Photo Credit: thanom / Shutterstock.com

If you want to get any work done on your vehicle, a floor jack is a must have. These can help speed up the process when changing tires, brakes, rotors, oil, and even when working on some transmission jobs.

There’s a lot involved in picking the best floor jack, like what material it’s made of, how the saddle is formed, and how tall or heavy the jack is. Floor jacks are designed to help you lift your car quickly, but be sure to follow safe operating procedure. Not only should you lift your vehicle on flat and level ground, but a major part of safe lifting is to also use some jack stands and wheel chocks to stabilize the vehicle.

In addition, these jacks have different weight ratings, feature both aluminum and steel construction and vary in size, so they can be used under a variety of different cars. Unfortunately, like many other hydraulic floor hacks, they’re not the most portable. For more portable units you may want to check out a bottle jack or scissor jack.

Below, you’ll find our picks of the best floor jacks and they’re recommended for a number of reasons, including their build quality and customer service.

For more information on the best floor jacks, refer to our table of contents.

1. Editor's Pick: Powerbuilt Xtra Low Profile Floor Jack (2-Ton Capacity)

powerbuilt xtra low profile floor jack

Our top recommendation is Powerbuilt’s Xtra Low Profile Floor Jack, which is ideal for people who work on custom or modified cars, and exotics or classic vehicles. It’s designed for vehicles as low as 2.75 inches and it’s capable of raising up to 15.5 inches. If you’ve got a unibody vehicle and finding it difficult to position jack stands, you can also consider this option. That’s because it’s equipped with a steel safety bar that slides under the lift arm, securing the jack in its raised position. Although the company says the safety bar eliminates the need for jack stands, we still recommend using jack stands anytime you’re getting underneath your vehicle.

Other features on this floor jack include a wide base and roller to improve stability, while the ball bearing swivel casters make it easy to maneuver around your garage. A convenient carry handle lets you carry the jack to storage when it’s not being used.

This option has a two-ton capacity, so it’s capable of lifting vehicles up to 4,000 pounds.

Product features:

  • Two-ton capacity
  • 2.75″ to 15.5″ lift range
  • Low profile design
  • Steel safety bar
  • Wide base and roller
  • Ball bearing swivel casters

2. Best on a Budget: Pro-Lift Low Profile Floor Jack (2-Ton Capacity)

pro-lift low profile floor jack f-767

If you’re not often working on your car and just need a floor jack to help with routine maintenance, consider this option from Pro-Lift. It’s a low profile floor jack with a two-ton capacity and features a lifting range of 3.5 inches to 14 inches. The company uses a patented bypass device to protect against over pumping, while a built-in safety valve provides overload protection. Both these features contribute to safer operation, but again, we always recommend using jack stands before crawling underneath your vehicle.

Constructed from heavy duty stainless steel, this floor jack is rust resistant and offers great value for its price.

Product features:

  • Two-ton capacity
  • 3.5″ to 14″ lift range
  • Patented bypass device protects against over pumping
  • Built-in safety valve provides overload protection
  • Stainless steel construction

3. Best for Heavier Vehicles: Arcan Aluminum Floor Jack (3-Ton Capacity)

 

arcan 3-ton quick rise aluminum floor jack

This is a more premium floor jack, designed to lift heavier vehicles with its three-ton capacity. Constructed from aluminum, it’s lighter weight than steel floor jacks, which makes it easier to maneuver around your garage. To quickly raise the saddle to load, Arcan equipped this recommendation with dual pump pistons, while a reinforced lift arm contributes to increased strength, chassis torsion control, and durability.

It features a rubber saddle and a foam handle bumper to protect against accidental run-ins with your vehicle, while the side-mount handle helps for convenient jack positioning. When you’re not using this jack, the two-piece handle breaks down for easier storage. At its lowest height, it’s 3.75 inches on the ground and it has a working range of 11.625 inches to 17.5 inches.

So if you own a heavier vehicle, this is our recommendation.

Product features:

  • Three-ton capacity
  • 3.75″ to 18″ lifting range
  • Aluminum construction
  • Rubber saddle and foam handle bumper
  • Dual pump pistons
Read More Top 12 Best Jack Stands

4. Best for SUVs and Trucks: BIG RED Torin Floor Jack (3-Ton Capacity)

big red torin hydraulic trolley service floor jack

As you can imagine, if you own an SUV or a pickup truck, you’ll need a different type of floor jack. Not only are those vehicles heavier than a conventional coupe or sedan, you also need more lifting height to get it off the ground. This option from BIG RED is a hydraulic trolley floor jack, constructed from heavy duty steel with a minimum lifting height of 5.875 inches and a maximum lifting height of 20.875 inches. That makes it a great option for crossovers, SUVs, and some trucks, assuming it doesn’t weigh more than this jack’s three-ton capacity.

It’s equipped with a pair of large steel casters up front and two 360-degree swivel casters in the rear for smooth maneuverability. The extra long saddle neck makes it easier to lift higher vehicles. It is however a single piston floor jack, but it’ll still easily raise your vehicle to the desired height. A safety bypass system prevents overloading. Of course, there’s also a built-in carrying handle so you can lift the jack and move it quickly.

Product features:

  • Three-ton capacity
  • 5.875″ to 20.875″ lift range
  • Large steel casters and 360-degree swivel casters
  • Extra long saddle neck
  • Safety bypass system prevents overloading
  • Built-in carrying handle

5. Blackhawk Fast Lift Service Jack (3.5-Ton Capacity)

blackhawk fast lift service jack b6350

If you’re working on a really heavy vehicle, you’ll need a real heavy duty jack. This option from Blackhawk has a 3.5-ton capacity, allowing you to service any vehicle up to 7,000 lbs. It has a lifting range of 5.5 inches to 22 inches, which makes it another great option for SUVs and pickup trucks. A built-in internal safety valve and vent plug contributes to safety, while the swivel saddle makes it easier to position the jack underneath your vehicle.

Like most floor jacks, it’s constructed from heavy duty steel for long term durability, but its higher weight is noticeable when compared to an aluminum jack. If none of our previous recommendations satisfy your needs since your vehicle weighs more than three tons, take a look at this jack from Blackhawk.

Product features:

  • 3.5-ton capacity
  • 5.5″ to 22″ lifting range
  • Built-in internal safety valve and vent plug
  • Swivel saddle
  • Heavy duty steel construction
Read More The Best Wheel Chocks and Why You Need Them

Everything You Need to Know About Floor Jacks

Car Floor Jacks

Photo credit: ikuyan / Shutterstock.com

A floor jack is an essential part of a DIYer’s garage, and a good one can make a huge difference in how you wrench on your car. Floor jacks come in a few shapes and sizes and can be a huge help for big jobs or small ones. If you just need to change a tire, a certain type of jack will do the trick, but if you want to do more than that, like change your oil or change your brake pads or rotors, then another kind of jack will be more appropriate.

Additionally, seeing a mechanic for these simple forms of maintenance can add up, especially when you can just do it from the comfort of your own garage. With all the resources out there to learn how to perform routine maintenance on your car, it makes a lot of sense to get a jack and start wrenching on your car yourself.

There’s a lot to consider when buying a jack, from budget to weight rating and materials. We’re here to help you understand the different types of jacks out there, what they’re best used for, and help point you in the direction of a good floor jack for you to buy.

What is a Floor Jack?

Simply put, a floor jack is a tool that can safely raise and lower your car so you can perform some maintenance. Jacks are essential tools if you need to change a tire, but they can also help with a number of other tasks like when you need to get under a car to change the oil or perform other repairs. A good jack can quickly turn your small workspace into a versatile garage.

Why Buy a Floor Jack?

Car owners who need to change tires seasonally can benefit the most from having a jack. It can help save a lot of money on tire changes, and tire changes aren’t too work intensive, especially if you have the right tools. Additionally, a good jack can help you perform an oil change with ease, or help replace other wear and tear items like brakes and rotors. In more extreme cases, a floor jack is useful for transmission repairs as well.

How do Floor Jacks Work?

Floor jacks work with either hydraulic power or mechanical power. The latter are typically smaller jacks and are easy to store, but have a lower lifting capacity and can require a bit of elbow grease to work. They’re typically powered by something called a leadscrew. The hydraulic models are usually bigger and heavier, but because they use hydraulics, they’re easier to use and have more lifting capability.

The Different Types of Jacks

Beyond just mechanical and hydraulic, there are three main types of jacks out there, each with their own sets of benefits and drawbacks.

Floor Jack

Floor Jack

These are what are typically found in garages or workshops. Big and heavy, they’re probably the strongest and most capable jacks available to the general consumer. Due to their size, it’s unlikely you’d be transporting one of these around in one of your cars for an emergency situation. However, to make moving them around a vehicle easier, they typically have casters or wheels. As a result, they work best on flat and level ground.

These kinds of jacks typically operate with a lever, that will raise an arm that connects with the vehicle’s jack point and will then raise the chassis as needed. Afterwards, you can use a jack stand to keep that point lifted, or you can lower the car.

Bottle or Piston Jack

Bottle Jack - Floor Jacks

Another more portable jack is a bottle jack, which uses a piston mechanism to raise a vehicle. These can also be pretty easy to use and are often operated with a lever as well. It’s a helpful type of jack, but it’s limited in terms of its height. These can only raise the vehicle twice the height of the device. Additionally, these devices can be kind of tall to begin with, so it might be difficult to put them under sports cars or other lower vehicles. They’re mostly recommended for use on vehicles like SUVs or equipment like tractors.

Scissor Jack

Scissor Jacks - Foor Jacks

The scissor jack is what most people are familiar with, as they are found in many spare tire kits (if the car is equipped with such a kit). These are typically only useful for changing tires, and not for more exhaustive repairs on a vehicle. Although they’re very lightweight and portable, they are sometimes tiring to use due to the mechanical winding motion required to lift with them.

The Benefits of a Floor Jack

Floor jacks can be used on a wide variety of vehicle body styles and sizes, and can fit in most garages and workspaces. Sure they’re not as portable as other styles of jacks, but they’re safe and capable.

They are also pretty easy to use. They have wheels or casters to move them around a car, meaning it’s easy to place them under a jack point. Then, using a lever, they can quickly lift a vehicle. When you’re done with your work, you can lower the vehicle just as easily.

These kinds of jacks can also be used for more intensive purpose like lifting a transmission, that is if you get a transmission jack adapter.

Floor Jack Accessories

Along with your floor jack, there are several useful accessories to enhance their capabilities—as well as making it safer to work underneath your vehicle.

We recommend all floor jack owners to also purchase some some jack stands, which are ideal if you’re going to leave your car up to work on it. It’s advised to never go under a vehicle that’s only being held up by a floor jack, so jack stands are essential to performing bigger maintenance tasks. You use a floor jack to raise a vehicle, then slide your jack stands underneath the car, and then lower the vehicle onto the stands. Some jack stands are adjustable with a pin, while others are static.

Car Floor Jack - Wheel Chock

Another important part of using a floor jack is to chock your wheels. These accessories help prevent a car from rolling while it’s lifted, a worrisome thought that should creep into the imagination of anyone sliding underneath a car.

Floor Jacks - Jack Stands

On the other hand, a roller seat is pretty useful if you’re going to be working under the car. This is basically a seat or a plank with casters or wheels on it, so you can slide underneath the car without much trouble. It’s definitely helpful if you find the act of getting under a car tiring. When you’re not using it for car repairs, it’s also a lot of fun to tie up to your dog and have a small scale chariot of fire event in your backyard or neighborhood.

Finally, as mentioned before, if you want to do more exhaustive repairs, a transmission jack adapter comes handy. This will help the floor jack support a transmission and can lower it from the vehicle or move it if needed.

What to look for in a Floor Jack?

There are a few important factors to consider when buying a floor jack. First, what kind of vehicle are you trying to lift? A sports car, sedan, and SUV might all need different types of tools to lift them.

For example, take into consideration the ground clearance of the vehicle. A bottle jack can’t fit underneath all vehicles but may be perfect for a lifted truck. On the other hand, a floor jack would be perfect for a sports car, because many are low profile and can slide right under them.

Another important factor to consider is weight. Jacks are commonly rated by how much weight they can lift and support. So if you have a bigger, heavier vehicle, you may want to spring for a jack with a higher weight rating. Jacks are most commonly rated for 2 or 3 tons, which should be enough to support most cars. Bigger vehicles like large luxury sedans or SUVs may need something a higher weight capacity. It’s also important to realize that the jack won’t be supporting 100 percent of the vehicle’s weight, but it will be doing a lot of work the closer to the engine it is.

One final thing to consider when looking at a jack is what material it’s made out of and how nice the build quality is. Jacks with more metal components, and with nice even paint finishes or fancier materials are showcasing their construction, and will likely last longer than models with sloppy paint jobs and plastic components. This item is going to lift your car off the ground, it should be sturdy and robust feeling, rather than cheap and toy like.

How to Safely Jack Up a Car

how to safely jack up a car

Photo Credit: Kenny CMK/Shutterstock

You don’t have to go to the gym to get jacked, at least when it comes to your car. You just need a solid jack to do the job and you can finally understand all those “bro, do you lift?” memes.

If you want to change tires, brake pads, rotors, or even get to your oil pan to change your oil, then you’ll want to jack up your car. A jack is a handy tool, and many cars come with a scissor jack to help someone change tires, but that kind of jack is only suitable for changing tires and not bigger jobs. It’s not the easiest item to use and doesn’t have a great weight rating. In comparison, a floor jack would do the job much quicker and easier.

But quick and easy is one thing, safe is another. This guide will explain how to safely use a floor jack to lift your car.

  1. Only use jacks on flat and level ground. Gravel and sand-covered surfaces aren’t a good place to use your jack because the loose nature of them can lead to instability, which can cause a lifted vehicle to feel unstable on a jack. Then use chocks or bricks to brace the wheels of the car. Finally, apply your car’s parking brake.How to Use a Jack -Step 1 How to Use a Jack -Step 2
  2. From there, find your vehicle’s jack point. For the best information on where they are, check your car’s owners manual. Typically, there are at least four of these jack points on a car and they’re normally on the chassis, on the driver or passenger side of the vehicle, and close to the wheels. You can usually spot them because they have a slight indent or perforation along the chassis rail.
  3. Line up the jack point to the flat part of the floor jack, and start pumping the lever. This will raise the jack up to the jack point and begin lifting the vehicle. If you’re using a bottle jack instead of a floor jack, then the lifting process is very similar, but if you’re using a scissor jack, like what’s commonly found on spare tire kits, then you’ll need to screw the jack to lift it. 
  4. Once the wheel is in the air, line up your jack stands under the car, someplace close to the jack point. You need to then lower the vehicle onto the stands, either by releasing a valve or using the lever to lower the lift. While it’s on the stands, you’re home free! You can remove the tire as needed or use a roller chair or mechanic creeper to get under the car, and when you’re done, you can raise the jack to lift the vehicle off the stands, then remove the stands and then use the jack to lower the vehicle.

Be sure to remove the chocks before driving the car away after lifting and lowering the vehicle! Or else you’ll be in for a nasty surprise.

 

Recent Updates:

March 18, 2021: Since many floor jacks are very similar when it comes to features, we’ve removed several recommendations to make it easier to shop for the right floor jack. We’ve also updated some of our recommendations with newer and better models. Images were also updated for some products and content was edited for clarification.


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