An important part of car maintenance is getting under your vehicle and working on those oily bits, but sometimes it’s not that easy to do exactly that. Squirming under a car or squatting by a wheel can be harmful on your body, not to mention unhygienic. Fortunately, some smart inventor created the creeper seat, which is also known as the mechanic seat.
These are basically stools with castors or wheels on them so you can roll around your garage with ease. And if you’re creative or bored enough, you can get a fire extinguisher to propel you from one side of the garage to another while you sit on one of these chairs. Or you might fall over and curse me for giving you the idea.
Anyways, if you’re a DIY type and are looking for a mechanics seat, there’s a bunch of important things to know, and fortunately, I’m in a good enough mood to share these details.
First though, here are the top picks for best creeper seats and mechanic’s chairs out there.
1. Editor's Pick: Omega Black Low Profile Z-Creeper
This might look very similar to other models on the list but it has a few very important differences. For starters, this Z-Creeper features a low-profile design. The frame is at the same height as the wheels, allowing you to get a few inches lower than other creepers. It’s also very large, with a length of 40 inches and width of 26 inches.
There’s plenty of comfy soft padding, and the process to transform this creeper into a chair is quick and easy. It weighs about 27 lbs, and buyers like the versatility of this product, but have complained about the lifespan of the wheels, with some units breaking quickly after purchase. However, this creeper is rated to be quite robust, with a weight capacity of 450 lbs.
2. Whiteside Manufacturing Professional HD Mechanic's Seat
This no-nonsense chair comes from Whiteside manufacturing and is billed as a “large heavy-duty shop seat.” It’s just 3.4 lbs, meaning it’s pretty lightweight, and it features a quartet of three-inch, oil resistant rollers that should stand up to the rigors of car repair messes. The seat sits at a height of 16.5 inches, with the overall height of the chair reaching 19 inches.
There’s also a handy 15-inch by 15-inch tray beneath the seat, which has a magnetic strip. No, it doesn’t read your credit card and let you make purchases while you’re working on your car, but that magnetic strip will help keep your tools or hardware in place while you scoot around. Buyers note that the seat is plenty durable and comfortable, but a bit pricey. It’s not the prettiest or most versatile chair, but it does the job.
3. Performance Tool 40" Folding Creeper
This is a more convenient creeper and useful for sliding beneath a car to get some work done. With the ability to fold it in half, Performance Tool has made storage of this creeper a breeze without compromising its capabilities. The frame is made of durable steel, and Performance Tool insists that the creeper is weather resistant, making it perfect for those who don’t have a covered garage.
There’s a 350-lbs weight capacity and the creeper itself weighs just 15.2 ounces. There are four small castors, which might be one of the downsides as they might not work well on all surfaces. It’s worth mentioning that this is a fairly affordable creeper, and is 40 inches long by 18 inches wide, making it pretty versatile. However, many buyers noted the poor quality.
4. Pro-Lift Grey Creeper Seat and Stool Combo
This versatile little stool is from the folks at Pro-Lift and can be used as a creeper seat or stepping stool. As a seat, it features five swivel casters, which help to move it around easily. There’s also a generous amount of vinyl padding on the seat, which should feature a long lifespan. Beneath that cushion is a decent sized tray for tools and hardware but it doesn’t have a magnetic strip like others on this list.
The seat is also a bit heavy, weighing an impressive 14 pounds, but that’s probably because it’s also a sturdy step stool as well. You wouldn’t want something light and flimsy to crumble under some weight, right? This has a 300-lbs weight capacity as well, and buyers seem to like the quality of the seat and castors. Other buyers don’t find it to be the right height for work, and the tray to be a bit flimsy.
5. Omega Black 40" Foldable Z Creeper
This is another transformer: a creeper that can turn instantly into a comfy swivel seat. Omega is a brand that’s well known for its tools and this item has a ton of great reviews. It’s 40 inches long with a width of about 18 inches, meaning it’s plenty big and usable. The padding means it should also be fairly comfortable as well. It has six castors and uses a metal frame, which leads it to weigh over 20 lbs. Then again, this can turn quickly into a Z-shape, which you can sit on top of and use as a mechanic’s seat. It has a whopping 450-pound weight capacity, which is plentiful. The major downsides here is that there’s no tool try and it’s a bit expensive.
6. Lisle Black Plastic Creeper
This is a low-profile creeper from Lisle that has received plenty of praise for its durability and comfort. It might not look all that comfy, but the contoured plastic will be a huge help on your back and neck. It weighs 12 pounds, making it a sturdy operator, and has six study castors. Those castors seem to be a recent change, as older versions of this creeper were deemed pretty flimsy. Buyers note that it’s a huge help when changing oil, and the molded plastic is very rugged. All you’d need to do is screw the wheels on and you’re in business.
7. ATD Tools Hydraulic Tractor Creeper Seat
This is a versatile mechanics chair with a little bit of style too. Note the red padded cushion, but don’t forget to notice the fantastic round metal base with divided trays. That will be a huge help when it’s time to do some repairs on your car, but the killer feature of this seat is the pneumatic lever that allows the seat to raise or lower with ease. It can spread from 17.25 inches to 22,5 inches, which is great.
It has a limited weight capacity, but buyers are commenting on wheels on this unit, which are very rugged. A bit on the expensive side, this seat gets a lot of love for its simple and durable construction, although the wheels might not work well on all surfaces. Buyers also pointed out that it has great back support.
8. Pro-Lift Grey 36" Z-Creeper Seat
This Pro-Lift creeper also uses the Z-transformer design, allowing it to go from a flat creeper to a compact seat. It’s also heavily padded and secured with handy pins for extra reassurance. With six castors to wheel you about, this model should be a great fit in your garage. It also boasts a 300-lb weight capacity. It weighs just 19 lbs, which isn’t too bad, but it isn’t as low profile or as long as other creepers. In seat form, it sits 14.5 inches from the ground, and users say that’s a pretty comfortable working height. Some buyers are very happy with this product, but others have had broken wheels. With 6 castors on board, it seems strange that they’d get so stressed and break, but that’s what reviewers are reporting.
9. Pro-Lift Mechanic Plastic Creeper 40 Inch
This bright red creeper might just be the perfect fit for you – literally! It features a one-piece, blow-molded plastic that is extremely lightweight, but also strong too. It’s long, at 40 inches, and 19 inches wide too, which is very considerate.
There’s a helpful carrying handle, and unlike the other creepers on this list, there are little tool cubbies to store your hardware like nuts and bolts. This will be a huge help for buyers who spend a lot of time underneath vehicles. The six swivel casters are considered quite robust with a three-inch diameter. They’re also oil, chemical, and grease resistant, making them extra reliable. Some buyers appreciated how easy it was to use this creeper, but others complained about the included tool that’s used to attach the wheels to it.
What is a Creeper Seat/Mechanic’s Chair?
Great question with a clear-cut answer: it’s a small stool or chair on wheels that is typically padded for comfort. They help when it comes to working on the car so you don’t have to hunch over, strain your back, or sit on the ground. Some have storage trays or shelves. These are perfect for putting your tools down while you inspect something. Also how many times do you misplace a nut or bolt? A tray is a huge help in this regard because it gives you somewhere to put the hardware involved with car maintenance and repair.
A creeper is a back-support with wheels. You lay flat on it, rather than sit on it like a mechanics seat. These also have wheels and cushions to let the user feel comfortable. Some have adjustable headrests. Some are lower profile, and others have integrated lights.
Some of those previously mentioned seats are even transformers and have multiple functions. Some fold flat into a creeper so you can roll under the car, while others can be turned over or locked in place to act like a step for you to reach something high up.
Patents for the creeper date back as far as 1915, but these were frequently just used to slide under a car. Models today are far more versatile as castors allow them to swivel and rotate easily. They’re also much more comfortable, durable and lighter.
What are the different types of Creeper Seats and Mechanic's Chairs?
Creepers are designed to be a flat item for the user to lay on, while the mechanic’s chair is designed for you to sit on.
Creepers can be designed with varying numbers of wheels, they can be molded for a body and others are lower profile. Some creepers can also fold and become a chair, or stool.
The Mechanic’s chairs are also plenty versatile. Some are just basic stools with castors, while other shave height adjustments, shelving or storage. These too can transform into creepers, while some can be locked in a specific position, or turned over to become a step-stool.
What to Look for and What to Avoid When Shopping
Construction and Materials: If you want a comfortable seat or creeper, it needs to feature some padding and softer materials. Padding will also help prevent any injuries. The surface isn’t the only material that matters. The overall build and design are important too. Simple plywood models will be flimsy and not as durable as a metal frame or plastic framed models. Also, plastic models can be contoured and shaped, which will also improve comfort.
Mobility: These seats are designed to help you hustle around and under a car with ease. The number of castors on a creeper or seat will help with maneuverability, but another aspect to consider is the size of the wheels as well as what they’re made of. Depending on the floor surface on your garage, or work environment, you’ll want bigger wheels for rougher surfaces.
Storage: Not only do many mechanic’s seats feature shelving and storage, but they should also be quite subtle and low key as well, since you may not want a large and heavy seat to take up much space in your garage. If a creeper or mechanic’s seat has storage bins or trays, you should look for one that’s magnetic so your small parts won’t roll away.
Weight and Height: If you’re getting a creeper, it needs to be the right height for you and it to get underneath your car. Creepers also have weight ratings, so not all models will suit your needs. Seats also vary in height, but can sometimes be adjustable.
Basic Tips and Safety Rules When Using a Creeper or Mechanic’s Seat
Store it properly: When not in use, put your creeper away safely, preferably by hanging it somewhere or at least put it wheels-up on a clean spot on the floor somewhere. If someone steps on an unsuspecting rolly chair or creeper, it would be disastrous and painful.
Jack stands: Whenever you’re working on a car, be sure to use jack stands since a jack alone shouldn’t have to bear a full load of a vehicle all by itself.
Store your tools and hardware properly: If your mechanics seat has a place for it, be sure to use the tray or shelves for putting hardware away, rather than trying to juggle nuts and bolts or put it on the ground somewhere, only for it to roll aw
August 2, 2022: Removed Whiteside Manufacturing Professional Adjustable Mechanic’s Seat; no longer available.
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