Pancake Cylinders: Choose From These Options

pancake cylinders choose from options for sale

If you need a hydraulic pancake cylinder, there’s a few things to consider before you go ahead and buy one. The obvious requirements are the collapsed height, the tonnage capacity, and the stroke of the plunger.

When you’ve confirmed these basic requirements you’re on the right track. But don’t forget to consider locking nuts, mounting holes, side load resistance – and also if you need a tilting saddle to help towards more even weight distribution. Hydraulic pancake cylinders are usually single-acting – which means the plunger returns to its retracted position either by the weight of the load or with a return spring.

On the Enerpac website, there are dozens of configurations to choose from. And to make it easy, you can apply filters to find the ideal low height/pancake cylinder for your application.


Below is a simple overview of the six different types available from Enerpac:

Pancake Cylinder Comparison

Ultra-Flat Pancake Cylinder: The CUSP-Series

pancake cylinder Enerpac CUSP Series ultra flat

These pancake cylinders are the simple single-acting load return type. Some are as small as 1.4” in height, and load capacities range from 10 to 1000 tons. Despite the ultra-low profile, there’s still space within the design to include an integrated tilting function that helps to evenly distribute the load. The cylinders are finished with a tough Nitrocarburized coating for enhanced corrosion protection.
Max stroke on largest model: 0.69” (17.4mm)
Lowest model collapsed height: 1.4” (35.5mm)
Max tonnage capacity: 1000 tons

Ultra-Flat Pancake Cylinder: The CULP-Series

ultra flat pancake cylinder with stop ring

These are also ultra-flat – but they differ from the CUSP-Series as they include a stop ring for limiting the maximum stroke. Same as the CUSP cylinders, these are compact by nature – so the stroke is quite limited. The maximum tonnage capacity of the largest CULP cylinder is 100 tons (CUSP Series is much greater @1000 tons).
Max stroke on largest model: 0.24” (6mm)
Collapsed height of lowest model: 1.08” (27.5mm)
Max Capacity: 100 tons


Locknut Pancake Cylinder: LPL-Series

pancake cylinder with locknut

The locknut is the differentiating feature of the LPL-Series hydraulic cylinders. These are not as slim as the ultra-flat cylinders, but they still fall under the category of low height. The advantage provided by the extra height of the body is a longer stroke.
Max stroke on largest model: 1.97” (50mm)
Collapsed height of lowest model: 4.94” (125mm)
Max Capacity: 500 tons

Multi-Stage Telescopic Pancake Cylinder: RLT-Series

telescopic cylinder low height

These telescopic cylinders offer a long stroke in a compact low height format. They also include mounting bolt holes for easy fixturing. An important point to note is that the maximum load capacity decreases with each subsequent stage of the telescopic action.
Max stroke on largest model: 1.57” (40mm)
Collapsed height of lowest model: 1.77” (45mm)
Max Capacity (@lowest stage 1): 75 tons

Spring Return Pancake Cylinders: RSM-Series

pancake cylinder low height with mounting holes

What sets the cylinders in the RSM Series apart from other low-height models is the spring return to deliver faster retraction. The designs include mounting holes too for easy fixing. Instead of the Nitrocarburized finish used on other cylinders. RSM cylinders feature a baked enamel finish on the body and chrome plating on the plunger. The integral grooved plunger ends mean a saddle doesn’t need to be added.
Max stroke on largest model: 0.63” (16mm)
Collapsed height of lowest model: 1.28” (32mm)
Max capacity: 150 tons

Spring Return Pancake Cylinders: RCS-Series

pancake cylinder low height with spring return

RCS-Series cylinders are similar to RSM models, but the difference is they don’t include mounting holes in the body but they do include threaded holes in the grooved saddle – allowing you to mount a tilting saddle.
Max stroke on largest model: 2.44” (62mm)
Collapsed height of lowest model: 3.47” (88mm)
Max Capacity: 100 tons