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Hydraulic quick connect couplers or quick couplings allow users to quickly connect and disconnect hydraulic hoses to machinery, or other sections of plumbing.

These fittings are also called quick-connects and quick disconnects, as they allow fluid to flow when the male and female sides are locked together.

When it comes to hydraulic quick couplers, there are two primary construction styles which are flat face couplers and poppet style couplers. In this guide, we compare the two different styles of hydraulic quick connect couplers to see which one is the better of the two.

Poppets vs flat face hydraulic quick connect couplers: a quick overview

Both flat face and poppet hydraulic quick connect couplers have both been around for a long time. However, poppet quick connect couplers have been used a lot longer than flat face couplers. 

Poppet quick connect couplers employ the check valve style system that uses balls or poppets to block flow from exiting the fitting. The poppets then push against each other when connected, lifting both off their seats in order to allow flow through the connection.

Face face couplers, however, have a more sophisticated interface. When joined together, the couplers push face sections into each other to open a large flow path through them both.

Poppet type hydraulic couplers are usually used on construction equipment, oil tools, forestry equipment, agricultural machinery and other hydraulic applications. 

On the other hand, flat face couplers are used in the agriculture, construction, logging industries etc, skid and track drive loader attachment, hydraulic tools, agricultural implements, earthmoving equipment and attachments, such as earth drills, trenches, sweepers, vibrators and rock breakers. 

Flat face couplers were developed initially by an Italian company called Stucchi, which were awarded with the ISO 9001 certificate for quality management systems in 1993. In 1999, Stucchi’s design for flat face quick couplings was used as reference for the standard ISO 16028.3. Since then, many have copied the design of the flat face quick coupling, which was a very durable, clever design. 

Poppets VS Flat Face Hydraulic Quick Connect Couplers: Which One Is Better?

So the main differences between the two types of hydraulic quick connect couplings are the major size difference, as well as the cost penalty. 

As you can see, flat face couplers(right) are nearly double the size of poppet style couplers(left). 

Comparison between poppets hydraulic connect couplers and flat face quick connect couplers


No time to read this article? You can watch a quick video explanation here:


Flat face quick connect couplers are more expensive than poppets connect couplers. They’re both rated to similar pressures at roughly 350 bar, which is approximately 5000 psi. 

The flat face coupler will flow more oil for example a ½ inch flat face coupler will flow  up to 150 litres a minute, whereas a ½ inch poppet will only flow at about 80 litres a minute. 

Both hydraulic quick connect couplers disconnect very similarly. Basically, you push down on the sleeve, and the internal springs actually push it apart. 

Disadvantages Of The Poppet Style Quick Connect Couplers

One of the disadvantages of the poppet style coupler is that you can lose up to a tablespoon of oil on every disconnect, which can make things very messy.

Secondly, poppet style couplers also have grooves and a cavity (see image below) that can fill up with dust, dirt and moisture unless you purchase and use rubber caps. 

Cavity in flat face couplers

Cavity in poppet style couplers

Another disadvantage of the poppet style coupler is the occurrence of accidental disconnections. If the couplers are connected and moving around, if it gets hit at the slightest, it can accidentally disconnect. 

So, what about flat face hydraulic couplers?

The good news is, all the disadvantages of poppet couplers have been fixed and addressed in the design of flat face couplers.

One of the main features of flat face couplers is the built-in locking collar that prevents accidental disconnections.  Thus, you cannot physically disconnect flat face couplers unless you rotate the locking collar and you line up the notches with the little ball bearing.

With flat face couplers, you also will not encounter the problem of losing oil when connecting or disconnecting them. Flat face couplers have a “Dry Break” design that means no oil leaks on disconnect keeping your equipment and the environment cleaner.

In addition, flat face couplers are also easy to keep clean due to its improved design. Unlike poppet style couplers, flat face couplers have no cavity and very tiny  grooves, which means it will not trap dirt or moisture. If they do attract some dust in its grooves, it is relatively easy to do a quick wipe clean before you assemble them. 

Where To Buy Flat Face Hydraulic Quick Connect Couplers

So, are you ready to start using Flat Face couplers and reap its benefits? You can get our EngMatTec Flat Face Couplers at 

We’ve been selling these for four years now with great success and everyone’s very happy with them and they are quite cost effective. Here are the advantages of flat face hydraulic couplers to consider:

  • Easier to keep clean compared to poppet style couplers
  • Cleaner couplers means there is much less chance of contamination being introduced into your hydraulic system during connection.
  • Ability to lock them together for a secure connection
  • A “Dry Break” design that means no oil leaks at disconnect
  • They flow more oil with less pressure drop compared to Poppet Style Couplers
  • High 5,000 psi pressure rating
  • Compatible with most types of skid steer and track drive loaders that use hydraulic couplers. These include manufacturers of Bobcat, John Deere tractors and farm equipment, and excavators such as Caterpillar, Case, Terex, Komatsu, and Volvo.

What are you waiting for?? Shop our Flat Face Quick Release Hydraulic Couplers Set here that includes free dust caps.

Zero Drip Dry Break ENGMATTEC  Flat Face Hydraulic Couplers Pair

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