Best Floor Jack
Buying a jack for your personal shop or garage is an important decision, think of it as an investment in your future. Safety and performance are the two most vital factors to consider when looking for a jack because when you’re beneath your car, you’re putting your life in the hands of whatever jack you own. You want the best quality jack depending on the conditions of your purchase. Maybe you have a strict budget to follow. Maybe money isn’t an issue, but longevity is. Whatever factors influence your decision, we’ve got you covered.
The following lists feature the best floor jacks on the market with safety and durability as a priority. You can be rest assured that only the best quality jacks are included.
Best Floor Jack Overall:
Purchasing a floor jack is an investment; it is an important tool in a shop, and an important decision to be made carefully. Performance and safety are paramount to professional and amateur mechanics alike. Tire stores and repair shops understand the necessity of a top quality floor jack. They need dependability under professional, real world conditions as well as adequate lifting power.
The basics of the floor jack haven’t changed much since Scottish immigrant Richard Dudgeon invented the hydraulic jack in 1851. With each draw of the pump handle, a check valve is pulled open and hydraulic fluid fills the pump cylinder. The basic mechanics of a floor jack are similar, so it is the quality of the materials used and the quality of workmanship to determine the very best floor jack available.
There are also many kinds of floor jacks designed for a myriad number of jobs. Select the jack which is best suited for your needs. Since the floor jack is a rolling tool, it must have a dependable rolling system. These wheels must also carry the full weight of whatever you’re lifting, and a three-wheeled jack is about as useful as a three-wheeled shopping cart.
Next, the floor jack must have an adequate hydraulic lifting system. Here is the first question to ask after how much? Can I get new hydraulic seals or a new pump sometime down the road if I need them? If the answer is no, or I don’t know, the floor jack is a throw away - just move on. The hydraulic cylinder is the heart and soul of a floor jack; if you’re a professional, you’re lifting thousands of dollars of someone else’s property up into the air. Leaking hydraulic oil seals indicates a floor jack which isn’t trustworthy.
The part of the floor jack which makes contact with the vehicle is called the saddle. It is important that the saddle has a wide surface area to disperse the weight of the vehicle. It is also important that the saddle has an adequate swivel. As the vehicle rises, the jack itself begins to inch forward as the saddle rises with each pump of the handle. A poor swivel could cause slippage and or damage.
One of the most common things overlooked in large purchases are the smallest things: the crown nuts on the wheel axle, the size of the axles, and the size of the swivels on the caster wheels. Attention to these details promises you the very best value for your money.
Vehicle fleets are far more diversified than they were in the past, requiring low profiles to reach underneath smaller vehicles while still requiring enough lifting capacity for bigger vehicles. As with any tool - use only as directed and never overload a jack, and always use with jack stands in place.
The Snap-on YA700B has a 5,000 lbs. capacity and weighs less than 100 lbs. Lifting height is a maximum 23 inches, while still able to fit under 4-3/4 inch clearances. Flanged steel side plates are designed to increase strength; a sealed hydraulic unit keeps out grit and grime, and extends pump life. The cast iron bell crank with an in-line pump assembly allows for direct alignment of pump and handle, preventing off balance lifting. Read Full Review
The Milwaukie Model 20 is hands down one of the best floor jacks in the world. The Snap-on has comparable features to the Milwaukie Model 20, but for considerably less money. Read Full Review
The Hein Warner HW93642 is a great floor jack for the money, with many of the same features found in higher-priced models. Th HW93642 has very good lift combined with a very low profile, along with a manageable weight for ease of use. Read Full Review
The Arcan ALJ2T Aluminum Floor Jack is a very good floor jack for the homeowner or do-it-yourself-er. Pound for pound, the Arcan ALJ2T offers a very good value in a 2-ton floor jack. Read Full Review
Best Budget Floor Jack:
When we talk about floor jacks, we're actually talking about a wide variety of different types of jacks. Essentially anything that sits on the floor under the car and is used to lift the vehicle can be called a floor jack. This includes those scissor jacks most manufacturers supply with their cars today which nobody likes.
Hydraulic floor jacks have definitely overcome all other types of floor jacks, becoming the most popular type of jack to use when lifting a vehicle. This is because of the relative ease of using one of these jacks, as well as the height which they will lift a vehicle. Since they all work off a hydraulic cylinder, the force you apply is multiplied many times over which is what makes them so easy to work with.
The hydraulic cylinder also makes these jacks more secure as the vehicle is unlikely to fall quickly unless the jack is on unstable ground and one wheel sinks in. Rather than collapse, a hydraulic jack will usually let the vehicle down slowly, giving you time to react; that alone makes them much safer than other types of jacks.
Nevertheless, I'd still recommend using jack stands with any hydraulic jack, especially if you have to crawl under the vehicle to work on it. They really aren't intended to hold the vehicle, but merely lift it. While they will hold it well enough for changing tires and other simple tasks, safety considerations dictate using jack stands to hold up your vehicle if you have to do extensive work under it. You don't want your vehicle falling on you…trust me, I know.
These hydraulic floor jacks vary greatly in price, especially when you start looking at the professional ones; however, most homeowners don't need a professional jack. For one thing, you don't need the weight capacity of a large jack and alos, you probably don't need to be able to lift as high as they will. So, for the purpose of this list, we're going to limit ourselves to looking at jacks that you can buy for under $100. Even so, there are some pretty good jacks to pick from.
One thing you need to keep in mind is the weight of the vehicle you are going to be lifting. A two-ton jack will lift 4,000 pounds without a problem. That actually means you can lift a vehicle heavier than 4,000 pounds, as you will only be lifting one side or one end at a time. Nevertheless, for safety sake I'd recommend against running a jack near its rated weight limit.
Many manufacturers are making low-profile jacks now. This originally started for racing cars, but has spread into the general market. This is a great advantage, as a car sitting on a flat tire may have its structural elements too close to the ground to insert a standard floor jack. I've had times where I’ve had to use two jacks, one just to get the vehicle high enough to get the other one under the frame at the jacking point.
While low is one important point, high is another. You want a jack which will lift your vehicle high enough for you to get under there and work. Most will give you 14 inches of lift, but some cheaper jacks won't give you that much. To get more, you'll have to look at the more expensive jacks.
Combining a great price with a low-profile design, this jack from Craftsman is my number one pick.You get Craftsman quality and service as well, which is important, as you could always blow a seal. Read Full Review
This Torin low-profile jack allows you to get under the car, even if its got a flat tire. I like that capability, as using two jacks to jack up a car far enough to change a tire is just no fun at all. Read Full Review
I have one of these jacks and it has served me very well. The lightweight aluminum design is wonderful for those times I've got to throw it in the truck to go rescue my wife or kids. Read Full Review
if you've got a SUV or truck, you need something a bit higher. Torin solves that problem by adding a removable spacer below the saddle. While that performs the same function as putting a block of wood on top of the saddle, it does so much more safely. Read Full Review
PowerBuilt is trying to eliminate the need for jack stands with this model, building in a locking feature. This is so the jack can't go down, even if the hydraulic pressure bleeds off. Read Full Review