Best Floor Jacks: Lift it Up and Let’s Get to Work

There’s no getting around it, you’re going to need one.

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Best Floor Jacks: Lift it Up and Let’s Get to Work © Best Floor Jacks: Lift it Up and Let’s Get to Work

Yeah, we all want a lift in our dream garage. But you got to walk before you run, pal. First, you have to set yourself up with a floor jack. Even if you're lucky enough to move into a shop with a pit, lifts, and all the other fancy stuff you can dream of, a floor jack is still going to come in handy. There are a lot of options out there, though, and that can make getting started tough. It can even be a little scary when you think about how incredibly important it is for a jack to be well-made and how many junk brands are out there. That's what you've got The Drive for, though. This guide will familiarize you with the best options on the market and the details you need to make the right choice. 

Summary List 

Best Overall: Big Red 4-Ton Torin Hydraulic Low Profile Service/Floor Jack

Best Value: Husky 3-Ton Low Profile Floor Jack 

Honorable Mention: Daytona 3-Ton Low Profile Professional Floor Jack 

Best Aluminum: Big Red Torin Low-Profile 3-Ton Aluminum Floor Jack

Best Height: Cat 3-Ton Big Wheel Off Road Hybrid Jack

Our Methodology

Every mechanic, weekend warrior, and DIYer needs a floor jack. Our team has plenty of experience working with them and has a solid understanding of what makes a good jack, as well as which brands you can count on. Still, it's important to keep ourselves in check, especially when talking about a product your safety is counting on. That's why we take the time to research the market, the best that manufacturers have to offer, and what consumers have to say about how floor jacks perform in the real world before we recommend them to you. 

Best Floor Jacks Reviews & Recommendations

Our Verdict

The Big Red 4-Ton Torin Hydraulic Low Profile Service/Floor Jack takes the place of Best Overall for its balance of reliability and useful features at a competitive price point. However, the Husky 3-Ton Low Profile Floor Jack is a great option if you're working with a particularly tight budget but need something reliable. 

Consider Secondhand

When we start shopping for tools and products, we never overlook the secondhand market. In fact, it’s usually the first place I look. Whether you’re scrolling through Amazon’s Renewed section, eBay for car parts or tools, or flipping through the pages of Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, you have hundreds of thousands of used tools, parts, and gear ready to be shipped to your doorstep. Refurbished to like-new status, they’ll be willing to give you many more years of faithful service all while saving you money. 

If those options don’t have what you need, your local salvage yard is great for car parts, while swap meets are a great resource you should tap. Just Google either and head on down.  

Secondhand Tips

To make your secondhand search easier, here are two tips to finding the best deals and making sure your new-to-you stuff wasn’t destroyed by the previous owner. 

    Things to Consider Before Buying Floor Jacks 

    Floor jacks are a crucial tool in any garage. They really aren't that complicated, though. Aside from making sure you're working with a quality unit, you really only need to keep the following considerations in mind as you work. 

    Floor Jack Pricing 

    Key Features

    Weight Capacity

    The first and easiest detail to sort out is the weight capacity of any floor jack you're considering. After all, if the floor jack can't lift what you need it to, it's of no use to you. Thankfully, the weight capacity is often the first thing manufacturers tell you about. They'll generally declare it to be a 3-ton, 6-ton, or whatever weight capacity it's capable of lifting right in the name. The only thing for you to do is pick the appropriate weight capacity for your vehicle. Keep in mind that, even if a jack should only lift a percentage of a vehicle’s overall weight, you should go with more than you think you’ll need to be safe. 

    Lift Range

    The height range is another critical detail you need to consider before you buy. It's especially critical for lifted and lowered vehicles, but something all car owners really need to sort out to ensure a jack works for them. You'll often find floor jacks listed with a lift range or a minimum and maximum height. These numbers essentially tell you what ride height the jack will work for. You need to compare your vehicle's ride height to these numbers to ensure a jack will work for you. Keep in mind that you want to have a few inches to spare on the maximum height, as suspension travel must be taken up before the wheels lift off the ground.

    Construction Material  

    How you use a jack determines what material should primarily be featured in its construction. If you're using it around the shop and don't have to move it from place to place, steel is the best choice. It's the sturdiest material and will offer the longest lifespan for a jack. Aluminum is the other primary option you'll have to work with. Aluminum jacks aren't usually as durable as their steel counterparts, but the weight savings are worth the exchange if you're regularly transferring the jack for use in different locations, as you would for racing. This is just a general guideline, though, as different variables, such as how hard you are on jacks, will be the ultimate determining factor in how long it lasts. 

    Floor Jack Pricing

    Floor jacks can cost thousands of dollars, and those using them to make a living should spend the extra money on something that's going to take countless hours of abuse over its lifespan. Those of us working out of a home garage where a jack sees use a handful of times per week don't need to go overboard. $150-$300 is about what we should expect to pay.

    FAQs 

    You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

    Q: What is a dual-piston floor jack? 

    A: Dual-piston floor jacks use a quick pump system to lift that reaches lift height faster than a single-pump system. This feature saves time but also drives up the selling price. 

    Q: Are aluminum floor jacks worth it? 

    A: For many people, aluminum floor jacks are a great choice, especially if they have to move the floor jack around frequently. However, if you're going to keep the jack in one spot, there's no reason not to save money and go with steel.

    Q: Do I need to use jack stands with a floor jack? 

    A: Absolutely. As strong as floor jacks are, the system relies on small components that can give out at any moment under stress. Even if you're only working on a vehicle for a few minutes, it's essential to use jack stands to protect yourself from the worst-case scenario. 

    Q: Where should I place a floor jack under my vehicle?  

    A: Vehicles often have dedicated lift points for you to place a jack stand beneath that you should familiarize yourself with. If those points are compromised for any reason, you can use any solid point of the frame as a jack point instead. 

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