In this article we give you the facts so you can decide on the best floor jack for your own specific needs and budget. It’s that simple.
A mechanic’s workshop wouldn’t be much without a floor jack. Short of a hydraulic or pneumatic lift, a floor jack is the easiest and most convenient way to lift any vehicle. Even sophisticated modern workshops that have built-in lifts for the vehicles will have one or more floor jacks. A built in lift requires that you drive the vehicle onto it, a floor jack can be moved anywhere with relative ease – some are easier to move than others. As for home workshops, no vehicle enthusiast can do without a floor jack.
The Details | Best Floor Jack
On the face of things, many might see one floor jack as being pretty much the same as the next. This is far from true. When you’re lifting a few tons of motor vehicle into the air, you want to know that you’re doing this safely. A jack of all trades, master of none, is not a phrase you want to you use for equipment like this. Safety is the number one reason why you should carefully consider the floor jack that you’re buying. You want a jack that’s stable. This means that it will sit securely on the ground and also provide a stable platform on which the vehicle can rest.
The floor jack that you use must be able to handle the weight of the vehicle that you’re lifting and then some. Pushing a floor jack close to, or beyond its maximum lifting capacity is not the best move. Smaller floor jacks usually have a lifting capacity of around two to three tons and this is fine for most cars, trucks, and SUVs. Though a 2-ton jack can be a bit on the small side for larger vehicles and some of the larger SUVs can even exceed 3-tons.
You can get floor jacks that can lift up to 5-tons or more – if that’s what you need. These large jacks aren’t easy to carry and need quite a bit of room maneuver. They also require a large floor area to store. While many professional workshops might have very large floor jacks, for home workshops, a 3-ton floor jack is the most convenient and should be adequate for your needs.
Basic floor jack | Cheap & Effective — Torin Big Red T83006 (3 Ton)
Another thing you need to look at is the clearance of the jack and its lifting height. What type of car are you going to be lifting with this jack? High-performance cars that are built for speed and road holding will have a very low clearance – the vehicle stands very close to the ground. For these vehicles, you need to make sure that you have a jack that is low enough to fit under the vehicle. When you look at four-wheel drive trucks and SUVs, the opposite is true – you want a jack that is going to have the height to lift the vehicle completely off the ground. Some jacks have a lower profile and some lift higher, then there are those are good for both situations. It’s always best to get a floor jack that can fit under low vehicles and lift high vehicles – you can’t always be sure what type of vehicle you’ll be lifting.
The build quality of the floor jack cannot be overemphasized. It’s easy to make a jack look cool with a good spray job and you can be fooled into thinking that you’re buying a quality item when, in fact, you’re not. Regardless of the actual appearance of the jack, there are important things to consider. A floor jack uses a simple hydraulic mechanism to lift the vehicle. You use a lever to pump the jack, causing hydraulic pressure that pushes a piston upwards and this lifts the vehicle.
Hydraulic components can be tricky and you can’t easily see what you’re getting. It’s all about the seals that are used and how well the hydraulic components are protected from dust and contaminants. Any hydraulic technician will tell you – dust is the enemy when it comes to hydraulic machinery. Because there’s no way to tell what’s going on inside the jack, you can only rely on brand reputation and advice from people who’ve used them. Fortunately, we’re here to help you in that regard because we’re going to be reviewing some of the best floor jacks in a moment.
Powerbuilt 640912 | Combines jack stand and bottle jack in one unit
There are other factors that one should look at when considering the best floor jack. The wheels of the jack are more important than one would think. The wheels are important when moving the jack around the workshop but are most important when lining the jack up to the vehicle. So wheels on a floor jack make them convenient and easy use but you need to remember that the entire weight of the vehicle that you’re lifting ends up resting on those small wheels. This means that the wheels on your floor jack need to be incredibly tough. It’s not just the wheels you need to look at, the bearings are equally as important. When a bearing collapses, that wheel is rendered useless.
There are a few less critical aspects you might want to consider. Is the jack easy and comfortable to use? This would entail looking at the handle that you use to pump the jack, you’ll want a decent length handle because this gives you better leverage and allows you to stand in a comfortable position when using the jack. A soft grip handle is less important but does make things easier. You might also want to check how easily and safely the jack release mechanism works – how does it release the hydraulic pressure when you drop the vehicle back down?
Most floor jacks have a rubber mounting to protect the vehicle at the point where the jack makes contact, this is important if you don’t want to scratch the vehicle that you’re jacking up. For low vehicles, a jack with an extended reach is better, because won’t be able to reach under the vehicle yourself and you want the handle to be completely clear of the vehicle when you’re jacking it up. Finally, weight can be factor – a very heavy jack is cumbersome to carry and move about.
Aluminum / 3 Ton Capacity / Lift Range : 3.6″ to 19.4″ — Best Floor Jack
- 3-ton capacity while only weighing 56 pounds
- Reinforced lift arm for added strength, chassis torsion control and durability
- Dual pump pistons for fast rising action, 3.6″ to 19.4″
- Piston dust shields to prevent hydraulic contamination
- Bypass and overload valves prevent over-extension of hydraulic ram and jack use beyond rated capacity
I read a quote once, from an artist who said: “the lines between engineering and art, exist only in our minds”. I never thought I’d say this about something as simple and utilitarian as a floor jack, but this thing is a work of art – it looks absolutely beautiful. Okay, okay, this is not a modern art review, it’s a review of the best floor jacks. So I’ll get back to the point, is the Arcan AL13T more than just a pretty piece of machinery?
Those great looks serve a real purpose, the Arcan AL13T is crafted completely from aluminum. This means that it’s going to remain rust-free and is wonderfully light, it weighs only 56 LBS. This makes it really easy to carry. The two handles on either side not only assist in its portability but also make it very easy to line the jack up under the vehicle.
Arcan AL13T | Portable heavy-duty floor jack
As a floor jack for most vehicle types, the Arcan AL13T makes the grade. It has a minimum clearance of 3.6”, this means that it will fit under a Corvette Stingray that has 4” clearance – though by less than an inch, so it’s going to be a tight fit. It will lift up to 19.4” which means that it will lift a Jeep Wrangler about 10” from the ground. This makes the Arcan AL13T a very versatile jack for just about any vehicle.
The dual pistons, with very impressive looking springs, give the Arcan AL13T excellent and fast lifting, it will go from the base height of 4” to its maximum height of 19.4” in 12 pulls on the handle. Releasing the pressure to bring the car back down is as simple as turning the jack lever counter-clockwise and you have very good control over the release speed. You can bring the jack down as slowly as you need to and stop it very easily if needed. The handle has a really cool soft grip and splits into two pieces. This means that you have a conveniently long handle that can be easily stored.
The wide aluminum front wheels are as practical as they are beautiful, they give the jack excellent stability. The rear swivel wheels use strong bearings and track the front wheels for excellent maneuverability. It also has a safety bypass valve for when the jack arm is overextended or the weight limit is exceeded.
The lifting arm is as strong as it needs to be for the weight, probably way stronger. The structural integrity is enhanced by the perfect lateral support and I can’t see it twisting under any conditions. This floor jack seems to be as close to perfect as one could hope for. The hydraulic components are excellently protected from contamination, adding to the fantastic durability of this jack.
The only complaint that I could dig up is one that relates to rubber protection pad. Looking at it, I can see why someone might find this to be a problem, it doesn’t look like it’s made for heavy-duty work. This irks me slightly. The guys at Arcan have made a superb product, constructed almost entirely out of aluminum, which is not a cheap material to use, so why cut corners on something as basic as a rubber pad? It’s quite an expensive floor jack, I can’t see that spending a buck or two to improve this small detail would make such a big difference – if a rubber pad even costs that much. Be that as it may, this is not a serious issue – you can get after-market universal rubber adapters that will do a better job than any rubber pad that they could have chosen to use.
When it comes down to it, I wouldn’t hesitate when buying the Arcan AL13T – either as a useful item in the workshop or a work of modern art. It’s designed for perfect functionality, ease of use and durability. All the bases are covered when looking for the best floor jack and it comes with a 1-year warranty.
2-ton, steel / Lift Range : 2.75″ to 24″ : Best floor jack
- Height range: 2.75 inch to 24 inches
- 32 inch extra long chassis
- Dual pump for rapid lifting
- Universal joint release mechanism provides precise control
- Complies with the ASME PALD 2009 standard
- Weight : 97 lbs.
The Arcan XL2T is more expensive than the Arcan AL13T. This is despite the fact that this one is made from steel whereas the AL13T is made from aluminum. One would think that this would make the Arcan XL2T cheaper. In addition to this, the XL2T has a lower weight capacity of only 2-tons. Though it’s not such a simple comparison – this is a specialty jack with an extra-low profile and a much longer chassis. These floor jacks are always more expensive and built specifically for cars with lowered suspension.
When it comes down to it, if you’re supercar or racing enthusiast, this is going to be the best floor jack for you. Its minimum clearance is 2.75” and it lifts to a height of 24”, this is way better than the Arcan AL13T. The chassis is also much longer than most floor jacks, at 32”. This makes it easier to get it in under vehicles that have a very low ground clearance.
Mechanically it’s as great as the other Arcan jack that we looked at. This model also has a dual piston that makes lifting the vehicle faster and easier and the universal joint release system provides you with perfect control. Because of its extra length and the fact that it’s made from steel, it’s quite a bit heavier than its cheaper brother, weighing 97 LBS. There’s no rubber protection for the jacking point and I would think that many buyers would want to consider buying a universal rubber adapter for this jack. Of course, adding a rubber adaptor is going to increase its height a bit, so for very low cars, the flat steel lifting point is better.
Not only does the Arcan XL2T give you one of the lowest vehicle clearance heights, it also lifts much higher than most other floor jacks. The fact that it’s longer than most, makes it possible to reach the best jacking point on cars where it’s difficult to reach underneath. I can’t find a specific warranty for this product, but I would think that you’ll be getting the same 1-year warranty as with the previous Arcan floor jack.
3 Ton Aluminum & Steel / Lift range 4″ to 18.25″ : Best floor jack
- Rated capacity: 3 Ton (6000 pounds) with lift range 4 inch to 18-1/4 inch
- Jack is made of light weight aluminum frame to reduce product weight and increase portability, and is equipped with heavy duty steel lift arm for strength and durability
- Quick lifting hydraulic system saves time and is equipped with safety valve to prevent overloading beyond rated capacity
- Rubber padded saddle protects vehicle frame
- Rear wheels swivel for easy positioning
The Powerzone 380044 can compare quite closely to the Arcan AL13T. It’s cheaper than Arcan, but there are a few reasons why I’d prefer the Arcan – apart from its stunning good looks. The Arcan has a slightly lower clearance and lifts higher – that would be my first reason. Secondly, I don’t think that the Powerzone 380044 floor jack is quite as durable. If you look at the front wheels, the Arcan has wide aluminum wheels, whereas the Powerzone has plastic front wheels. Though, if you’re looking for a cheaper jack that’s almost as good, the Powerzone 38044 is a great alternative.
The Powerzone 380044 is also made from aluminum with a heavy-duty steel lifting arm and plated steel bolts, so it’s almost as light as the Arcan AL13T. The Powerzone is only 3 LBS heavier, weighing 59 LBS. This a 3-ton jack and has a minimum clearance of 4” and a maximum lifting height of 18.25”. It’s a strong jack with a solid plate across the lifting arm that will prevent twisting.
This jack also has handles on either side for easy carrying and positioning. The rear swivel wheels make it as maneuverable as any of the best floor jacks. The jacking lever is long enough for anyone and has a foam grip handle. It comes apart into three pieces which makes it perfect for storing. It’s also reasonably fast when jacking up the vehicle. The rubber protection pad on the lifting point looks to be okay, though many would probably prefer getting a thicker one with grooves to match the ridges on your car.
In terms of safety, the Powerzone 380044 is on a par with the best modern floor jacks. It’s got sturdy wheels (albeit plastic) and it has a safety valve to prevent you from overextending the lifting arm or using it beyond its rated weight capacity.
All in all, this seems like a great 3-ton floor jack and will work well in any home workshop as well for medium duty professional use. For the price, I can’t see that you’ll be able to do better than the Powerzone 380044 and it comes with a 1-year warranty.
3.5 ton (7,000 lbs) / Lifting Range: 5.5″ – 22″ : Best floor jack
- Bypass device prevents over pumping
- Built-in internal safety valve ensures extra safety
- Swivel saddle and rear caster for easy positioning
- Rolled side frames add strength and rigidity to reduce twisting
- Heavy-duty steel construction
- 3.5 ton (7,000 lbs) capacity service jack that features
- Bypass device prevents the damage from over pumping.
- Fast Lifting Technology
I’m sure a lot of you might think that the floor jacks that we’ve looked at so far are a bit pricey. If you’re an occasional user and need a jack once in a while to change the oil on your car, you probably don’t see the point in buying an expensive floor jack with all the best technology. If you want something that’s going to safely lift your car without costing an arm and a leg, the Blackhawk B6350 is going to be more like what you might be looking for.
It has a 3½-ton lifting capacity, so it beats some of the more expensive floor jacks in this category. Where some might have a problem is the clearance of 5.5”. For a normal sedan, this is fine. But for performance cars with lowered suspension, this jack is going to be too high. You’ll end up having to use a standard jack to lift the car a few inches before you’ll fit this one underneath and that’s no fun at all. In terms of height, the Blackhawk B6350 is great. It reaches a maximum height of 22” – that’s good enough for just about any 4X4.
The Blackhawk B6350 is a sturdy brick of a floor jack, made from thick steel plate. This does make it quite a heavy jack. At 85 LBS, it gives a nice solid base to rest your vehicle on but this makes it a bit cumbersome to move. It doesn’t have handles either, so carrying it or making fine adjustments when lining it up under your car is going to be a bit of work. It has swivel wheels at the back, so it’s just as easy to maneuver as any other floor jack.
One of the cool features on this jack is that it has a very fast no-load lift so it will rise quickly from its base height to the contact point of your car. What I don’t like is that the handle bolts into position, this means that you can’t quickly remove the handle for storing. Like all the others, this one also has a safety bypass valve to prevent overloading or over extending the arm.
I’ve had cheap floor jacks like this in the past and I’d say that if you’re not doing regular mechanical work on your car, it’s a great jack for its price. If, like me, you’re a car enthusiast who spends a lot of time in the workshop, I’d recommend one of the more expensive jacks that are easier to use. I wouldn’t be put off by the cheap price in terms of quality, you get much cheaper floor jacks and they can be junk. This a tough jack and has a similar 1-year warranty to the others.
2-ton, aluminum : Lift Range : up to 19.3″
- Lightweight 49 pound service jack designed for the track side racer or automotive enthusiast needing fast-acting performance
- Rapid Rise Technology with dual pump pistons raises the saddle to maximum height in only 5 pump strokes
- Thick frame side plates and reinforced lift arm for added strength, chassis torsion control and durability
- Angular positioned pump pistons provide maximum effective pump stroke when jack is completely under the vehicle
- Wiper seals protect hydraulic system from contamination
Overload and bypass safety valves prevent the jack from being used beyond its rated capacity and ram over extension.
- Ball bearing mounted rear swivel caster wheels and wide track front wheels for easy maneuverability
The Sunex Tools 6602ASJ is an expensive floor jack, the price of this model compares to the Arcan XL2T and it’s a very similar tool. Though we need to make a clear distinction, this is a 2-ton jack and the Arcan model that we reviewed earlier is a 3-ton jack. This makes a big difference. If you’re going to be working on a heavier vehicle, like Ford F250 or Jeep Cherokee, the Sunex 6602ASJ isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need to go for the 3-ton model in the same range and this is a much more expensive floor jack. If we’re comparing apples to apples, the Sunex floor jacks are much more expensive.
I do prefer the Sunex in some ways, if only in the finer details. For example, the Sunex 6602ASJ has aluminum wheels all around, whereas the Arcan XL2T only has aluminum wheels at the front. The hydraulic pistons on Sunex also have a much faster action. Like I said, these are small details and, for the most part, these floor jacks are identical in many aspects. I’m not too sure if it’s worth paying more for the 3-ton Sunex or very much the same price for a 2-ton jack when you could get the Arcan XL2T. If I ignore the price, the Sunex would be my first choice – though I’d go for the 3-ton version, it just gives you that extra power for heavier vehicles.
The Sunex 6602ASJ is a fantastic floor jack and is made mostly of aluminum which makes it incredibly light, only 49 LBS. It has handles on both sides and amazing tough wheels. The rear wheels are swivel casters with durable bearings. This jack is every bit as easy as the best of them to maneuver and use.
The dual pistons have an advantage over all others and this is simply because of the way they’re angled. This gives you the best leverage when pumping on the handle. The end result is the easiest and fastest lifting of all the floor jacks we’ve looked at. Going from the base height of 3.5” to the maximum height of 20” is only going to take five pumps of the lever. So you have better low-end clearance and higher lift than the Arcan and it works much faster and easier. You’ve got to love this thing.
It has the same safety valve as any of the others and it has superb wiper seals to protect the hydraulics. The two-piece handle is perfect for its purpose and has a soft grip for comfortable use. The rubber protection pad also looks like excellent quality.
The Sunex 6602ASJ is by far the best standard floor jack in this review. Is it worth paying this much for a 2-ton jack when you can get a very similar 3-ton jack for roughly the same price? I can’t answer that, you’ll need to decide for yourself. On a good day, I’d say yes, by all means, the Sunex is worth paying extra for. If I was feeling broke, maybe not. Like all the others, this jack has a 1-year warranty.
2-ton, 2.75″ to 24-inch : Best floor jack
- 2.75″ min height is ultra-low and ideal for sports cars, exotic cars, and flat tires
- 24″ max height is versatile and lifts high enough for pick-ups and suv’s
- Rapid rise technology with dual pump pistons reaches max height quickly in 6.5 pumps
- 18″ throw is long and reaches all lift points under vehicle
- Low profile design is consistent throughout the whole chassis, allowing full reach beyond pinch welds
This is a low profile floor jack that, like the one we’ve just reviewed, compares very closely to the Arcan alternative that we looked at earlier (the Arcan XL2T). In this case, however, the Sunex is the cheaper option and they’re both 2-ton jacks, so it’s a fair comparison.
They’re identical when it comes to maximum lifting height and minimum clearance, the Sunnex 6602LP has a super-low clearance of 2.75” and will lift up to 24”. Where the Sunex has some superiority is in its fast lift capabilities. It takes 6.5 pumps from its bottom point to the maximum height – if you consider that it’s moving through quite a distance (21.25”), this quite remarkable.
In all other aspects, they’re just about identical, this one also has a 32” chassis, giving it an 18” reach and the wheels, handles and levers are just as user-friendly. So when it comes down to it, the Sunex 6602LP looks the better deal out of the two. It’s a little cheaper and has the advantage of their rapid-rise technology. Their warranties are the same (1-year).