Enerpac for less

Everyone would love to own a full set of Enerpac hydraulic tools. For any mortal, that’s not going to happen. I’m lucky. I have an Enerpac A258 bech press, RC1010 cyclinder, and P392 2-speed hand pump. I’ve wanted to build on this for years but didn’t need or want expensive parts for cheap tasks. Everyone wants decent hydraulic tooling. I want  more. I would have to really have a desperate need to buy any more Enerpac tools. They are just sooo expensive.

The big hangup, cheap Chinese hydraulics don’t play well with anything and you just don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. The Chinese couples are generally unusable. Here’s the as-yet unidentified connector that came with the new little cylinder:

Here’s a good solution. Buy the Chinese parts as components and standardize the fittings to work with Enerpac tooling. Simple but less than obvious. This is about bringing components into a system. 

Prolinemax (or Amazon or Ebay) sells utility grade Chinese cylinders and pumps of all different sizes and scales.


The key to all of this is that you’ll need to get a CR400 coupler on the cylinder side and a CH604 Couplet on the pump side. The CR400 is almost $50 and the the CH604 is almost $40, plus shipping and tax of course. Even a new hose is almost $200. Summit Hydraulics has a much cheaper version (HP38-06N-SET for 3/8 NPT, HP14-04N-SET for 1/4 NPT) for $17.90 plus shipping. That’s also a set, so you can do some configuring.

Certainly, the best deals I’ve found on couples is at SMS Hydraulics on eBay.

These are all similar couples:

Enerpac C-604
Parker 3000 Series
Safeway S30 Series
Stucchi IVHP Series
Perfecting T Series
Snap Tite 76 Series
Dnp PVM Series

For reference: 

  • Enerpac C-604 is 3/8 NPT and is the recommended interface. (CH604 & CR400)
  • Enerpac A-630 is 1/4 NPT and is for tight spaces and hand pumps. (AR630 & AH630)

Discount Hydraulic Hose can also be a good source for low cost lines and ends.

This means you can buy cheap Chinese cylinders, lines, and pumps and ensure interchangeability within a quality shop environment. Suddenly, crap looks less like crap.

We have to talk about fluid. For hand pumps, Enerpac specs LX Hydraulic Oil (77.5@40c, ISO15?, yellow).  HF Hydraulic Oil (151@40c, ISO32?, blue) for power pumps. I belive that this change is due mostly to feel a hand pump would otherwise have but I would like to confirm. These fluids, of course, cost almost $60 a gallon and need to be sourced specially. My local O’Reilly’s carries Johnson’s #5597 Hydraulic Jack Oil (39.86 cSt @ 40 deg C, yellow) for less than $5 a quart. That’s pretty convenient. It seems to work fine.

I should point out these nice plates we made for the press frame. Turned the bench press into a fixture-able press and a mezzanine stage for working closer to the cylinder. This was a huge boon to my tooling and I’m still adding to it. It’s nice to have friends with a waterjet.