Despite serving very different functions, gate valves, globe valves, and check valves are often spoken about concurrently, due to the many similarities in: construction material grades, trims, and other technical specifications. But there are certainly some differences between all these types of valves.


The primary difference between Gate Valves, Globe Valves, and Check Valves involves the application and operation of each valve:

  • The gate valve is the most frequently used valve in piping systems. It is a general service valve that is used primarily for on-off, non-throttling applications. A partially opened gate valve will hasten erosion caused by the commodity within the pipe and will ruin the valve seat in a short period of time.
  • The globe valve, on the other hand, is used primarily in situations where throttling of the commodity is required. By simply rotating the hand-wheel, the rate at which the commodity flow through the valve can be adjusted to any desired level.
  • Check valves, unlike globe valves and gate valves, are not operated at all.  They’re used to prevent backflow in a line, making them one of the most important components for any system.

Gate Valve


Gate Valves are also the most common type of valve used. They can be either fully open or fully closed and are not used for regulating flow. Gate valves are a cost-effective way to provide a quality sealing valve with a high-temperature tolerance.

Globe Valve


The globe valve is used almost exclusively for throttling or flow modulation. Also, globe valves will only work in one direction. To help you remember this, there is an arrow on the side of every globe valve indicating the direction of flow.

Check Valves


Check valves work automatically and most are not controlled by a person or any external control; accordingly, most do not have any valve handle or stem. They are two-port valves, meaning they have two openings in the body, one for fluid to enter and the other for fluid to leave, and are used in a wide variety of applications. Although they are available in a wide range of sizes and costs, check valves generally are very small, simple, or inexpensive.

The bodies (external shells) of most check valves are made of plastic or metal. An important concept in check valves is the cracking pressure which is the minimum upstream pressure at which the valve will operate. Typically the check valve is designed for, and can therefore be specified for, a specific cracking pressure.

Materials for Gate, Globe, and Check Valves

The two most common specs for carbon steel valves are A105 and A216 WCB.  It is important to note the different sizes ranges that are available in forged (A105) and cast steel (WCB). While cast steel gate valves, globe valves, and check valves can be made to meet virtually any size requirement for your application, forged steel gate valves, globe valves, and check valves are only available up through 4”, and most commonly 2” and below.  Forging is prohibitively expensive at larger diameters, where casting is a much more cost effective.


About MSI Supply

MSI Supply is a Houston, TX based full-line distributor of gate valves, globe valves, and check valves, with a large portfolio of: carbon steel, stainless steel, and exotic alloy. MSI offers gate valves, globe valves, and check valves in a wide array of materials, including A105, WCB, LF2, bronze, aluminium-bronze, 316SS, 347SS, cast iron, ductile iron, alloy 20, Hastelloy, Monel/Inconel, F5, F9, F11, F22, and more!  End connections for each gate valve, globe valve, and check valve include: flanged, threaded, and socket weld. With sizes ranging from 1/4” to 36", and pressure classes ranging from 150# - 2500#, MSI can supply the gate valves, globe valves, and check valves to meet the requirements of virtually any piping project.