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Hydraulic Hoses: Measuring For The Correct Thickness And Why

by Konsta Latt

If you have to replace hydraulic hoses, or any kind of hose on your vehicle for that matter, you need to get the correct thickness of hose for the job. There are many factors involved with fitting and selecting the correct hose, which is why it is so important that the thickness and diameter be accurate. Here is how to properly measure for thickness and more reasons why it is important.

Get out Your Millimeter Ruler

You will need a ruler with millimeter measurements. Too many people make the mistake of measuring the diameter of hydraulic hoses and not the thickness, when there is a clear distinction between these two measurements. As such, people often order the wrong hose thickness as well as the wrong diameter. 

With your millimeter ruler in hand:

  1. Take your millimeter ruler and measure ONLY the one side of the hose, from the outside edge to the first inside lip/edge. 
  2. DO NOT measure across the opening! The thickness of the hose is the same as if you were to cut down one side of the hose, open it up, and measure the thickness of one edge.
  3. This measurement will be anywhere from a couple millimeters to several millimeters thick. Most hydraulic hoses for autos and construction vehicles are about two to ten millimeters thick. If you have a larger measurement than that, you are either measuring incorrectly or measuring hose for equipment the size of a house!
  4. Order the hose with the closest thickness measurement available, making sure the hose is also the same length and diameter as the one you hold in your hand.

While you wait for your new hose(s) to be delivered, keep the old hose for comparison. It will help you determine if you got the measurements right.

Why Hose Thickness Is Important

Hydraulic hose thickness is important because these hoses are constantly under pressure. The air or the fluid pushed through them is quite forceful, and the thickness of the hose protects it against the expected pressure. Hoses that are too thin will split and leak, causing you to replace them again. Hoses that are too thick will be inflexible, even though they will be able to handle higher levels of air pressure. An ideal thickness for a hydraulic hose is one that is neither too thin nor too thick for the job. You can click here for info on hydraulic hoses.