Switchgear and switchboard are both important parts in Electrical Engineering. People often get confused about the differences between them. So, what are the differences between a switchgear and switchboard?

The main differences between a switchgear and switchboard are the type of work they do and their application voltage limit.

On the other hand, switchboards redirect the current to the panels through the switches to control the states of the panels as well as indicating the state of the panels.

Switchboard also use Let’s look into the topic thoroughly to get a clear view to the similarities and differences between switchgear and switchboard.

Switchgear vs Switchboard

Switchgear vs Switchboard: Quick Comparison Table

Let’s look at the differences between the Switchgear and Switchboard in the table below:

3-Way VS 4-Way Switch

Components UsedProtection switches like-relay, circuit breakers etc.Panels, switches and some meters
Purpose of useGiving protection to various electrical itemsControl the various circuits from one single place through the switchboard
Voltage levelUsed in low, medium or high voltagesUsed in voltages up to 600V
CostHigher than switchboardsLower than switchgear
Existence of indicators or metersMaybe or maybe notyes
ApplicationIn any kind of place where electrical device or line is presentIn places where large number of electrical devices are controlled or monitored from a single place

What Are The Differences Between Switch Gear And Switchboard?

Switchgears are kind of switching devices that adds protection to electrical components. They protect the devices by monitoring the electricity and cutting off the line when there is any abnormality.

On the other hand, a switchboard is like a panel where the main power supply is connected and then distributed to various circuits by dividing the power into portions or as a whole. It is mainly a control board.

Applicable Voltage Level:

Switchgears can be used in low, medium and high voltages. There are various types of switchgears for various current level. These are very important in protecting high voltage devices.

Switchboards are used up to medium voltages, mostly up to 600 volts. It serves the circuits with the correct amount of current they need. Switchgears are also present in switchboards for protection against faults.

Components Used:

Switchgears contains relay, circuit breakers, fuse, CT, PT etc. These devices have different power levels of application. You need to choose the right one for the right voltage and power.

Switchboards have panel or frames to hold the indicators and switches. There are indicators like synchro scope, frequency gauges, ammeter, voltmeter, watt meter etc. Switchboards also have busbar built within. There are also switchgears present for protection.

Switchgears offer better protection than switchboards. Though their purpose is like that. Switchgears also give you the flexibility of using it at any voltage. So, I would say they have the upper hand in terms of protection.


Switchboards have almost the same mechanism as switchgears. Though, switchboard costs quite a lot but not as expensive as switchgears as there are more manually controlled switches found in a switchboard.

On the contrary, switchgears are more flexible and robust with automated protection given. This makes them more expensive than usual switchboards.

Though switchgears are costly, I would still pick them in case of the protection system of a heavy or medium voltage device. They give instant protections. Even house and offices are equipped with switchgears nowadays including a switchboard for the whole unit.


Switchboards are manually controlled. They just provide the correct amount of current for the circuits with the help of a controller. They will just ensure the correct provide of power.

Switchgears give you the ultimate protection. Hazards come without saying. There can be faults or leakages anywhere in the circuit. Switchgear always comes first in terms of reliability.

For a reliable and safe power usage, I will always suggest switchgears over switchboards.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I Connect A Device Without Switchgear?

Yes, you can but there will be no protection against any kind of faults or error. So there will be a chance of device failure.

What Are The Purpose Of Switchgear And Switchboard?

Switchgear works to protect the electrical appliances from any surge or faults. While a switchboard redirects the main current supply through many controllable switches and panels.

What Is The Difference Between Switchgear And Control Gear?

Switch gear consists of protective devices like relay, fuse, circuit breakers, CT, PT etc. to protect a device from hazards. While control gear contains contactors, time clock, switches, relays, overload, PLC etc.


This article is about the proper basic knowledge on switchgear and switchboard. This is shown in a comparison context, so that you can come to know about them more easily and in a better way.

This article shows that there are differences between switchgear and switchboard in both structural facts and application.

If you are given to choose which one is better, I would say these are independently important. Because you will need a control unit anywhere which is served by the switchboard.

And the protection your devices and connections will need against faults will be provided by switchgear. So, both are important, but if you need to choose one choose switchgears first. It will save your life.