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Knife Gate Valve vs Wedge Gate Valve – What’s the Difference

Knife Gate Valve vs Wedge Gate Valve

Regarding gate valves, two major types are commonly in use – knife gate valves and wedge gate valves. Valves are crucial in many industries, and selecting the right valve depends on the intended application. In this blog post, we will inspect the main differences between these gate valve types to help you choose which suits your specific needs.

Knife Gate Valve

A Knife Gate Valve is a type of slurried material control valve, used for applications in which the flow medium contains solid particles that could otherwise damage the valve. It features a gate with a sharp edge that slices through and wipes away any solids present in the media, preventing clogging or other issues caused by accumulation. The gate opens and closes using an actuator or lever, making it ideal for regulating flows in high-pressure environments.

Wedge Gate Valve

Wedge Gate Valve is a type of valve designed with an adjustable wedge gate used to control the fluid flow. The wedge gate is attached to a stem, which in turn is mounted onto the body of the valve. When actuated, it moves up and down along its vertical axis, thereby controlling the flow through it. This type of valve has great sealing performance due to its use of two metal surfaces joined together; thus making them suitable for high pressure applications such as oil and gas transmission lines.

Difference Between Knife Gate Valve and Wedge Gate Valve

Design and Operation:

The wedge gate valve design features two inclined seats, and a movable wedge lowered into the seats, blocking the flow of liquids or gases. On the other hand, knife gate valves have a sharp-edged blade-like disc that slices through the media. Both types of gate valves use a handwheel or actuator to initiate the opening or closing process, ensuring smooth and reliable operation.


Knife gate valves are commonly used in industries that deal with viscous and slurry-type media, such as pulp and paper, mining, wastewater treatment, and chemical processing. Wedge gate valves are a perfect fit for high-pressure steam and gas applications, but they can also be used in water and wastewater treatment facilities and the oil and gas industry.

Size and Flow Control:

Knife gate valves come in sizes ranging from 2 to 24 inches in diameter, while wedge gate valves are typically found in larger sizes, ranging from 2 to over 100 inches in diameter. Both valves are highly efficient and capable of controlling the media flow.

Maintenance and Serviceability:

Knife and wedge gate valves require periodic maintenance to ensure long-term durability and operational efficiency. However, knife gate valves are recognized for their ease of maintenance compared to wedge gate valves. Knife gate valves are typically designed with fewer internal components, which makes the maintenance process quick and easy.


Another essential factor to consider is the cost of the valve. The cost of valve installation plays a significant role in decision-making, depending on the budget. Knife gate valves are often less expensive than wedge gate valves, but this can also depend on the valve’s size, material, and features. While considering cost, other factors such as performance, maintenance, and serviceability are also significant factors that should be considered.


In conclusion, while knife gate valves and wedge gate valves have unique strengths, they each serve a specific set of applications better. Ultimately, the right valve selection will depend on the nature of the media being transported or used, as well as the operating pressure, temperature, and installation conditions. Considering the factors discussed in this article will enable you to select the perfect valve for your needs.

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