The Major Differences Between Gate And Butterfly Valves

Valves are one of the most important parts of any plumbing system. Valves allow for the on/off control of liquid flow and must operate correctly to prevent leaks and other undesirable outcomes. Common industrial valves include the gate valve and the butterfly valve.

Let’s take a look at butterfly valve vs gate valve, two of the most common valve types, and see what makes them so useful.

Even while gate valves can be found in a wide range of sizes, they tend to be somewhat massive. Think of a main water supply valve that regulates water flow. Gate valves may be huge in size, yet a single person still operates them. On the other hand, butterfly valves are an entirely different kind of tool.

Let’s take a deep dive into the definitions and operations of these two important valves!

Overview of Gate Valves

Like a gate, a gate valve closes to shut off the flow of medium in a pipeline. It’s a vital part of both manufacturing, such as medical plastic injection molding companies, and daily life. The lifting action is accomplished by the gate, which is the component of the gate valve that opens and closes.

The shutter’s moving direction is perpendicular to the fluid line’s flow direction. A cut-off valve, the gate valve can only be fully open or entirely closed; flow is fixed at either extreme.

Overview of Butterfly Valves

Flap valve or butterfly valve, both are different names given to the same kind of valve. The disc-shaped disc that opens and closes the valve is mounted on the valve stem and spins around the shaft of the valve to do its job.

To go from fully open to fully closed, you must spin the butterfly valve 90 degrees in its fixed position. Mostly auto accessory suppliers use this kind of valves to regulate the flow of incoming air.

The butterfly valve itself does not have a locking mechanism. A turbine reducer for the valve stem is required. Incorporating this feature into the butterfly plate allows it to lock itself in place, enhancing the butterfly valve’s functionality in operation.

Distinctive Feature

Below we have discussed some of the prominent distinctive features of the two kind of valves:

1.   Use vs. Function

Gate valves are commonly employed to shut off the circulating medium in pipelines that require tight sealing but do not require frequent switching due to their reliable sealing performance. The flow rate can’t be adjusted with the gate valve.

Further, the gate valve is inappropriate for the pipeline that requires emergency shutoff due to its poor opening and closing speed.

Butterfly valves are used more frequently than other types of valves, and in addition to allowing for truncation, they can be used to regulate the flow rate.

In addition, the butterfly valve opens and closes fast and may also be regularly opened and closed, especially ideal for instances needing quick opening or cutting.

In situations when installation space is at a premium, the smaller and lighter wafer-type butterfly valve is the suggested choice. Most large-diameter valves are butterfly valves, which are also the valves of choice for transferring medium pipes that may contain minor pollutants.

The butterfly valve has steadily supplanted previous valve designs in various applications.

2.   Differences In Athletic Ability

The foregoing explanation clarifies the distinction between a gate valve and a butterfly valve, specifically regarding their respective movement directions and mechanisms.

In addition, the flow resistance of the gate valve is minimal in its totally open position because it can either be fully open or fully closed; in its fully open state, the thickness of the butterfly valve produces resistance to the flow medium.

When opening and shutting, the gate valve’s large opening height means it moves slowly, whereas the butterfly valve’s simple 90-degree rotation allows for quick action.

3.   Difference In Price

The cost of a gate valve will be greater than that of a butterfly valve when the conditions are the same in terms of pressure and caliber.

However, the butterfly valve can have a very large diameter, and the cost of such a valve is comparable to that of a gate valve.

4.   Differences In Durability

When comparing butterfly and gate valves, the former is typically more long-lasting. Its construction makes it resistant to wear and tear in operation, making it superior to a butterfly valve.

However, the terrible truth is that the design of current butterfly valves guarantees a higher rate of wear even though they are manufactured with larger pressure tolerances in mind. Unlike the gate valve, the seal of this type of valve is always exposed to the flow speed, whether the valve is open or closed.

Following activation, the gate valve’s workings are subjected to flow for extremely brief periods.


Like the gate valve, the butterfly valve opens and closes to regulate flow. However, both valve types have their own set of pros and cons that should be considered before making a final decision.

Neither of these valves controls the flow, only allowing it to pass through. Neither is made for 24/7 operation. Once discharged, the flow cannot be controlled. So choice is totally your!