- How to choose a circuit breaker
- Rating of the best circuit breakers
- The best foreign manufacturers of circuit breakers
- Schneider Electric
- General Electric
- The best Russian manufacturers of circuit breakers
- The best Chinese manufacturers of circuit breakers
*A review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. This material is subjective, not an advertisement and does not serve as a guide to purchase. Consult a specialist before making a purchase.
The circuit breaker is installed after the introduction of electricity into the apartment or house. It can be shared or divided, to protect lines led to different rooms to appliances-consumers. The automatic device is triggered to turn off in two ways: thermal overload and from a short circuit. In the first case, the passage of high current inside the circuit breaker heats up the plate, breaking the contact. This protects the wiring from the melting of the winding. In the second case, when two phases are shorted, the electromagnetic unit reacts, instantly shifting to the off side, which protects the cable from fire, and electrical equipment from damage.
Unlike fuse-lugs automatic burners are reusable, and after fixing the problem they can be turned on again to restore the electrical circuit. Such devices are used in dwellings, hospitals, schools, workshops and factories. To make the choice easier, we have prepared a rating of the best manufacturers of circuit breakers, based on consumer feedback and the characteristics of manufactured products.
How to choose a circuit breaker
Before reviewing the rating of manufacturers, let us remind you of the main criteria for choosing circuit breakers, so that the following data in the top were clear. Circuit breakers are selected by paying attention to:
- Maximum rated current. The value ranges from 1 to 6300 A, and depends on the cross section of the wire. For example, if the house has wires with a cross section of 1″.5 mm2, then a circuit breaker of 15 to 20 A is suitable. You can tell the parameters of your wiring by looking at the data on the winding, or by measuring the diameter of the bare wire.
- Number of poles. Varies from 1 to 4. Allows several lines to be supplied from a single automatic unit. This saves space in the panel and speeds up connection, but when one of the directions triggers, all will be de-energized at once. It also affects the connection to a single-phase or three-phase network. For the latter, it is practical to choose modular designs with three or four poles to completely de-energize a circuit with a single device.
- Anticipated load. This parameter is closely connected with the cross section of the wire, but also depends on the capacity of the appliances to be connected to the line (electric kettle, electric cooker, microwave, multi cooker, etc.).d.). For example, if the total load of the automatic unit is 5 kW, a rating of 25 A is required.
- Characteristics of triggering. This is the response time to an increase in the passing power. In the apartment, where there are no high inrush currents, it is worth buying circuit breakers with a value of B, which implies a momentary response. In a private home with a powerful electric boiler is suitable characteristic C, which passes the primary high current, and reacts only if it does not go down in the first seconds. For a workshop with machine tools, choose electrical equipment with category D.
Rating of the best circuit breakers
|The best foreign circuit breaker manufacturers||1||ABB||4.9|
|The best Russian manufacturers of circuit breakers||1||Contactor||4.8|
|Top Chinese manufacturers of circuit breakers||1||EKF||4.8|
The best foreign manufacturers of circuit breakers
When choosing circuit breakers, most people prefer foreign brands, because they are of higher quality and more durable. Here’s a ranking of manufacturers from Europe and the U.S. that have the most reliable reputation.
This manufacturer in the rating refers to the Swedish brand and is known to many professionals for its bright red logo with the acronym. The company has the widest range of circuit breakers, including the latest models
Our experts rated the manufacturer as the most reliable. The Swedish brand’s circuit breakers have received much positive feedback, both from general users and in professional circles. The guards are housed in a robust plastic housing and have sturdy handles that do not break even with frequent use. This is the best option for equipping a switchboard in an apartment or private home to forget about replacing damaged circuit breakers.
- Compact housing dimensions of single-pole models, easy to fit in the panel;
- Products with a high level of security maintenance;
- Most circuit breakers are easy to mount;
- neat assembly without burrs or unevenly molded edges;
- there are even four-pole circuit breakers.
- high cost;
- Some circuit breakers have disposable slots for fixing to the din rail – if you need to remove the device and reinstall it again, you may not be able to;
- few variants of type D.
This French manufacturer, ranked second in the ranking of the best and stands out for its wide range of products. Today there are four lines in the catalog: DRX – for industry, and DX, RX, TX for domestic needs and small workshops. The manufacturer produces automatons with poles from 1 to 4. The developer uses dust-proof enclosures and simplified access to terminals. A company chip is the allocation of an empty space on the front panel (above the toggle switch), so that the electrician can apply auxiliary markings during installation.
We added the manufacturer to the ranking because it has models rated for the highest voltage and amperage. The company manufactures circuit breakers rated from 6 to 630 A, including 125, 260, 320, and 400 A. This allows their use not only in households or hotel complexes, but also in industries where powerful machines are operated. Users like in the reviews that in addition to the B and C series, the manufacturer has devices with fixed settings, where the owner can choose the speed of operation depending on the connected equipment.
- products with poles 1-4;
- Models with 6 to 630 A rating;
- individual operation settings;
- High protection against counterfeiting with laser marking of barcode and logo on the housing.
- Sometimes faulty products are found;
- The toggle switch handle is not the neatest;
- high cost.
This French manufacturer is firmly in the top 3 and can be recognized by its green icon on the white background. The company is the world expert in energy management and has been on the market for 170 years. Three series of circuit breakers are available: Acti9, Easy9 and Domovoy. Rated operation devices are rated from 0.5 to 63 A. The manufacturer pays great attention to safety, so all terminals are recessed deep inside the enclosure, and inlet holes are molded with reinforcing ribs to prevent breakage from crushing thick wire.
We included the manufacturer in the rating because it has many models in modular design. Production of several single-phase circuit breakers in one housing facilitates design of the switchboard, saves space and speeds up connection. Owners and electricians in reviews like the convenient toggle switch handles that contain recesses on the crossbar – due to this it is convenient to start the dispenser after tripping.
- Products for any number of poles from 1 to 4;
- The switch handle is comfortable and easy to grip with your finger;
- three series of circuit breakers for different needs;
- solid apertures in front of the terminals.
- The rated current is limited to 63A, which makes them of little use in production;
- The curve code is only available in versions B and C;
- relatively high cost;
- Suitable exclusively for the combination busbar.
This is an American manufacturer whose circuit breakers can be recognized by the bright orange toggle switches. The company specializes exclusively in household series, developing circuit breakers rated from 0.5 to 63A. Breaking capacity is available in all models at the same level of 6 kA. There are up to 30 types of safety devices on the market, interacting with single- and three-phase networks. Manufacturer offers products for 230-400 VAC networks. Buyers share in their reviews that, of the big-name brands, this company’s electrical products are slightly cheaper.
According to our experts, the manufacturer earned a place in the ranking for its high wear resistance. The cheapest circuit breaker from this brand can tolerate up to 10,000 operations on the electrical part (electromagnetic coil that cuts off the contact during a short circuit) and 20,000 disconnections on the mechanical part (circuit breakage during static heat). Therefore, the devices of the American brand is worth a closer look, if there is a frequent actuation of the dispenser, even in spite of properly selected values.
- The high quality of the case assembly;
- Endurance with frequent actuations;
- tumbler with relief for better finger contact and easy pushing
- Compact dimensions for snug fitting in the switchboard.
- high cost;
- Small selection of varieties;
- 63A rated current limit;
- Tripping characteristic – only one type C.
A German brand in the ranking, known all over the world. Produces three series of circuit breakers, of which SY is made directly in Germany, and SJ and SX in the Czech Republic and Romania. But the quality of all products is good. Breaking capacity trip at 6 kA. Automatic machines have holes for the introduction of cable cross section from 0.5 to 35 mm2. The screws that fix the tightening of terminals have Pozidriv slotted heads. This ensures a firm grip and maintains the shape of the flat even when repeatedly reconnecting.
We included the manufacturer in the rating because its products are soft drive. easy to reset if the circuit breaker should trip, thanks to the low-resistance lever. Users in reviews like their special design, offset to the bottom (rather than in the middle like other manufacturers), which makes it easier to access with fingers in a narrow junction box.
- Fully protected enclosure against accidental contact;
- firm fixation to the rail in the switchboard;
- particularly convenient toggle switches;
- easy installation and wiring.
- The price is the highest in the category;
- Mostly domestic models with up to 63 A are available on the market;
- concentrate activities on the production of the triggering class of only one kind (C);
- a special screwdriver is needed for tightening screws (PZ).
Products manufactured in Serbia. Manufacturer offers PL4, PL6, PL7 and FAZ series of circuit breakers. They have a rated current limited to 63 A and allowed to connect a cable cross section of 25 mm2. The number of the line indicates the power of the machine, where the PL4 is the weakest (up to 4.5 kW). There is another separate industrial series PLHT, which is designed to pass voltage through cables with a cross section of 32 mm2 and a current of 125 A. FAZ models include extended functionality, where the customer can choose the breaking capacity of 6 or 10 kA.
Our experts put the manufacturer in the rating of the best for high safety circuit breakers. Unlike other products in the rating each circuit breaker has a window under the toggle switch that changes color when actuated. The red window indicates an open circuit, and the green window indicates an on position. Masters in reviews like the versatility of connection, where you can choose to attach to a pin or fork bus.
- higher safety of contacts;
- the color indication of the real position of the contacts;
- versatility of mounting on the busbar;
- Wide range of protective devices from five series.
- electrical life is lower than other brands and amounts to 4000;
- the price of Serbian products is higher than the French ones;
- Some are hard to find the original, as the products say Eaton (the second combined company name) rather than Moeller.
The best Russian manufacturers of circuit breakers
Domestic companies for the production of automatic disconnecting devices have recently stepped far ahead. New technologies have been applied to molding the cases, creating a contact group and design. Here is the rating of Russian manufacturers whose products can help you save a little money compared to European brands.
First place in the ranking of domestic manufacturers is occupied by the “Kontaktor” plant. At first the company was producing classic models of circuit breakers, but then retrained and began to focus on industrial series. The company produces circuit breakers both for mounting on the bus bars in the switchboard and in separate housings, designed for individual location and covered with housings. Household series is labeled “Kpro” and supports up to 100A, all other automatic machines exclusively industrial.
According to our experts the circuit breakers of this manufacturer have no analogues in a rating on the maximum power of protective devices. In addition to the “youngest” series VAZ, designed for currents up to 250A, the installation of “Proton” can interact with up to 1600A, and the line “Electron” to 6300A. As can be seen from the characteristics and reviews this is the best option for large industries and enterprises with a large amount of electrical equipment in need of protection.
- there are models with adjustable short-circuit and overload protection;
- tripping current range from 16 to 6000 A;
- Laser engraving on the body;
- All equipment has a certificate of the Customs Union tr ts 004/2011.
- Unsightly design of circuit breakers;
- few domestic models;
- High cost for a domestic product;
- contacts are flush with body parts (not sunk deep), so if a craftsman treats them carelessly, he could get an electric shock.
Domestic manufacturer from the ranking, which began its activities in 1945. Today the production area occupies 60000 m2 with up to 1900 machines. The company’s products are divided into two lines and manufactured under the brand names KEAZ (classic, time-proven circuit breakers) and KEAZ Optima (which embodies all the latest developments and know-how). A distinctive feature of the manufacturer is the production of circuit breakers for both DC and AC.
According to our experts, the manufacturer deserves to be in the rating, because it is constantly developing and trying to keep up with European technology. For example, in his catalog a series of circuit breakers OptiDin BM, which features a slim design and latches on the housing. This novelty makes it possible to mount independent tripping devices or auxiliary contact modules. All actions occur in one-touch, which is liked by masters in reviews.
- there are instruments for direct and alternating current;
- the company manufactures many additional accessories for switches (handle interlocks, signal contact modules, trip units);
- affordable price for classic models;
- thin, compact design of electrical products.
- All new products are expensive;
- Classic models have a lifetime of 1-2 years;
- simple design.
Domestic company with the name of De
We added the manufacturer to the rating as the best in terms of price and product lifetime. When opening contacts from a short circuit, the device will withstand 6000 cycles, but if the wiring is heated gradually from the increased load, the device can disconnect the circuit and restore after the cooling of the jumper to 25000 times. Even its European counterparts do not have this capability.
- All plants conform to international certificates ISO9001;
- Switches of the automatic type are independently tested in the international centers of TUV (Germany);
- For wholesale deliveries there are warehouses in Yekaterinburg and Moscow;
- Signatures of the state of the switch position in Russian.
- several brands makes it difficult to tell whose products are whose;
- Current limitation of 63A;
- the inlets are designed for cables with a maximum cross section of 25 mm2.
This manufacturer in the ranking with a legal address in Russia, but the production of electrical products set up in China to reduce the cost of the process. Company’s catalog includes about 4000 items, among which 200 types of circuit breakers. Every year the brand tries to develop new models, for which it operates its own laboratory, and tests, for reliability, are ordered in independent European centers. Among the modular automatic machines there are models with 18 variants of rated current from 0.5 to 64 A and features B, C, and D.
The manufacturer is added to our rating because it makes the best products at the best price, and its automatic devices are not of the lowest quality. For example, models have deep-set contacts, a narrow body of thick plastic and an active indicator window with two colors (red and green). At the same time, they cost two times cheaper than imported ones, which is liked by absolutely all users in the reviews.
- Easy connection with a shaped screwdriver;
- informative window of contact status;
- Very affordable price;
- clear triggering of both systems (mechanical and electromagnetic).
- often there is a defect;
- difficult to predict the service life;
- In the case of a short circuit of the wiring or electrical appliance inside the automatic device a little bit burns.
The best Chinese manufacturers of circuit breakers
We have included Chinese companies in this rating, which actively supply their products to Russia and the CIS. At a price the products are similar to Russian and even lower, so the devices are ideal for protecting wiring in areas with light loads and a minimum of machinery.
This is a Chinese manufacturer in the ranking, which is a direct competitor of the Russian IEK. Produces similar priced products and approximately the same quality. Since 2001 the manufacturer was called Flavir, but in 2007 he rebranded the brand and expanded the range, going global. Today, the company has 40 production sites and more than 3,500 products. On automatic machines there are one-, two- and three-pole devices, rated for alternating current 240/400 V. The minimum value of the rated current starts from 6A.
We ranked the manufacturer because of the range of switches with insulation withstands 690 V against the 660 V of competitors. If a high voltage surge occurs, they will survive it better. This affordable product wins in the number of electrical tripping cycles: 10000 vs. 6000.
- Automatic devices comply with GOST R 51327.1-2010;
- there are modular and differential machines;
- protect against overcurrent;
- The manufacturer promises a warranty of up to 5 years.
- a small selection on the nominal value among the small values;
- Can periodically spontaneously shut off;
- Sometimes it is difficult to start after switching off (toggle switch returns to the off position).
Goods of Chint are “pure China” and do not try to masquerade as other countries. But the manufacturer manufactures products in the factory and provides a wide selection of circuit breakers, which would not be possible with “homegrown” production. Modular devices are divided into series NB1, DZ47, DZ158, NBH8. The NB1 range is supplemented by accessories. All devices are designed for AC up to 400 V. Automatic machines are made in a narrow housing with IP20 protection.
Our experts rated and added the manufacturer to the rating as producing the cheapest electric products. All craftsmen and ordinary users in the reviews agree that this is the most affordable option. That said, Chint is an “industrial China” and not an homemade product, and the goods are accompanied by quality certificates.
- all types of tripping characteristics (B, C, D);
- Options for modular models with poles 1-4;
- rated current in increments of 1 A in the range of 1 to 6 A;
- The possibility of installing emergency contacts.
- low wear resistance of the electromagnetic part – 4000 cycles;
- Operating temperature range from -20 to +40 (others up to +50º C);
- for wires cross section of not more than 25 mm2;
- Uncomfortable tumbler lever (slippery and narrow).