If you like to work in your garage, then there are a lot of must-have tools that you need to have. Of course, there are some basic tools like pliers, hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, that can cover your basic needs, but won’t help you to take on big projects. So, you will need power tools, a vacuum, a saw or two, etc. for different types of projects. And if you want to work on your vehicle, a floor jack is a must.
Although choosing the best floor jack sounds quite simple, it isn’t because of all the choices available in the market. Floor jacks are not intended to be used on the road because of their large size. They are best suited in the garage. Let’s provide you with a helpful buying guide.
Things to Look For When Buying a Floor Jack for Your Garage
Price is an important factor for us when it comes to buying any item, including a garage product such as a floor jack. They can run anywhere from less than $100 to over a thousand dollars, depending on their quality, brand, and specs. What makes a floor jack so expensive is its superior operation and the use of lightweight materials.
The fact is many best quality floor jacks are made of steel, and they come at a lower price tag. So the thing here is that you shouldn’t just consider buying the pricier one, but also see its materials, specs, and build quality and then go for it.
If you want to carry your floor jack around, then you need to make sure to opt for the one that isn’t too heavy. Although most floor jacks are quite heavy and aren’t made with the factor of mobility in mind, you can still carry one if it isn’t too heavy.
The thing that determines the final weight of the floor jack is the materials it is made from. For instance, the heaviest ones are made of steel, but they are undoubtedly the most durable. On the other hand, you have lightweight aluminum floor jacks that are durable, very lightweight, have strength, but are on the expensive side.
Before finalizing any floor jack for your garage, the most important aspect is safety. A jack stand is necessary for your safety because no matter how great a floor jack is, it can malfunction at any time. Therefore, it is recommended that you should never use a floor jack without a stand to support your vehicle on.
The lifting capacity of a jack is gauged in tonnage. Most commercial floor jacks can lift anywhere between 3 and 5 tons. If you are unsure about your vehicle’s weight, you can visit the manufacturer’s website to see its weight specifications. The rule is that you shouldn’t go for a jack that has lower weight capacity than your vehicle since you could not just damage the tool but the car itself as well.
Most jacks are heavy. If you are unable to lift heavy weights or are physically disabled, you should find a lightweight yet high-quality jack that doesn’t need assembly before being used for the very first time. Additionally, if you have a paved driveway and you plan for routine car repairs, then you should choose a weight that won’t bother you from rolling the floor jack from the garage to your car.
Just like there are several different lifting capacities to consider, so is there a wide variety of jacking speeds when it comes to buying the right floor jack for your garage. The time it takes to lift a vehicle depends on the jacking speed. There are floor jacks that need only a few pumps to lift your vehicle as high as possible, and that too in a matter of seconds. On the other hand, some floor jacks only rise a little at a time no matter how fast you pump.
So, if you want to lift your vehicle easily and rapidly, you need to consider the jacking speed of the floor jack you are going to buy.
Last but not least, a warranty is important for anything that is working under extreme conditions, such as a floor jack. You never know when you run into some material or build failure with the jack. This is why getting a good warranty on any floor jack that you are going to buy is a plus.
Types of Floor Jacks
Floor jacks are classified into two different types according to the material they are made of. The first type is an aluminum floor jack that is designed to be both durable and lightweight. They have great mobility and provide you with reliable performance but at a higher cost. The other type is a steel jack that is extremely durable, sturdy and has enormous lift capacity. But the downside to steel floor jacks is that they are cumbersome and not portable.
Our Top Picks
If you are looking for a steel floor jack that has the best lifting range, then the Arcan XL2T is an excellent choice to go for. Since it is a low profile floor jack, you can easily slide it under a vehicle that has a clearance as low as 2.75 inches. It offers a lifting height of 22.75 inches that is more than enough to work on your vehicle with convenience.
Another best thing about this floor jack that we like the most is that you can take it from the lowest height to the highest in about 8 to 9 strokes only. However, this jack’s rated lifting capacity is 2 tons. As it is made from steel, it is on the heavier side, weighing 97 pounds. If you want portability, then this one is not for you.
It is backed by a 1-year warranty.
If you prefer products that are made in the USA, then the Hein-Werner HW93642 Hydraulic Service Jack is a perfect option for you. Also, unlike other Chinese floor jacks that come with a 1-year warranty, this one is backed by a 2-year warranty. It offers a lift range between 4.5 inches and 20.25 inches. However, it doesn’t have a rapid lift system like the floor jack we have mentioned above. This means you have to apply some extra effort to lift your vehicle to the maximum.
It has a maximum lifting capacity of 2 tons, which is more than enough to lift large cars and small SUVs. But if you own a large SUV or a medium/large-sized truck, then you should go for a 3-ton or higher model. Another point that you should bear in mind is that it weighs over 90 pounds, making it a not-so-portable choice.
Pro-Lift F-767 is primarily designed to lift small to medium-sized cars and trucks, but it can work fine with large vehicles as well. It has a maximum lifting capacity of 2 tons. It has a low profile design and features all-steel construction for enhanced durability. If you need a floor jack for occasional tire rotations, tire changes, oil changes, and other small tasks, then this floor jack is an amazing choice for you.
It is easy to store, thanks to its compact size. Plus, it features a convenient lifting handle that makes it easy for you to pick it up and use. It weighs only 30 pounds, which makes it portable enough to carry in your car or roll around in your garage. This is also an ideal option for those who live in a small apartment or condo because they might have less space to store a jack.
Due to its smaller size, the total lifting height is also reduced to 14 inches. While this height is more than enough for many applications in the garage, some people may find it too limiting for trucks and SUVs.
This floor jack has all the bells and whistles that most people look for in a high-quality hydraulic floor jack – and the best thing is that it is not much expensive. It has a 3-ton capacity, which means it can easily lift cars, SUVs, and trucks without any problem. Plus, it has a very low-profile design and a good lift height of 19-3/4” (maximum).
It is equipped with a rapid pump with dual pistons that can lift your vehicle quickly without needing too much of your effort. According to the manufacturer, it requires only 3-1/2 pumps to reach its maximum height.
The feature that most customers like in it is its extra-wide front wheels that keep the jack stable and spread the load nicely if they are working on a soft surface like interlocking garage floor tiles or asphalt. It has an all-steel construction that adds into its durability.
Looking for a lightweight yet high-quality floor jack that can lift trucks, large vehicles, and SUVs without breaking the bank? Look no more because JEGS 80006 is a perfect match for you. It weighs only 49 pounds due to its all-aluminum construction. It can lift up to 4,000 pounds of vehicles. This floor jack features a padded pump bar that lifts your vehicle from as little as 3.5 inches to as high as 19.25 inches. It has 13 inches of overall width from wheel to wheel.
This low profile floor jack by Neiko is designed for heavy-duty use, but it weighs considerably lower than its competitors (60 pounds) – thanks to its aluminum construction. You can lift your vehicle from as low as 3.5 inches to as high as 19.25 inches. It has a maximum lifting capacity of 6,000 pounds. It also features a rubber pad cushion over the saddle that saves your vehicle’s frame from scratching while lifting it.
In short, it is an exceptional aluminum floor jack with amazing overall build quality and maximum lifting capacity. It weighs 57 pounds only.
The Torin T83006 is an inexpensive floor jack with a lifting capacity of 3 tons. It can lift your vehicle from as low as 5.875 inches to as high as 20.875 inches. Although its maximum height is good enough, the minimum height is higher than most of the floor jacks we have on our list, which might be a letdown for some. Another sacrifice that you have to make due to its low price (besides high minimum height) is convenience. You have to apply a lot of effort to lift the car to its maximum because this jack doesn’t feature a rapid lift system.
Additionally, its release system works differently compared to other floor jacks. You have to remove the lift arm and attach it to turn the release valve and drop your vehicle to the minimum height. This system might weird for many people.
However, if you are looking for a lightweight floor jack that is somewhat portable, you should pick this one as it weighs 43.9 pounds only. Moreover, it is backed by a 1-year warranty.
What makes this floor jack unique is its large, flat padded platform that is fixed to the lifting arm. This flat platform makes it convenient for you to lift your motorcycles, ATVs, lawn tractors, trucks, SUVs, cars, transmissions, and much more with safety. To operate it, all you need to do is lift out the saddle pad. It offers a maximum lifting capacity of 2 tons with a max lifting range of 17-1/2 inches.
It has an all-steel construction that makes it quite durable and reliable in the long run. For safety, it features a lock-out pin that holds the jack in place and eliminates the need to invest in a jack stand. Plus, it is equipped with tie-down loops on the rear casters that allow you to use tie-downs when you are securing your motorbike, differentials, or transmissions to the large lift pad.
The major reason to opt for this floor jack would be its strength of lifting up to 3.5 tons of weight, and that too in a fraction of time. It features a sturdy steel construction that makes it heavy but very durable and reliable. It offers fast lift technology that increases the oil pressure in a matter of seconds, hence lifting the heaviest weights instantly. This feature is for improving your efficiency and leaves you with more time to focus on other things to do in the garage.
Another best thing about this floor jack by Blackhawk is that it is equipped with safety features, such as the bypass device that prevents the damage from over pumping the jack. Plus, it has a vent plug that ensures its safe use. It has a lifting range of 5.5 inches to 22 inches. It is backed by a 1-year warranty.
Important Note: It is highly recommended that you don’t ever work on your vehicle by solely relying on a floor jack to hold the vehicle up. No matter how expensive or high-quality floor jack it is, it might break any moment due to extremely high pressure. For your own safety, use a solid pair of jack stands to hold your vehicle up and avoid any mishap.
A floor jack is an excellent tool to lift your vehicles in your home garage for performing small to big tasks on it like changing oil, putting on winter tires, etc. It is not the most interesting thing that you might be looking for until you really need to use it to work on your vehicle.
If you consider yourself a DIYer, you should opt for a high-quality floor jack for your garage and never pay any extra labor costs to make small repairs to your vehicles. Happy Shopping!