17 Basic Difference between Fuse and Circuit Breaker

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In the electrical power system, the protective system is very essential for the fault condition. Otherwise, without a protection system, a fault may lead to more dangerous or hazardous situations like fire or an explosion or heating effect.

Thus, we require protective equipment that can easily protect and clear fault conditions. It should be capable of handling overload conditions.

There are two main protective types of equipment- fuse and circuit breakers. They provide protection and also capable of all those hazards. Both of these equipments come with different functions.

Let’s see, what is the difference between fuse and circuit breaker?

Difference between an Electrical Fuse and Circuit Breaker (CB)

Here is the basic difference I’m explaining in the tabular form with their features.

Sr. No Features Fuse Circuit Breaker
01 What is a

Fuse & Circuit breaker?

A fuse is a short piece of wire or thin metal strip that can protect the electrical circuit against the excessive current flow or overload conditions. A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electromechanical switch that can protect
an electrical circuit against overload, short circuit conditions.
02 Basic Principle Fuse work based on electrical and thermal properties. Circuit breaker works based on switching mechanisms or electromechanical principles.
03 Internal Operation The fuse only breaks a circuit in a fault condition. The circuit breaker can easily break and make a circuit in the fault condition.
04 Operation Under abnormal or fault conditions, it can operate automatically. Under the abnormal condition, It can operate automatically (by remote control). as well as manually.
05 Function  Fuse performs detection and interruption functions in fault conditions. Circuit breaker performs the only interruption function. It helps relay in the fault detection conditions.
06 Current Capacity It consists of a low current carrying capacity. It consists of a high current carrying capacity than the fuse.
07 Breaking Capacity Fuse has a minimum current breaking capacity. Circuit Breaker has a maximum current breaking capacity.
08 Operating Time The operating time of fuse is less (milli-sec i.e. 0.002 sec). The operating time of the circuit breaker is more (near about 0.2 sec) as compared to fuse.
09 Indication System It doesn’t give an indication at a short circuit or overload condition. It gives an indication at a short circuit or overload condition.
10 Replacement After every fault condition, it requires replacement or rewiring of a fuse. After every fault condition, we do not require the replacement of a circuit breaker. We can repair it.


It doesn’t require maintenance as it can easily remove from the circuit. It requires more maintenance than the fuse as it cannot easily remove from the circuit.
12  Cost Fuse is more inexpensive and easily available. The circuit breaker is more expensive than a fuse.
13  Size Electrical fuse occurs in small sizes. The circuit breaker occurs in a large size than a fuse.
14 Use(How many times it can be used?) One fuse is used only one time. We can not use it again if the fault occurs in a circuit or system. One circuit breaker can be used multiple times even fault occurs in a circuit or system.
15 Applications Electrical fuses are used for residential and commercial purposes.Especially, it is used in low current carry applications. The circuit breaker is mostly used in industrial areas for motor protection, electrical power systems like generating, transmission, distribution, etc.
16 Typesof Fuse & Circuit Breaker In general, the fuse is classified based on voltage supply such as low voltage and high voltage.The list of types of fuse-

  1. Cartridge fuse
  2. Rewirable or Kitkat fuse
  3. Explosion fuse

These are different types of fuses are used with different prospective.

The list of different types of circuit breaker-

  1. MCB
  2. MCCB
  3. ELCB
  4. RCCB
  5. Oil circuit breaker
  6. Airblast circuit breaker
  7. Vacuum circuit breaker
  8. Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6) circuit breaker

These are different types of circuit breakers that are used with different perspectives and roles.

Among all these Circuit breakers types, MCB and MCCB are widely used and popular. Read the difference between MCB and MCCB

17. Symbolic Representation of Fuse and Circuit Breaker: 

Fuse Symbol:

Symbolic Representation of fuse

Circuit breaker Symbol:

Symbolic Representation of Circuit Breaker

So, here I have covered all points in the difference between fuse and circuit breaker. I assure you easily understood and cleared your doubts.

If you have any queries or doubts, you can freely hit the comment in the given comment section.

Related Electrical Differences:

Thanks for Reading!

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2 thoughts on “17 Basic Difference between Fuse and Circuit Breaker”

  1. Very good information. As the fuse is an important electrical device to be used in every home and industry.

    The blogs will be useful for many readers. The way of presentation makes readers understand very easily. Thank you so much for the information.


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