Small hydraulic lifts, which can also be referred to as miniature hydraulic lifts, are hydraulic lifts that are under the average industry size, thus they are generally used for more small-scale applications. Since small hydraulic lifts are termed "small" relative to other hydraulic lifts, and therefore what is small to an industrial manufacturing worker may seem very large to an electronics or medical worker.
Small hydraulic lifts are considered small concerning factors of comparison as well as application; in the automotive industry, a small hydraulic lift for compact vehicle transport is not the same as a small hydraulic lift that is used in braking systems; in the medical industry, a small hydraulic lift for hospital elevators is not the same as the smaller hydraulic lifts used for patient lifts; in construction, where there is a large difference between a small hydraulic jack and small aerial lift; and industrial manufacturing, a small hydraulic scissor lift is not the same as the small hydraulic lifts used in work tables and benches. As a result, it is difficult to objectively determine a small-sized hydraulic lift since "small" is a qualitative judgment in many of these industries and thus dependent on the industry perception.
Small hydraulic lifts are powered in the same way, although they may function differently due to their design. Operating based on the principle of hydraulics, small hydraulic lifts use fluid mechanics to provide movement. In fluid mechanics, force is applied to a fluid, most often oil, so that energy can be transferred from one area to another. During the transfer of energy, the force input is almost always multiplied when it is output, making hydraulics a very efficient and powerful mode of operation. The energy that has been transferred is used to enable the hydraulic cylinder within the small hydraulic lift to provide the energy necessary to position or lift parts, personnel and equipment. Due to their mode of operation, small hydraulic lifts must be manufactured using materials that work well under pressure such as stainless steel, woven wire and rubber. Small hydraulic lifts can even be made mobile by attaching wheels, or they can be mounted depending on the application. Small hydraulic lifts are usually applied for holding and moving products and may be controlled remotely or manually. Disregarding the size of small hydraulic lifts, they are proven to be strong and durable pieces of industrial equipment.