Air-Way Terminology – Fittings or Adapters? | Air-Way Manufacturing

Air-Way Terminology – Fittings or Adapters?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Hydraulic fittings, adapters, and couplings – what is the difference? 

If you go to the homepage of Air-Way Global Manufacturing, in big, bold letters it says, “Hydraulic Fittings & Adapters Manufacturer.” In our line of work, these two words - fittings and adapters – are quite interchangeable. And to compound things, here are some more terms people generally use to describe a hydraulic connection: 



Adaptor (European Spelling)



Do all these terms mean the exact same thing? We’ve talked with our team of experts including engineering, production, and sales reps to get the details. 

Hydraulic Connection Terminology 101 from Air-Way 

Hydraulic Fittings 

Hydraulic Fittings connect conductors such as hoses, pipes and tubes in a hydraulic system. Most fittings have a male and female component that jointo form a connection that helps contain and direct the flow of hydraulic fluid. Different fitting shapes and sizes allow engineers to change flow direction, prevent leaks, and maintain pressure, and crimping or brazing is the most common way to use them. 

pipecoupling is a specialized fitting that attaches two hydraulic lines to each other, end-to-end, and cannot be removed without first detaching one of the hydraulic lines from some other object.  A quick couplingon the other hand, is typically attached to the end of a hose and allows assembly without the use of tools. Quick couplings allow users to change attachments on their equipment quickly.

Hydraulic Adapters/Connectors

While fittings generally have one end crimped onto a hose, most hydraulic adapters/connectors are connected by thread engagement on each end. A hydraulicadapter is the connector the hose is assembled to; it’s essentially a fitting with connection threads on two (or more) sides. Adapters are common in an in-line connection from a port connection, and often used to reduce or enlarge the size of the connection or hose line – aka jump size adapters. To put it another way, adapters can be viewed as components that are used to bridge a hose assembly or hard line tubing to another port. They serve a variety of purposes and are found in practically all sizes, styles and thread types. 

Air-Way is a Total OEM Hydraulic Solutions Provider 

Hydraulic fittings and adapters are what Air-Way has specialized in manufacturing for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and distributors worldwide since 1950.  Together, Air-Way Manufacturing and Hydra-Flex Inc.,(acquired by Air-Way in 1997) represent one Air-Way, and support customers with complete hydraulic hose assembly, adapter products, and hydraulic fittings. ​

In short, when you work with Air-Way Manufacturing, you have a reliable supplier oftotal hydraulic assemblies, from start to finish, and available anywhere in the world. If you’d like to talk to us more about our OEM and other hydraulic hose assembly and fitting solutions, please contact us today. 








  • 70 years, 4 Generations, One Air-Way Global Manufacturing

    Air-Way Global Manufacturing continues to be an industry leader by supplying hydraulic fittings and adapters in an ever-changing global marketplace. While 98 percent of family-businesses fail by now, we feel compelled to explore our past and how we’ve stayed family-focused for 4 generations – and counting. It certainly wasn’t easy long ago, just like it is not easy today. It took a lot of perseverance and skill, while experiencing both wins and losses to get where we are now.
  • The Tariff Situation – Impact on Materials & Manufacturing

    The trade war between the U.S. and China has become close to a year-long affair that has affected nearly every industry nation-wide, and like many manufacturers, Air-Way isn’t immune to the impacts. As tariffs have been ramping up since the start of 2018, it’s hard to understand the current state of trade and what it means for manufacturing. That topic is too big for a single article, but we would like to try and explain the specific tariffs that are affecting our entire industry and Air-Way’s manufacturing and supply chain.
  • Hydraulic Fitting Supplier vs. Manufacturer

    E-commerce impacts every industry, including ours, and is fast becoming demand-driven. The “have it now” mentality has taken hold and quite often, many seeking hydraulic fitting and hose solutions, turn to online “suppliers” as their source of choice. A quick google search will certainly bring up several websites that claim they have exactly what you’re looking for (with no shipping fee!), so why say no? It’s important to realize that while they may offer a number of hydraulic fittings and hoses, working with a manufacturer vs. a supplier is the way to go.

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