Aluminum floor jacks are the most common kind of jack available on the market for domestic use today. They’re a vital tool for anyone who wants to do vehicle maintenance at home, whether as a hobby or a money-saving exercise.
They’re not only popular with amateur mechanics, however: more and more of the floor jacks in use at commercial garages are cast and built from high-quality, lightweight aluminum.
If you want to work on your automobile in the comfort of your own garage – even if you only plan on changing tires – you’ll need a floor jack before you can get to work, and when it comes to the potentially dangerous tasks involved in vehicle maintenance, it pays to invest in quality.
Below are the best aluminium floor jacks available on the market.
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|Name||Lift Capacity (Tons)||Max Lift Height (Inches)||Our Rating|
|Arcan AJL3T||3||19.3||9.4 / 10|
|NOS NSJ0301||3||18.25||9.4 / 10|
|PowerZone 380044||3||18.25||9.4 / 10|
|Sunex 6603ASJ||3||20||9 / 10|
|JEGS 80077||3||19.25||8.8 / 10|
|Neiko Pro 20272B||3||19.25||8.6 / 10|
1. Arcan AJL3T
The full name of the Arcan brand is Arcan Professional Tools, and they haven’t let their standards drop for the AJ3LT Aluminum Floor Jack.
This is a professional-grade bit of kit, with a 3-ton lift capacity and a minimum clearance height of just 3.77 inches to ensure it works with low-profile vehicles.
The caster wheels on the jack’s trolley have got wide tracks and are ball bearing-mounted for ease of movement, while padding around the jack’s saddle protects the vehicle.
The jack itself boasts Arcan’s own Quick Rise technology, utilizing dual pump pistons to rapidly bring the jack to maximum height without sacrificing anything in the way of safety.
The AJL3T Aluminum Floor Jack is a no-nonsense machine with a suitable appearance: the whole device is unadorned aluminum, giving the jack a smart and professional appearance to match its capabilities. This is one of the more expensive aluminum floor jacks on the market, but Arcan are set on making sure you get value for money.
- The AJ3LT is lightweight, weighing just 56 lbs. This, coupled with the high-quality caster wheel system on the jack’s trolley, means maneuvering the AJ3LT into position before and after use is a breeze.
- The 3-ton capacity of this aluminum floor jack means it can lift most road vehicles, up to and including a standard-size sports utility vehicle. What’s more, the reinforced side plates and lever arm add to the jack’s already considerable strength and durability, making the AJ3LT an investment for the long term.
- The Quick Rise dual pump pistons make raising and lowering the jack a smooth, safe and speedy process. There’s little chance of getting carried away and damaging the jack or your vehicle, either: Arcan have included overload valves to prevent over-extension at any point. If your vehicle is near the 3-ton lift capacity of the AJ3LT, the dual pump pistons become even more useful, as they enable a slow and steady descent when it’s time to lower the vehicle.
- The low minimum clearance height (3.77 inches) of this aluminum floor jack makes it suitable for use on low-profile vehicles, included lowered automobiles and racing cars. If you’re more worried about having enough room to access hard-to-reach components, the maximum lift height of 19.3 inches should stand you in good stead.
- The AJ3LT has a side-mounted handle which allows you to make precision adjustments of the jack’s position before you start lifting in earnest. This is a particularly useful feature if you’ll be jacking old or fragile vehicles, as a mistake when raising these automobiles can cause serious damage.
- The saddle plate, which is actually steel rather than aluminum, is held in place with a simple bolt, which makes replacing it a simple task if it starts showing signs of wear and tear.
- Some customers have reported that the rubber padding over the saddle plate doesn’t fit particularly well. Be prepared for this to perish long before any other component of the jack shows signs of age. Thankfully, it’s easy to find replacement saddle padding, and you can even cut your own out of an old tire without too much hassle.
2. NOS NSJ0301
NOS, or Nitrous Oxide Systems, rest their reputation on the quality of the hydraulic systems in their products. This is a good sign for a manufacturer of floor jacks, and the NSJ0301 3-Ton Aluminum Service Jack does a good job of living up to the NOS name.
It’s got an eye-catching aesthetic, too, built from clean aluminum and solid red side plates, with attractive curves contributing to a sharp racing look.
A jack that looks good but doesn’t do the job isn’t any use to anybody, of course, but the NSJ0301 is certainly fit for purpose: with a lift capacity of 3 tons, a minimum clearance height of just 3.75 inches, safety valves and a foam carry handle, NOS have produced a product which is both heavy-duty enough for commercial garages and convenient enough for the home mechanic.
- 3-ton capacity is a good benchmark for an all-purpose floor jack, as it means you’ll be able to lift most common road vehicles. Even sports utility vehicles shouldn’t pose a problem, with the possible exception of some of the extra-large models.
- The wheels on this jack’s trolley use metal casters, which are far more durable than the hard plastic alternative. Plastic components in metal devices are usually the weakest link, and greatly reduce the usable lifespan of the machine, so it’s a major bonus to the NSJ0301’s durability that NOS have opted for an all-metal construction.
- The minimum clearance height is 3.75 inches, meaning the NSJ0301 will have no problem getting under most vehicles. Even lowered automobiles and racing cars shouldn’t pose a problem, making this a most versatile aluminum floor jack. With a maximum lift height of 18.25 inches, you should also be able to get underneath any vehicle the jack’s able to lift.
- The NSJ0301 has a side handle for easy carrying, and both the side handle and operating handle are foam-padded for comfort and ease of use. The jack’s saddle pad is also padded, this time with rubber, improving the device’s durability and offering protection to vehicles’ undersides.
- The combination of clean aluminum with the solid red side plates gives the NSJ0301 a neat, attractive aesthetic.
- Weighing in at 58 lbs, this is one of the heavier aluminum floor jacks available on the market. It’s still lightweight in comparison to a similar steel jack, but if you want a jack for roadside recovery, a lighter model will do wonders for your acceleration and fuel efficiency when driving it to your destination.
3. PowerZone 380044
The PowerZone 380044 3-Ton Aluminum and Steel Garage Jack aims to provide amateur mechanics with a professional level of quality at an affordable price point. It’s a noble goal, and PowerZone can’t be faulted for effort: the 380044 has a quick-lifting hydraulic system to easily reach its maximum lift height of 18.25 inches, while a minimum clearance height of 4 inches makes this suitable for most unmodified road vehicles.
The jack’s saddle is rubber-padded, while the rear caster wheels can be rotated to get the jack into position without hassle. This jack from PowerZone is built with a lightweight aluminum frame and a steel lifting arm, trading an increase in weight for a decrease in cost.
- PowerZone have made a credible entry into the market for aluminum floor jacks with the 380044: with an aluminum body and some steel components, PowerZone have kept down the cost and passed some of the savings onto the consumer. All the usual design features you’d expect from an aluminum floor jack are present and correct, including caster wheels for ease of maneuver, carry handles to help with transporting the jack, and padding on the saddle & handles to protect your vehicle and your hands.
- A maximum lift height of 18.25 inches should be more than enough to position yourself suitably to work on any part of your vehicle. If you work on vintage cars, or anything that’s notoriously fiddly to access, you might want to consider a floor jack with a larger maximum lift height.
- Price: for an aluminum floor jack, this is a remarkably affordable model, being available for almost half of what a premium jack would cost you. If you want an aluminum hydraulic floor jack but don’t want to break the bank, this is an attractive option; and it may be your best one.
- A minimum clearance height of 4 inches is enough to get under most conventional road vehicles, but it won’t get low enough if you’re going to be working on low-profile vehicles. If you want to work on anything with a particularly low profile, you need a floor jack with a lower minimum clearance height.
- The quick-lifting hydraulic system advertised by PowerZone on this model of aluminum floor jack is not on a par with comparable rapid-lift systems in higher-end models. If you’ll be lifting anything over 1 ton, be prepared to use some elbow grease to raise the vehicle into position.
4. Sunex 6603ASJ
Sunex Tools are a known name in automobile maintenance and repair, and their 6603ASJ 3-Ton Aluminum Floor Jack is a strong offering in a competitive field, packed to the brim with innovative technology.
With the Sunex Rapid Rise system, the jack can be pumped to full extension in less than 8 pumps, and the wide-track caster wheels on the jack’s trolley make getting the 6603ASJ in position an easy task.
Everything else you’d expect from a good aluminum floor jack – especially one at the top end of the price scale, as the 6603ASJ is – is present and correct, from positioning handles to rubber and foam padding to reinforcement in the form of side plates.
Sunex Tools have even included a seal around the hydraulic system, protecting it from contaminants and ensuring its longevity. In short, this is one of the longest-lasting aluminum floor jacks on the market, whether you’re an amateur mechanic or a garage owner.
- The Rapid Rise technology Sunex Tools have built into this aluminum floor jack means you’ll be able to raise your vehicle to the desired height in no time at all. There are overload and safety valves built into the hydraulic system, so you don’t have to worry about overextending or pumping too quickly. The standard caution about using a floor jack still holds true: stay focused and watch carefully as your raise the vehicle to avoid damaging mistakes.
- In a market full of lightweight, maneuverable aluminum floor jacks, the 6603ASJ may be the most maneuverable. It’s not the most lightweight, weighing in at 59 pounds, but the combination of wide caster wheels and dual positioning handles makes getting the jack in position simple. The same goes for when you’ve finished working: rolling the jack back out of position and into storage takes no time at all.
- This is a durable floor jack, boasting not only high-grade aluminum and quality workmanship, but coming with reinforcement on both the body and the lifting arm for added strength, longevity and torsion control. There’s even a seal around the hydraulic system itself, which will keep out detritus and avoid the jack’s lifespan being cut short by damage to the inner workings.
- The Sunex Tools 6603ASJ has a maximum lift height of 20 inches, notably higher than most comparable floor jacks. The difference in lift height might not be big enough to be noticeable compared to other models, but the exception to this is if you regularly work on older and more obscure vehicles. Some of these automobiles have components which are notoriously tricky to access, in which case a greater maximum lift height will be a big help.
- With a lift capacity of 3 tons, the 6603ASJ is up to the task of raising most road vehicles, with the exception of large sports utility vehicles and anything that outweighs them.
- The minimum clearance height on the 6603ASJ is 3.8 inches, which should be plenty low enough for most vehicles, but be aware that there are good-quality aluminum floor jacks with lower minimum clearances. If you usually work on lowered cars and racing vehicles, it might be worth your while to settle on a model with a lower minimum clearance height.
5. JEGS 80077
JEGS Professional Low-Profile Aluminum Floor Jack is available with either a 2-ton or 3-ton lift capacity, with the more powerful model carrying the bigger price tag.
Both jacks have got an impressively low minimum clearance height of 3.5 inches, and boast a fully-rotatable saddle, a two-piece padded operating handle and dual side handles to make the task of getting the jack in position as easy as possible.
The big difference between the 2-ton and 3-ton models, besides lift capacity and cost, is weight: if you’re looking for an aluminum floor jack that’s truly lightweight and think a 2-ton jack is enough to meet your needs, the smaller jack weighs 9 pounds less than its larger sibling. If you drive a truck, however, you’ll need something capable of generating more power.
- Both the 80006 and the 80077 are made from high-grade aluminum, and the quality of their construction lives up to the materials used. Both jacks feature reinforcing side plates, aluminum caster wheels and padding on both the saddle and the handles. These are well-made and sturdy devices without a real weak point, meaning they should serve you well for years to come.
- The saddle pad on the Professional Low-Profile Aluminum Floor Jack can be rotated through a full 360 degrees, which limits the amount of maneuvering you’ll need to do of the jack on the ground. You can simply find the best spot to position the jack, and adjust the saddle so it aligns with the vehicle’s jack point. This saves on both time and hassle – always good savings to make, and particularly when it comes to vehicle maintenance.
- The Professional Low-Profile Aluminum Floor Jacks have a minimum clearance height of 3.5 inches. This isn’t the lowest floor jack on the market, but it’s close enough to not make a difference unless you know you’re going to be dealing with multiple racing vehicles. Both jacks have a maximum lift height of 19.25 inches, which is among the highest reach for floor jacks, so you should have no worries getting in position to get to work.
- These are good-looking pieces of machinery: both jacks have a color scheme involving clean aluminum and solid panels of color, creating an eye-catching and professional aesthetic. The 2-ton model (80006) is black-and-aluminum, while the 3-ton model (80077) mixes aluminum and yellow, with a black-and-yellow racing grid pattern on the side panel.
- Being made from high-grade aluminum, the Professional Low-Profile Aluminum Floor Jacks are easy to maneuver. The 3-ton model (80077) weighs in at 58 pounds, which is a little above average for a 3-ton aluminum floor jack, while the 2-ton model (80006) is 9 pounds lighter at 49 pounds. If you know you’ll be using your floor jack for roadside assistance at least part of the time, the weight difference is a real one: just make sure you won’t need to lift any sports utility vehicles if you opt for the lighter model.
- If you choose the 3-ton 80077, you’re getting an aluminum floor jack which can handle most road vehicles. The monster sports utility vehicles might need something a bit more heavy-duty, but anything smaller than that won’t give you any problems.
- A common complaint about even the highest-grade aluminum floor jacks is that the saddle padding isn’t fit for purpose. Unfortunately, the same seems to be true about the JEGS Professional Low-Profile Aluminum Floor Jack, as the padding is made from rubber that some customers have reported disintegrates after a few uses. This will be less of a problem for some people than others, and stronger replacement pads are available, but it can be annoying to pay top dollar for a premium product and have one of its components fall apart upon use.
6. Neiko Pro 20272B
Marketed in some quarters as a racing jack, Neiko Pro Tools USA have indeed produced an aluminum floor jack that would serve most racing enthusiasts well. This is partly down to the relatively low minimum clearance height of 3.75 inches, but also due to the raft of features included in this model.
Built from industrial-grade aluminum, the 20272B has a lift capacity of 3 tons and uses a dual plunger system to efficiently raise vehicles to a maximum lift height of 19.25 inches.
With a rubber-padded saddle, caster wheels and built-in safety valves, there’s little question that Neiko ran through the full floor jack checklist when they were designing this model.
It even looks like something you might see in a racing garage, with solid blue plates set against the clean aluminum of the main body and attractive curves giving the device a sleek, sharp look.
- Made from lightweight aluminum, this offering from Neiko weighs in at about 57 pounds. This is about average for an aluminum floor jack, making the 20272B a strong choice in terms of ease of movement and maneuverability. The caster wheels further improve ease of maneuver, making this suitable for everything from garage use to roadside assistance.
- The lift capacity is also what you’d expect from an aluminum floor jack, being able to lift up to 3 tons and therefore able to lift anything up to and including most sports utility vehicles. Unless you’re going to be working on lorries, this floor jack should cover your needs.
- The 20272B is packed with design features to increase the jack’s efficiency, durability and safety. From the dual plunger system, which allows you to quickly raise and lower vehicles, to the safety valves and rubber padding to protect both the jack and the vehicles it’s used on, Neiko haven’t skimped on building a jack for most trades.
- This is a good-looking aluminum floor jack which will look smart and serious in the home garage, while appearing professional enough for mechanics to display it proudly. Some of us simply don’t care about how things look – especially for an item that’ll see hard labor, like a floor jack – but if you care how it’ll look in your garage, Neiko’s 20272B is a worthy choice.
- Ironically, given the fact that some retailers market this as a racing jack, the 20272B doesn’t have a particularly low minimum clearance height compared to some other models. Sports and racing cars with a particularly low profile may be out of this jack’s reach, so consider something with a lower minimum clearance height if you’ll be working on anything in that vein.
A Brief Guide to Floor Jacks
The purpose of a jack is to give you the leverage to lift heavy loads – much heavier than you’d be able to move unaided. Of course, they don’t just lift the load but secure it in place, allowing you to get underneath and access the load’s underside in relative safety.
Jacks are used for a wide variety of purposes, but by far the most common use – especially when it comes to floor jacks – is lifting automobiles. This is why jacks are a commonplace in any garage worth the name, and also why many discerning road users take the step of purchasing their own jack for use at home.
If you know what you’re doing – or are prepared to put in the homework to learn – doing home auto repairs can be a big money-saver. To be able to do that, there are some bits of equipment you simply can’t do without; among them, the trusty jack.
If you’ve decided to kit out your home garage, there are a few things worth knowing about jacks before you start narrowing your options and choosing which to buy.
First, it’s worth reminding yourself of the variety of ways in which you can use a jack: thinking about how you’re going to be using it on a typical day is a useful exercise to identify which type will be the best buy for you.
The basic task of the jack is to lift the vehicle itself, allowing the mechanic access to various components they wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. Among these components are the drain plug, the wheels, brake pads, transmission, suspension and exhaust.
Floor jacks can also be used on the vehicle’s motor, lifting only the motor and so making additional space to work within the engine bay. These are some of the vehicle-specific uses: a good jack can have applications outside the garage, too.
The floor jack is the most common style of jack you’ll see in garages, both commercial and domestic. It’s named simply because it’s operated from the floor, something which – in tandem with either hydraulics or screws – allows it to generate considerable force with relatively little input from the operator.
Among floor jacks, there are a few different types which can be considered. The floor jack you’ll see in the greatest numbers is the hydraulic floor jack: it’s popular with mechanics on account of its ease of use and convenience. The mechanism in this type of jack is the hydraulic cylinder, mounted on a frame, which raises and lowers a lever arm with a small platform surface – this is the saddle, the point at which the jack connects to the vehicle.
The hydraulic cylinder is usually operated by way of a detachable lever, which makes the act of lifting light on physical effort. The jack’s frame is usually a wheeled trolley, which means that maneuvering the jack into position is simplicity itself.
The length of the lever arm on a hydraulic jack also gives these jacks a high maximum lift height, meaning you can raise your vehicle higher and making certain maintenance tasks a lot easier to navigate. Hydraulic floor jacks aren’t the cheapest on the market, but there’s a reason they’re the most popular.
Scissor jacks offer a low-tech alternative: they don’t use hydraulics, instead being operated by a screw which in turn expands or retracts a scissor linkage, on top of which is the saddle which connects with the vehicle’s underside.
Scissor jacks are cheap and light, easy to carry around or keep in the car boot in case of emergencies, but they come with very real limitations. For one, the nature of the scissor linkage places a hard limit on the jack’s maximum height, meaning you probably won’t be able to rely on your scissor jack for much more than a tire change. Transmission work, for example, will either require a hydraulic floor jack or a visit to a professional garage.
Another, less common, style of floor jack is the bottle jack. This is essentially another type of hydraulic jack, only in place of the extending lever arm in a conventional hydraulic jack the bottle jack uses a series of concentric cylinders, which are expanded and retracted via hydraulic pressure.
The big advantage the bottle jack has over its generic hydraulic cousin is that it takes up much less space – a big deal if your workspace is small or cluttered.
Unfortunately, there’s a major disadvantage, too: by nature of being bottle-shaped, bottle jacks have a much higher minimum clearance height than hydraulic floor jacks, making them difficult (if not impossible) to use on cars with a low profile.
Besides thinking about how you plan on using your jack, and which style might be most suitable for your home use, there’s one major decision to be made when it comes to shopping for a floor jack.
This is the question of which material to choose: with few exceptions, floor jacks are constructed from either steel or aluminum. Both metals have benefits and drawbacks, but increasing numbers of mechanics – both professional and amateur – are moving away from traditional steel to modern aluminum. Why is that?
Why Buy an Aluminum Floor Jack?
Despite steel being the long-standing material of choice for the construction of floor jacks – and for good reason – aluminum floor jacks are steadily growing in popularity. While it’s unlikely that aluminum will ever entirely replace steel, there are a number of good reasons to opt for an aluminum jack over the more traditional steel option.
- Aluminum is a lightweight metal, which means aluminum floor jacks are easier to carry and store, and most importantly easy to use. Because the device weighs less, less force is required to operate it. This will be particularly relevant with a scissor jack, as they require more physical effort from the operator than hydraulic jacks, but the difference will be noticeable whichever jack you’re using.
- Steel jacks, conversely, are seriously heavy bits of kit. A steel hydraulic floor jack will usually weigh more than twice as much as the aluminum equivalent. Some garage owners prefer steel jacks partly for this reason: the weight implies strength and durability, and steel is certainly both of those things. That said, aluminum is robust and durable too, so you shouldn’t be concerned about the power of an aluminum jack unless you plan on lifting some seriously heavy loads.
- Aluminum won’t rust, something that can’t be said of steel. Most good steel jacks will be treated to be rust-resistant, but such treatments rarely outlast the life of the jack. If rust’s a concern – if your workspace is damp, for example – that’s another reason to choose aluminum over steel.
- Aluminum typically offers greater flexibility in construction than steel, which makes aluminum floor jacks the best bet for anyone with a low-profile vehicle. Aluminum jacks will usually have a low minimum clearance height, meaning you should be able to get underneath even a lowered vehicle. Every jack and every vehicle is different, of course, so do your homework and make sure whatever jack you buy will do what you need it to do.
It should be noted that price-wise, there’s not much of a difference between aluminum and steel. Aluminum is more expensive than steel by weight, but steel is the more expensive metal to cast, meaning prices are comparable across the materials.
Things to Consider
If you’ve decided an aluminum floor jack is the way to go, there are a few things to consider when you come to compare different makes and models.
- What you’re going to use it for. This might be stating the obvious, but it’s worth stating: more than any other factor, the kind of jack you should buy depends on how you plan on using it. What kind of vehicle, or vehicles, are you going to be jacking up? If you drive an SUV, you want a jack that can handle it. What kind of jobs do you plan on using it for at home? If you only plan on rotating tires, a hydraulic jack might be overkill (although it’ll still make the job a lot easier). Think about how you’re going to use your floor jack and you can start to narrow your options down.
- Profile. In other words, what’s the jack’s minimum clearance height, and what’s its maximum lift height? If the minimum clearance height isn’t low enough, it won’t be able to get under some vehicles. If the maximum lift height isn’t high enough, you won’t be able to elevate the vehicle enough to access some components. Again, your needs will determine whether minimum clearance or maximum lift is more important to you.
- Lift capacity. How much force can the jack generate, and what’s the maximum weight it can lift? 2-ton jacks will be able to handle most small cars, while 3-ton jacks are good to lift an average-sized SUV. If you drive anything bigger than that – a monster SUV like an Escalade, or a minibus – a 4-ton jack should have you covered. 5-ton jacks are also available, for extra large vehicles.
- Weight. How much does the jack itself weigh? Even if you keep it out in the garage when not in use, you’ve still got to maneuver it into place before use and get it out again afterwards. Hydraulic floor jacks are heavier and bulkier than other styles of floor jack, so if you plan on buying one, aluminum’s lightweight nature becomes even more valuable.
- Construction. How well is the jack made? Has the metal been cast well, and has the device been assembled with care? Is the saddle (also called the contact platform) padded, to minimize damage to the vehicle? Is the handle padded, to minimize damage to the operator? These are some of the questions you can ask about how the jack’s been constructed: the best quality materials are no use if they’ve been put together without skill and attention to detail.
- Footprint. In other words, how much space does the jack take up? If you have a small work space, this becomes even more important: on the other hand, if you’ve got more space than you know what to do with, this won’t be a problem. Having a restrictively small work space is the main reason you might consider a bottle floor jack as opposed to the more common hydraulic model.
- Price. As with the footprint, the cost of a floor jack will matter more to some consumers than others. Most people, however, will have a rough idea in mind of how much they’d like to spend. For a good-quality aluminum floor jack, expect to pay from around $150 for an entry-level model, up to about twice that for a piece of garage-ready gear.
- Accessories. You’ll most often have to purchase these for yourself, after deciding which will be useful for your purposes, but some manufacturers throw in one or two extras to sweeten the deal. Jack stands, wheel chocks, car ramps, creepers and adaptors are some of the accessories which will improve your value-for-money if they’re included with the jack.
Risks and Warnings
It should go without saying that using a floor jack – or doing any kind of automotive repair, with or without a jack – is potentially dangerous, and the personal safety of everyone involved is paramount.
- Always raise a load on even ground. You don’t need to be a physics major to figure out that jacking a vehicle up on uneven ground can have disastrous results. This is because gravity will be working with whatever slope there is to exert force on the vehicle, pulling against the pressure of the jack and making the vehicle unstable. From there, it doesn’t take much for the vehicle to go over the jack’s center of gravity and fall – potentially on you. Always operate your jack on a level surface.
- Use the proper jack points. Every vehicle is built with proper jack points, reinforced to withstand the intense localized pressure that’s exerted through the jack’s saddle. These points will usually be marked on the vehicle itself, and will always be specified in the owner’s manual. If you attempt to jack a vehicle up on an inappropriate jack point, the best case scenario is that it doesn’t work. More likely, the vehicle will either topple over due to the jack pushing it off balance, or the pressure exerted by the jack will cause damage to the vehicle, potentially breaking through its underside.
- When possible, use jack stands. A brand new hydraulic floor jack shouldn’t need jack stands, but over time and through extended use, the hydraulic components will begin to wear, which can eventually lead to the hydraulics collapsing entirely. If you’re lucky, this will be a slow, depressurizing collapse, giving you time to get out from underneath the vehicle. If you’re unlucky, it won’t. Jack stands are an insurance policy, stopping the jack if it begins to come down and giving you plenty of time to get to safety.
- Slow and steady wins the race. When operating your floor jack, remember that more haste means less speed. Trying to raise the load too quickly can cause destabilization, or even shift the saddle away from the jacking point. More importantly than this, if you operate the jack slowly, you’ve got time to pay careful attention to the elevation process, allowing you to stop if you see a problem developing and adjust. The same goes when the work’s done: lowering your vehicle too quickly can cause damage to both the jack and the underside of the vehicle itself.
- Never touch a jack when someone else is working. Of all the advice here, this should be the most obvious, but it’s important enough to emphasize. If someone is working under a raised vehicle, or even working on a raised vehicle period, do not touch the jack.