The Top 10 Best Selling Hydraulic Cylinders
October 17, 2022
When looking for the best hydraulic cylinder there are hundreds of different configurations to choose from. Buying decisions usually begin by looking at tonnage, stroke, and height – and whether you need it to be single-acting or double-acting. There’s also the plunger return type and mounting options to consider too, and if you need a hollow plunger for pulling applications.
Applications vary enormously, so in reality, there’s no such thing as the ‘best overall hydraulic cylinder’ or an all-time top hydraulic cylinder. But knowing which are the most popular and understanding their differences can help you narrow your selection.
That’s why we’ve put together our Top 10 list of Enerpac cylinders. We’ve listed them in reverse order – mostly based on global sales, but also with others added that are popular in certain regions.
10. RSM200 Low-Height Hydraulic Cylinder
The RSM200 in one sentence
This is a single-acting, low-height hydraulic cylinder with mounting holes that offers a maximum load capacity of 22.1 imperial tons (201 kN) and a stroke of 0.5” (11 mm).
Best for: Low clearance applications and mounting to fixtures.
The RSM200 is a small and compact hydraulic cylinder measuring just 2 inches high (51mm). As with many low-height cylinders, there isn’t a separate saddle, which is why the top of the chrome-plated steel plunger has inbuilt grooves to prevent slippage. This model works great for general lifting jobs, but it can also be attached to other fixtures.
Why buy it?
RSM Series cylinders differ from other low-height models as their mounting holes allow for clamping to machinery and other fixtures. The flat sides also provide stability when installed in other orientations. The spring return provides faster retraction than load return models.
9. RC506 50-ton General Purpose Hydraulic Cylinder
The RC506 in one sentence
The RC506 is a general-purpose hydraulic cylinder with the capacity to lift up to 50 imperial tons (498 kN) delivering a stroke up to 6.25” (159 mm).
Best for: Versatility. Construction projects.
This is one of the bigger general-purpose cylinders included in the recent RC ‘Trio’ upgrade. The 50-ton capacity, robust construction, and generous stroke make this a popular choice for construction projects.
Why buy it?
If you want a versatile 50-ton cylinder built for the long haul this needs to be on your shortlist. Inside is the new 3-spring (Trio) system that delivers faster retraction than the outgoing model. It also includes the ‘Trio’ bearing system with composite wear bands to resist side load. The strengthened stop ring, high-grade steel plunger, and polyethylene seals also help to ensure long-term durability.
8. Pow’r-Riser Wheeled Jack (PRASA20027L)
The PRASA20027L Pow’r-Riser in one sentence
This is not just a hydraulic cylinder, it’s an easily transportable jack that can be wheeled across rough surfaces to lift large heavy equipment.
Best for: Large loads. Heavy plant maintenance.
Although not just a standalone cylinder, we’ve included this wheeled jack in our cylinder top ten because we think it’s too good to go unnoticed. The capacity of this model is a whopping 200 imperial tons, and the plunger can extend up to 24.3” (617 mm). This Pow’r-Riser includes its own onboard hydraulic pump which in this model is powered by a compressed air line. Electric corded versions are also available.
Why buy it?
If you want a highly portable jack to lift huge loads such as heavy plant equipment used for mining and quarrying, this Pow’R-RISER offers a powerful and portable solution. The three-position handle and generous ground clearance make it easy to tilt the unit for transport over rail and rough terrain.
7. RCH202 Hollow Plunger Cylinder
The RCH202 in one sentence
This is a single-acting, hollow plunger hydraulic cylinder with a maximum load capacity of 20 imperial tons (215 kN) and a stroke of 2.5” (49 mm).
Best for: Can be used for pulling, pushing, and lifting.
This is a hollow plunger cylinder with a threaded collar for attaching various accessories. This means it can be used for lifting, pushing, and pulling. It is single-acting and uses an internal spring to return the plunger. (A spring retraction is faster than those that rely on the force of the load). For applications where a more controlled retraction is needed, take a look at RRH-Series cylinders.
Why buy it?
Hollow plunger cylinders like this one are incredibly versatile, and therefore a popular choice. The Nickel-plated plunger has a center hole that can accept steel rope/strand or bar – making it suitable for pulling applications in bridge building, prestressed construction, and mechanical disassembly. The RCH202 is one of the smaller cylinders in the RCH Series but is robust enough to handle loads up to 20 tons. Weighing 17 lbs (7.7 kg) it is possible for one able-bodied person to carry it over short distances on site.
6. RCS302 Low-Height 30-ton Hydraulic Cylinder
The RCS302 in one sentence
This is a single-acting, low-height hydraulic cylinder with a maximum load capacity of 30 imperial tons (295 kN) and a stroke of 2.4” (62 mm).
Best for: General low-height applications.
This cylinder could be regarded as a low-height cylinder. In its fully retracted position, the RCS302 has a height of just 4.63” (117mm). The cylinder retracts quickly using its powerful return spring, which is faster and more convenient than low-profile cylinders that rely on the weight of the load to retract the plunger.
Why buy it?
RCS-Series Cylinders are a popular choice for general lifting and production applications. If you want a 30-ton cylinder that isn’t too tall and delivers fast retraction, the RCS302 should be on your shortlist. The plunger includes threaded holes, just in case you want to attach a tilting saddle.
5. RC104 General Purpose Cylinder
The RC104 in one sentence
A general-purpose hydraulic cylinder with a maximum capacity of 11.2 imperial tons (101 kN) and a generous stroke of 4.13” (105mm).
Best for: General purpose lifts up to 10 tons.
Like the RC506 mentioned above, this is another general-purpose option from the RC Series. The main differences are a smaller size, less load capacity, and shorter stroke.
Why buy it?
The RC104 is a good all-rounder that falls within the 10-ton cylinder category. Weighing just 7.2 lbs (3.3 kg), this is easy enough for one person to carry around the job site.
4. RC106 General Purpose Cylinder
The RC106 in one sentence
A general-purpose hydraulic cylinder with a maximum capacity of 11.2 imperial tons (101 kN) and a stroke of 6.13” (156mm).
Best for: General purpose lifts up to 10 tons requiring an extended stroke.
This is very similar to the RC104 mentioned above, but with a longer stroke.
Why buy it?
If you want a good all-rounder with the capacity to lift 10-ton loads just over 6 inches this is a great choice. And as with other RC Cylinders mentioned in this article, the RC106 includes high-grade polyethylene seals, a plunger wiper, and a hardened plunger saddle. The longer design of the RC106 enables it to be manufactured with a wear band built into the stop ring. This improves durability and resistance to side load.
3. RC102 Small General Purpose Cylinder
The RC102 in one sentence
This is a relatively small general-purpose single-acting hydraulic cylinder with a maximum load capacity of 11.2 imperial tons (101 kN) and stroke of 2.13” (54 mm).
Best for: Small short-stroke lifts for loads up to 10 tons.
Once again, this is another cylinder from the RC Series that uses a spring to retract the plunger. Use this cylinder to lift loads up to 11.2 tons when you have a clearance gap as little as 4.78” (121mm). As you would expect, the lower height means the stroke is less than other RC models (2.13” 54mm).
Why buy it?
The small size and low weight of just 5.1lbs (2.3 kg) make the RC102 a convenient and compact choice for lifting loads up to 11.3 imperial tons. Although general purpose, this is by no means a cheaply constructed cylinder. It features high-grade polyethylene seals, a plunger wiper, and a hardened plunger saddle – each of these help to ensure many years of trouble-free use.
2. RCS502 Low-Height 50-ton Hydraulic Cylinder
The RCS502 in one sentence
This is a single-acting, low-height hydraulic cylinder with a maximum load capacity of 48.1 imperial tons (435 kN) and a stroke of 2.38” (60 mm).
Best for: 50-ton lifts with clearance gaps as low as 4.81″ (122mm).
This is a low-height cylinder. In its fully retracted position, the RCS502 has a height of just 4.81” (122 mm). Many low-profile hydraulic cylinders rely on the weight of the load to retract the plunger. RCS cylinders are different and include a powerful return spring, which is faster and therefore more productive.
Why buy it?
RCS-Series Cylinders are a popular choice for general lifting and production applications. If you want a cylinder with a capacity of around 40-tons that isn’t too tall, and one that offers a fast retraction, the RCS502 should be on your shortlist. The plunger also includes threaded holes just in case you want to attach a tilting saddle.
and the winner is……
1. RCH302 Hollow Plunger Hydraulic Cylinder
The RCH302 in one sentence
The RCH302 is a single-acting, hollow plunger hydraulic cylinder with a maximum load capacity of 36.1 imperial tons (326 kN) and a stroke of 2.5” (64 mm).
Best for: Mid-capacity pulling, pushing and lifting applications.
Our number 1 hydraulic cylinder is the RCH302. This is the bigger brother of the RCH202 mentioned above. It also includes a threaded hollow plunger for attaching various accessories. This means it can be used for lifting, pushing, and pulling. It is a single-acting cylinder that uses an internal spring to return the plunger. The spring retraction is faster than those that rely on the force of the load to retract. For applications where a more controlled retraction is needed we recommend RRH-Series cylinders.
Why buy it?
This cylinder is incredibly versatile and therefore popular across many different industries. The hollow nickel-plated plunger can accept steel strand and bar – making it suitable for prestressed construction, bridge building and mechanical disassembly. The RCH302 has a mid-range load capacity and weighs 24 lbs (10.9 kg), (roughly equivalent to two bowling balls), which is manageable for one able-bodied person to carry over short distances.
…also worth a look
With so many cylinders available, it was always going to be a tall order to narrow it down to just ten. So here are two more best sellers that just missed out on making the list.
RCS1002 Low-Height 100-ton Hydraulic Cylinder
The RCS1002 can lift 100 imperial tons (887 kN). It offers high-capacity lifting in a compact format and uses a spring to return the plunger. The stroke is 2.25” (57mm). If you want to lift 100 tons but have a smaller clearance gap, consider the CUSP100 instead – but bear in mind that this type relies on the weight of the load to return the plunger.
HCR10006 High-Tonnage Hydraulic Cylinder
The HCR10006 is a popular high-tonnage hydraulic cylinder, and we’re not joking when we state high-tonnage. This has the capacity to lift loads weighing up to 1196 imperial tons. It provides a stroke of 5.81 inches (147mm). It is a double-acting cylinder which means retraction can be more controlled and faster than spring return cylinders. The nitrocarburized body and plunger give excellent protection from the weather and wear for extended periods. Lifting this cylinder manually is not an option, which is why certified lifting eyes are provided.