Think about the last garage you took your car to in order to get some work done, bet you didn’t see a scissors or any other common car jacks there. Instead, they wheeled out a floor jack, sometimes called a trolley jack – and with great reason. These wheel about the shop easily to get just where you need them. Then with very little effort, they can raise a great deal of weight to a respectable height. If you are looking to do a work like this by yourself, you need to be on the lookout for the best floor jack.
Luckily for you, Garagechief.com have done the heavy lifting here. We’ve rounded up some of the top models for you in our floor jack review. We’ll give you the basic run down on each of them so that you can make an informed choice.
In addition to that, we have provided you with a buyer’s guide so that if you are totally new to the world of floor jacks you will know what is helpful in your home shop and what is just marketing.
Best Floor Jack – Our Top Picks Compared
|editors-choice||Best Product||Best Value|
|editors-choice||Best Product||Best Value|
|item-title||Arcan ALJ3T - 3 Ton Capacity||Torin T83006 Big Red Steel SUV Service Jack, 3 Ton Capacity||Arcan XL2T Black Steel Service Jack - 2 Ton Capacity||OTC 1532, 2-Ton Capacity||Powerbuilt 620422E, 2-Ton Capacity|
Hydraulic Floor Jack
Hydraulic Service Jack
Hydraulic Service Jack
Hydraulic Racing Floor Jack
Hydraulic Triple Lift Floor Jack
|• Dual pump pistons for fast rising action|
• Piston dust shields to prevent hydraulic contamination
• Bypass and overload valves
|• Constructed of high-grade steel |
• Large saddle surface area
• Meets ASME PALD standards
|• Dual pump for rapid lifting|
• Universal joint release mechanism provides precise control
• Complies with the ASME PALD 2009 standard
|• Made from aircraft-grade aluminum lifts|
• Removable rubber saddle pad
|• Flexible design allows the Triple Lift to adapt to multiple types of vehicle frames|
• Locking safety bar
• Patented design features both a removable lift saddle and padded lift rails
Floor Jack Reviews
We’ve rounded up the top 6 floor jacks that we found available today. While any of these could be the best hydraulic floor jack for you, we have highlighted what we think is the overall best, best value and a few other superlatives, like best low profile jack and best aluminum floor jack.
These are of course from our own point of view. You’ll want to consider things like your shop, the vehicles you work with and how you do that work. These are some of the things that will help shade your particular needs in a floor jack.
Best Floor Jack – Powerzone 380044 3 Ton Aluminum and Steel Garage Jack
Type: Hydraulic Garage Jack
Size: 3 Ton Capacity
Material: Aluminum and Steel
If you are looking for the all around best floor jack that we’ve come across, look no further than the Powerzone 380044 3 Ton Garage Jack. This jack is crafted from a both steel and aluminum, with the lightweight aluminum forming the frame and the steel forming the lifting arm. This construction gives the best of both worlds, saving weight and still having a reliable lift arm. For added maneuverability around your shop, the back wheels swivel, to ensure that you can get the jack situated exactly where you need it.
The saddle of this jack is padded to ensure that it protects the frame of the vehicle that you are lifting, but it also gives it added traction to keep from shifting during the lift. Another bonus is that this jack features a safety value that keeps this jack being overloaded, which could cause the jack to fail.
This jack sports an impressive lifting range, from 4 inches on the low end to 18 ¼ inches when fully extended. The handle is two pieces so that if you find yourself in a tight spot you can just use half the handle, best of all while doing so you won’t have any trouble getting it up. This jack comes with a 1-year warranty.
Get it here at Amazon
Best Floor Jack for the Money – Torin T83006 Big Red Steel SUV Service Jack, 3 Ton Capacity
Type: Hydraulic Service Jack
Size: 3 Ton Capacity
Even if you are looking to save a few bucks, perhaps since you are just getting into doing more of your own automotive maintenance, there are still some quality jacks to be found. Perhaps the best value for your money is the Torin T83006 Big Red Steel Service Jack. This one also has a 3-ton lift capacity, which is the standard for most cars. This one is crafted totally from steel, which means that you don’t have to have any worry about pieces bending or breaking, but that also means that it comes in at nearly 45 pounds.
This model meets all the ASME PALD standards, so you don’t have to worry about spending money on a sub par jack. It even has some nice features such as swiveled back wheels to help adjust the jack easily into place.
The lifting range for this model starts out at 5 7/8 inches and goes all the way up to 20 7/8 inches. The handle is only a single piece, but it isn’t overly long and shouldn’t give too much of an issue even in tight spaces.
This level of quality at this price point makes it a no brainer. While it might not have some of the nicer features of more expensive models this one will accomplish everything that you need to get done.
Check it out at Amazon
Best Aluminum Floor Jack – Arcan ALJ3T – 3 Ton Capacity
Type: Hydraulic Floor Jack
Size: 3 Ton Capacity
If you are looking for an aluminum jack due to their lower weight and ease of movement take a look at what could be the best aluminum floor jack on the market, the ALI3T from Acran. This model has the ability to lift 3 tons, but only weighs 56 pounds. Part of that weight comes from the reinforced lifting arm that adds strength and also ensures that the entire chassis of the jack has better torsion control.
This jack also has bypass and overload values built into the system. These ensure that you won’t raise the arm higher than it is designed to go or attempt to lift a load that exceeds the designed weight limit. These features ensure that even if things don’t go as planned you won’t end up with a destroyed jack or a vehicle that quickly descends when you aren’t expecting it to.
As far as lifting range, this one starts out at a mere 3.6 inches and can take your car all the way up to 19.4 inches high. It does it with a dual pump piston, to give you lifting power on both strokes of using the handle. This means that you get the car up and ready to work on quicker than with some other options.
Read customer reviews at Amazon right here
Best Low Profile Floor Jack – Arcan XL2T Black Steel Service Jack – 2 Ton Capacity
Type: Hydraulic Service Jack
Size: 2 Ton Capacity
If you have a car that has a low clearance you have to look at a little bit more than just how high up a jack can raise your car. You need the best low profile floor jack you can get your hands on and as far as we are concerned the XL2T from Arcan is just the model for you. This model is actually their extra low profile jack, they offer another option that is a touch less expensive if you don’t need to go quite as low. This one has a lifting range that starts all the way down at 2.75 inches but will get your car all the way up to 24 inches high.
While it has the swivel wheels on the back, like most other trolley style jacks, this one has an extra long chassis, coming it at 32 inches. This means that you can get further under the car if that is where the best lifting position is for a given vehicle.
One thing to note with this model is that the lift capacity is 2 tons. While this will still be plenty for a wide range of vehicles, it is not the 3-ton capacity that most of our picks are. Be sure to double check the weight that you need.
Go and check it out at Amazon
Best Aluminum Racing Floor Jack – OTC 1532, 2-Ton Capacity
Type: Hydraulic Racing Floor Jack
Size: 2 Ton Capacity
If you do any racing you have a few particular needs that might not come up for most people, one of which is the need to have a sturdy floor jack that you can easily take to the track with you. We have come across what we feel is the best aluminum racing floor jack in the OTC 1532. This is another model that comes in with just a 2-ton capacity, but it should still suffice to get your racing car up and it has some other nice features.
One of the first things that you will notice is that the design is different from most other floor jacks. Instead of having a standard chassis and mounted wheel on the front, this model uses rollers to serve as both the front of the chassis and the wheels. This is done to save weight, as is the choice to go with aircraft grade aluminum. They have managed to get the weight down to a mere 43 pounds.
As far as lift range, this has a low end of 3 ½ inches but will go all the way up to 18 inches. It has also been designed to get a car up fast, in that it only takes 5 pumps on the handle to be at the jack’s full height. Part of this is accomplished by the fact that the handle is a full 45 inches long. It does break down for storage or if you find yourself in a tight spot.
Check it out at Amazon
Best Multi-Use Heavy Duty Triple Lift Floor Jack – Powerbuilt 620422E, 2-Ton Capacity
Type: Hydraulic Triple Lift Floor Jack
Size: 2 Ton Capacity
If you are looking for a multi-use jack, you will find the Heavy Duty Triple Lift Floor Jack 620422E from Powerzone to be right up your alley. The first thing that will strike you with this jack is that it has more than the small round saddle that most jacks sport for making contact with your car. This larger lift area means that you have a greater array of choices when it comes to lifting things. For example, in addition to cars you can use it for ATVs and it even sports motorcycle tie downs to ensure they stay stable during a lift (TIP: more motorcycle jack reviews here). Alternatively, can use this as a transmission jack.
Another feature that sets this apart from other jacks on the market is the locking safety bar. This bar can be inserted when the jack is in the up position and is used to essentially turn the jack into a jack stand, letting it do double duty.
As far as the lift range for this jack, the lowest setting you can get is 5 ½ inches and it will lift up to 18 ½ inches, though with the lock out the pin in place the highest setting is 17 ½ inches. The lift pad on this jack is 12 inches by 9 3/8 inches.
Get it at Amazon right here
Selecting the Best Floor Jack – A Buyer’s Guide
Floor Jack Overview
We’ll start off with the basics here. A jack is a device used to assist in lifting loads, while they can be used for just about anything we are concerned with jacks designed for automotive use and in particular for this article floor jacks.
While in a general sense a floor jack can be used to describe any jack that is placed on the floor or ground to lift, we will be a little more focused. Today we will be considering a floor jack that generally has wheels to help it slide under your car. In addition to being known as a floor jack, it is sometimes known as a garage jack, a trolley jack or a rolling jack.
Types of Floor Jack
There are a number of different jack types but most can be broken down to the method of lifting. You will find mechanical and hydraulic styles of jacks. Each has their pluses and minuses.
Mechanical Floor Jack
A mechanical jack will generally be of a lighter weight and can be easier to move around. However, these generally do not aid your efforts in lifting as much, so you can expect to put more work into getting your car lifted.
Hydraulic Floor Jack
Hydraulic jacks on the other hand use hydraulic pressure to assist in lifting the weight required. This means less effort in getting the car up but results in a jack that tends to be heavier, less portable and requires some level of maintenance. If the hydraulic system breaks you are left with a mess and a jack that won’t work.
With the very rare exception, you will find floor jacks made out of either steel or aluminum. Steel is sturdy and has a lot of strength to it but tends to lead to a heavier overall product. It is generally also quite cheap. Aluminum is lighter but tends to be more expensive and there is a limit to how much it can be used to lift.
The great thing is though, that aluminum jacks can still compete in the 2 and 3-ton range, which is enough lifting capability for most cars. If you need a higher range, you’ll find that you need to swap to a steel option.
When it comes to comparing jacks to one another the biggest thing to look at is their lifting capacity. At the end of the day, you need to know how much this particular jack will be able to support. If you get one with too small a capacity it will no doubt give out, perhaps at a terrible time. If you get one with way more capacity than you need, you may end up spending more than you truly need to.
When you are determining the capacity of your desired jack, you’ll first need to consider the weight of the heaviest vehicle you will be using it with. In most cases, a quick internet search or your owner’s manual can give you a weight. This is an empty weight, so to cover gas and other items that might be in your car go ahead and round up.
You need to remember that the car’s total weight is not really the weight that the jack will be lifting, as at no time will a single floor jack get all the tires off the ground. If you have your jack on the end of the car with the engine you are in the worst case, but that is still only going to account for about 60% of the vehicle’s weight.
Jacks are rated in tons, which is 2,000 pounds. Normally the lowest rating will be a 2-ton option and they will move up from there. Generally, 3-ton models are available, but after that mostly you’ll find even numbers. If you come up with a weight between two ratings, always go for the higher rated option.
There is a range of designs that can make even the same style of jack look and function differently. Perhaps the most clearly noticeable difference is of the low and extra low profile options. These models are made to fit under cars that have been lowered or otherwise have very little ground clearance. While this isn’t a concern everyone has to deal with, if you will be, you will quickly find out that a standard floor jack isn’t going to fit where you need to stick it.
You will also come across some jacks that are marketed as racing jacks. These tend to be low-profile and made out of aluminum. These choices are to make them more portable so that you can take them along with you to the racing venue to be able to make repairs. Even if you are never going to have it leave your garage, these tend to be great options for high-performance vehicles as well.
After the weight capability, lifting range is perhaps the next most important consideration that you have when it comes to selecting your new jack. All jacks will give you a minimum lifting distance and a maximum lifting distance. Your job is to make sure that those will work for you. This is an area that you’ll want to consider your jack in combination with your jack stands.
While the jack lifts the vehicle, if you are going to be looking at keeping it up to do any level of work on it, you will want to put the car on stands. To determine what you need in lifting range, first, you’ll have to determine the range that you need to have your car up to do the work you need it. Once you have that number find a set of jack stands that can hold it at the height you want. Lastly, track down a jack that can get the car a touch higher, so that you can lift the car up, securely place the jack stand and then lower the vehicle onto the stand.
What is a Floor Jack Used For?
You will find that your floor jack is a great tool around the shop. This will help you lift the vehicle you are working on so that you can get it onto jack stands to allow for easy access to hard to reach areas. But not only vehicle. You can easily lift trailer, lawn tractor or… just think what else can you lift using hydraulic floor jack.
How Do You Use a Floor Jack?
One of the main concerns when using a floor jack is to do so in a safe way. Most of these will operate very similarly, place the jack so that it will lift the car in a stable area, normally part of the chassis. Then you will use the handle to pump the hydraulics, increasing the pressure and causing the jack to raise. It is a good idea to go over the instructions for the model that you select to be sure of any specifics for your jack.
In general, you should only jack your car on a flat and level surface. You want to make sure that the jack is nice and level, as raising a car at an odd angle could cause it to fall while you are trying to work on it. Also, be sure to use points on your car that will support the weight, generally your owner’s manual will call out the best places to place your jack. When lifting and lowering your car, do so slowly. If you aren’t in a rush you will be more likely to notice any issues before they cause a problem, stop and address them. Lastly, remember that your jack is only for lifting the car, if you want to keep it elevated while working on it, you need to put it on jack stands.
Who Makes a Good Floor Jack?
If you work in any particular area for enough time you’ll come to know that names of the companies that make a quality product. In the automotive world, it can be a little bit difficult as a company might make tools but not a jack, or they might have a whole line of products to include jacks, stands, lifts and specialty tools as well.
One place to check for an idea of quality pieces is at a mechanic shop that you trust, though their models might not be within your reach. As far as floor jacks go we have come across a few companies that consistently put out quality products. These include Torin, Arcan, Powerzone and OTC. These are companies that you’ll probably be able to track down a good jack stand from as well. While this isn’t an inclusive list, if you see a jack from one of these, it is a fairly safe assumption that it is a good option to go with.
Floor Jacks For Sale – Where To Buy?
Now that you have the knowledge of all the basics when it comes to floor jacks, the last step is purchasing one. You have a world of options out there, but they are fraught with peril.
First, let’s cover the cost. It is possible to track down a jack that will only set you back around $50. Anything much lower than that for a floor jack and you need to start wondering why is it so cheap. At the same point, a quality floor jack can run to $300 or even more. You will want to do your research on those more expensive models though, as a high price tag is not a guarantee of quality.
Next is even more tricky. Where do you buy one? If you go into an everything store, like Walmart, you will probably find a floor jack. The thing is that they may only have one or two models and you can either take it or leave it. While it means you will have it right away, no amount of research finding the best floor jack for you will matter if they don’t have it. Automotive stores might be a better choice, but they may still only have a handful of models to chose from and may have a higher price tag.
Perhaps the best option is to go with a trusted online source, such as Amazon. After you have done your research to find just the right floor jack, an online option will be able to offer you that particular model and have it shipped directly to you, this allows you to get the model you want and now one that someone else picked for you.
The most important thing to remember when using a floor jack, or any jack for that matter, is that the jack is just for lifting. If you are going to have your car up to do some work on it, you really need to put it on jack stands, for your own safety.
And when it comes to lifting remember that you need a jack that will handle the amount of load that you will require. Many people base this off 60% of the weight of their vehicles but remember that the weight of your vehicle in the manual is an empty weight if you normally leave a lot of tools and gear in a car that weight can creep up on you.
Best Floor Jack Reviews – Bottom Line
Now you should have all the information that you need in order to track down the best floor jack for your needs. In our buyer’s guide, we have gone over the basics that you should keep in mind when you are in the market for a jack of this style. While we have told you about some of the choices available, it is up to you to make the selections of what would fit best into your own personal shop.
In the floor jack reviews, we’ve highlighted 6 of the top contenders that you can order today. Each has its own particular strong points. However, if you are lost and can’t decide on one that rises above the others, we felt that the Powerzone 3-ton aluminum model was the one that really out performed the competition.
Check all floor jacks at Amazon
Lastly, we’d love to hear from you. If you have experience with one of the models that we have pointed out today, why not tell us all about your time working with it? You can drop us a note in the comments section below.
PowerZone 3-Ton Aluminum and Steel Garage Jack Demo
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