With so many automobile jacks available, changing a tire or putting snow chains on your family’s sub-compact car has never been easier. However, if you have a large vehicle or truck, a mechanical, jack-and-handle system can be difficult. In fact, using a standard jack to lift a standard, sub-compact car is not a pleasant task. For commercial use, a mechanical jack will not suffice at all.
This is where the floor jack comes in.
Floor jacks are defined by two characteristics. The first is that they help lift extremely heavy objects. The second is that they require very minimal, manual effort. The result is a more convenient and safer repair or inspection because the operator is less strained. Additionally, the user is able to lift the heavy object at a greater distance from said heavy object. The logic, of course, is when heavy things fall, it is best not to be near them.
Best Floor Jack – Comparison Table
Best Floor Jack Type
To lift such great forces, floor jacks often use a hydraulic system. A hydraulic system compresses liquid to generate force. Additionally, an extended lever (the handle) allows you to remain at a distance from the object while you generate superior leverage against the object. Hydraulic jacks are among the most powerful types of floor jacks.
Pneumatic floor jacks use compressed air to generate force. Like hydraulic jacks, they can generate immense lifting power. Because they are also very powerful and because they operate in much the same fashion as a hydraulic jack, they are sometimes referred to as air-hydraulic jacks.
Mechanical jacks use mechanical force to generate lift or to force lift via an adjusting component. For instance, a screw jack uses a steel screw to turn a vertical prop. As the vertical prop raises, so, too, does your car. Alternatively, scissor jacks use a screw to pull close diametrically opposed, steel supports. As the supports come closer, their lift saddles raise, allowing you to hoist a vehicle. Because there are two lift saddles, they are generally steadier and safer than other types of mechanical floor jacks.
Any floor jack should have a lockable system that keeps the jack from descending. Sometimes this feature is an automated or self-locking mechanism. In other instances, the safety mechanism must be manually engaged.
As powerful as they are, floor jacks have weight limits. You should gauge your needs to the specific weight capacity of your floor jack. Additionally, you should purchase a jack capable of lifting triple what you need. For instance, if you have a regular need to lift one ton, you should not get a one-ton jack. Doing so will continuously put the jack at its maximum level of performance. Such strain will wear out the unit.
Instead, you should look for a more-powerful jack. For instance, if you own a 2-ton truck, and it has a flat tire, you must successfully lift one corner of your vehicle. Doing this requires a jack capable of lifting 25 percent of 4,000 pounds. 25 percent of 4,000 equals 1,000 pounds. To safely lift 1,000 pounds, you should look for a 3-ton or 4-ton jack. A jack with a 3-ton capacity will be easy on the jack and easy on you.
Additionally, when purchasing a floor jack, look for one that monitors its load and uses a pressure-release valve to prevent you from over-loading the jack.
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.
You should look for a jack that has a broad footprint because the weight of your vehicle will then be distributed broadly across a wide surface. This broad footprint will ensure the jack does not topple.
Additionally, under the weight of a vehicle, most jacks will remain in place. However, the best ones have rear or front wheel casters that can be locked into place.
Best Floor Jack Reviews
The bottle floor jack by Alltrade is a pyramid-shaped bottle jack that operates by placing the wedge end of a tire iron into the pump hole. With the tire iron in place, all you have to do is pump the tire iron up and down. Doing so will raise the U-shaped lift saddle.
The skirt (base) is pyramid shaped, which creates a lower center of gravity and a more stable lifting situation. For securing the jack once the vehicle has been raised to the desired height, a safety bar is provided. Regarding the safety bar, all you have to do is insert the bar into the hole on the lift bar. Once you remove the tire iron from the jack, the weight of the car will rest on the U-shaped lift saddle, which, itself, rests on the safety bar.
In addition to lifting cars, the U-shaped lift makes this floor jack perfect for supporting beams of wood for construction projects.
In terms of capabilities, the Alltrade jack will lift 3 tons. With storage dimensions of 9.75 inches wide by 12.25 inches tall, it will fit under just about any standard vehicle. Additionally, the load can be lifted up to 21 inches in height.
- 3-ton capability
- highest peak not as stable as lower peaks
The Arcan floor jack features a dual pump, which decreases the time it takes to lift a car. Additionally, it features a universal, joint-release system that will safely and precisely lower the car while allowing the operator to maintain control of the load.
It also offers a variety of lift profiles. For instance, it can be ordered for low-profile vehicles, or you can ordered the solid-steel, 3-ton option. Aluminum models are also available, providing a lightweight yet stable floor jack.
The four-prong lift saddle will help stabilize your load, and the pressure-release valve will ensure you do not overload the jack. The maximum lift height for this floor jack is 18.5 inches.
- all-steel construction
- four-prong lift saddle
- dual-pump design
- casters do not lock
The Big Red by Torin is an extended-height floor jack designed for trucks and SUVs. It boasts a 3-ton lift capability and a maximum lift height of 17.25 inches. However, for lower-profile vehicles, it can lift as low as 5.875 inches.
The casters provide 360-degree rotation, and the four-prong lift saddle is designed to fit securely against your vehicle’s under-carriage. Finally, the detachable, easy-store handle is extra long, allowing for easier jacking.
- easy-store handle
- 3-ton lift capacity
- only 43.9 pounds
- does not fold
The Pro-LifT F-2315PE trolley jack offers 3 tons of lift capacity. The frame is a welded, steel-frame design with anti-rust paint. A maximum lift range between 4.92 inches and 11.81 inches makes this jack perfect for sedans and small trucks.
The detachable handle fits securely into the jack port, and a blow-mold case is included for easy storing on a shelf or in your trunk.
- 18 pounds
- 3-ton lift capability
- height range might not be sufficient for larger trucks
The Powerbuilt 620422E floor jack is designed for vehicles that require a more solid jack and load-bearing capabilities. For instance, the wide, almost-square footprint ensures it will not tip.
Additionally, it has a triple-lift design, consisting of two support beams on either side of the lift saddle. This design ensures this jack can support a variety of cars with a variety of types of under-carriages. Safety features include a locking, safety bar that ensures the jack stays in place.
Finally, it is rated to lift vehicles up to 4,000 pounds.
- triple-lift design
- locking safety pin
- not designed for full-size trucks or large SUVs
The Pro-LifT F-2330BMC floor jack is made of solid steel, and it has swivel casters for smooth rolling and careful positioning. The detachable handle fits snugly into the jack port, and the floor jack is rated at 2 tons.
- Included with the F-2330BMC are two support stands, each rated at 2-tons. They provide a level of redundancy, ensuring your vehicle’s safety.
- two support stands
- solid steel
- for lightweight vehicles and trucks
The compact, aluminum racing jack offers a rapid-pump system to quickly lift any corner of your vehicle. The long handle ensures easy jacking. This jack is designed to be used quickly, safely, and efficiently. Rated at 1.5 tons, it is designed for lighter vehicles.
- long handle provides superior leverage
- no replacement parts
For people who have used too-many jacks to lift too many vehicles, the MarchInn 12V hydraulic floor jack is the answer.
If you have a flat tire, this jack’s plug reaches the vehicle outlet (cigarette lighter). All you have to do is position the jack securely under the vehicle’s under-carriage and flip the switch. Within 60 seconds, the jack will lift the corner of your car, providing you the space you need to change the tire.
For safety, the jack is fitted with an auto-safety switch, which shuts off the jack when it has reached its maximum height. Finally, at 15.21 pounds, it is portable, allowing you to easily retrieve it from your trunk when you need it and replace it when you are done.
Finally, this jack is a powerhouse. Rated at 5.5 tons with a lift height of 17.7 inches, it is more than capable of lifting just about any vehicle in just about any situation.
- This jack comes with a variety of extras, making it, literally, a jack of all trades. For instance, the electric air pump will quickly air any slow-leak tire, and the flashlight ensures you can see even after the sun has set.
- For airing tires, the pressure gauge ensures you do not over- or under-inflate your tire.
- versatile system
- lift capacity of 5.5 tons
- narrow lift saddle
The Big Red Combo includes a floor jack with a 2-ton lift capacity. Its solid-steel frame ensures stability while the overload valves monitors the load’s total weight, ensuring your safety. Finally, for extra safety, the jack is constructed of a “pawl-and-tooth” design. This design has a jagged, saw-tooth design, which auto-locks after each pump of the handle.
Extras include two support stands. Each support stand can support up to 2 tons. Additionally, each support stand is fitted with a grooved lift saddle and a swivel safety bar. The grooved lift saddle ensures the jack securely fits a variety of under-carriages, and the safety bar ensures the supports remain in place.
For easy, trunk storage, the entire jack fits into the accompanying case.
- pawl-and-tooth design
- rated at 2 tons
- not for larger vehicles
Rated to safely lift loads up to 35 tons (70,000 pounds), this hydraulic floor jack is a pneumatic, air-driven jack capable of quickly lifting just about any vehicle not bolted to the ground. It has a maximum height of 21.5 inches, making it capable of servicing larger trucks and SUVs, and the handle has a release valve, allowing you to precisely jack and position the vehicle’s height where you want it.
Solid core tires ensure you never experience a flat, and the tires are extra wide, for easy maneuverability and clearance.
- one of the most powerful floor jacks on the market
- fits just about any vehicle you have ever seen
- This jack is designed for in-shop use. For instance, it requires an air compressor, and air compressors are designed to use a 110-volt socket.