We’re here to help you find the best 3-ton floor jack for your vehicle. But first, let learn more about floor jacks, which are a type of hydraulic jack. A hydraulic jack is a small device which can lift heavy loads with very little effort by the jack operator. It operates on the lever principle–If we place a lever under a heavy object, we can lift it by pushing the free end of the lever. A handle is used to increase the distance of the lever. The distance the object is lifted can be a few inches, but the free end of the handle has to travel much more distance than that, and that is the ratio of multiplication of the force. If we move a handle 10 times the distance, it will lift the object. We can lift 100 pounds with an effort equivalent to 10 pounds. Thus, we will have to move the lever 10 inches for every inch of lifting.
One drawback is that the free end of the handle is limited as to the distance it can travel, so the object cannot be lifted very far from the ground. The way to solve that problem is by using a mechanism which allows swinging of the free end of the handle without the object going down again. If we can swing the handle several times, we can lift the object for a practical distance.
The hydraulic jack allows you to do just that. Inside a hydraulic jack, there are two pistons, each of them inside their cylinders. There is also a hydraulic oil reservoir. In fact, any liquid can be used, but by using oil we prevent rust and improve the lubrication of the mechanism.
Quick Look: Our Top Picks
How do you use a floor jack?
You might be wondering how to use a floor jack. First, we place the jack in the proper place to lift whatever object we want to raise off the ground. The big piston is in its extreme lower position and its cylinder is almost empty. We will start by moving the handle upwards. This makes the small piston suck oil into the small cylinder through an automatic valve. Once the small cylinder is full, we move down the handle. Since we are using a short lever, this increases the force several times. The liquid in the small cylinder is forced out, closing the automatic valve while opening the next one, forcing the oil into the piston cylinder. The amount of oil pumped into the cylinder is very small so the piston moves a very short distance; thus, the lever effect multiplies the force supplied to the piston.
Again, we move the small piston upwards to recharge its cylinder with another small amount of oil. As before, the automatic valve opens and the oil flows from the reservoir into the small cylinder. Once more, we push down the small piston, thus closing the valve and injecting oil into the big cylinder through the next valve. Then we repeat these actions as many times as necessary until we raise the object we wish to lift, which could be a very heavy automobile.
When we want to lower the raised object, we simply open a butterfly valve to allow oil to go back to the reservoir so the piston can go down.
Why use a floor jack and not a cheaper bottle jack?
There are several reasons why you would prefer to use a floor jack. Bottle jacks are much harder to place under your vehicle since they need more space between the floor and the bottom of your car; they need more clearance. Unless you have a truck, SUV, or a similar vehicle, there usually isn’t enough space under the vehicle to fit a bottle jack.
Another reason is that your vehicle raises in an arc motion. This could make your car slip off the lifting point, or the bottle jack could tip. Floor jacks can be moved to prevent this since they have wheels.
Floor jacks also have longer handles, which allows a greater range of motion which will lift your car faster. If you need to place your bottle jack deep under a car, you will have a very tough trying to swing the handle.
Bottle jacks are great to have for emergencies and to carry them around in your trunk, but a floor jack will get the job done much faster.
What should you look for in a floor jack?
A floor jack is not just another tool in your garage. Having a good floor jack is important, not only because it can help you get the job done faster, but also to prevent an accident. The last thing you want is to have your car crashing down.
The first thing to consider is what type of vehicle you will be using it for. Is it a car? A truck? An RV? Knowing this, you can select the correct jack for your tonnage and lift range.
You should also choose a floor jack that will fit under your vehicle. Materials are an additional factor to consider. Some floor jacks are made of aluminum, which makes them lighter and easier to move around. Others are made of steel, which makes them sturdy and safe for heavy-duty use.
The Best 3-Ton Floor Jacks
This jack is made with both aluminum and steel, so not only is it strong, it also has great portability. Aluminum helps this jack weigh only 59.1 pounds, and it has a 4” minimum height, so it can be used to lift even a lowered Corvette.
The total lifting range is 14-1/4”. The dual cylinder will let you save time and effort when lifting loads, and the hydraulic system has a safety valve, which prevents any damage caused by overloading. Integrated handles make carrying this jack easy and comfortable.
- Rubber-coated saddle to protect the vehicle while lifting
- Swiveling rear wheels make the jack easy to position
- Made with aluminum and steel
- Wheels are smaller than other floor jacks
- Can be hard to pumpBUY THIS ONE
Built with durable industrial-grade aluminum alloys, this jack is both lasting and lightweight, weighing only 57 lbs. The dual plunger means easier and faster lifting, with a range of 3-3/4” minimum height up to a maximum of 19-1/4”. A double safety valve gives you extra security by preventing overloading it beyond its operational capacity.
The Neiko Pro has a rubber-dotted saddle; this protects your vehicle from scratches and dents. It is easy to carry, thanks to its dual-sided handles. If you have a vehicle with a low ground clearance, this jack might be a good option to consider. Its low profile can lift a vehicle nearly 2’ off the ground.
- Metallic coating prevents it from corrosion
- Swivel rear casters make it easier for you to position the jack under your vehicle
- 2-piece handle for compact storage
- Only takes about 5 1/2 pumps for it to be fully extended
- Pricier than comparable floor jacksBUY THIS ONE
This is a heavy-duty steel jack that can lift up to 3.5 tons. It has a lift range of 4” to 20-1/2” and a double pump mechanism that makes lifting quick and easy. A bypass valve prevents overloading, and a rubber saddle pad is included to protect your vehicle.
The W1645 has an extra-long frame that is designed for maximum stability, and a low profile that allows it to be used under almost any vehicle. Its bright yellow coating makes it easy to find in your garage and also prevents the unit from rusting.
- Two-piece steel handle included
- Durable steel frame; built like a tank
- Good option for professional mechanics and hardcore car enthusiasts
- Extra wide casters make it very stable
- Heavy, weighs 100 pounds
- No handles to carry it
The Torin T83006 is a jack that meets American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ safety standard for portable automotive lifting devices (ASME PALD), which can give you some confidence about its sturdy construction. That’s why it is built using high-grade steel.
A large saddle surface area provides a better contact with your vehicle while being supported, and the integrated overload protection valve prevents lifting beyond the jack’s capacity. Its lifting rate starts at 5-7/8” and goes up to 20-7/8”.
One feature that makes this jack an attractive option is the SUV height extender; this makes it easier to lift higher vehicles.
- Strong-built axles and casters
- Well-applied red coating prevents rusting
- Sturdy, ready for heavy-duty tasks
- Some buyers have complained about bad customer service from the manufacturer
- No handles to pick it up
This is an aluminum low-profile jack that has a lifting range of 3-3/4” minimum to 18-1/14” max. Dual-pump pistons quickly bring the jack to maximum height, and each one has a dust shield that prevents hydraulic contamination. A long handle is included, and it can be separated into two pieces for easy storage, thanks to a convenient quick lock mechanism.
The Arcan jack weighs 56 lbs., has a low profile that lets it be used in low clearance spots, and has a reinforced lift arm for added strength. Bypass and overload valves prevent using the jack beyond its rated capacity and over-extending the unit. It fully complies with the 2009 ASME PALD standards.
- Strong and lightweight
- Handles at both sides make it easy to carry
- Rear-swivel caster wheels
- Perfect for lifting low-clearance vehicles
- Handle can flex under heavy loads
The Powerzone 380044 is a floor jack that combines many of features found in similar units. However, it is not an all-aluminum jack, neither an all-steel one. Using both of these materials makes it lightweight and sturdy. Having a split-padded handle makes it comfortable to grip and easy to stow away, and the quick lifting system makes it easier to lift your vehicle with just a few pumps.
This is a floor jack that will suit you if you are on a budget. It has a lower price than many competitors without sacrificing quality or handling. With many good reviews from buyers around the web, if you’re looking for the best 3-ton floor jack, this might be it.