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Actuators & Air Cylinders

Actuator and air cylinder designs from SMC offer innovative pneumatic cylinder design features for the automation industry. Engineers trust SMC actuators to provide long life, and reliable service. SMC products are specified in all major industrial markets. SMC actuators are created to provide you with the largest array of choices.

Air Cylinder Features

Our standard air cylinder features include:

  • a wide range of bore sizes, with 16 'inch' bore sizes and 18 'metric' bore sizes
  • multiple mounting configurations and
  • auto switch capability as a standard on most series.

SMC products are designed for precision performance and reliability. Our global production facilities provide product availability from all industrialized countries around the world. Pneumatic and electric actuator products from SMC are available in a wide variety of styles, including linear, guided, rodless air cylinders, rotary, gripper, and specialty air cylinders. Whether pneumatic or electric actuators, each series comes with a full complement of standard options and related products.

Basic Air Cylinder, Air Linear Actuator, Double Rod Air Cylinder, Single Acting Air Cylinder, and Double Acting

Linear: Basic Air Cylinder


Basic linear cylinders are used to provide straight-line, in/out linear movement for a variety of applications. Available as single acting (spring extend or spring return) and double acting styles with single rod or double rod configurations, non-rotating, and precision non-rotating models.

Body styles include crimped, round, or tie rod. Single acting cylinders develop thrust in one direction and have lower air consumption compared with the equivalent size of double acting cylinders. With a double acting air cylinder, air pressure may be alternately applied to provide force in both directions.

Series: CQ2-Z, NCM, NCJ2, NCG, NCA1, CJ2, CM2, CG1, MB, CS1, CS2, C85, C96

Compact Actuators and Compact Air Cylinders

Linear: Compact Cylinders

A compact cylinder functions in the same manner as a basic cylinder with both single acting and double acting, single or double rod, and non-rotating models. However, SMC compact cylinders minimize space requirements allowing for precise, direct mounting in the least amount of space possible.

Series: CQ2-Z, NCQ2-Z, CQS, CQM, CVQ, RQ, CLQ

Rodless Actuators, Rodless Air Cylinder

Linear: Rodless Air Cylinder

A rodless air cylinder differs from a basic air cylinder in that no piston rod extends outside the cylinder body. Instead, the internal piston is connected to an external carriage, by means of a magnetic or mechanical coupling system.

SMC's rodless air cylinders are ideal for long stroke applications because they are unaffected by rod overhang, bending, piston binding, and uneven seal wear, and for use in confined areas where space is a premium.

Series: CY, REA, MY1, MY2, MY3


Guided Air Cylinders

Guided cylinders utilize guide rods mounted parallel to the piston rod to provide stable, non-rotating, high side load performance. SMC offers dual rod, heavy duty and precision models. Like rodless cylinders, SMC guide rod cylinders reduce rod bending, piston bending and uneven seal wear. Low profile guided actuator series are available for restrictive space limitations.


Slide Table

Slide Table Actuators

SMC guided actuators are utilized in applications that call for high rigidity and high accuracy. Typically, an air cylinder and a precision guide are required to meet these needs; however the MX series integrates the guide table and air cylinder into one precisely machined component. MXQ series endless track linear guide produces a table cylinder having excellent rigidity, linearity and non-rotating accuracy.

The MX series provides approximately twice the force output of a conventional cylinder through the engineering of a twin piston design.


Rotary Actuator, Pneumatic Rotary Actuator

Rotary Actuators

SMC manufactures both Rack and Pinion and Vane style pneumatic rotary actuator products. Combination rotary models combine compact linear cylinders and rotational capability. Combinations are also available that include rotary gripper capabilities. When the application calls for rotational motion less than one revolution, rotary cylinders can mount right at the equipment joint without taking up space with long stroke lengths, which would be required to do the same job with a linear cylinder. SMC's pneumatic rotary actuator units can achieve arc lengths of 90°, 180°, 190°, or even 270°, depending on the configuration. SMC offers both electric and pneumatic rotary actuator products.


Grippers, Pneumatic Gripper, Air Gripper, Gripper Cylinder, and Pneumatic Rotary Gripper

Air Grippers

SMC offers one of the most extensive lines of pneumatic grippers (air grippers) in the industry today. The series include pneumatic rotary grippers, two, three and four finger parallel styles that are ideal for gripping and centering; a wide opening parallel model, designed to accommodate many different sized parts; a heavy duty style, suitable for a wide range of applications; an angular model, speed adjustment built in; a toggle to give reliable gripping support; a low-contamination style, equipped with a protective boot; and electric models.


Specialty Actuator, combination linear and Rotary actuator, pneumatic rotary actuator

Specialty & Engineered Cylinder Designs

When your application requires that a task be performed that can not be completed with standard air cylinders, SMC can help you find the solution. SMC offers a variety of specialty air cylinders including Sine (smooth acceleration), Load Stopping, and Clamp to name a few. For example, the transportation of delicate items often requires greater control of cylinder speed, acceleration and deceleration than is afforded by traditional pneumatic cylinders. For this reason, SMC has developed a RE series of sine cylinders. These cylinders facilitate high-speed transportation of work but have very smooth actuation (similar to sine wave).

For your demanding applications our large engineering department can customize a product solution for you. Need a special variation on our standard pneumatic rotary actuator? No problem. We can create a three-stop rotary unit to meet your custom needs.

Series: REC, REA, RS, CKZ2N, CK, MK

Electric Actuator, Electric Rotary Actuator

Electric Cylinders

Electric actuators from SMC are designed with a focus on easy setup and operation.  Key features, including high precision positioning and repeatability characterize the SMC series of electric cylinder products.  With no need for compressed air, electric actuators provide movements beyond the capabilities of a pneumatic actuator.  And now, a new series of electric actuators, the LE series, adds simplicity of use to other benefits of the electric actuator. Select the "Easy Mode" setting option on your LE series electric actuator, and within minutes of taking it out of the box, your selected electric actuator can be operating efficiently and effectively,  The LE line of electric actuators are available in a variety of types. Styles available include slider electric actuators, rod type electric actuators, electric slide table actuators, electric rotary actuators, and electric grippers. Accessories include electric actuator controllers, and gateways.



Hydraulic Cylinders

SMC hydraulic cylinders offer a wide choice of operating pressures, tube bore sizes, and standardized strokes. Available in lightweight, compact aluminum body. Direct mounting style provides space savings.

Series: CH2, CH



SMC also offers a large selection of accessory products, to further compliment our abundant line of cylinder products. These include rod clevises, mounting brackets and alignment couplers, for attachment. Positioning feedback is provided by the largest selection of auto switches available from any pneumatic manufacturer. To control speed we offer shock absorbers, quick exhausts and flow controls in a wide variety of sizes and configurations.

Series: NRB, NJ, AS, AQ