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EX (SER.10) - Unidirectional Knife Gate Valve
Tue 25 Apr 2023

Knife gate valves vs. gate valves: which is the right choice for your application?

A knife gate valve and a gate valve have a lot of similarities that are apparent at first glance, so they are often discussed together. However, there are a lot of differences between these two valves, which makes them suitable for different applications. If you’re wondering which valve is the best for you, this knife gate valve vs gate valve comparison from BM Engineering will give you all the information you need to make the right decision.


What are knife valves?

A knife gate valve is a type of shut-off valve. These are used to start and stop the flow of media through a pipeline. Knife gate valves are predominantly seen in applications where there are solids in the media. The “knife” aspect refers to the blade or gate of the valve which cuts through the media.


What are gate valves?

A gate valve is typically used for shut-off operations, like a knife valve, as it only uses on and off settings. These also securely stop the flow of media when required. Due to their simple design, gate valves are often applicable for processes that need a straight flow of fluids with little to no restrictions.


Key knife gate valve vs gate valve differences

Despite their relatively similar function as shut-off valves, these two valves are used for different applications. Some of the applications for a knife gate valve include:


  • Non-flammable viscous fluids
  • Wastewater
  • Heavy oils
  • Slurries


Gate valve applications include:

  • Clean Water
  • Any clean, non-corrosive media which is free from solids
  • Gate valves are not suitable for steam

Although somewhat similar in function, a knife gate valve vs gate valve comparison demonstrates several differences that distinctly separate them.


Due to the sharpened gatethat features on a knife gate valve, they are better for use in applications that require a thick substance to be cut through to stop flow than a gate valve would be. In applications involving more non-viscous media that doesn’t need to be cut through, a gate valve would be more applicable.


Additionally, knife gate valves are slimmer in profile to gate valves, so a similarly sized knife gate valve will weigh less than a conventional gate valve.


Another significant difference when it comes to the knife gate valve vs gate valve debate is around the packing gland area. A gate valve has a v-ring packing set that seals the shaft attached to its gate, while a knife valve has a packing gland that seals around the gate.


A knife gate valve is usually uni-directional (though bi-directional is an option on some models), and comes in either a lugged or wafer body with no flanges. The seats that feature on a knife gate valve are available in metal, resilient types and more.


Due to all these differences, knife gate valves and gate valves are used in distinct applications, despite there being some occasional overlap. Knife gate valves are usually found in environments such as chemical, cement and wastewater treatment plants that work with thicker media. Gate valves are typically found in general fluid processes, drinking water pump stations and textiles where they are better suited to thinner fluids.


Knife valves and gate valves at BM Engineering

At BM Engineering, we stock a vast range of valves suitable for an equally vast selection of industries. Now that you know all about the differences through this knife valve vs gate valve comparison, you can select which one is most ideal for your budget and application. We stock knife valves, gate valves, butterfly gate valves and plenty more on our website.

If you need further assistance regarding the best valve for your process or anything else valve related, don’t hesitate to contact us today at 0141 762 0657, or email us at sales@bmengineering.co.uk.

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