Hydraulic pump vs motor

Hydraulic Pump vs Motor - The Ultimate Comparison

What is a Hydraulic Pump?

Hydraulic pump is a mechanical equipment designed to fulfill its main function which involves generating hydraulic energy by transforming mechanical power.

The equipment also determines parameters such as flow and pressure and is typically incorporated into hydraulic drives. This device provides the power required to offset the pressure created by a load found at the pump outlet.

Types of Hydraulic Pumps

Types of Hydraulic Pumps

Hydraulic pumps come in varying designs. Some of the commonly used designs include;

  • Gear pumps: These are pumping devices that depend on meshing gears to generate the flow of fluids in the system.
  • Piston pumps: This variation includes reciprocating pistons that are tasked with generating the pressure required to achieve flow
  • Vane pumps: This configuration consists of sliding vanes that are used to pump the fluid in the hydraulic system.
  • Radial piston pumps: To function this pump utilizes pistons that are set up in a radial formation surrounding a central cam
  • Axial piston pumps: Pumping is carried with the help of pistons set up in a circular arrangement
  • External gear pumps: The main defining feature of this variation is the externally located pumps that are tasked with generating flow
  • Internal gear pumps: This variation incorporates both internal and external gears to keep the fluid circulating.

Features of Hydraulic Pumps

The general features of hydraulic pumps include;

  • There are two main pressure parameters incorporated into the design that are crucial to the operation s of the system. These parameters include continuous operating pressure and maximum operating pressure.
  • The rate of fluid flow is a parameter used to gauge the quantity of fluid dispensed into the system by the pump. It is measured in liters per minute gallons per minute and the figures vary according to the design and application of the pump.
  • The power output is another crucial feature that is determined using horsepower. It is an essential factor that should be taken into account when selecting a pump that will suit your system’s power requirement.
  • Volumetric and mechanical efficiencies are parameters whose product helps determine the overall efficiency of the pump. Efficiency varies from one design to the next and may also differ according to the application.
Types of Hydraulic Pumps
Advantages of Hydraulic Pumps

Advantages of Hydraulic Pumps

  • These pumps have a considerably higher efficiency compared to other similar products. This efficiency is owed to its ability to create increased pressure levels using decreased energy.
  • Usually, this pump gives you accurate feedback which helps to operate the system using precise parameters
  • This pump’s design utilizes minimal moving parts and as such is considered safer for you to operate as there is a minimized risk of injury.
  • The reduced number of moving parts also reduces the degree of maintenance practices that are recommended for you. This is due to the decrease in the number of parts that will experience wear or other damages.
  • This type of pump has an increased power density that produces increased power and torque with its small size
  • The device is designed using suitable material with elevated temperature and pressure resistance that help it maintain its stability
  • They are most suitable for your applications that involve lifting heavy objects thanks to their continuously applied force

Limitations of Hydraulic Pump

  • These pumps tend to be more susceptible to leaks that are more difficult to control from the pumps
  • The pumps are relatively more expensive compared to other similar devices
  • A lot of noise is generated during the pump’s operations and may not be suitable for noise sensitive environment.
  • This types of pump have a higher chance of getting contaminated which can lead to damage throughout the system
Limitations of Hydraulic Pump
What is Hydraulic Motor

What is Hydraulic Motor?

A hydraulic motor is an equipment designed to transform hydraulic energy into mechanical motion. These devices come in multiple configurations that are suited for different systems. They therefore have a wide range of applications.

Types of Hydraulic Motors

Motors come in different variations. The variations include;

  • Axial piston motors; This design consists of piston pumps located inside a cylinder block that have been laid out in a circular formation
  • Radial piston motors; These involve piston motors that are set up in a radial arrangement around a cam
  • Hydraulic gear motors; This equipment is used in converting energy hydraulic energy found in the hydraulic system into mechanical energy
  • Hydraulic vane motors: Vanes are the main working mechanism for these motors and are used to move fluid in the system
Types of Hydraulic Motors
Features of Hydraulic Motor

Features of Hydraulic Motor

There are different types of hydraulic motors and their features may vary depending on the design of the device. These features include;

  • Mounting flexibility is a feature whose degree varies from one design to the next. The mounting flexibility requirement largely depends on your application
  • Duty rating is another feature that is vital and is used to indicate the ability of the device to operate continuously in select settings.
  • For noise-sensitive environments, some motors are fitted with muting features that allow for quiet operations.
  • Efficiency is a feature that represents the degree to which the device performs its function of converting energy.

Advantages of Hydraulic Motor

  • This motor variation is highly efficient with increased durability and reduced power consumption compared to other types of motors.
  • These motors can generate increased levels of torque about their size. This gives them a superior elevated torque torque-to-weight ratio.
  • These motors are suitable for your systems that work at low speeds. The motors can sustain a stall in your system without risking damage. Their torque output remains relatively high even when experiencing slow speeds
  • The material used makes the device durable and resistant to some harsh elements allowing you to select the most suitable one. The high-quality materials make them suitable for heavy-duty applications.
  • These motors are better suited for industrial machinery and their systems. They are designed with different configurations making them versatile in their applications
Advantages of Hydraulic Motor
Limitations of Hydraulic Motors

Limitations of Hydraulic Motors

  • Motors are designed with relatively more moving parts that are prone to wear and therefore require more intensive maintenance practices.
  • This equipment produces a lot of noise that is not great for noise-sensitive environments. However, you can select a quiet operation device that mutes the noise levels.
  • These systems are better suited for operations that involve general speeds and therefore have a limited range of speed settings
  • This equipment requires you to frequently clean to prevent contamination and to maintain the optimum functioning of the system

Comparing the Working Principles of Hydraulic Motors and Hydraulic Pumps

The hydraulic pump functions by transforming power that is mechanically produced into hydraulic energy, which consists of generating flow and pressure within the system. This equipment generates a vacuum at the inlet, that displaces the liquid into the system from the reservoir.

First, the liquid is into the inlet of the pump, and the pump mechanically pushes the liquid into its outlet and finally into the system

The hydraulic motor, on the other hand, utilizes hydraulic energy transforming it directly into mechanical energy.

Here, the pressurized fluid is delivered to the motor by a pump, and that energy is then turned into mechanical motion. This fluid applies pressure on vanes, gears, and pistons rotating them and thereby producing mechanical energy.


Given the diversity of both hydraulic pumps and motors, these types of equipment can be used in a wide range of applications. You should therefore consider your application when selecting the most suitable device. These applications include

  • Construction Equipment
  • Agricultural machinery
  • Industrial machinery
  • Automotive industry
  • Mining equipment
  • Marine industry
  • Aviation industry
  • Medical equipment


Hydraulic pumps and motors are equipment that have been designed to perform the main function of converting energy into a form that can be used by the system. These devices however perform their function using varying techniques. It is, therefore, best to select an equipment that Is suitable for your application.

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