Hydraulics – Double Vs Single Acting Cylinder Design

by | Jul 18, 2017 | Machinery and Equipment

Recent Articles



Thanks to modern hydraulic systems, your employees don’t have to strain themselves lifting and loading. This makes it easier on everyone and lowers your chances for workman compensation claims. If you’re installing new equipment or designing a new hydraulic system for your company, you may need to consider custom-made parts like cylinders, valves, and pumps. When it comes to cylinders you can choose either double or single acting cylinder design, but which one is the right choice? Let’s check out these options to help you decide.

Single Action

Single action hydraulic cylinders are simpler and less complex than double action units. Here is how they work. Fluid enters and leaves the cylinder from one port only. This port is located on the other side of the piston. When fluid enters the port, the piston retracts. The piston is either spring operated or connected to a flywheel mechanism. This lets the piston return by itself once fluid pressure stops.

Fluid is usually forced into the cylinders from a pump, and a diverter valve causes it to leave the cylinder. This creates a forward and backward motion, but only the forward motion has power in a single acting cylinder.

Double Action

Double action cylinders are designed to give you hydraulic power on both the forward and backward motion of the piston. This gives you more options than single action cylinders. For example, suppose you have a side shift control for a forklift. When you push the control arm to the right, the forks shift to the right. Move the control to the left and your entire lifting mechanism shifts to the left. This is possible with a double-acting cylinder.

Making the Right Choice

Talk to a reputable double and single acting cylinder manufacturer. They’ll help you choose the best products for your business, and they can give you custom-made cylinders.

Related Articles