The application of the discrete element method (DEM) to industry processes often encounters difficulties because of the high computational demand. Two-dimensional slot models are often a preferable solution to reduce the demand; however it may experience significant deviations from the reality. The sector model with circumferential periodic boundary conditions is an alternative tool to solve this problem, and has been established in our previous work. In this work, such a sector model is used to examine the solid flow features in an ironmaking blast furnace, and the results are compared with those obtained from the corresponding slot model. Several significant differences of solid flow can be observed between the two models, such as the larger stagnant zone and quasi-stagnant zone, smaller funnel zones in the slot model and different layer shapes. The solid flow with the pre-set cohesive zone also confirms that the slot model is not accurate to describe the anisotropic features of solid flow in the tangential direction in a cylinder vessel. The gas flow in the raceway region also shows a slight difference between the two models. It has demonstrated that to realistically describe the three-dimensional solid flow characteristics, the sector model should be used in the future studies of multiphase flow in a blast furnace.