Loading... Please wait...

Spectacle Blinds vs. Paddle Blinds / Spade Blinds


At Steinmans, we often get the question:

"What is the difference between a spectacle blind and a paddle blind or spade blind?" 


Spectacle Blind:
A spectacle blind - also known as a figure-8 blind - is generally a piece of metal that is cut to fit between two pipe flanges and usually sandwiched between two gaskets.  A spectacle blind is often made from two metal discs that are attached to each other by a small section of steel.  The shape is similar to a pair of glasses or "spectacles" – hence the name spectacle blind.  One end of the blind will have an opening to allow flow through the pipe during operation and the other end is solid to block flow during maintenance.  They are generally installed as a permanent device to separate process piping systems.

Paddle Blind:
A paddle blind - also known as spade blind, skillet blind, line blind, pancake blind, or slip blind - is basically the solid half of a spectacle blind.  A paddle blind is often made from one solid metal disc and will usually have a thin length of metal attached to one end to be used as a handle.  A finished assembly will resemble the shape of a paddle, hence the name "paddle blind".  Generally, these types of blinds are applied in piping systems that do not require constant maintenance.  The paddle blind is used more as a temporary blocking device to stop flow in a process piping system.  Optional paddle type spacers can be used in-line when returning the system to operation.

Other Differences:
Compared to paddle blinds, spectacle blinds often require a larger, more open area to install, remove, or change the blinds from the open to closed position.  In contrast, the paddle blind can be used in tighter spaces or where access is limited.  Spectacle blinds are also typically heavier in weight than the standard paddle blind, which may require rigging or lifting assistance during installation or removal.  Because of this, paddle blinds are more commonly used for larger pipe diameters.

Spectacle Blinds
Paddle Blinds
Usually installed as a permanant device. Usually installed as a temporary device.
Made from two metal discs attached by a small metal plate.  Looks like a pair of glasses or "spectacles". Made from one metal disk with handle.  Looks like a paddle.
One end allows pipe flow, the other end block flow. Primarily used to block flow only.  Separate matching spacers can be used during operation.
Requires open area to change from open to closed postion or to remove the blind. Can be used in tight spaces where access is limited. 
Heavier than a paddle blind.  Larger sizes require assisted lifting for installation. Lighter than a spectacle blind.  Often portable and easy to install.


We hope this answers the question.  Please feel free to leave us a comment or contact us if you need any more clarification or have any additional questions.  Visit our on the web @ www.steinmansllc.com.