I am looking at purchasing a hydraulic cylinder and a 12volt DC pump and motor to go with it. The pump and motor state that it is a single action pump, the cylinder mentions that it is double action, my question is, can a double acting cylinder work with a single action pump if the downward stroke of the cylinder will be powered by gravity anyway. The double action is not necessary but does it render the cylinder incompatible with that pump?

  • $\begingroup$ Should work if you have the proper release valve, otherwise you may just be jamming fluid into a closed chamber via a 1-way valve. $\endgroup$
    – Abel
    Sep 6, 2023 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


Yes, design the control valve to supply either side of the cylinder.

That means you force the ram out and force it back.

Also remember the other things like filters, pressure relief etc

  • $\begingroup$ If the pump and reservoir are designed as a single action unit, wouldn't it come with a relief valve built in? $\endgroup$
    – JD Norris
    Sep 7, 2023 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ May even come with an on/off switch - depends who you purchase from. But the manufacturer I was thinking about has pumps that are pumps and filters, relief valves etc etc are all specified separately depending on the function required - the same pump can work at 10 bar in one project and 100 bar in another... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 7, 2023 at 11:07

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