wedge valves are opened with a handwheel that is usually turned clockwise, while gate valves are opened with a pulled handle. 
  • Wedge valves typically open 180 degrees, while gate valves only move through 45 degrees. 
  • Due to their size, wedge valves require more space than gate valves to operate fully, which means they are used in applications where room and weight constraints do not prohibit their use. 
  • In some cases, wedge and gate valves can be installed interchangeably, but be sure to consult both the gas valve types specifications and the company’s standards before making any changes to the assembly system. 

Both valve types offer advantages and disadvantages, so make sure to clearly understand what the need for the application is before deciding on either option, for more information contact gate valve supplier to know which type is best suited for applications. For example, if anyone wants a tight seal, go with a gate valve; if needed to conserve space, opt for a wedge valve.

How To Choose: Wedge Valve Vs Gate Valve

Globe Valve Vs. Check Valve
                                         Source: istock

A Wedge Valve is a more modern, flexible choice that can offer benefits like easier installation and a more excellent range of fluid compatibility. Whereas a Gate Valve is designed to last, requiring less maintenance and coming with fewer worries about unforeseen eventualities. In general, one should opt for one type or the other based on the specific needs, but it can also be worth checking out these two types before making up their mind, as there are plenty of pros and cons associated with each option.

Here are five factors that can help to make the best decision for the needs:

1. The type of fluid dealing with: When choosing the right kind of valve for the needs, it is essential to consider the type of fluid dealing with. Depending on the liquid, it may needed a Wedge Valve or a Gate Valve.

Wedge valves are designed for highly viscous fluids with a high solids content. Gate valves are designed for less dense liquids with a lower solids content, best for chemical processing. If not sure which type of valve is needed, it is best to consult with a professional. They can help to choose the suitable valve for the needs.

2. The pressure of the fluid:  At low pressures, a gate valve is often the best choice because it can provide a tight seal with minimal leakage. However, as the pressure of the fluid increases, the gate valve becomes more challenging to operate and can begin to leak. A wedge valve is often a better choice in these situations because it can handle higher pressures with less leakage. So, when choosing between a wedge valve and a gate valve, consider the fluid’s pressure.

3. The temperature of the fluid: One key difference is the temperature of the liquid. Wedge valves are designed to handle fluids at high temperatures, while gate valves are better suited for lower temperatures. This is important to remember when selecting a valve for the piping system.

4. Size Of The Opening: Wedge valves have a smaller opening than gate valves, which means they can be used for smaller diameter pipes. On the other hand, gate valves have a larger opening, making them better suited for larger-diameter pipes.

5. The valve’s lifespan: Wedge valves are made of two pieces – a body and a wedge. The wedge is attached to the body with screws, bolts, or other fasteners. Over time, these fasteners can loosen, and the wedge can become detached from the body. This can lead to a loss of pressure and potential leaks. On the other hand, gate valves are made of a single piece. The gate is hinged to the body, so it can’t become detached. This makes gate valves more durable and less likely to leak.


In conclusion, both wedge and gate valves have advantages and disadvantages. Wedge valves are typically used in applications where a tight seal is necessary, while gate valves are better suited for applications where flow control is more important. If unsure which type of valve is right for the application, please contact us for more information.