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What is a Reed Valve? Properties, Uses and Types

Reed Valve

A reed valve is a type of valve that controls the flow of air or gas into an engine. It works by using thin metal strips called reeds positioned over an intake port. When air or fuel enters the engine, the reeds vibrate, opening and closing the valve to regulate the flow. Reed valves are commonly used in two-stroke engines, such as those found in motorcycles and power equipment. This blog post will explore the properties, uses, and types of reed valves.

What is Reed Valve?

Reed valve is a one-way valve made of flexible material. It uses gas or liquid flow to open and close, creating suction or pressure within an engine or other device. Reed valves are commonly used to control fuel/air mixture, exhaust gases, lubrication oil pressure and timing in two-stroke engines.

Properties of Reed Valve

Reed valves are thin, flexible, and durable. They are made of stainless steel, carbon fibre, and fibreglass. The material used determines the strength and durability of the valve. The valve reeds are typically interchangeable, making replacing them easy when worn or damaged. Reed valves also have a low profile, which helps reduce the size and weight of an engine. They can be designed to work at various temperatures and pressures, making them suitable for a broad range of applications.

Uses of Reed Valve

Reed valves are commonly used in two-stroke engines found in motorcycles, mopeds, and power equipment. They are also used in several compressed air and gas systems, such as pneumatic tools, spray guns, and air compressors. Reed valves are ideal for high-speed engines because they operate quickly and are reliable. They can also be used in low-speed engines that require precise airflow control.

Types of Reed Valve

There are two primary types of reed valves: one-piece and interchangeable valves. One-piece valves are made from a single material and are typically less expensive than interchangeable valves. They are designed for low to medium-speed engines and are not as durable as interchangeable valves. Interchangeable valves, on the other hand, consist of several reed petals that can be easily replaced when worn or damaged. They are more durable than one-piece valves and can be used in high-speed engines. Interchangeable valves are available in different materials, including carbon fibre, fibreglass, and steel.

Another type of reed valve is the rotary valve, that uses a rotating disc to control the flow of air or fuel. Rotary valves are commonly used in four-stroke engines, such as those found in cars and trucks, as well as two-stroke engines. They are more precise than reed valves and ideal for engines that require fine airflow control.


In conclusion, reed valves are essential to many two-stroke engines and compressed air systems. They regulate the flow of air or fuel into the engine to ensure efficient combustion and performance. Reed valves are durable, low-profile, and easy to replace. They are available in different materials and designs, making them suitable for various applications. By understanding the properties, uses, and types of reed valves, you can select the right valve for your specific engine or gas system needs.

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