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Old 18-12-2016, 18:46   #1
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Tube vs Blade Fuses

Aiming to install an electrical system before long.

Considering what fuse type to use. I know blade is standard for automotive use these days. Blue Seas if offering a blade panel for marine use. Any opinions floating are around on this issue so to speak? (Yes I know, I punned, I should be punished.)
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Old 18-12-2016, 19:11   #2
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Re: Tube vs Blade Fuses

My experience at my current location has been that tube fuses are only available at specialist electrical components shops for professionals, whereas blade fuses can be found at (m)any hardware stores. Fuse holders appear to be mostly available for tube fuses, not so for bladed ones. In civilized world you will be able to find anything and the above does not apply. For the main panel I would only use brakers, if there is an el broblem and your fuse on panel blows you may run out of fuses before you find the cause, and if you are outside of civilized world well good luck.
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Old 18-12-2016, 19:30   #3
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Re: Tube vs Blade Fuses

I found a blade fuse at the auto parts store that would glow when blown. Expensive for a fuse, but I replaced all of them. Now I can just look and see without pulling fuses.
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Old 18-12-2016, 19:32   #4
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Re: Tube vs Blade Fuses

https://www.amazon.com/Littelfuse-00...dp/B0000TX800#
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Old 19-12-2016, 08:52   #5
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Re: Tube vs Blade Fuses

If you are replacing the 12volt panel, breakers are the way to go. However, fuses are still needed for in line protection, in which case I have only ever seen tube type used.

Personally, I don't like the tube type. Too hard to tell if its blown, hard to distinguish between different amp rated fuses, and just an overall aversion to anything glass on my boat.
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Old 19-12-2016, 09:13   #6
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Re: Tube vs Blade Fuses

I have changed all the fuses on Cbreeze to the ATO/ ATC type. Easier to find, easier to pull, easier to see if blown, a lot easier to determine the rating!!!

The Blue Sea holders are good equipment. I used the ones without the ground bar but that would depend on your electrical layout. Circuit breakers are preferred (especially if any switching involved), but fuses are fine for those small pesky things that need a little 12VDC.
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Old 19-12-2016, 09:18   #7
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Re: Tube vs Blade Fuses

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Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
If you are replacing the 12volt panel, breakers are the way to go. However, fuses are still needed for in line protection, in which case I have only ever seen tube type used.

Personally, I don't like the tube type. Too hard to tell if its blown, hard to distinguish between different amp rated fuses, and just an overall aversion to anything glass on my boat.


The blades are way more convenient and way more rugged (both the fuse itself and the socket).

And +1 on the breaker switch panel. Very nice to have. Fuses are so 1960.
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Old 19-12-2016, 09:28   #8
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Re: Tube vs Blade Fuses

You can get blade-type inline holders. Blue seas even has a waterproof one.

Breakers, then blade type. The fuses are easier to get, easier to see if they're blown. The holders are better too - many inline or panel mount tube (AGC/MDL) fuse holders rely on a little spring and some solder connections and are not particularly reliable.
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Old 19-12-2016, 09:46   #9
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Re: Tube vs Blade Fuses

My vote is also for the blade fuses over the glass tubes for all the reasons stated above.
One thing I keep on board is some old fashioned fuse wire of different ratings which can be used as a temp connection between the 2 legs of a blown blade fuse if you are short on replacements until you can purchase more. This also works well when troubleshooting if you think you may go through a few fuses before solving an issue.
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Old 19-12-2016, 10:06   #10
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Re: Tube vs Blade Fuses

Any issues with corrosion of terminals on the blades?

I believe a lot of tube fuses have tinned ends.
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Old 19-12-2016, 10:28   #11
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Re: Tube vs Blade Fuses

Plain old Tube fuses would be cheap and plentiful. The blades are more expensive, but then, you really don't blow a fuse often.... I wonder how you clean corrosion out of a blade fuse holder?
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Old 19-12-2016, 10:38   #12
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Re: Tube vs Blade Fuses

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
Any issues with corrosion of terminals on the blades?

I believe a lot of tube fuses have tinned ends.


Most blade fuses are plated too.
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Old 19-12-2016, 11:15   #13
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Re: Tube vs Blade Fuses

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Most blade fuses are plated too.
And so are the blocks/holders.

Cleaning out a blade fuse block if it corroded? I've never had to, but I'd guess a composite nail file would work. I doubt it happens very often.
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Old 19-12-2016, 15:25   #14
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Re: Tube vs Blade Fuses

Spade type MUCH better for our environment. Almost all amateur radio equipment manufactures have changed their OEM fuse type to spade and first thing on the recommended procedures to follow if older equipment with the '3A3G' type glass fuse/ holder is completely remove the fuse and lightly wire brush/ sand both because of the corrosion that can (does) form between the glass fuse end caps and the spring pressure contacts. The spade fuses/ holders apparently have a better metal to metal chemistry and because the spade actually digs into it mating holder contact may result in a molecular tight bond not possible with brass clips against the 'stainless' no caps of glass fuses... or worse... the solder covered point pressure contacts of those long 'in-line' twist glass fuse holders. Ones I've taken apart troubleshooting issues have often been covered with green corrosion!
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Old 19-12-2016, 15:52   #15
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Re: Tube vs Blade Fuses

Ran "Buss" type tube fuses for 25 years when only type available... Now using "ST" blade fuses in Blue Sea fuse block with excellent results. Breakers (contrary to popular belief) are not switches... and subject to getting "tired" and false drops. Ok if you got a spare, but $20 for a spare DC breaker is a bit more than a $3.00 spst switch and a $0.25 fuse... Besides, replacing a dead fuse in an exposed panel at 0200 with a flashlight is a lot easier than a blown breaker. Problem is the circuit not the protection.

Just sayin...
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