Mechanical Seal vs. Gland Seal: Which One’s Better for You?

The development in sealing technology and the growth of mechanical seals in the past couple of years means that customers today have a wide range of sealing solutions to choose from. Although gland seal has been the popular choice that dominates the sealing market, the operational benefits of mechanical seals have made it one of the top sealing alternatives.

This has left customers in a dilemma. With both mechanical and gland seals being great sealing solutions, which one should you choose? To help you out, here’s everything about mechanical and gland seals to choose which one is better for you.

The Difference Between Mechanical and Gland Seals

Gland seals, also known as packing seals and gland packing are being used for sealing for years. These use soft materials that are tied or stuffed around the shaft to manage the fluid loss. With time, the gland seal wears down, causing fluid to leak again, which can impair the functioning of the system.

Mechanical seals, on the other hand, are way more durable than gland seals. They have to be installed in the system. Unlike gland seals, they use multiple sealing points to ensure that the leakage is completely eliminated.

Pros of Gland Seals

More Economical

Gland seals are more economical than mechanical seals. As gland packing is simply a soft material stuffed between the pump and the shaft, it’s cheaper than mechanical seals.

Easier Installation

It’s easier than mechanical sealing as you don’t have to decouple the shaft, saving you a lot of time and effort. They can also be adjusted while the pump is still running.

A man in a black T-shirt and blue pants working on huge white industrial pipes

More Adaptable

These are more adaptable than mechanical seals as they can work with large radial movements and misalignments.

Cons of Gland Seals

Not Fit for All

Gland packing can’t be used for abrasive liquids.

Inevitable Leakage

The biggest con of gland seals is that they do eventually wear down and will result in leakage, which can damage your system in the long run.

Keeping it Cool

A constant flow of water is required to keep it cool.

Pros of Mechanical Seals


They’re more durable and resistant than gland seals. Unlike gland seals, they don’t wear down easily.

Low Maintenance

They’re almost maintenance-free.

No Leakage

Leakage is rarely a problem with mechanical seals as they completely eliminate leakage with multiple sealings.

Cons of Mechanical Seals


They can be a little more expensive than gland seals.


As the shaft has to be decoupled for mechanical seal installation, it requires more time and can only be adjusted when the pump isn’t running.


It requires external and internal lubrication.

Contact and Packing and Seal Expert

You can also ask a sealing expert for the best solutions for you. If you’re looking for sealing advice, products or services, contact Robco of America. We’re a mechanical seals company in Houston, Texas, that provides engineered sealing solutions. We provide mechanical seal products and mechanical seal repair services. For more information, call us at 1-800-662-0585.

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