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If you ever have to perform any maintenance work on your vehicle that requires lifting it off the ground, you need to invest into jack stands. No excuses, as you should never rely solely on your floor jack or scissor jack to keep your car safely lifted. Jack stands are a necessity for your safety, because without them it could lead to serious injury or even death.
Floor jacks and scissor jacks are designed to lift a car, not to keep it held up for a long period of time. They can and have failed, with unfortunate stories to go along with those events. And that’s why jack stands are so important, especially since they’re relatively affordable. You shouldn’t have any reason to avoid using a jack stand, but they can be difficult to shop for. There are plenty of options to choose from, and it’s understandable if you’re having a tough time making a decision since they play an important part to your safety.
The best jack stands are designed to keep your car safely lifted off the ground, so you don’t have to rely on the floor jack. Once your car is lifted to the desired height, you place the jack stands underneath and slowly lower the floor jack onto the jack stands. Then you can check to make sure the jack stands are secure and won’t slide around while you wrench on your car.
Before shopping for jack stands, figure out the weight of your vehicle by checking the owner’s manual or online. This way, you know the capacity you need from your jack stands and that they’ll safely support the weight of your vehicle.
For more information on the best jack stands, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Pick: Torin Big Red Double Locking Jack Stands
- 2. Runner-up: Pro-Lift Double Pin Jack Stands
- 3. Best on a Budget: CARTMAN Double Locking Jack Stands
- 4. Best for Heavy Duty: Omega Black Jack Stands
- 5. Performance Tool Jack Stands
- 6. Powerbuilt Unijack
- 7. Best for Lifted Trucks: Sunex High Height Jack Stands
- What is a Jack Stand?
- How to Choose the Right Jack Stand
- How to Properly Use a Jack Stand
1. Editor's Pick: Torin Big Red Double Locking Jack Stands
We feel like you can’t truly put a price on safety, but we’re also realistic in knowing that not everyone wants to spend hundreds of dollars on jack stands. With that in mind, our Editor’s Pick is a pair of double locking jack stands, which offers more peace of mind than a standard pair of jack stands. If you’ve ever visited a mechanic shop, there’s a good chance you’ve seen some bright red jack stands lying around on the shop floor. There’s even a better chance that it’s these jack stands right here from Torin.
The company has been manufacturing products since 1968 with a focus on automotive repair and maintenance. It’s well known for its floor jacks and jack stands, and this recommendation is available with two-, three- and six-ton capacities. We believe the three-ton capacity set should be sufficient for most vehicle owners, but if you own something heavier, make sure to opt for the six-ton option.
These jack stands have a lifting range of 11-1/4 inches to 16-3/4 inches and feature a large surface area on the saddle for better contact with your vehicle. They’re constructed from heavy duty steel and industrial welded for durability. The removable locking support pin increases safety, but it does come at a price. Torin also offers standard jack stands that aren’t double locking, and they’re a bit more affordable if you don’t care for the locking pin.
The multi-position, forged iron ratchet has a sawtooth design so you can quickly and easily adjust the height prior to locking it in place. These jack stands meet ASME safety standards and includes a limited one-year manufacturer warranty.
2. Runner-up: Pro-Lift Double Pin Jack Stands
This recommendation comes from Pro-Lift, a division of Shinn Fu Company of America, Inc. (SFA). For over 40 years, SFA has been a leading distributor of hydraulic lift equipment in the U.S. and Canada, with a 100,000-square foot warehouse near the Kansas City International Airport, where the company also puts its products to the test. While these jack stands are manufactured overseas—as many of them are—SFA uses ISO-9000 factories to provide a quality product that meets industry standards.
These double locking jack stands have a three-ton capacity and feature stamped steel construction for durability. They use a cast ductile iron ratchet bar for adjustability, while the release handle locks into position once you have them securely set underneath your vehicle. The attached pin lock provides additional support, locking the ratchet bar in place.
Designed to always be used in pairs, these jack stands have counter-weighted pawls to prevent accidental disengagement. They meet or exceed ANSI/PALD standards.
3. Best on a Budget: CARTMAN Double Locking Jack Stands
If you only work on your car from time to time and don’t want to spend too much money on a pair of jack stands, consider this option from CARTMAN. Although more affordable than the competition, they are still heavy duty, double locking steel jack stands. Naturally they meet or exceed ANSI requirements and feature a welded frame design for durability. There aren’t any standout features with these jack stands, they simply do the job reliably and safely with double lock protection.
You’ll find a standard multi-position ratchet bar on the stands, allowing you to make quick height adjustments before getting underneath your vehicle. The dual-purpose handle works as both a carrying handle and to release the saddle column, while the wide pyramid base ensures they’re stable once locked in place. The link below will take you to a pair of jack stands with three-ton capacity, with adjustable height from 11 inches to 17 inches. The company does also offer two- and six-ton capacities if you own a lighter or heavier vehicle.
4. Best for Heavy Duty: Omega Black Jack Stands
If you need a pair of heavy duty jack stands, this Omega Black option should be near the top of your list, with its 22-ton capacity (combined). Featuring sturdy welded steel construction with heavy gauge steel frame to prevent twisting, these stands have an adjustable height range of 13-1/3 inches to 19-2/3 inches. The saddle up top helps securely support the heavier load, while the large holding pins locks them in place once you’ve adjusted the height accordingly.
This is an ideal option for those who are working on much heavier vehicles and need the weight capacity. While most of our recommendations satisfy the needs of the average vehicle, we’re well aware that many of you own heavy duty pickup trucks and large SUVs. Your vehicle may not weigh 22 tons, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. Performance Tool Jack Stands
Yes, many of our recommendations are starting to look similar and well, that’s because there isn’t a whole lot of engineering behind jack stands that could make one better than another. Which is why it’s so important to purchase a quality product from a reputable brand, so you know it’ll do the job once you crawl underneath your car. Performance Tool is a vision under Wilmar Corporation, which was originally founded in 1971. It’s one of the leading distributors of professional tools in North America.
The company’s jack stands are available with two-, three-, and six-ton capacities, with the two- and three-ton options available as double locking options. Choose accordingly to your vehicle’s weight and pay close attention to the lifting range. The two-ton jack stands have a range of 10-3/8 inches to 16-3/8 inches, while the three-ton option is 11-1/4 inches to 16-3/4 inches. If you have a heavier vehicle, the six-ton jack stands lift from 15-1/2 inches to 23-1/2 inches.
Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll get jack stands made with a durable steel frame and a wide base for stability. They’re standard ratchet-style jack stands, with a simple lifting mechanism so you can easily lock it in place once you reach t he desired height.
6. Powerbuilt Unijack
If you’re looking for convenience, this all-in-one unit from Powerbuilt is an interesting option. Available with two- or three-ton capacities, this Unijack bundles a hydraulic bottle jack and jack stand into one unit, so you can safely lift your car and leave it off the ground. It can be used on unibody and body-on-frame vehicles, with a safety bar that locks the unit at the desired height.
The two-ton option has a height range of 8-5/8 inches to 18-3/8 inches, while the three-ton Unijack goes from 11 inches to 21 inches. This two-in-one solution offers both concave and flat lifting surfaces so it can be adapted to a variety of lift points. They’re also built to meet or exceed ASME/PALD standards. One standout feature is the wide, flat base, which adds stability and reduces potential sinking on softer surfaces.
While it’s not a perfect substitute to a quality floor jack, this solution works well for routine maintenance items such as changing your oil or rotating your tires. If you’re doing extensive work on your car, we’d still recommend getting a separate floor jack. But this is an ideal option to keep in your car, replacing the frustrating-to-use scissor jack that came with it.
7. Best for Lifted Trucks: Sunex High Height Jack Stands
If you’re rockin’ a lifted truck, a standard jack stand isn’t going to work for you. For those applications, you need a different type of jack stand, one that can accommodate a higher level of lift than a traditional option. Enter Sunex’s High Height Jack Stands with a 10-ton capacity. They are also available as with standard and medium height ranges, as well as a 22-ton option. Here, we’ll focus on the 10-ton high version, which has a height range of 28.1 inches to 46.5 inches.
Since these are pin-type jack stands, they won’t be as convenient to use as ratchet-style ones, but you’re also not lying down and crawling underneath your vehicle to work on it. They feature a four-legged steel base and is constructed from heavy schedule pipe for added strength and stability. Height adjustment is still straightforward simply by inserting the pin, while the large saddle makes it easy to setup the stands. Speaking of the saddle, the v-shape design allows it to cradle axles or other components underneath your truck, making it easier to find a safe point.
What is a Jack Stand?
Designed to support the weight of a vehicle lifted off the ground, jack stands are essential if you’re working underneath your car. Don’t be fooled into thinking a floor jack is enough to safely support the weight of your car. You’ll want jack stands to secure the vehicle, rather than relying on the floor jack, which can slip or fail leading to a potentially fatal disaster. Most jack stands have a similar shape and design but there are a few things you need to know before choosing the right one.
How to Choose the Right Jack Stand
The most important factor when shopping for jack stands is to check their load ratings. Most jack stands will say they support two tons and up, but keep in mind that’s typically for a pair of jack stands. So if you’re purchasing a pair of two-ton jack stands, check to see if each stand is actually rated to support one ton. Check the weight of your vehicle to make sure the jack stands you’re purchasing will support the weight of your vehicle.
To do this, look for your vehicle’s curb weight in your owner’s manual and ensure the jack stands you’re purchasing will support the curb weight of your car. Keep in mind that the weight distribution of your vehicle likely won’t be even front to back, especially if your car has an engine up front. To be on the safe side, you’ll want to round up your vehicle’s curb weight when comparing the load ratings on the jack stands you’re purchasing.
Another factor to consider is the weight of the jack stand. Most jack stands are constructed of steel, which makes them a bit heavy and difficult to carry or move around. There are companies that manufacture aluminum jack stands, which will be lighter than their steel counterparts. If the weight of a jack stand is a concern, choose an aluminum option.
Lastly, if you own a crossover, SUV, or pickup truck, you’ll want to consider the lift height of a jack stand to ensure it can accommodate your vehicle. You’ll want jack stands that can be adjusted to a higher setting to support a crossover, SUV, or truck. The opposite applies too, if you own a lowered sports car or exotic. In that case, you’ll want a jack stand that has a lower starting height to make sure it fits underneath your car.
How to Properly Use a Jack Stand
Anytime you’re lifting your car off the ground, the first thing you want to do is make sure you’re parked on a flat and level surface. Engage your car’s parking brake and use wheel chocks around your wheels. From there, locate a safe spot underneath your car for your floor jack—you can check your car’s manual to find the best places to lift your car.
Once your car is off the ground with the floor jack, set the jack stand underneath the pinch points of your vehicle. These are typically found on the sides of your vehicle, between the front and rear tires. If your car doesn’t have any pinch points, you can put the jack stands underneath your vehicle’s frame. Adjust the height of the jack stand as necessary and use the safety pin to keep it in place.
After that, slowly lower the floor jack so the car rests safely on the jack stands. Give your vehicle a good nudge to make sure it’s sturdy before going underneath it. When you’re done working on your car, lift it back up with the floor jack, lower the jack stands, and remove them before slowly lowering your car back to the ground with the floor jack.
April 22, 2021: Revised content for better clarification on jack stands, updated our recommendations with fewer options, since many jack stands are so similar.
August 13, 2020: Updated with clarification on capacities for each recommendation and a new product recommendation.
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