Hose Fittings and Adapters: The Difference and The Proprietary Fit

At Custom Hose Tech, we make it our business to stock, deliver, or custom design the hydraulic hoses and components that our customers need to operate. We are the experts when it comes to unusual metrics, non-standard hoses, and fittings. When working with hydraulic equipment, fit is everything.

The Difference Between Hose Fittings and Adapters

“Hydraulic fittings and adapters are often assumed to be the same,” as stated on Hose Assembly Tips. These two components are not the same, and each one has its purpose. To further explain the differences, Quora gives a quick description of not only the adapter and fitting, but also of the connector, coupling, and union.

Hose Fittings

As the Quora article states, “a fitting attaches a hydraulic line to anything else.” The connector, coupling, and union are all specialized fittings.


When you think about the term, adapter, it makes sense what the purpose of this component is. Referring to the Quora article, an adapter allows for the attachment of varying sizes or types of hydraulic hose lines. An adapter may also attach “another size of type port on a valve, cylinder, motor, pump, or other active device, or another size or type fitting.” As Hose Assembly Tips states, “in some cases, adapters may also be fittings.”

The Proprietary Fit

Now, “making sense of hydraulic hose standards,” as found on Hydraulics & Pneumatics, you will understand why it may be vital to stay with a “proprietary” fit. The main reason is “hydraulic hose construction and performance is covered by various national and international standards including ISO, BSI, SAE, DIN, API, and CETOP.”


Depending upon the global location, “most proprietary hoses conform to one standard or another.” Here in the United States, it’s the SAE standards that are “the most widely followed.”

Also noted, “more recently, hydraulic system designers began adopting ISO specifications.” The increasing demand for higher pressure hoses is the reason for the ISO adoption.

The Best Fit Is the Perfect Match

It is quite clear that matching different manufacturing components can result in an improper fit, allowing for potential failure and resulting in downtime. It’s all about the thread match for the correct fit.

If you continue to scroll down the Hydraulics and Pneumatics web page, you will come to “four steps to safer hoses.” While making sure your hose type is the proper match to the application, it’s just as critical that the threads of the fitting and the adapter properly match. Thus, a proprietary fit is the best fit.

Custom Hose Tech: Distributor of Multiple Lines of High Quality Industrial Hoses

No matter the standards, Custom Hose Tech not only carries multiple lines of the highest quality industrial hoses, fittings, and adapters, we also offer custom fitting fabrication for unusual applications.

Multiple Ways We Offer Our Customers Superior Service

Along with our robust inventory of multiple manufacturers’ hydraulic hose products, we make it easy for our customers to employ our expert services. Whether a walk-in or mobile service is needed, we are staffed and stocked to take care of our customers. Referring back to the “four steps to safer hoses,” we’re here to make sure you’re covered.

  • We have the hydraulic hoses, fittings, and adapters to correctly match any application.
  • We can help you make sure you have your hoses properly routed with the right hose lengths, fittings, and adapters.
  • We offer preventive maintenance.
  • We offer pickup and delivery to help you avoid improper storage.
  • We have a large mobile fleet to handle emergency situations.

Don’t take a chance by using improperly matched hydraulic hose fittings and adapters. The team at Custom Hose is highly trained, and it’s our business to keep your hydraulics flowing. Contact us to learn how we can be the perfect match for your operation.

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