The Differences Between Ball Valves And Butterfly Valves

Feb. 07, 2024

When it comes to finding the right valve for your marine or industrial job, ball valves and butterfly valves often take center stage.

Butterfly Valve

Butterfly Valve

Ball valves and butterfly valves have several common features, including:

They are both quarter-turn rotary valves, which require a 90-degree rotation from opening to closing.

These two materials are usually composed of cast iron, stainless steel, and brass.

Each valve effectively regulates the flow of most types of gases and liquids in a wide temperature range.

They are relatively cheap, durable, and reliable.

Both ball valves and butterfly valves are easily available through valve distributors.

Because there are so many similarities, you must look at the differences to determine which type of valve is best for a particular project. 

Let's take a look at the difference between ball valves and butterfly valves, and how they affect their use:


Generally speaking, the ball valve is a ball with a hole. A butterfly valve usually consists of a disc mounted on a rotating shaft.


When using a ball valve, turn the valve handle to block or partially block the hole on the ball or open the flow of gas or liquid through the valve. When using a butterfly valve, turning the valve handle turns the disk 90 degrees, to either fully open or fully block the flow of gas or liquid through the valve.


One advantage of the ball valve is that it almost always rotates, no matter how much pressure is applied on the supply side. Once opened, the pressure hardly drops because the hole in the ball allows 100 percent of the gas or liquid to flow. The structure of the butterfly valve makes a part of the valve disc always interfere with the flow of liquid or gas. This means that when using a butterfly valve, there will always be a pressure drop. This also means that the butterfly valve may be difficult to open, and a bypass valve may be needed to create balance in the lines before the large butterfly valve can work properly.


Ball valves are more effective in sealing than butterfly valves, so ball valves are generally more suitable for projects involving the flow of gas. The cost of construction and maintenance of butterfly valves is usually low, so they are often used in large municipal water supply and sewer projects. They are also common in projects that control the flow of river or stream water.

SUPCON BN Series Triple Off-set Butterfly Valve

SUPCON BN Series Triple Off-set Butterfly Valve

Find the right valve for the right project

Ball valves and butterfly valves are universal, relatively cheap, and can stand the test of time. Which one is suitable for which project depends on the size and scope of the task. If you need help determining whether a project requires ball valves, butterfly valves, or other types of valves, please contact a qualified valve distributor today. If you are interested in our products, please feel free to contact us.