The Right Pressure Control Valve Matters: Poppet Valve or Spool Valve?

Pressure meters and valves
For spool valves, poppet valves, and other pressure control valves, contact now.

The most common designs for a pressure control valve are the spool and poppet. When you need to choose between 3- and 4-way valves for pneumatic or pressure control circuits, you need to take the internal design of a poppet valve or spool valve into consideration. Using either a poppet valve or spool valve will have a significant impact on your specific application.

Poppet valves

Poppet valves consist of an orifice that is opened and closed by lowering or raising the sealing surface to the orifice. To hold the valve in the closed position, there is an internal spring. This same spring, when overcome, makes the sealing surface lift off the orifice to open the valve. 

Spool valves

Spool valves consist of a shaft with a series of O-rings inside a barrel. As the shaft moves back and forth, the O-rings shift their position to close or open for different flow paths.

Advantages of poppet valves

  • Despite a small size, a poppet valve has a higher flow rate.
  • It has a closed crossover.
  • It has a longer life with lower friction.
  • Faster response times.
  • Lower maintenance and less susceptible to contamination.
  • Lower cost.

Poppet valves are better suited for applications that require precise control, high flow rates, long life, low leak rates, and fast response times.

Advantages of spool valves

  • Spool valves need less force to actuate.
  • It can be used to lock pressure downstream.
  • In operating pressures, actuation forces are unaffected by changes.
  • Its response times remain constant.
  • It has 4-way functionality and more complex flow paths.

Spool valves are better suited for vacuum applications, applications requiring holding pressure downstream, applications with selector valves, and applications requiring consistent response time.

Which valve will work best for your application?

When choosing between a poppet and spool valve, consider your specific needs and other factors that are critical to the application. For applications that need precise control because of a closed crossover, faster response times and immediate open actuation, then you need a poppet valve. But if your applications require a vacuum and consistent response times, you need to choose a spool valve, instead. 

Original valves by Univer from Master Mac 2000

One of the best manufacturers of pressure control valve systems and other pneumatic valves since 1980 is Univer. This quality brand is exclusively distributed in the Queensland and Northern New South Wales areas by MasterMac2000. Univer valves are proven for all applications, including heavy industry applications. Contact us today for more information on 07 3344 4711. You can also message us on

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