James Hoyle scored a crucial try to earn Newcastle a first away Guinness Premiership victory of the season and consign former club Sale to a second successive defeat.
Beaten 15-9 at Bristol last week, the Sharks extended their run without a try to three matches and missed a big chance to put pressure on the Premiership leaders.
While Newcastle were without Toby Flood, Jamie Noon and Matthew Tait, it was the Sharks who really lacked incisiveness behind the scrum.
The gritty Falcons defence found it all too easy to snuff the hosts out and after Mike McCarthy scored the first try before half-time, Hoyle added a second just after the break.
Matt Burke weighed in with a further 16 points for the visitors, while Sale replacement Stuart Turner was sent off in added time at the end.
The hosts got off to a poor start, failing to deal with the kick-off and straying offside to enable Burke to put the Falcons three points ahead with just a minute gone.
Daniel Larrechea cancelled that out from 50 yards a couple of minutes later with the first of his five penalties and the Sharks finally showed some fluency with 10 minutes on the clock.
Larrechea collected Hoyle’s poor kick and cut through the Newcastle defence before further charges from Sean Cox and Sebastien Chabal set up an easy penalty for the Sharks stand-off.
Successful kicks were then traded but the visitors’ backs showed the greater ambition and they scored the first try with 24 minutes gone.
A quickly-taken penalty by Lee Dickson started a move which took the Falcons well into Sale territory and after Burke broke down the right, they worked it left for McCarthy to touch down with two men outside.
Burke converted and went close to adding a second try, chipping and then hacking on only to be denied by Richard Wagglesworth five yards out.
Falcons lock Andy Perry was sin-binned four minutes before the interval and another kick from Larrechea trimmed the Newcastle lead to 16-12 at the break.
Sale began to shade territory in the second half but were still unable to stretch the Newcastle defence, having to settle for a fifth Larrechea penalty to cut the advantage.
And 14 minutes into the second period, the Falcons pulled away again when Hoyle beat Oriol Ripol to Burke’s hanging cross-kick to touch down in the corner with Burke adding the conversion.
As the frustration grew at Edgeley Park, Ben Woods was shown the yellow card for killing the ball and substitute Lee Thomas cut the lead to five points with seven minutes remaining.
But the Falcons showed cool heads, keeping the ball deep in Sale territory until they were awarded a penalty for Burke to give them some breathing space.
Sale piled on the pressure in the closing stages but could find no way through the resolute Falcons defence and their anger showed when Turner saw red for tangling with Brent Wilson.