A multiple source electrosurgical generator wherein one of the sources may be optimized for desiccation of the patient's tissue, another source may be optimized for fulguration thereof and a third source may be optimized for cutting. All sources operate into a common output circuit and may be actuated either individually or in combination. The sources may also be operated in desiccate only, fulgurate only and cut only modes of operation. The different modes of operation may be selected from a hand-held electrosurgical instrument. An insulated, split patient electrode may be used with the generator where the operating frequency of the desiccate source may be higher than that of the fulgurate or cut sources. A spark detection circuit may also be employed (a) to ensure fulguration when the active electrode is a needle, (b) to prevent neuromuscular stimulation and (c) to ensure continuity of the patient circuit when fulgurating with low levels of current.