8 Types of Hydraulic Cylinders and What They’re Used For

Hydraulic cylinders are mechanical actuators that convert hydraulic pressure and flow into linear force and motion. They have many applications and are integral components of hydraulic systems. Knowing when hydraulic cylinder repair is needed and understanding the different types of hydraulic cylinders can help you maintain your machinery. Here are eight types of hydraulic cylinders and their potential uses:

1. Single-acting Cylindersla

Single-acting cylinders utilize hydraulic pressure to provide force in one direction. They have hydraulic ports at one end and a spring or external force that returns the piston. Single-acting cylinders power dumps trucks, elevators, and clamping fixtures. Their simple design makes them robust, cost-effective, and easy for hydraulic cylinder repair.

2. Double-acting Cylinders

Double-acting cylinders use hydraulic pressure to provide force for extending and retracting movements They have hydraulic ports at both ends of the cylinder barrel to actuate the piston in either direction. Applications requiring fast cycle times and bi-directional force often depend on double-acting cylinders. These include earth-moving equipment, presses, and more.

3. Rodless Cylinders

Rodless cylinders utilize a piston connected to an external carriage to provide support across the entire cylinder length. This design offers high side-load capacities many other cylinder types cannot match. Applications such as conveyors, palletizers, packaging equipment, and assembly lines often benefit from the robust support of rodless cylinders. Their ability to withstand heavy side loads makes them a suitable choice for tasks involving large horizontal forces.

4. Rotary Actuators

Rotary actuators harness fluid power and convert it into rotational force to turn shafts, wheels, and other components. Vane, gear, and piston actuator types each operate differently, producing precise torque and movement. They convert direct fluid pressure and flow conversion into rotary motion for smooth performance. Many industries utilize rotary actuators for their rotational force capabilities, with applications ranging from valve actuation to industrial automation. 

5. Mobile Hydraulic Cylinders

Mobile hydraulic cylinders are designed to withstand the harsh operating environments of construction, agriculture, mining, and forestry equipment. They utilize high-strength steel alloys and robust sealing systems to provide reliable service under demanding conditions. Large temperature fluctuations, vibration, and exposure to dirt and moisture are common in mobile machinery. Mobile hydraulic cylinders incorporate protective finishes, heavy-duty wipers, and solid contaminant-resistant seals. Regular maintenance checks and seal replacements can help prevent premature wear and failure in mobile applications.

6. Tie Rod Cylinders  

Tie rod cylinders utilize threaded tie rods running along their outside length to provide immense strength and reinforcement. This allows tie-rod cylinders to safely handle higher pressures. Heavy-duty tasks like metal pressing, plastic injection molding, forging, and heavy equipment operation depend on the brute force capacity of tie rod cylinders. The tie rods constrain the end caps and prevent the cylinder barrel from ballooning or rupturing under high internal pressure loads. With proper installation, maintenance, and repairs, tie rod cylinders offer large force output for heavy industrial applications.

7. Threaded Hydraulic Cylinders

Threaded hydraulic cylinders utilize an adjustable threaded portion to enable simple stroke length changes. This feature allows fast, tool-free adjustment of the cylinder’s extension range to fit different application needs. Threaded cylinders are ideal for situations requiring variable positioning, such as in presses, clamping fixtures, lifts, and adjustable supports. Their precision threaded mechanism can provide accurate stroke control without requiring shims or other adjustments. The threads should be kept well-lubricated and fully repaired to prevent binding and allow smooth operation.

8. Custom-built Hydraulic Cylinders

Custom-built hydraulic cylinders can fulfill unique requirements for specialized systems and machinery. Details and dimensions can be customized to allow for seamless integration into limited spaces and optimal mounting configurations. Custom designs may include non-standard bore sizes, special mountings, or custom stroke lengths. Applications for this type of cylinder include manufacturing, aerospace, agriculture, and marine operations.

Schedule Hydraulic Cylinder Repair for Optimal Performance

When maintaining equipment or machinery that has a hydraulic cylinder, consider the pressure, force, stroke length, and surrounding environment your application requires. Consulting with hydraulic cylinder repair specialists can help identify the ideal cylinder types and maintenance recommendations for your needs. Schedule proper maintenance and repair to improve your machine’s hydraulic performance today.

Syed Qasim

Syed Qasim ( CEO IQ Newswire ) Is a highly experienced SEO expert with over three years of experience. He is working as a contributor on many reputable blog sites, including,,,