7 Best Jack Stands You Can Bet Your Life On

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During a one-year study period, 4,822 people were treated in emergency rooms due to floor jack failure. Isn’t that reason enough for every home mechanic to get the best jack stands they can afford?

When you shop for jack stands, you need to look at a few things… weight capacity for a set of two, the range of adjustable height, base width for how much room you have, and how the adjusting mechanism works. Ratcheting stands tend to be more convenient, but selecting a pair of stands which use pin and hole, or pin through, technology will give you the highest safety rating.

Keep in mind that a pair of stands only supports a portion of the weight of the vehicle, so a 3-ton pair is sufficient for almost any personal vehicle on the market. Sure you can get a set of 6-ton jack stands, but in most cases, you’re just wasting money on a heavier, bulkier product.

Key factors for you to consider are the durability of the product and the manufacturing quality. The base can be made from aluminum, but look for steel pins or ratcheting devices which will be able to handle years of wear without bending or breaking.

To make it easier for you to get the best value for your money, here are three top-rated jack stands that have been selected for their overall ranking and user satisfaction. Make sure to pair them with a good quality floor jack to be able to get the stands underneath.

Our 7 Favorite Jack Stands

 ProductCapacityMin HeightMax HeightWeight (each)
best-aluminim-jack-standsTorin Big Red Aluminum3-Ton10.7"15.6"4.6 lbs
top-rated-jack-standsESCO 104983-Ton13.2"21.5"12.0 lbs
jack-stands-made-in-usaHein-Werner HW935033-Ton12.1"19"9.5 lbs
car-jack-stands-reviewTorin Big Red Steel3-Ton11.3"16.8"7.5 lbs
good-cheap-jack-standsHusky MPL41243-Ton12.0"17.5"7.5 lbs
high-lift-jack-standsSunex 141010-Ton28.1"46.5"56.0 lbs
best-6-ton-jack-standsOmega 32066 Magic Lift6-Ton15.8"24.4"17.7 lbs

Jack Stand Reviews

#1 – Torin Big Red T43004 Aluminum 3-Ton Jack Stands

best-aluminim-jack-stands

The aluminum frame of these excellent jack stands is extremely lightweight (only 4.6 pounds each), giving you maneuverability in confined locations. Plus, aluminum construction is rust-free so you won’t have a problem with the stand becoming stuck or difficult to operate.

You will appreciate the pin through design because it’s safer and more dependable than a ratchet model, eliminating the fear of the stand slipping or dropping on you.

For additional safety, the saddle is large enough to fit securely under the frame of a car. Designed to use as a complementary device with your vehicle jack, the Torin T43004 will slide in next to the jack for use in an adjacent jack point.

Torin T43004 review

Many jack stands have a pyramid-shaped base, but not the T43004. Instead, it is designed to resemble a traditional piston-operated hydraulic jack, including a large aluminum base. An added benefit is the flat bottom which better distributes the weight on your garage floor as opposed to the traditional 4-leg design which has a better chance of making your perfect garage floor not-so-perfect.

The base is rust and corrosion free, and the pillar design means that you can position this jack stand more easily under the car. Lift height ranges from 10-3/4″ all the way up to 15-5/8″. Technically, if you don’t insert the pin in the top hole, the minimum height is only 9-7/8″. That makes these stands perfect for cars with a low clearance.

Lighter and easier to use, these jack stands require half as much space for storage when you’re not using them and are a favorite of track and autocross drivers.

One downside is the limited height so those with trucks or SUVs may want to consider a set with a higher range such as ESCO or Omega stands below, or even the Sunex high-lift stands. Also, it’s hard to get over the fact that these will hold up your vehicle since most of us are used to the traditional pyramid shaped stands but they definitely will as they’ve been a best seller for years.

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#2 – ESCO 10498 3-Ton Jack Stand

top-rated-jack-standsBoasting a three to capacity, the 10498 is a professional grade jack stand with a focus on protecting your car while you work. The top is flat and includes a removable rubber saddle cushion to reduce the risk of scratching paint.

The unique design of this jack makes it perfect for vehicles that lack clear jacking points. It holds weight without giving and won’t slip out from under your car. The powder coated base with circular base pads offers excellent stability making the ESCOs one of the safest jack stands on the market.

Each 12 pound stand extends from 13.2 inches to 21.5 inches making it one of tallest 3-ton jack stands available. It works well for cars, SUVs, and many trucks. Auto enthusiasts rave over these stands and there’s a good chance once you try them, you’ll never want to go back to the more traditional jack stands again. 

Since ESCO sells their jack stands individually, you’ll want to make sure you order a couple. While not the cheapest jack stands out there, they are worth every penny.

There are a couple different versions of this stand, and some consumers have accidentally received the shorter version so make sure you purchase them from a reputable online seller (it’s not likely you’ll find them in a store around town).

There have also been the occasional manufacturing defect ranging from improperly drilled holes to defective powder coating. These issues are rare and tend to be isolated, but provide a good reason to inspect upon arrival.

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#3 – Hein-Werner HW93503 3-Ton Jack Stands

jack-stands-made-in-usaIf you’re looking for a pair of heavy duty jack stands that are made in the USA assembled in the USA, the Hein-Werner HW93503 is just what you’re after. With a rated capacity of 3 tons per pair, this model is designed for intermediate weights, but sturdy enough to handle almost all home applications.

The top center design is curved for stability under the frame and the bottom of the stand includes triangular reinforcing the make it more stable on pavement of other surfaces which have a tendency to give under pressure.

Having one of the widest bases for a 3-ton jack stand at 7.5″ x 9″ means they’re incredibly sturdy but may not fit in some tight spaces.

You’ll also like the adjustable ratchet design the gives you a clearance range between 12 and 19 inches which is a few inches higher than most of the competition. While you’ll pay a little extra for Hein-Werner build quality, most will tell you it’s definitely worth it.

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#4 – Torin T43002A Big Red Steel 3-Ton Jack Stands

car-jack-stands-reviewThe popular Torin T43002A jack stands offer the more traditional stand design and come at a very affordable cost. Available in 2-ton, 3-ton, and 6-ton variety, they have a unique double locking pin design for peace of mind, but can be ratcheted for adjustment once put in place.

You have plenty of room for height adjustment, ranging from 11.3 inches up to a maximum of 16.8 inches. The wide lifting range provides you with more clearance and better overall support. There’s even an extended height version which goes up to 20.5″ if needed.

With a 6.5″ x 7.25″ base, these stands have a good solid footprint while fitting in spots without much issue. Solid construction, strong (but slightly messy) welds, and a uniquely designed support head make the highly regarded Torin T43002A a great value.

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#5 – Husky MPL4124 3-Ton Jack Stands

good-cheap-jack-standsDesigned for home mechanics, these top-selling jack stands from Home Depot have a three ton lifting capacity and heavy-duty steel base with anti-stick feet. They can adjust in height from 12 to 17.5 inches. An iron saddle provides good reach, making this a great choice for smaller trucks, SUVs, and automobiles.

For being so sturdy, the Husky stands are surprisingly easy to store. The release mechanism is spring-loaded, making it easier to use than a traditional lift bar. The base has a unique design where heavy gauge metal runs two entire side lengths at the bottom for better anti-sink stability. 

A few users have noted that the safety pin hole isn’t always properly aligned, and some feel the latch is poorly designed overall. There is also some concern over the depth of the V-cut top, which may be deep enough to damage some cars. But for the money, Husky products are one of the better values out there.

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#6 – Sunex 1410 High Height 10-Ton Jack Stands

high-lift-jack-standsThis pair of pin-type heavy duty jack stands has an impressive 10-ton capacity and by far the tallest range on this list. Its 28.1 inch bottom height is higher than many stands at full extension, and it extends all the way to 46.5 inches making it perfect for Jeeps and lifted trucks as well as agricultural and construction environments.

Note: Make sure the 28.1 minimum height is low enough clearance for your vehicle. Sunex also makes Medium Height and Low Height variations of this same jack stand.

The pin can be placed in a wide range of heights, thanks to the additional hole locations, and the pin itself is attached to the stand so it won’t get lost easily. A large saddle with locating lugs help ensure the vehicle frame is held securely.

This is one of those products where design matters, and users love the narrow footprint paired with metal foot pads on each leg, making it sturdy without taking up extra space. The stands’ 10-ton capacity all them to stand up to a lot of pressure and abuse but at about 56 pounds each, they are HEAVY.

Speaking of the weight, it can contribute to some issues during shipping. A few purchasers have received heavily damaged boxes, a couple times resulting in bent steel frames. Some have also complained the pin was lost during transit. Be sure to purchase from a reputable online seller so even in case an issue occurs, a return or replacement is just a minor annoyance.

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#7 – Omega 32066 Magic Lift 6-ton Jack Stands

best-6-ton-jack-standsThis 6-ton capacity jack stands set ranges in height from 15-3/4 inches to 24-3/8 inches, making it perfect for taller vehicles. The single piece, multi position iron ratchet bar and ratchet arm incorporate patented technology, allowing the jack stand to raise on its own by simply lifting the handle. This takes the guess work out of correct height adjustment when placing a regular stand under a vehicle. 

A counter-weighted pawl ensures the ratchet bar stays locked in place, while the sturdy welded steel base gives each stand excellent durability. The welds on these stands are some of the cleanest in the industry and the stands are as high quality as you’ll find.

The air lifting mechanism is welcome by some, but considered a pointless gimmick by others. Some in the latter camp attribute an over-sensitivity in the mechanism to their dislike. Meanwhile, the extra clearance is almost universally loved.

On a side note, several customers were confused by the storage pin, which they at first thought to be a poorly-designed locking mechanism. The pin is simply meant to keep the mechanism from activating when in transport.

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FAQs

Where Do I Put Jack Stands Under the Car?

It’s very important that you do not place jack stands in just any location under your car. You will need to jack up your car from a jack point under the cabin. Jack points are dedicated areas, for jacks and stands, that manufacturers place on vehicles so that owners can have a safe non-slip location to support the car from.

Jack points are usually located near the front and rear wheels, but their exact locations vary with each vehicle. The way to best locate the jack points of your vehicle is to check the owner’s manual.

What Weight Capacity Jack Stands Do I Need?

You don’t need to go overboard when you are purchasing a jack stand for your car; there is no need to get a 6-ton jack stand set when your car only weighs 2300 pounds. The weight rating on a jack stand is “per pair”.

So if you have a pair of 2-ton jack stands, each stand is rated to support 2,000 pounds each. Even more precisely, the weight capacity is often defined as being “distributed evenly across the two jack stands”.

In theory, two sets of 2-ton jack stands should support up to an 8,000 pound (4-ton) vehicle. Unfortunately, that would only apply if each corner of the vehicle weighed exactly 2,000 pounds, the vehicle was on perfectly level ground, the jack point was perfectly flat and secure, and other ideal conditions. 

You also need to keep in mind that most vehicles are heavier in the front where the engine is, so if you’re lifting up a front corner of a 4,000 pound car, that front corner probably weighs much more than 1,000 pounds.

100% ideal conditions would never exist so erring on the side of caution and going with the next higher weight capacity tier is recommended. When you’re under a vehicle, you don’t want to be thinking “this set of jack stands should be enough”.

As a general rule, if you have a compact car (Ford Fiesta, Mazda 3, Honda Civic, etc.), 2-ton jack stands would be fine. For mid to full size sedans, minivans, Jeeps, and small trucks and SUVs, 3-ton stands will typically be best. For large trucks and SUVs, you may want to go with 6-ton jack stands.

Can Jack Stands Fail?

Jack stands can certainly fail; which is why it is important that you utilize multiple jack stands when lifting your car. Despite their large carrying capacities, jack stands are much smaller and lighter than vehicles.

Jack stands are designed not to fail under loading, but there are occasional cases where jack stands have broken or bent; lowering a car unintentionally. Due to the various mechanisms that jack stands utilize in order to lift tons of weight, there are multiple parts that can fatigue or get damaged over time.

How High Can Jack Stands Go?

There are a variety of jack stands on the market, for vehicles with a variety of heights. Vehicles as tall as lifted trucks need to be supported by jack stands at some point. Jack stands are available in heights as low as 13 inches to as high as 72 inches. Some vehicles will need taller jack stands to accommodate the larger amount of ground clearance that they have.

Jack Stands vs Ramps – Which is Safer?

Due to their wider bases and larger surface areas, ramps are much safer than jack stands if used correctly. Jack stands use mechanisms to prevent stand failures, but these mechanisms can fail unexpectedly. Ramps do not need mechanisms to hold a vehicle up, the platform and design of the ramp allows them to easily hold a vehicle’s weight.

Ramps, unlike jack stands, are more intuitive to use and do not necessarily require an instruction manual; though you should still read it if your ramp comes with one. Though ramps are safer than jack stands, ramps do not allow for users to perform any brake or suspension repairs without the use of another object to hold up the car. Jack stands and ramps both have their uses and are tools that every home mechanic should have.

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Comments

  1. Which ASME standard do these comply with? The latest I know is ASME PALD-2009 implemented on 05/21/2011 which required overload to be increased like from 150 to 200%.

    Reply
    • Torin T43004: Doesn’t appear to comply with ASME standards but these are not really intended for commercial use.
      Torin T43002A: Meets ASME/PALD standards
      Hein-Werner: ASME/ANSI-PALD

      Reply
  2. How can you tell if the weld is “bad” and unsafe, or just “bad” and cosmetically unappealing? I have purchased the Torin T46002A (6 ton) and the welds on both look “bad”, but I’m not a welder, so I can only comment on how they look. Do jack stands fail due to bad welds?

    Reply
    • The quality of the weld on a jack stand that serves to connect the top piece to the base isn’t actually super critical since the weld itself is not holding up the weight of the car. It’s more aesthetics and not really anything to worry about when you stick to well known brands. Some just looker cleaner than others.

      Reply
    • All are reliable and strong but if I had to pick a set, I’d go with the Hein Werners. They have the widest base (7.5″ x 9″) of the three and are slightly heavier than the Torins. That said, if you’re tight on space, they might not be the best option.

      Reply
    • I thought that as well the first time I saw a picture of them. But in reality, the base is about 7×7 inches and they feel just as solid under load as the typical cone shaped stands. A big benefit is they fit much better in tight spots.

      Reply
  3. Plz help me for a minute. A pair/set of jacks are rated together at 2 ton, which equals 4000lbs. So each jack stand is capable of lifting 1 ton, 1 ton equals 2000lbs. So each jack stand is rated at 2000lbs.
    That’s more than enough for a regular sedan. What am I missing here.

    Reply
    • Apologies as there was a typo. I had it saying that each stand of a 2-ton set was rated to support 1,000 pounds (should have been 2,000 pounds). I added to the “What Weight Capacity Jack Stands Do I Need?” section above to better explain why you want to be ultra conservative when deciding on weight capacity of jack stands.

      Reply

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