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Hand Tools, Hydraulic Equipment [2010-11-10]

Hydraulic systems require specialty fittings to connect and secure all the different components. Every part of the hydraulic system (or circuit) requires fittings that are able to resist the high pressure and heat that hydraulic fluid generates. With some circuits pressurized to over 1,500 lbs. per square inch (psi), there is no room for error when the fittings are installed and connected. Working on hydraulic circuits involves a number of hand tools that are essential for anyone who assembles, disassembles and maintains these fittings.
Fittings are precision-machined parts used to secure hydraulic hoses, tubing and outlet or inlet ports. Fittings can be threaded, or they can be compression fittings, which use a spring-locked collar for quick connect and disconnect. With high-pressure rubber hoses, fittings can also include various clamps needed to secure the fitting tight. Low-pressure return lines (carrying fluid back to the filter and pump) will occasionally use various clamps for fittings. These are less expensive and make for quick removal for maintenance and assembly.

Thread Connected Hydraulic Coupling have six-sided faces as on a bolt head or nut. Although adjustable ("monkey") wrenches can do the job, it is best to have an assortment of box wrenches. Both English and metric sizes are needed. A box wrench will insure a secure attachment to the fitting and will prevent slipping. This eliminates any "rounding" of the fitting's face which would make removal more difficult.