Ball Valve vs. Gate Valve: How to select the Right One for your Application

ball valve vs gate valve

Ball Valves and Gate Valves are shut-on/off types of valves that are offered in a variety of sizes, materials, pressure ratings, and temperature requirements. In spite of the fact that these valves can be used for similar conditions. However, their structural and opening characteristics are different. This is all here to know about Ball Valve vs. Gate Valve.

What is a Gate Valve?

The most common valve in water supply systems is the Industrial Gate Valve. Gate Valves are used to completely start or stop the flow of media through a pipeline by lifting or lowering a solid, rectangular gate. These valves require a 360° turn to change the position of the gate.

Because of its simplicity and versatility, a gate valve is one of the most commonly used valves. They are designed to be fully opened or fully closed and have full-port parts. It is used when minimum pressure loss and a free bore is required. These valves are typically actuated manually by a handwheel, but electric and pneumatic actuators are also available. It also allows for a cleaning rod to cleanse the line.

What is a Ball Valve?

Industrial Ball Valves are durable and reliable. As the name implies, utilize a rotatable ball with a bore to control the flow of liquid or gases from one opening to the next. They can allow the medium to flow through it or stop it by rotating the ball one-quarter turn (90°) around its axis. Ball Valves are the best choice for use with gases since they have a stronger seal. 

These valves can control the flow by allowing the open to be open, blocked, or partially open. They are able to endure high pressure and high temperature because of their simple structure and use. They are more resistant to contaminated media than most other valve types and maintain a good seal even when the medium is impure. These characteristics make them an excellent choice for shut-off, control, and throttling applications.

Gate Valve vs. Ball Valve

As we mentioned, Ball Valves operate by rotating a ball 90’, whereas Gate Valves are controlled by sliding a gate up or down. Because of their design, Ball Valves can operate in a virtually immediate shut-off, but Gate Valves are not able to operate quickly. As a result, Ball Valves are a superior alternative requiring a high cycle speed. 

The quarter turn operation (90°) of Ball Valves makes them suitable for applications where fast movement is required. This is beneficial in the majority of circumstances but it can lead to water hammer in high-pressure applications. If the pressure is high enough, the pipe may weaken or even break, which is why manual Ball Valve users should operate the levers carefully in order to avoid water hammer.

Applications & Use Cases:

Gate Valve Uses: 

Shut-off and Isolation service for:

  • Wastewater Plants
  • Power Plants
  • Mining
  • Process Plants
  • Large Water Supply Lines

Ball Valve Uses: 

Controlling on/off for specialist applications such as:

  • Oil and Gas 
  • Power Wash Systems
  • Food & Beverage Equipment 
  • Pharmaceutical 
  • Power Processing
  • Irrigation & Water Treatment Equipment 
  • Oxygen Plant 


In the discussion regarding Ball Valve vs. Gate Valve, the cost is a major defining key factor. Gate Valve Manufacturer provides valves that are less expensive than Ball Valves on the initial sight, though they are more vulnerable to corrosion, which means they will require repairs and replacements more frequently. On the other hand, Ball Valves are quite expensive at first, but they are the superior choice for lifetime service since they are more robust and excellent at providing tight seals.


As described, Gate Valves are less durable than Ball Valves. Gate Valves will require more replacement and maintenance. Ball Valves are designed to be maintenance-free and should be replaced rather than repaired without removing the valve from service. These valves are used in high-cycle and high-pressure applications.

Should you use a Gate Valve or a Ball Valve?

Subsequently, the choice between what to use, a Gate Valve or a Ball Valve totally depends on the Application. Gate Valves are more suitable for applications that require, limited installation space and frequent operation. Whereas Ball Valve Manufacturer provides valves that are ideal for applications that require fast cycle times, multiple ports, reliable, tight seals, and frequent operation. 

To help you with your choice, the information we presented in this post is summarized as follows:

Type of Media: 

Ball Valves are often utilized with both liquids and gases because they form a reliable, tight seal. Gate Valves are better suited for thick liquids (like oil) as they are more likely to leak.  


Ball Valves as smaller than Gate Valves, but they need more space to operate. A Manual Ball Valve needs a lever that can be rotated 90 degrees. Small form factor handle choices, including wing or round-style handles, are available for several Ball Valves. However, these handles sometimes don’t offer enough leverage for larger Ball Valves, even when they operate well with lower pipe diameters. 


Gate Valves are designed to open and close quickly, while Ball Valves are designed to provide a tight seal. Gate Valves are used in applications where a quick opening and closing is required. Ball Valves are often used in applications that require active, quick control of the flow of media. 


Gate Valves are less prevalent in multi-port setups than Ball Valves, in contrast. A Ball Valve may be the best option if your application demands a multi-port flow.

Cair Euromatic Automation is a leading manufacturer, Exporter, and Designer of Ball Valves and Gate valves including custom products. If you have a query regarding Whether a Ball Valve or Gate Valve is right for your application, we are here to help. Contact us here, for more information.

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