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Hydraulic Hoses Whats The Difference?

How Do I Choose A Hose? 

Custom Hydraulics & Design has been dedicated to fluid power conveyance and fluid power systems for over 25 years. Throughout our 25 years of experience we have seen about every hydraulic hose you can imagine. 

We thought it may be helpful for our clients and customers who may not have the same experience with fluid power to have better insight and understanding as to what differentiates hydraulic hoses, and where they're most applicable. 

We will not get too in depth with each type of hydraulic hose, there are many variances of each type. Will will however discuss the most commonly seen hoses in the industry. 

Whether you're trying to get a system or unit up and running again or just trying to get a better understanding of the hydraulic hoses used in the application you will first want to ask yourself a few questions that can help you decide what hose you need!

  • Where is this hose? is it in a tight spot, or can you get to it easily? is the hose exposed to elements? 
  • What is the pressure requirement needed for this component to last? 
  • What components are before and behind the hydraulic hose? 
  • What is the use of the hose? does it return, transfer, or supply? 
  • What type of medium is running through the hose? 


Single wire hydraulic hose is great when the system or application requires the hoses to be very flexible.

Single wire hydraulic hose is not meant to meet high pressure requirements and typically is rated at or under PSI. 

Single wire hydraulic hose is a great option when running a hose at low pressures over long distances, an example that we see a lot is custom pressure washer hoses for commercial landscaping  use. 

2- Wire 

Dual wire hydraulic hose is the most common hose that we see in our local fluid power markets.

Dual wire hydraulic hose is rated for a higher PSI level than a single wire hose and provides similar flexibility characteristics 

Dual wire hydraulic hose is an affordable highly efficient hose, 2-wire hose assemblies  are  very common, often you will find these hydraulic hoses in mobile equipment systems, and high pressure applications. 


4-wire hydraulic hose is a monster of a hydraulic hose, in regards to abrasion resistance and PSI limits. 

4-wire hydraulic hose can withstand a large PSI load, however, by gaining the increased PSI, there is more wire within the hose, causing a decrease in the hoses bending radius / flexibility. 

4-wire hydraulic hose is very common in heavy duty fluid power mobile equipment, and applications. Typically CHD will see 4-wire hosing used on a large mobile machine. 


6-Wire hydraulic hose is the highest level of protection that you can get with a hydraulic hose.

6-wire provides great PSI handling and abrasion resistant characteristics making it the perfect hydraulic hose for very demanding applications. 

Typically when we see 6-wire hydraulic hoses they have been used in drill rig applications, and heavy duty mobile equipment such as large excavators. 

Suction / Discharge

Suction and Discharge hydraulic hose is a very low pressure hydraulic hose made from rubber. 

Suction and Discharge hoses typically have a spiral single wire that is running throughout the hose. This is to prevent collapsing of the hose when using it for suction applications. 

Typically you will see these types of hoses being used in large water transfer applications, and any application where there is a need to have fluid or dry materials transferred elsewhere. 


Stainless Steel Braided hydraulic hose is a great hose for tight spaces, and high temperature applications. 

Because the material the hose is made out of is a steel-wire outer with a thermoplastic inner tubing this hose presents great abrasion resistance and PSI resistance characteristics. 

This type of hydraulic hose can be found throughout many different industries, some of the steel-wire hydraulic hoses that we see come from steam applications, and even food and drug applications. 


Thermoplastic is a very broad term, because there are different thermoplastic hoses for each application.

Most frequently we see thermoplastic hydraulic hose which is typically found in a forklift pulley system. The plastic outside of the hose allows for movement in the hose without degradation of the outer materials. 

With thermoplastics there are many variances, the PSI limits can be low or high and the temperature ratings are similar. Therefore it is crucial you understand the system and application before deciding upon what type of thermoplastic hose to utilize.