Fuse and circuit breaker are two sides of the same coin. Their function is to control the flow of electricity for the safety of people and electric equipment. However, they have different ways to perform their function.

When electricity is overflown, the fuse melts down because of overheating. A circuit breaker gets switched off or tripped in this condition. This post sheds light on circuit breaker vs. fuse comparison and explains their detailed function.

What is Fuse?

Fuse is a device comprised of metal wire enclosed in glass, metal, or ceramic casing. It is fixed in a fuse box between the power terminals. The power of the house is delivered from this fuse box. The fuse’s job is to allow the energy to flow across the filament and to the circuit.
But the metal wire inside the fuse melts if there is a power surge. This is to obstruct the excess power to reach the device.

How Does Fuse Work?

Fuse comes with specific power considerations according to the devices. Their standard ratings are 3 A, 5 A, and 13 A. The device’s current rating should be lower than the fuse used for the device for better protection against the power surge.
Fuse wire melts to disconnect the excessive power supply to the device. Otherwise, the fuse will allow electricity to flow to the electronic devices. Once your fuse wire melts, you need to replace it with another one.

What is Circuit Breaker?

Circuit breakers are the switches that protect electronic devices from short circuits and power overload. They need to be fixed in “on” position in order to allow current to pass through them. There are 2 types of circuit breakers. One comes with a lever and another one with a biometric strip. But it always has an electromagnetic connection to trip or go “off” when it gets overloaded.

How Does a Circuit Breaker Works?

In the electromagnet operation method, when the current reaches high levels, the magnetic pressure pulls the metal lever of the circuit, which stops the current from reaching the devices. The biometric strip is also made from metal, so the electromagnet pull works on that as well. In both cases, the circuit gets tripped off, which means there is some issue with the connection.

Circuit Breaker Vs Fuse

Looking at the similarity of functioning, what is the difference between a fuse and a circuit breaker? One of the most noteworthy differences between a fuse and a circuit breaker is that fuse protects from power overload only. And a circuit breaker protects against both power surge and short circuit.

Check out the below table for all the other major differences between fuse and circuit breaker:

Circuit Breaker
Doesn’t give any indication. Gives indication.
Comes in only a single pole version. Comes in single and multiple versions.
Doesn’t depend upon ambient temperature. Ambient temperature can affect its working.
Can only be used once. Can be used multiple times.
Lower in price. Cost is higher.
No auxiliary contact. Auxiliary contact available.
Can’t be used as an on/off switch. Can be used as an on/off switch.
Low breaking capacity. High breaking capacity.
Fully automatic. Can be operated manually as well.
Detects the fault along with interruption of the surge. Only interrupts the current. A relay system is used to detect the fault.

Let the Electrician Decide!

You might’ve understood the difference between a fuse and a circuit breaker. But an electrician has the necessary skills and expertise to decide which one is best for your home. This is because they understand the safety concern and technical requirements of your devices. And remember they can complete the electric work more efficiently and quickly.

Are you thinking about the cost of hiring an electrician? If yes, then think of it as an investment for the safety of your home and loved ones. The price will be much higher if any of your equipment gets permanently damaged or an electric fire is triggered due to a malfunction.


The overflow of electricity can harm your devices and even threaten human lives due to electric fire. Therefore it’s non-negotiable that you get a suitable device (either fuse or circuit breaker) installed in your home to secure it against anything that goes wrong with electricity. And it would be best to make that choice with the help of a qualified and experienced electrician.