How to Identify the Correct Hydraulic Hose Fittings

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Hydraulic systems comprise fluids, hoses, fittings, and other components designed to perform specific tasks. Hoses, for instance, are used for delivery purposes and are often rigid with multiple layers of reinforcement. On the other hand, hydraulic hose fittings attach hydraulic hoses to parts such as hydraulic cylinders, pipes, tubes, and other hoses.

When choosing a hydraulic hose fitting, there are several factors you want to consider. We have covered this and more in the sections below.

Hydraulic Fitting Types

Hydraulic fittings are used to permit fluid flow, change direction, divert, or mix the fluid media. The following types are extensively used in the European and American markets.

1. ORFS:

O-Ring Face Seal fittings, popularly ORFS, contain an O-ring groove on the flat face of the fitting. The O-ring is connected to the flat face of a female connector to form a seal. These fittings are suitable for high-pressure applications as they provide a tight connection. ORFS fittings come in a variety of designs. These include:

  • Straight ORFS fitting-  it offers a straight screw connection to male NPT, G, or metric threads with a male ORFS connection point.
  • Elbow ORFS fitting: this is an elbow screw connection having one ORFS female connection and an ORFS male connection
  • ORFS tee fitting: It features one female ORFS connection port and two male ORFS connection ports on a T-shaped screw connection.
  • Cross ORFS fitting: It features four male ORFS connection ports arranged in a cross-orientation for distributing or merging media.

These ORFS fittings are commonly included in accessories such as plugs, end caps, and O-rings.

2. DIN/ BSP:

These are the two commonly used hydraulic fittings in Europe. DIN fittings are used in the industrial, construction, oil, and bag industries to ensure interoperability with various fittings brands. In contrast, BSP fittings are used to seal and join pipes, and they are made by interlocking external (male) and internal (female) threads.

Common Hydraulic Fluids

The hydraulic fitting you should choose should be compatible with the fluid used inside the system. Hydraulic media are available in a variety of types. These include:

  • Petroleum-based fluids: These are the most common types of hydraulic fluids. They contain additives that protect against rust and oxidation, wear and tear, corrosion, and severe pressure. These fluids are often good quality, low cost, and easily accessible.
  •  Water-based fluids: These fluids are utilized for fire resistance because of their high water content. They come in various forms, including water-in-oil, oil-in-water, and water-glycol mixtures. They are relatively expensive and have less wear resistance compared to petroleum-based lubricants.
  •  Synthetic-based fluids: These fluids are artificial and offer benefits like fire resistance, reduced friction, and heat resistance. Because of their outstanding lubricating properties, they are appropriate for use in high-temperature and high-pressure applications. They are, however, more expensive and might be even more poisonous than petroleum-based fluids.

Hydraulic Fittings Selection Criteria 

Before choosing the right hydraulic fittings for your application, keep the following requirements in mind:

  • Size: Two key size factors to consider are the internal and external diameters of the fittings. The dimensions of the fittings should match those of the hose to prevent leakage.
  • Material: To ensure an efficient and long-lasting hydraulic system, the material of the hydraulic fitting should be compatible with the hydraulic fluid. Popular fitting materials are brass, aluminum, steel, and stainless steel. The most commonly used sealing material is NBR or Nitrile O-rings.
  • Temperature: The hydraulic fittings should be appropriate for the temperature range you’re working with.
  • Pressure: The hydraulic fittings should be rated for your working pressure, plus they should accommodate occasional pressure spikes.
  • Application: The correct hydraulic fitting to choose will largely depend on your unique applications. For instance, mixing and distribution applications require tee or cross fittings.
  • Assembly: Hydraulic quick-connect fittings can be utilized if the hydraulic system requires regular hose or tube connection and disconnection. Likewise, hydraulic compression fittings can be utilized to eliminate welding or soldering. The latter tightens against the ferrule using a compression nut, resulting in a super-tight seal.

How to Connect Fittings to Hydraulic Hoses

Here are some steps to help you connect a hydraulic fitting to the hose.

  • Make sure the hose is of the required/appropriate length. If not, use a hose cutter to cut the hose to the right length and achieve clean ends. This helps reduce the danger of contamination and assembly difficulties.
  • Choose the correct hydraulic hose fitting. Ensure the fitting’s size, pressure, temperature, material, style, and orientation are compatible with your application.
  • Determine the fitting’s insertion depth and mark it on the hydraulic hose. Similarly, you can lubricate the hose before inserting it into the hose. 
  • Set the crimper to the proper diameter, insert the hose end into the crimping machine, and then crimp the hose.
  • Ensure the crimp diameter is correct and clean the hydraulic hose assembly to minimize the chances of contamination. 


Hydraulic fittings are designed to provide a tight seal in any application. This helps maintain the system’s efficiency while avoiding contamination and leaks. These fittings are commonly deployed in hydraulic-powered plumbing, robotics, assembly lines, and heavy equipment. Always stick with the tips above when choosing a hydraulic fitting. 

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