Hydraulic Fluid vs Hydraulic Oil: What’s the Difference?

Hydraulics refers to systems in which fluids transport energy as well as power!

hydraulic fluid vs hydraulic oil

Hydraulic fluids or hydraulic oils are utilized in a wide range of machinery, power tools, equipment, and industries and are commonly referred to as hydraulic fluids. As a result, hydraulic systems are used in various industries, from agriculture to construction to mining, steelmaking, shipbuilding, aviation, and the aerospace industry. The usage of fluid technology may be found in almost every sector around the globe!

Some people use hydraulic oil and fluid interchangeably, although that isn’t always accurate! Hydraulic fluid can also include water, water-oil emulsions, salt solutions, and hydraulic oil. Here’s a quick guide on hydraulic fluid vs. hydraulic oil.


Understanding the Hydraulic Fluid

Many types of machinery rely on hydraulic fluid to function correctly. Brakes and transmissions would fail, and engines’ lifespans would be severely shortened without it. Thus it’s essential to have. Water, oil emulsion, and salty solutions are samples of the many fluids that make up a hydraulic fluid that serves various functions in a system.


Types and Uses of Hydraulic Fluid

Hydraulic fluids can be divided into three categories:

1. Fluids that are based on water

Water-based fluids, the least prevalent of the three, are required in areas with a high fire risk. Their weakness is that they don’t provide a lot of lubrication.

2. Petroleum-based fluids

It is widely used to provide superior lubrication, stability, and corrosion resistance to pumps and other system components. However, they have a propensity to accumulate muck, impairing machine operation.

3. Fluids made from synthetic materials

These are engineered to provide outstanding fluid stability, lubrication, and other benefits. A wide temperature range and even high pressure are no problem for them. Their drawback? These can be expensive, they are more hazardous, and they may not be compatible with ordinary sealants.

In addition to lubrication, heat dissipation, and sealing, hydraulic fluid also helps to avoid corrosion and harmful contaminants. Any hydraulic system can benefit from the increased efficiency provided by a high-quality hydraulic fluid.


Understanding the Hydraulic Oil

It’s a fluid that serves a variety of purposes. It acts as a conductor, lubricant, and sealer to transfer energy. In addition, it serves as a coolant and contamination remover for the machinery.


Types and Uses of Hydraulic Oil

In the same way that most lubricants are divided into mineral and synthetic oils, so are hydraulic oils. In contrast, the first is derived from petroleum, while the second is manufactured or synthesized. Biodegradable hydraulic fluids, food-grade, STOU, UTTO universal automobile oils, and airplane hydraulic fluids can also be used in delicate situations.

Equipment and components that use hydraulics, as well as hydraulic oil, can be found in a variety of industries.


Key Differences between Hydraulic Oil and Fluid

  • Hydraulic fluid is a medium for transferring energy in hydraulic systems. Despite its flammability, it is a vital component of a hydraulic system.
  • Hydraulic fluid has low or non-existent flammability. Hydraulic oil, on the other hand, is highly explosive.
  • Hydraulic fluid may operate at various temperatures and pressures under normal working circumstances. Hydraulic oil can catch fire when exposed to high temperatures and pressures.
  • Involves the utilization of hydraulic fluids. Applications include power brakes and steering for automobiles and power transmission for car systems. It’s vital to note that Hydraulic oil is also used as a coolant and lubricant.



Fluids used in hydraulic systems include hydraulic oils. To minimize the danger of high-pressure flammability caused by hydraulic oil, hydraulic fluid is used in conjunction with the oil. Regarding auto transmissions, hydraulic fluid is preferable because it can be utilized in automatic transmissions, but hydraulic oil cannot.