What makes a great floor jack? Is one floor jack really that much different from the rest? I found myself asking these questions when I had lifting to be done and having to buy one. Being faced with hundreds of options to choose from I had to wonder how I would go about choosing the best floor jack?
In case you do not know – A best floor jack is a device to lift heavy things. You have probably seen one used by a mechanic to lift your car for a service. Floor jacks are used to lift even heavier and bigger stuff like trucks and heavy machinery.
These nifty lifters can hoist these heavy loads effortlessly by using hydraulics – basically by employing liquids through channels as a source of mechanical force.
So, if you wanna do some heavy duty lifting – go ahead and get a Floor Jack. Choosing the best floor Jack for you need not be a headache if you know your lifting needs.
So What Type of Floor Jack is Best for Me?
This is an important question, as not all floor jacks are created equal. You can lift a range of things with a floor jack, but most commonly they are used to lift cars. There are three types of floor jacks:
1) Scissor Jacks – these are not hydraulic, but screw operated. They are the compact, lightweight jacks that you find in most cars to deal with a flat. These are fantastic for the occasional lift to change a tire, but they are slow and have limitations. It does not have a particularly high lifting capacity and is limited in how high it can lift due to its compact design.
2) A Bottle Jack – this is a hydraulically operated floor jack with a rather small base, but the highest lifting capacity value. This small base can be useful in limited spaces or when you are working on uneven surfaces. The bottle jack has a pretty high free height, which means you can’t get it as low as a scissor jack. So these are no good if you have a low rider. They do find a lot of use though when it comes to lifting trucks.
3) Hydraulic Floor Jack – while this floor jack is bound to leave a much bigger dent in your wallet, it is a good old faithful with many advantages. It’s the one you see most mechanics using. They are a big heavier and larger, but they conveniently have four small wheels for ease of movement. These jacks are pretty effortless to use as they employ hydraulics. Another plus point for these jacks is their superior maximum height over other jacks. While hydraulic floor jacks are ‘go to’ workhorses for most mechanics due to their robust lifting capacity and ease of use, they are pretty hefty, big and bulky. For this reason, they are not as portable as the other varieties.
Choosing the best floor jack is a matter of understanding your lifting needs. Ask yourself, what do I need to lift?