Working under a car or truck is not the time to wonder just how safe you are with the front of your 5,000 pound SUV being held up by the cheap scissor-type jack that was in the trunk. If you ever do any work on your car or truck, a good quality hydraulic floor jack is a must. Even though all floor jacks have the same purpose, there are big differences in safety and performance.
When looking to buy a floor jack, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself. How much weight do you need it to lift? What is the maximum height you will need it to reach? How portable do you need it to be? With so many models to choose from, it’s hard to narrow down the options so we’ve done that for you. Below are what we believe to be the two best floor jacks your money can buy. Both are 3-ton models so even if you don’t need that much holding power now, you’re covered if you decide to upgrade to a larger vehicle later.
NOTE: Never get under a vehicle with only the floor jack holding it up. Always use jack stands to support the weight.
The #1 selling Powerzone is a 3-ton aluminum and steel floor jack that would look great in anyone’s garage. While the lightweight aluminum frame saves some weight the heavy duty steel lift arm along with the rest of the made-to-last construction make the 380044 weigh in at just under 60 pounds. This aluminum/steel hybrid model gives you the same portability and ease of use as an aluminum jack but at a much lower price.
Lift range is anywhere from a low 4 inches all the way to 18-1/4 inches. The long handle and dual hydraulics means you can jack your car up almost effortlessly in about 6 pumps. Give the handle a slow twist to bring it back down slow and smooth with an easily controlled decent. If you’re thinking about getting a Craftsman from Sears, save yourself some money and get a lighter, better, and more durable garage floor jack instead. While the 4″ minimum lift height may be fine for most cars, you may need to instead consider the Arcan or another model if you have a very low profile car.
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Extremely well-built, the Arcan is a professional quality, 3-ton aluminum low profile jack that can go where others don’t. With its 3-3/4 inch to 18-1/8 inch lift range, it’s great for lowered imports and sports cars to pickups and SUVs. While it comes close to the lift speed of the Powerzone, it requires even less effort to use. It also uses dual pump pistons to achieve this. Those with small garages can simply use one half of the 2-piece handle and still lift with ease.
Decent is slow and easily controlled. Since the ALJ3T is made from mostly aluminum and has side handles, you’ll have any easier time lifting it and putting it in your trunk if needed. The Arcan ALJ3T is perfect for do-it-yourself mechanics and enthusiasts. A little more spendy than the Powerzone, it’s worth every penny.
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