Best Floor Jacks – Forbes Home

The Forbes Home editorial team is independent and objective. To help support our reporting work, and to continue our ability to provide this content for free to our readers, we receive compensation from the companies that advertise on the Forbes Home site. This compensation comes from two main sources. First, we provide paid placements to advertisers to present their offers. The compensation we receive for those placements affects how and where advertisers’ offers appear on the site. This site does not include all companies or products available within the market. Second, we also include links to advertisers’ offers in some of our articles; these “affiliate links” may generate income for our site when you click on them. The compensation we receive from advertisers does not influence the recommendations or advice our editorial team provides in our articles or otherwise impact any of the editorial content on Forbes Home. While we work hard to provide accurate and up to date information that we think you will find relevant, Forbes Home does not and cannot guarantee that any information provided is complete and makes no representations or warranties in connection thereto, nor to the accuracy or applicability thereof.

If you’re planning to do some work on your car that’s a bit more involved than just giving it a good cleaning or tossing out those stale Starbucks cups, chances are you’re going to need a floor jack, sometimes called a shop jack. Floor jacks are incredibly useful tools for when you need to access the underside of your vehicle or remove a tire to perform repairs or maintenance. hiden

Best Floor Jacks – Forbes Home

Having the right floor jack though is crucially important to safety as they’re meant to suspend one end of a vehicle, which means lifting a considerable amount of weight. Floor jacks make this process smooth and easy.

Unlike the spindly little hand-cranked scissor-type tire-changing jack that typically comes with your vehicle’s spare tire, floor jacks are considerably more sturdy and thus, safer, due to stronger construction, heavier weight ratings, and bases with wider surface areas for better stability. Their functionality is also pretty simple—they utilize a long handle that quickly pumps up a pressurized hydraulic cylinder, which lifts up a lever mechanism and raises a vehicle.

These days, just about any floor jack can capably raise one corner of an average car or crossover SUV. Heavier full-size SUVs, trucks, crossovers, or cars with very low ground clearance require different methods. While the market for floor jacks is vast and varied, we gathered up a short list of some of the best ones you can get, for all your car-raising needs.

Arcan 3-Ton Quick Rise Aluminum Floor Jack

Arcan 3-Ton Quick Rise Aluminum Floor Jack

Jack Boss 3-Ton Fast Lift Heavy Duty Steel Service Jack

If you’re looking for a great all-around floor jack for the money, Jack Boss, a sub-brand of renowned tool manufacturer and specialist in floor jacks Torin, makes an excellent 3-ton unit. With a load capacity of up to 6,000 pounds, a raise height of 18.3 inches, and 360-degree swivel casters for easy maneuvering, this is one versatile floor jack. But best of all, it’s less than $150, making it an incredibly good value.

Best Low-Profile, Long-Reach Floor Jack

Best Low-Profile, Long-Reach Floor Jack

Sunex 6602LP 2-Ton Low Rider Steel Service Jack

If you have a very low car, and want to reach the jacking point under the subframe to raise both front or rear wheels at the same time, you need a jack that has both a low profile and a long reach. (The king of the hill of low-profile long-reach jacks is the AC Hydraulics DK13HLQ, but it sells for $625.) The Sunex provides much of the same functionality at a more palatable price point.

BIG RED Welded Hydraulic Bottle Jack (8 Tons/16,000 lbs)

Changing wheels on a truck or full-sized SUV is a pain, as their weight and ground clearance require the jack to have both extra lifting capacity and height, which is where bottle-type floor jacks may come in handy. The BIG RED Welded Bottle Jack offers up to 17.63 inches of lift height which is more than most lever-type floor jacks.

Better yet, it’s rated up to 8 tons, which means 16,000 pounds, meaning it’s more than capable of handling most trucks and SUVs, short of ones with extra high lift kits. It also meets ASME and PASE safety standards, allowing for its use in construction and heavy-duty applications, and even use for commercial vehicles and motor homes.

Pro-Lift F-767 2-Ton Low-Profile Floor Jack

If all you need is an inexpensive occasional-use floor jack in the garage to pick up one wheel at a time, The Pro-Lift F-767 will work fine, and has the benefit of the front of the jack having a low profile, allowing it to slide beneath the jacking points on the sides of low cars.

Torin Big Red T815016L 1.5-Ton Low Profile Aluminium And Steel Racing Floor Jack

For someone doing a long road trip in an old car or attending a car club track day where you’re going to change wheels and tires, a lightweight aluminum floor jack is a must. Keep in mind that you’re trading off low weight against price and capacity. The Torin T815016L weighs 34 pounds and costs not much more than $100. If you want more capacity, you can move up to the Arcan AL3JT, but it’s more than twice the price and weighs 56 pounds.

Best On-The-Road Tire-Changing Floor Jack

Best On-The-Road Tire-Changing Floor Jack

Torin Big Red T820014S 1.5-Ton Trolley Service/Floor Jack With Case

Any floor jack is faster and safer than the tiny hand-cranked thing that came with your car. If all you’re looking for is a compact light-weight jack in its own convenient plastic carrying case that can lift one wheel of your not-a-Ferrari-not-a-Hummer if you get a flat when you’re out of cell phone range from AAA, the Torin T820014S should work fine.

Best Pneumatic Bag Floor Jack

Best Pneumatic Bag Floor Jack

Vevor 3-Ton/6,600-Pound Triple Bag Air Jack

If you’re fortunate enough to have an air compressor at home, then you’ll appreciate the effortlessness of a pneumatic floor jack. In this case, Vevor’s triple bag air jack is one of the best on the market. Simply plug your air supply into the valve and actuate using the integrated valve.

Rated at either 3 tons or 6,600 pounds or up to 5 tons for the slightly more expensive version, this jack can handle almost any light-duty vehicle, providing up to 15.75 inches of lifting clearance. It also comes with wheels and a long handle for easy maneuvering and a heavy-duty jack pad for extra security. The only major catch is that its minimum access height of 5.5 inches isn’t ideal for low-sitting vehicles.

A floor jack rolls under a car and raises one wheel or one end, allowing you to change a tire or set the car on jack stands for further work. To lift one wheel, buy a jack rated at 33% of the car’s weight. To lift the front or back, buy one rated at 75% of the car’s weight.

Wheel-mounted floor jacks use a hydraulic cylinder to lift a hinged section of the jack, which in turn lifts part of the car. They have largely replaced old-school bottle jacks where the hydraulic cylinder directly lifted the car, as bottle jacks rarely fit beneath modern passenger cars. Bottle jacks still can, however, be a cost-effective choice on trucks. When lifting any vehicle, safety is paramount. As such, it is essential to have jack stands on which the vehicle can be safely set down for work underneath.

All jacks selected include a bypass valve to prevent over-pumping. Other selection criteria included cost, lift capacity, front profile, lifting height, reach, jack weight and appropriateness for the different vehicle categories of passenger car, sports car and truck. Commercial-grade products used by professional garages were excluded due to high cost and, for many, high weight.

We evaluate all floor jacks based on these weighted metrics:

Vehicle TypeVehicle Weight (Pounds)Vehicle Weight (Tons)Jack Size to Lift One Wheel (33% Rule)Lift Front or Back (75% Rule) Subcompact2,5001.250.4 Tons0.9 Tons Compact3,0001.50.5 Tons1.1 Tons Midsize3,5001.750.6 Tons1.3 Tons Large4,5002.250.8 Tons1.7 Tons Mid truck/SUV5,5002.750.9 Tons2.1 Tons Large truck/SUV6,5003.251.1 Tons2.4 Tons To lift one wheel, get a floor jack rated to lift at least one-third of the vehicle weight. (A half-ton, 0.5-ton, jack lifts one corner of a 3,000-pound, 1.5-ton car.) To lift the front or back (two wheels), get a jack rated at three-quarters of the vehicle weight. Jacks are rated in half-ton increments.

The weight of your vehicle is the primary factor. To safely jack up a truck, you need a truck jack. Next is how low your car is. To put both front or rear wheels on a very low car in the air, you need a low-profile long-reach jack. Both of those types of jacks are big and heavy; you won’t be bringing them on road trips or to the track.

The weight rating of the jack is its total lifting capacity. The jack’s footprint also factors into its stability. Even though any decent jack will have a bypass valve, you don’t want to push them to their limit. There are two ways to look at this:

Lifting one wheel (33% rule): The load on the jack is somewhere between a quarter and a third the vehicle’s weight. Let’s assume one-third. One-third the weight of a 6,500-pound, or 3.25-ton, large SUV is 1.08 tons, so by this measure, a 1.5-ton aluminium floor jack or even the little trunk-portable 1.5-ton Torin T820014S should be able to lift one wheel without exceeding its capacity. However, that’s misleading because it doesn’t consider vehicle height and jack stability.

Lifting both front or both back wheels (75% rule): To lift the front or back end and get two wheels off the ground, use a jack rated to at least three-quarters, or 75%, of the vehicle’s weight. By that measure, a 6,500-pound, 3.25-ton large SUV would need a jack rated to at least 2.4 tons. Since floor jacks are typically rated in half-ton increments, you’d want to buy at least a 2.5-ton jack.

Consult your owner’s manual to be certain, but nearly every modern car has jacking points with plastic pads near the inboard fender corners for each wheel. If your owner’s manual doesn’t show them in sufficient detail, search online for a good photograph. If the lifting saddle of your floor jack does not have an integrated rubber pad, be certain to put one there (hockey pucks work great), and that it is touching the jack point and only the jack point.

The last thing you want to do is pinch a brake or fuel line or tear a hole in the floor. To set a car on jack stands for repair work, however, you need to lift it by a central point on the front or rear subframe instead. To reach those points on a low car, you may need a low-profile, long-reach jack.

They’re related, but not the same. Ground clearance is the tallest object a car can drive over without scraping the underside. A jack’s profile is the height of the nose of the jack off the ground at its lowest setting. You need that profile to be low enough so you can roll the jack under wherever you’re jacking up your car. If you’re jacking up one wheel, the nose of the jack must fit beneath the jacking point.

If the car has a flat tire, that jacking point will be lower, and you’re not going to know what that measurement actually is until the tire is flat. It can be even worse if the car has a low front air dam (spoiler) and you want to reach a jacking point under the front subframe so you can raise both front wheels at once. This is why you may need a jack that’s not only low-profile, but long-reach as well.

NO! Always set the car down on properly-rated jack stands before putting any part of your body under it. Many people will change wheels with a car only supported by a jack, but small inclines and soft asphalt can make a car topple off a jack.

It is always safer to set the car on stands, and leave the floor jack in place as a backup. Put chocks under wheels not being lifted. The best solution for lifting the car is a hydraulic scissors jack, one type of car lift, that slides under the car and lifts the car and all four wheels. The cost of those usually ranges from $1,000 to $3,500.

If you want a lightweight jack for travel or for ease of moving around the garage, yes. Aluminium is one-third the weight of steel, but steel is simply stronger, and cheaper. If you have a heavy vehicle like a truck, or need a low-rise long-reach jack, you’re going to have to buy a steel jack.

Yes. You may need jack stands to set the car on. The weight rating of the jack stands should match or exceed the weight of the car of the vehicle. You may need rubber jack pads ($10-$20) for cushioning the jack; hockey pucks work, too. And you need wheel chocks while jacking up the car ($10-$30).

Rob Siegel has written the column The Hack Mechanic for the BMW Car Club of America for 35 years. He has owned more than 100 cars, is the author of eight books, and lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with one saintly wife, one wonderful black dog, two questionable black cats, and 12 cars. He’s mainly a vintage BMW guy and pleads insanity for the ’74 Lotus Europa Twin Cam Special.

Best Floor Jacks – Forbes Home

Chain Hoist Service Since picking up my first set of MicroMachine toy cars as a toddler, I knew I had a passion for automobiles embedded in my soul. After graduating from Rutgers University in journalism, I’ve devoted my career to becoming a professional photographer and emerging voice in the car industry with columns at Automobile Magazine, MotorTrend, Hagerty,, GearPatrol, and beyond.