When you are working on your vehicle, one of the most important things is having the proper tools for the job. While it is crucial to have the technical knowledge, a mechanical savvy person can usually wing their way through a car repair with patience and common sense. But this cannot be applied to tools. Using inadequate tools can result in a number of issues in your garage from simply wasting time, to broken car parts, and poor safety. It is cheap to replace a stripped oil pan bolt and broken water pump, but an accident from use of unsafe tools can result in long-term damage. If there is one tool that you should never skimp on buying it is a floor jack. Having the best floor jack is worth it’s weight in gold.
A floor jack is one of the most ubiquitous and vital tools present in a majority of garages. It is a common tool involved in many safety-related accidents as a result of improper use and inferior products. However, this buyer’s guide and product review will assist you in determining the best floor jack that suits the type of car you use. You will also learn basic floor jack safety protocol for enhanced safety.
Best Floor Jack Buyer’s Guide
Things to consider:
A floor jack is a heavy tool that can weigh between 50 and 100 pounds. If you have an issue handling such an amount of weight, you can consider getting jacks that require little assembly. You also need to determine where you will be using the floor jack. Consider a paved or gravel driveway to prevent you from feeling tired quickly from moving it around.
A floor jack can cost between $100 and over $1000. Hence, it is essential to consider the price. Sometimes, a more costly floor jack does not translate into better quality, you require considering its operations and the materials that have been used in its design. It is best to pick a floor jack that has used lightweight materials. Many of the best quality floor jacks in the market have a reasonable price.
You require a solid build so that the floor jack can handle your repair needs. A majority of heavy-duty floor jacks are designed from metal and the metal type used will make a significant difference in performance and cost. Aluminum is a fantastic option since it is both lightweight and solid. But its cost is higher. Steel is an excellent option when it comes to cost, but the jack will be heavier and hard to move. A jack made from a mixture of steel and aluminum can result in affordability and lightweight.
You also require considering the project types that you will be working on to know how powerful a floor jack needs to be. A regular floor jack rating is usually between one and four tons of lifting capacity. When it comes to lighter projects such as working on a lawnmower, you can go for a lower rated floor jack. If you are going to work on a pickup, you will require a floor jack that has sufficient power to do the tasks easily.
A car that has low clearance can be hard to jack up. The floor jack’s profile height depends on the distance between the ground and the jack’s saddle. Working with a floor jack that has a low profile can make the job easier letting it get under cars with low clearances such as performance cars and race cars, which sit low to the ground. It is also an excellent feature if you are looking to jack up other things besides vehicles.
6. Jack Weight
Based on the use, weight can be a significant consideration before buying a floor jack. If you move the floor jack around a lot of times and use it often, you will require a lightweight jack such as an aluminum jack. In case you are using your jack at home and not as often, then the weight is not a significant factor to consider. Always match the use of the floor jack to its weight so that you don’t buy a floor jack that cannot work for your projects.
One of the essential features of a floor jack is safety. Keep in mind that a jack stand is necessary to support a car, so be sure to use a jack with a stand.
8. Jacking Speed
The jack speed of lifting a car varies broadly. While some jacks rise slightly at a time, others rise speedily with a few pumps. Based on your case, you might need a jack that raises the car quickly such as during a race. In case you are using the tool at home, this feature is not so essential.
Safe Use of a Floor Jack
Your safety is the most significant consideration to make when utilizing a floor jack. These three tips will assist in the safe use of a floor jack.
1. Raise your Vehicle on Level Ground
Only lift your vehicle on a level ground since putting your jack stands, and floor jack on an angle from an uneven terrain can result in a tipping hazard because your car can easily move over center from the position of the jack and fall. This usually affects people who use floor jacks to raise their cars on a slope or slanted driveway.
2. Employ the Proper Jacking Points on Your Vehicle
This is an important safety principle that requires to be followed. There are very particular points on your car’s frame that have been reinforced for supporting the weight of your car when raised with a jack. You can find these locations on the car’s manual or on markings of the car itself. You must not raise your car unless it is being lifted from the correct position.
3. Always Gradually Lift and Lower the Car
Gradually lifting and lowering the car can allow you to see problems before they take place, which will let you prevent them from happening. Also, lowering the car rapidly can damage it. Be sure to employ gradual and controlled movements.
4. Use a Jack Stand
There is always the probability of failure when working with a mechanical tool. Hydraulic floor jacks are popular for failing over time due to wear and tear taking place on the hydraulic components. Unluckily, this failure will only make the jack to gradually lower the car without you noticing, which can result in an accident. The best way to prevent this from happening is to utilize a floor jack that has a set of high-grade jack stands. Instead of depending on your floor jack’s hydraulics, set up some stands under the car. You can work on the vehicle after the stands support the car. But always ensure you rock the vehicle to make sure that the jack stands adequately support it. What’s more, you can include chalks to prevent your vehicle from rolling on a removed wheel for extra safety.
10 Best Floor Jack Reviews
This is the best floor jack for your budget. It is 91 percent lighter and 72.5 percent cheaper than the Arcan XL15. Hence, if you are looking for a low-cost and light jack that is portable, then this product is ideal for you. But the product fails to provide the lift range offered by the other products. The tool has a maximum height of 13 inches and a minimum height of five inches, and it can offer a total lift of eight inches. In case you are looking to do intense work on your car, eight inches might be insufficient. The jack’s build features heavy gauge steel as well as a rust-resistant finish.
- High capacity
- Low lift range
The Torin T83006 Floor Jack is a cheap three-ton floor jack. Its cost is a fraction of the price of other three-ton floor jacks. Its lift range lies between 5.875 inches and 20.875 inches. Even though the maximum height surpasses that of the PowerZone 380044, it has a higher minimum height. While the 380044 has a fast lift system, the T83006 lacks such a convenience. You require considerable strength and patience to lift the tool to its top height.
- One-year warranty
- Good lift
- Lacks a fast lift system
- High minimum height
- Awkward release system
If you are looking for a USA-made product over others that are made overseas, the HW93642 is suitable for you. All important components of the floor jack are manufactured in the USA. Moreover, unlike the jacks that are designed in China that provide a one-year warranty, this one provides a two-year warranty. When it comes to performance, the jack has a lift range of 4.5 inches to 20.25 inches, which is a total lift of 15.75 inches. But the jack lacks a rapid lift system. It will take some time and effort to get it to the maximum height.
- Two-year warranty
- Excellent performance
- Made in the US
The Arcan XL2T is a top floor jack due to its excellent lifting range. Because it is a super low-profile jack, you can place it under cars that have a low clearance of up to 2.75 inches. The maximum height of the jack is 24 inches and provides a great lifting height of 22.75 inches. Additionally, you only need eight to nine strokes to move it from the minimum to the maximum height. But it has a 2-ton rated capacity.
- Exceptional lift height
- Fast lifting
- One-year warranty
The best aluminum floor jack is the PowerZone 380044. The product has an excellent balance of price and performance. It has a rated capacity of three tons that allows you to lift any vehicle including a big SUV and a compact car. In addition to a high capacity, you will also get a high lift range of between four inches and 18.25 inches, which is a total lift of 12.25 inches. It also has a rapid lift mechanism that allows you to extend it from the minimum to the maximum height in five to six pumps.
- High lift range
- High capacity
- One-year warranty
The Blackhawk B6350 works like most other high-grade floor jacks by offering rapid lifts and an excellent total height range of 22 inches. It requires little assembly to operate it, and it will work well with cars that are not too far off the ground, such as sports cars.
- Robust rubber saddle
- High lifting capacity of 3.5 tons
If you are looking for a jack that will assist you when you are engaging in off-road driving, this one will suit you. It does not resemble a standard floor jack and is uniquely designed to assist car recovery during such instances by pulling or lifting. This model can lift cars of up to three tons. It has a coating of gold and zinc to safeguard from rusting.
- Lightweight and portable
- Compatible with numerous accessories
- Ideal for uneven terrain or snowy conditions
- Necessary for cleaning
This slow profile jack can slide far below your vehicle without the need of blocks and numerous jacks to lift it according to your preference. It can raise up to three tons of cars like SUVs, trucks, sedans, and sports cars.
- Excellent lifting height of 20 inches
- No need for full assembly
- Rapid lifting mechanism
The NOS NSJ0301 Floor Jack has a lifting capacity of three tons. It weighs 27 pounds only and is lighter than the Arcan, which makes it easy to carry. Also, it has a lift height of up to eight inches. It has a reinforced lift arm and thick frame side plates for extra strength.
- Lightweight and low-profile
- Fragile lever system
The Pro-Lift G-737 Floor Jack is simple and easy to use with a lift capacity of 3.5 tons. It has a rapid lift function that lets you lift a car to your preferred height in one or two strokes. Moreover, it has a rubber saddle that protects your car during a lift.
- Ready to use
- Well-built and high capacity
- Heavy and not portable