Piston Pump Vs Gear Pump

Piston Pump vs. Gear Pump

Hydraulic pumps have two common types. It includes the piston pump and gear pump. Each type can handle different applications such as heavy-duty equipment, die presses, and more. You can choose the right hydraulic pump based on your application requirements. You should also choose a pump while considering the different factors such as flow rate, operating pressure, hydraulic fluid, and application speed. This article will help you understand what is a piston and gear pump, how do they differ each other, their applications, benefits, and working principles.

Piston Pump

Hydraulic piston pumps are type of positive displacement pump. This pump utilizes a back-and-forth linear motion or reciprocation.

Thus, creating a rotation around its axis. It allows the fluid to transfer from one place to another.

Some models of this pump can displace hydraulic fluid that ranges from 4000-14500PSI. Hydraulic piston pumps also come in fixed displacement or variable displacement designs.

Piston Pump
Application of Piston Pump


These types of hydraulic pump are suitable for applications with high pressure rating including:

  • Heavy-duty lifts
  • Presses
  • Shovels
  • Excavators
  • Mixers
  • Bulldozers
  • Industrial equipment
  • Construction machinery, and more

Advantages and Downsides of Hydraulic Piston Pump

Piston pumps are commonly designed with intricate internal components. Thus, allowing the hydraulic system to provide variety of displacement in every revolution period.

This also assures that piston pump can provide the highest pressure, allowing it to perform different applications. It also guarantees more efficiency compared to gear pumps.

The only disadvantage of piston pump is its price. It is more costly than gear pumps. However, it provides more a worth investment in the long run.

Advantages and Downsides of Hydraulic Piston Pump
Working Principle of Piston Pumps

Working Principle of Piston Pumps

Piston pumps is designed with plunger and piston. These two components are used for displacing and

pressurizing hydraulic fluids.

Hydraulic piston pumps also have two operating types. It includes single acting or double acting.

Either of those two, these functions through their pumping mechanism to create a force. This mechanism allows the pump to contract and transfer hydraulic fluid.

Gear Pump

Similar to piston, gear pump is also a type of positive displacement pump but mostly fixed displacement. Thus, controlling the displacement amount often requires a separate valve.

This pump transfers hydraulic fluid through its gears. The gears are properly aligned, forming a suction. It has up to 3000PSI up to 4500PSI pressure rating.

Hydraulic gear pumps are durable options while being cost-effective. It also comes in different models and options available.

Gear Pump
Applications of Gear Pump


Hydraulic gear pumps are widely used in different industries with low-pressure applications including the following:

  • Food and Beverage Industry
  • Pulp and Paper Industry
  • Chemical Industry
  • Oil Industry

Advantages and Downsides of Gear Pump

When taken care properly, gear pumps can be durable and reliable for a long period of time.

Fortunately, hydraulic gear pumps are less maintenance and inexpensive.

It also offers maximum of 4500PSI pressure rating. This pressure rating is enough for some machine and equipment to operate.

However, the pressure it provides may not be enough to power industrial machines and large presses. It is also not capable of providing variable displacement for your hydraulic system.

Advantages and Downsides of Gear Pump
Working Principle of Gear Pumps

Working Principle of Gear Pumps

Hydraulic gear pumps functions by transferring the hydraulic fluid in a repetitive manner.

The rotation of the gears in the opposite direction forms a pressure that allows the hydraulic fluid to pass though the discharge port.

The interlocking gears allow a fixed fluid volume to be enclosed before transferring it to the pumping action.

Piston Pump and Gear Pump – Their Key Differences

The main different between these two pumps are their design and mechanism to transfer the hydraulic fluid. Below are also distinct differences of these two pumps:

  • Piston-style hydraulic pumps uses variable displacement while gear pumps commonly utilizes fixed displacement.
  • Hydraulic piston pumps are bigger when it comes to a flow rate than gear pumps.
  • Gear pumps can be used for applications with higher fluid viscosity. On the other hand, piston pump can be used for applications with extreme pressure.
  • In terms of their structure, piston pump is typically bigger than gear pumps.
  • Hydraulic gear pump is more heat resistant compared to piston pumps.
  • Piston pumps are more expensive and costly when it comes to their price.

Comparison Between Piston Pumps and Gear Pumps

Characteristic of a Good Hydraulic Pump Hydraulic Gear Pump Hydraulic Piston Pump
Repetitive fluid dispensing with accuracy No Yes
Maintains a stable ratio independently No Yes
Can be used in an ambient conditions with variability Yes Yes
Accommodates different fluid viscosity Yes Yes
Stable in triggering speeds and patterns No Yes
Withstands isocyanates effects No Yes
Maintains static pressure No Yes
Minimal downtime No Yes
Long-term reliability No Yes
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