When working as a do-it-yourselfer (DIY), whether you're a beginner or an expert, having the right equipment to get your vehicle off the ground is a starting point for easier car repairs at home. You work on your own vehicle because you enjoy the experience of improving your car or truck with your own hands, and you do it to save money. With that spirit in mind, we've written this article to cover the very items that help you get started - floor jacks which are the right size, quality, and price for your home garage workshop.
Our Car Jacks section contains a wide range of different style floor jacks. If you've got a narrow amount of space to work in and you don't have an issue with low ground clearance, bottle jacks are a good solution thanks to their compact cylindrical shape, with a lift post extending straight up from center. These are also well suited to applications where you need to jack a vehicle up at its axle or control arms.
We've also got standard floor jacks with hinged arms that extend upward for lifting, and a long pump handle for leverage. These have a wider footprint - a plus when greater stability is needed. You'll find both floor and bottle styles in hydraulic versions you pump manually as well as compressed air versions that operate automatically. In some cases, they are available with a combination of both.
Most of the jacks we offer are made from steel, but you'll find lightweight aluminum "racing jacks" which are ideal when you need to grab your jack and run - or you may simply the enjoy the reduced weight when moving it from one end of the garage to the other. As a jack's weight rating increases, you'll find its overall maximum lift height increases as well because heavier vehicles have a higher ride height. If you've got a lifted truck, it's best to start by looking at 10-ton or higher jacks - even if you don't need to lift that much weight.
For best value, we'll start with the Powerbuilt 2-ton Trolley Jack and the AFF 2-ton Floor Jack. We've also got the 2- or 3-ton Powerbuilt Unijack that offers the distinction of being a combination jack and jack stand in one, at a pretty good value. It's ideal for unit body vehicles that have small designated jack support areas on the frame. Usually, once you raise such a vehicle with the jack, there's no location to place the jack stand. These combination jacks alleviate that problem.
For a value price, Powerbuilt's Triple Lift Garage Jack offers the ability to adapt between lifting cars or smaller wheeled vehicles such as motorcycles or ATVs because of a removable center section. Additionally, the Triple Lift Jack can be locked in place to double as a jack stand. Should you prefer a similarly-designed combination jack that can hold up to 10 tons, ATD's 10-ton Air Jack/Support Stand hooks up to compressed air lines and raises up to a whopping 51 inches high - ideal for lifted trucks.
Other best values include hydraulic pump jacks such as the AFF 4-Ton Bottle Jack, 6-ton bottle jacks from Sunex and AFF as well as 8-ton jacks from ATD, AFF, and OTC. Additionally, you'll find a selection of value-priced 10- and 12-ton jacks. We've even got affordable 20-ton bottle jacks from Sunex and AFF as well as "short" bottle jacks from Sunex and AFF that are designed with a wider base and lower lift point.
Low Profile Jacks
Since low-profile jacks are designed for lowered vehicles and racecars, they're usually weight rated at no more than 2 or 3 tons. So if you need a retracted jack height of under 3 inches, we've got the ATD steel 2-ton Extra Low Profile Service Jack, AFF steel 2-ton Low Rider Floor Jack, and the OTC steel Stinger Low Profile Service Jack. Jackco builds a steel 3-Ton Low Profile Floor Jack, but it's got a slightly higher minimum height (4.3" - 20" operating range).
If you've got 3.5" of clearance on your vehicle, we've got a choice of lightweight low-profile aluminum jacks that weigh a fraction of their steel counterparts. For example, there are the AFF Aluminum Racing Jacks available in 1.5-ton, 2-ton, and 3-ton versions, and the OTC 2-Ton Aluminum Racing Jack. The Brunnhoelzl Racing Pro Series Jack offers a choice of red or black finish over the aluminum, and is available in a quick-action "1 Pump" version that extends to full height after a single stroke. We also offer the Proto 2-Ton Magic Lift Aluminum Jack that requires only 3.75" of clearance.
Dolly Jacks: More For Moving Than Lifting
Here's a variation on a theme: If you need to lift a vehicle not to service it, but to relocate it, dolly jacks allow you to "wheel" a vehicle across the shop floor or into a tight spot. With one jack positioned at each wheel, a car can be lifted just a few inches, and then rolled sideways or spun around in ways that would be impossible from the driver's seat. We've got the ATD Hydraulic Vehicle Position Jack that's rated for 1,500 pounds at each wheel. With the vehicle's 4 tires on the ground, simply roll the jack into position around each tire (you'll need four), then use the kick pedal to raise the vehicle off the floor.
If you've got a front-wheel-drive vehicle in the shop with its drivetrain removed, the OTC Car Dolly Set (sold in a pair of two) is designed to clamp onto vehicle frame pinch welds. This allows the vehicle to remain mobile should you need to relocate it or slide it to the side.
Floor Jack Accessories
This section is worth exploring when you have a block of time, because you'll also find other types of jacks, such as scissor jacks, transmission jacks, and motorcycle jacks. Under jack accessories, you'll find hydraulic oil, various adapter plates and harnesses, and related shop parts and tools.
No matter what lifting equipment you choose, the best thing you can do for yourself is maintain safety by ensuring you don't exceed the device's published weight rating. While you may sometimes get away with using a hand tool to perform a job it's not designed for, improper use of a floor jack to support the weight of your vehicle is a dangerous risk - and one that should never be performed. Your life isn't worth the $50 you can save on a jack that's a lower weight rating than the one you need! Buy safe, work safe, stay safe. It's worth it.