Floor jacks are perhaps one of the most important tools that any car owner could ever have. Having a good jack not only makes it easier for the car enthusiast or DIY mechanic to get under their cars to make necessary repairs but also do it in a controlled and safe manner. speaking about safe, you might also want to get a safety glass to protect your eye.
In this guide, we would be considering the best floor jacks, if you are interested in getting one for yourself, then you should go through this guide.
What is a floor jack?
So before we get too much deeper, let’s take a minute to define exactly what a floor jack is. A floor jack, often also referred to as a car jack, auto jack, or garage jack is a mechanical device designed to give the user the necessary mechanical advantage to lift heavy loads.
Although floor jacks have a variety of uses, the vast majority of uses pertain to lifting automobiles or trucks, unlike loopers that are just meant for trees and flowers. Floor jacks employ a variety of mechanisms to impart lifting force: most often these mechanisms include hydraulics and lead screws.
When/Why Do You Use a Floor Jack?
Now that you know what a floor jack is, let’s talk about some of their possible uses as they relate to the automotive world.
Most auto mechanics ranging from amateur to professional will at some point find that they need additional ground clearance when working on their car to provide better access to various components.
By far the most common instances are lifting a car to gain access to the oil pan drain plug during an oil change and lifting a car to allow removal of the wheels during a tire rotation. Other common procedures include changing brake pads and rotors, transmission work, suspension work, and exhaust work which is not a feature found in a hot air rework station
Types of Floor Jacks
- Hydraulic Floor Jack
The hydraulic floor jack is the most instantly recognizable variant of the floor jack and is the type that most mechanics gravitate towards due to their convenience. A hydraulic floor jack typically consists of a trolley with four wheels that houses a hydraulic cylinder, just like some foldable hand trucks.
This cylinder raises and lowers a lever arm with a small platform that interfaces with your car or truck. Hydraulic floor jacks usually have a detachable lever that is pumped to actuate the lifting mechanism, similar to that of a backpack sprayer.
- Scissor Jack
A scissor jack is provided with many automobiles right from the factory. These jacks are typically lightweight and space-efficient, which is why auto manufacturers choose to place them in the trunks of cars for swapping in your spare tire on the side of the freeway in the event of a flat tire.
They consist of a lead screw that compresses a scissor linkage to gain elevation. This type of jack typically has serious limitations in height as well as lifting capacity because they are designed to be so compact.
These jacks work great in a pinch, but will only get your car high enough off the ground to change a tire.
- Bottle Jack / Piston Jack
Much like a floor jack, a bottle jack is hydraulically operated. It consists of concentric cylinders that provide stiffness that is actuated by hydraulic pressure that results from pumping a lever, much like a normal floor jack.
The major advantage of these jacks is their small footprint. If you are working with limited space or on uneven surfaces (which is ill-advised), the small footprint allows a bottle jack to be more stable in some situations.
Their downside is that they have a very high free height, meaning that they don’t get nearly as low as a scissor jack or regular floor jack when fully compressed.
FLOOR JACK BUYER’S GUIDE
Below are some of the things that we feel are the most important considerations to think about before buying your new floor jack.
Capacity is absolutely the first thing that needs to be considered before buying a jack. It’s also a question that no one can answer but you. Some people may need a large 5-ton jack in their garage to lift their truck, and other people may be fine with just selecting a 2-ton jack for lifting their passenger vehicle.
Height clearance is another thing that needs to be considered before buying a new model. If the jack doesn’t fit underneath the vehicle, then it’s not going to be able to lift it.
Sure, some people may drive their cars onto ramps or even stacked boards to get the vehicle high enough for them to fit a jack underneath it, but that isn’t safe or appropriate. A better way is to find a jack with a height clearance small enough for it to fit underneath the vehicle in the first place.
Max Lift Height
Max lift height is almost as important as height clearance. After all, the vehicle will have to lift enough for a person to place the vehicle on jack stands and then work underneath the vehicle.
For most of the vehicles available, that’s approximately 18.5-inches or higher. On the other hand, if the vehicle being worked on is already fairly high, then, of course, a higher maximum jack lift is going to be needed.
Every car enthusiasts have to weigh the benefits of having a lighter aluminum jack against the benefits of a heavier steel jack. Aluminum ones are worth considering if the jack is supposed to be portable. After all, no one wants to haul around a heavy steel jack.
However, if your jack is going to be parked permanently in a garage, then going for a sturdier steel one may make more sense. Jack’s composition isn’t the only thing that needs to be considered as far as jack construction is concerned.
It’s also important to consider the platform size of the jack and the size of the jack pads. Jacks with wider platforms tend to be more stable, but a narrow jack may more easily fit underneath some vehicles.
Another thing that’s important when choosing one of these tools is how easy it is to reach the full height of the jack. In other words, how many pumps is it going to take to get it to its top height?
Some jacks are equipped with Rapid Pump Technology that makes it easier to reach full height without having to take full strokes. And this can save both time and energy.
Some floor jacks are designed for portability. These types of jacks can fit into a trunk. Others are designed for use in a station or garage. Typically, a stationary floor jack will be heavier and more powerful than a jack that can fit in your trunk.
Because most floor jacks can fold into a very compact space, they might look like a portable jack. However, getting one in and out of your trunk can be difficult if the jack is very heavy.
Fortunately, many of the high-end floor jacks currently sold have a safety mechanism that prevents the jack from lifting a vehicle above its capacity. However, some models don’t have this safety feature, and this is especially true among some of the budget-priced jacks currently being sold.
Of course, if the user is keenly aware of the weight of their vehicle, has bought a jack capable of lifting this weight, and doesn’t plan of exceeding the jack’s limits, then this safety feature isn’t really necessary.
BEST FLOOR JACKS
|NAMES||FEATURES||WHERE TO BUY|
|Torin 1.5 Ton Steel Scissor Jack||1.5 Ton capacity
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Alltrade 4000 lb Triple Lift Jack (620422E)||4,000 lbs Lifting Capacity
Removable Padded Rails
Can easily lift cars, trucks, ATVs, and more
Removable Lift Saddle
Tie-down loops that have been welded into place
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Pro-Lift Low Profile Floor Jack||Extra Low Profile
Lifting range 3 1/2″-14″
Pro-Lift hydraulic floor jacks meet or exceed ANSI/PALD requirements
Patented bypass device protects against over-pumping for safe operation
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Arcan 3 Ton Aluminum Floor Jack (ALJ3T)||The lift is good and steady
The aluminum construction is lightweight
Easy to bring down and works very smoothly
Built tough to overcome everyday abuse
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Arcan 2 Ton Steel Service Jack (XL20)||This has extra-wide front steel wheels which make it portable. Mobility is extremely important in this kind of product.
The universal joint release mechanism assures perfect control when lowering.
It also offers for the comfortable lifting of trucks and SUV’s where you require to roll the jack far under the vehicle to reach lifting points that may require a higher than normal lift height.
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Pittsburgh Automotive 3-Ton Heavy-Duty Jack||It’s one of the most reliable low profile jacks available and it goes well beneath the lowered track car as well. The accelerated pump dual-piston design elevates cars moderately quickly as well.
It has a 3-ton potential which indicates it can hoist large trucks as well as cars. Therefore, the industrial car jack floor also has a pretty low profile configuration with the lifting saddle pad.
An extremely useful characteristic is the extra-wide front steel wheels. This helps to hold the jack stable and spreads the load better.
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Blackhawk Black/Red 3.5 Ton Service Jack (B6350)||Internal safety valve
Fast lift technology
Removable padded handle
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Pro-Lift 3000lbs Grey Hydraulic Trolley Jack (F-2315PE)||Has a strong carry handle
Made from rust-resistant steel
It has a 3000 pounds capacity
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|LiftMaster 3 Ton Lift Floor Trolley Jack||Has plenty of lifting power
The handle makes it easy to carry
Fits perfectly in the toolbox
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Powerzone 2-Ton Garage Jack||3-ton capacity
Lift range of 4 to 18.25
Quick lift hydraulic mechanism
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
The compact and easy-to-deploy Torin® Jacks 1.5 Ton Scissor Jack is an ideal solution for roadside emergencies. Instead of waiting around for help to arrive, you can change that flat tire yourself in only a few minutes, see whether you hit something that damaged the wheel or be a Good Samaritan yourself.
That’s a big plus if you’re in an isolated area or if it’s late at night. On top of this easy operation, this jack meets or exceeds all applicable safety standards. The car scissor jack fits easily into a corner of your trunk yet the jack can support up to 3,000 lb. Just follow the step-by-step instructions that are printed right on the device and you’re good to go.
|The price is not exaggerated||The metal hand crank needs some improvement|
|Works with several models|
|Has great stability and works great|
The secret to the Triple Lift is the patented design that features both a removable lift saddle and padded lift rails. This flexible design allows it to adapt to multiple types of vehicle frames. A locking safety bar holds the jack in place once the vehicle is raised, which eliminates the hassle of supporting a lifted vehicle with jack stands. The Powerbuilt Triple Lift offers a lifting capacity of 4,000 pounds and meets or exceeds ANSI standards.
|Works quicker and easier than most models||Not the best for bikes|
|Makes operating under the vehicle easier|
|Very stable and has decent quality|
If you want to get the maximum out of a floor jack, having one with a low profile is the best. And that’s what brings the Pro-Lift Low Profile Floor Jack into play. It has a lifting range of 3-1/2” to 14”, which is simply the perfect height for several vehicles. What’s more, this floor jack is a convenient unit that has all the safety features you can think of. It is equipped with an integrated safety valve, which offers overload protection. Besides, this floor jack ensures safe operations by protecting over-pumping.
|Light enough to carry in the trunk||The handle/arm is short|
|Stable and very easy to use|
|Great for what it is advertised for|
Arcan’s professional-quality aluminum Floor Jack has a 3-ton lift capacity and a 3-3/4 inches minimum lift height for easy access under low-profile vehicles. The ball bearing mounted rear swivel caster wheels and wide track front wheels provide easy maneuverability and jack stability under load and a saddle pad protects the vehicle’s frame and components. Lift capacity is 3 tons, minimum lift height is 3-3/4 inches and maximum lift height is 18-1/8 inches.
|Good safety features.||The carry handle is not mounted centrally.|
|Can lift a large range of different vehicles|
|Build quality is excellent.|
This low profile, high lift service jack is the best jack that will meet all those requirements you want in a floor jack. What makes this product unique is the extended reach that far surpasses most low profile floor jacks. However, holding a long reach is just only a part of the equation. Arcan reinforces this reach with a low profile trolley support that lets the jack to roll greatly under the car.
Most low profile jacks don’t have this feature considering the frame of the jack becomes much taller, a few inches or so behind the saddle pad. It is also furnished with a foam bumper pad on the lower lift handle to protect vehicles.
|Built well to withstand heavy use||Has a few quality control issues|
|Perfect for lowered vehicles|
|Rolls effortlessly on the garage floor|
|Jacks vehicles pretty fast|
The Pittsburgh Automotive is a heavy-duty mounting product manufactured exclusively for SUVs and trucks. However, it is utilized with sedans as well. The tool is constructed to be reasonably compact and it weighs around 79 pounds. Next, this product is quite easy to move around so that you can use it without any difficulty. This heavy-duty 3 Ton car jack makes vehicles approximately two feet off the ground.
Extra-low profile reaches under most show cars. This jack has a lot of features that people watch out for in a hydraulic floor jack. Pittsburgh does it at a reasonable price.
|Works well on small, low-to-ground cars||Squeaks when pumped, but this is nothing|
|The hydraulic valve system works great|
|Lifts cars effortlessly and much faster|
Fast Lift to the Jacking Point Blackhawk B6350 Service Jack is a 3-1/2 ton (7,000 lbs) capacity service jack that features the unique design of fast list technology to fast lift to the jacking point with no load. It features the swivel saddle that provides you with easy jack positioning and user safety. Its heavy-duty steel construction also provides you the safe use and long term durability.
Blackhawk B6350 Service Jack also features the bypass device that preventing the damage from over pumping. Blackhawk B6350 Service Jack also features the built-in internal safety valve and vent plug to ensures a safe operation. – 3Â½Ton (7,000 Lbs.) Lift Capacity – Fast Lifting Technology – Heavy Duty Steel Construction & Swivel Saddle – Built-In Safty Valve and Bypass Device Blackhawk B6350
|High lifting capacity||A little heavy|
|Effortless lifting and pumping|
|Long-lasting and robust|
All welded steel frame construction makes this floor jack strong and durable so that you can use it for a long time without worries that it will lose it will spoil easily. The steel is rust-resistant and it can, therefore, be used in any kind of weather or place without it rusting and getting its movable parts to stick while in storage.
Large steel casters a swivel casters have been featured to make it easy for one to maneuverability and also has a blow mold case that make it easy for one to store it when not in use. A sturdy carry handle has been included to make it easy to transport.
|Great for small light lift jobs||The floor jack collapses unexpectedly and might be dangerous|
|Easy to carry in a trunk||Lifts the cars slowly and not as high as expected|
|Inexpensive; hence, very easy to acquire|
|Easy to use and feels safe|
The Liftmaster is a low profile in design but features an impressive lift capacity of 3 tons. This empowers it to work with SUVs and trucks, as well as sedans and compact cars.
It has steel construction for durability, as well as several wheels that make it easier to move around. There are also foam “bumpers” on the section of the lift that makes contact with your car. This scratch-prevention feature will be handy for protection purposes.
This unit is a good product, but we have observed insufficiencies with the hardware. The wheels in particular are on the fragile side, which may prove problematic throughout use.
|Durable||Hardware issues cause durability concerns|
|3-ton lifting capacity|
Powerzone 2-Ton Garage Jack
This jack has a lightweight aluminum frame that makes it easy to move around, but it also has a steel lift-arm for additional durability and strength. It has a quick-lifting hydraulic system that allows the vehicle to be pumped up quickly and is also equipped with a safety mechanism that helps prevent the jack from exceeding its overload capacity.
Additional features that can be found on this jack include swiveling rear wheels so the jack can be positioned where it’s needed, a rubber padded saddle that helps to protect the vehicle’s frame and it has a decent 2-ton lifting capacity.
|Lightweight so it’s easy to maneuver, has a 2-ton lifting capacity, has an over-capacity safety system, has a rapid pumping system||Manufactured mainly from aluminum, is pretty expensive|
Choosing the best floor jack can take you ages, considering the several factors to consider. That’s why we have come up with this piece. Well, we have exhausted everything, and, therefore, reading it will be helpful.