LAST UPDATED: March 9, 2019
Best Scissor Jacks: Our Top Picks for Spare Tire Relief
The best scissor jacks to get you up and going from a flat tire
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON March 9, 2019
Flat tires happen to all of us: while you’re driving, almost always on a day when it's raining. All you want to do is get on with your day. To do this, you need a good scissor jack to lift the car and replace the flat with the spare. Whether you're replacing an old scissor jack or didn't get one to start, we're going to cover the best options out there.
The best scissor jack for cars you can find. Easy to use and ideal for those unavoidable emergencies.
Only takes two minutes to jack up your car fully, can plug into the cigarette lighter or directly hook up to the battery, and is entirely automatic for effortless use.
Takes up more space than manual scissor jacks.
Affordable and versatile. Perfect for a reliable scissor jack that won’t break the bank.
Ergonomic hand crank, a large base for maximum stability, and compatible with a wide range of accessories for any emergency need.
Bulkier than factory jacks. Could be too tall for lower cars.
High-quality scissor jack that you can rely on for roadside emergencies. Ideal for your average coupe or sedan, and easily stored.
Compact design perfect for vehicles with limited space, a higher weight limit compared to the competition, and high-grade steel with a corrosion-resistant finish for a longer lasting product.
An awkward lever design could make it hard to jack up a car.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Scissor Jacks
- Emergency use. While we hope you don't get a flat tire every day, chances are that it will happen eventually. The last thing you want is to be stranded without the right tools when you're in a rush.
- Easy to use. A standard scissor jack has a hand crank to get the vehicle off the ground. Things get even easier if you go for an electric option.
- Best choice for storage. In a perfect world, we'd all have industrial floor jacks with our vehicles at all times. But when it comes to fitting a lift in your trunk and not spending hundreds of dollars on something that gets infrequent use, scissor jacks are the best option.
- Reliability. While some people will tell you horror stories about using a jack on the side of the road, scissor jacks are consistently reliable if you use them correctly. You don't have to be afraid of having a jack that isn't going to get the job done.
Types of Scissor Jacks
Car Scissor Jacks
Chances are, you can't fit an industrial-sized floor jack into the trunk of your car. The best scissor jacks are small enough to keep with your spare tire and strong enough to rely on when a flat happens. When it comes to roadside emergencies, a portable scissor jack is a great choice.
Stabilizing Scissor Jacks
It is very common to see regular car scissor jacks appear online with stabilizing scissor jacks. Despite the similar looks and names, these do not have the same uses. Stabilizing jacks are heavy-duty scissor jacks meant for trailers and campers. They typically bolt on (sometimes requiring welding), and you'll often see them sold in pairs of two. Using these types of jacks for the wrong task can be a safety hazard.
Electric Scissor Jacks
These jacks have all of the advantages of an average scissor jack, with none of the work. If you're not a fan of crawling on the ground to change a tire, then an electric scissor jack is going to be an ideal choice for you. Most power jacks can be powered by your car, so you never have to worry about being away from an outlet.
It’s almost impossible to talk about scissor jacks without mentioning EAZ Lift. Established in 1952, the company makes a wide array of fantastic products and consistently gets some of the highest satisfaction ratings. Their 24" RV Stabilizing Scissor Jack often lands on top of the Stabilizing Jack category.
Libra has been centered in Memphis, Tennessee for over a decade. While they mostly advertise their trailer parts, they are constantly innovating new products. Their most popular lift is the RV Trailer Stabilizer Leveling Scissor Jacks.
This California-based company is huge when it comes to jacks. Their Torin Big Red Steel Scissor Jack is a top contender, but the company offers a huge selection of jacks from heavy-duty truck scissor jacks to low-profile jacks. They also sell jack stands, floor jacks, and bottle jacks to meet anybody’s need.
Scissor Jack Pricing
- Under $30: Generally, these are small scissor jacks. A great option to consider if you want a lightweight scissor jack for emergencies, they’re not ideal for every situation.
- $50-$80: This price range consists of many stabilizing and high-end car jacks. This is the typical range to consider for an affordable and durable jack.
- Over $90: The more expensive prices cover electric scissor jack lifts: easy to use, but possibly too expensive for what you’re looking to spend.
The best part of having a scissor jack is the compact design; not just for storing, but also in the space you’ll need to lift a vehicle. If you've ever used a floor jack, you know that it can be a pain when there are other cars nearby. Scissor jacks have a short crank handle, so you won’t have to worry about your surroundings as much. Even less space is required if you choose an electric model.
In addition to a wide base, another important part of any scissor jack is the saddle, the piece that makes contact with the vehicle. The saddle on most jacks is relatively small, so you have many options for where you can place the jack to lift the vehicle. The lift height is also influenced by how far the saddle can extend. The lift range you need will vary depending on the vehicle.
All scissor lifts share a similar design: There is a threaded shaft that revolves slowly, lifting the vehicle. This is different from floor jacks that are usually hydraulic, which can eventually leak at some point. While no tool is impervious to breaking, scissor jacks are made out of heavy-duty steel construction for ultra durability.
- Space Restraints: Not every jack is going to fit with every vehicle. It’s important to know how much space you have and what specific products require in terms of space minimums.
- Weight: While scissor jacks are great for small cars and lightweight SUVs, not every vehicle is going to be compatible with certain jacks depending on the load capacity (aka lifting capacity). Make sure you know the weight of your vehicle and the limitations of the jack you want to buy.
- Personal Limitations: While people may appreciate manual jacks for their affordable pricing, it's important to remember not everyone has the same physical capabilities. Electric scissor jacks are great for people who may not be capable of using the lever on manual jacks.
Best Scissor Jack Reviews & Recommendations 2020
When it comes to ease of use, nothing beats an electric scissor jack. This ROGTZ model is perfect for anybody who's looking to avoid the hassle of a manual scissor jack but doesn't want to compromise on quality. Most powered options are limited when it comes to the weight that they can handle. This is a 3-ton scissor jack, however, which makes it one of the strongest electric jacks on the market.
The power options are what really set this one apart from the rest of the pack. Not only can you plug it into the cigarette lighter in your car, but it can also use the battery power directly. If you're driving an antique that doesn't have a cigarette lighter, or if your car doesn't have the most reliable power supply inside, this can still be used in an emergency. Plus, the jack comes with extra fuses, so if your car can't handle the power demands, you're not left with a blown fuse. Its versatility makes it perfect for nearly any vehicle.
This electric option comes in a full case, which even has three different size options depending on the accessory combination you buy. If you're limited on space, then this may not be the best option for you. While it can easily lift smaller cars, it will take up a lot of trunks or rear space just to keep it with you on the road.
When it comes to the best value for your money, it's hard to beat this model by Torin. This heavy-duty automotive scissor jack is built to last while offering an affordable price. The Big Red is made from high-grade steel and coated for corrosion resistance. The base of this jack is much larger than any other scissor lift, which provides a sturdier platform to raise your car.
Torin also offers a wide range of accessories compatible with the Big Red scissor jack. From an air compressor to roadside safety lights, Torin's full range can help you prepare for any emergency. However, none of these accessories come with the jack so additional pieces will increase the overall price. Even by itself, the jack is well-equipped and comes with an ergonomically-designed lever for easier lifting.
This large scissor jack is not without its drawbacks. Bulkier than some of its competitors, the Big Red might not fit under every vehicle. With a total weight capacity of 1.5 tons, it also isn’t made for large SUVs or trucks. You’ll need something with a higher weight capacity for larger vehicles.
The TONDA portable scissor car jack is a good value for sedan and coupe drivers. It has a compact design for lower-riding vehicles. The simple steel construction is lightweight and perfect for anybody looking to store a scissor jack discreetly. It collapses into a smaller-than-average size, and the lever folds, making it a great option for storage.
This Tonda lift boasts a 2-ton weight capacity, making it more capable than car-specific models. However, that limit might be counteracted by its smaller base, which makes it less than ideal for uneven ground. Tonda's jack also has a coating for resistance to rust and corrosion.
One of the most significant drawbacks with the lift is its awkward lever design; some familiar with the jack even claim the design makes it difficult to lift a vehicle. Its hinged design makes for easier storing but has a flimsy feel when being used. For a solid-feeling jack that can survive heavy use and abuse, there are other heavy-duty options to consider.
This strong scissor lift comes as a two-pack. It’s strong enough to support a 5,000-pound load capacity. Each jack is capable of lifting up to 20 inches. They have the option of bolt-on or weld-on installation. The jacks are powder-coated in black for maximum rust protection. Each one measures 4 ⅜ inches high when fully collapsed.
What makes this set stand out is that it also includes a scissor jack socket for your power drill to make raising your jack easier. These jacks are versatile and can be used with pop-ups and trailers.
Unfortunately, the pin that holds the washer isn’t very durable. It can shear off while using the jack, which can leave you stuck with the jack in the lifted position. The mechanism that holds the jack together isn’t durable either and can snap during use.
This scissor jack comes with a handle for easier operation. The jack weighs 6.3 pounds and has a lifting range of 4.09 to 15.15 inches. It’s also corrosion-resistant. It has a lifting capacity of 1.5 tons or 3,307 pounds. The steel used to construct this jack is 3.1 millimeters thick.
You’ll enjoy using this jack because the included ratchet handle makes lifting a smooth and quick process. This jack also has a large and stable base plate to give you secure footing.
Unfortunately, the plate on the top isn’t flat for your vehicle’s frame to rest on. It needs to rest within the shaped teeth; this can limit the frames that are compatible with it. The frame can also bend during use, making this jack unsafe and unpredictable.
This set of four scissor jacks features a lifting capacity of 7,500 pounds. This set also comes with one crank handle. The jacks are made from heavy-duty 11-gauge steel. Each one has a lifting range of 5 to 24 inches. When retracted, the jacks measure 26 inches long and 7.5 inches wide.
What makes these jacks stand out is the thicker steel. Many other jacks with a similar lifting capacity use only 14-gauge steel—which is thinner, not as strong, and not as durable. The jacks also come with 16 mounting screws and the matching socket, hole drilling bit, and drilling guide stickers. This makes installation easy.
Unfortunately, while you get four jacks, you get only one crank handle. That means you need to carry it with you from one jack to the next and can only lift one jack at a time. The mechanisms that keep the jacks retracted can fail, which may cause them to fall while you’re driving your RV.
This set of two scissor jacks has a lifting range of 4 to 24 inches with a weight capacity of 5,000 pounds each. The steel-constructed jacks are designed to fit trailers, motor homes, RVs, campers, and pop-ups. They’re powder-coated to protect from corrosion. The set includes a crank handle.
What makes these jacks stand out is the extra-large footpads on the bottom, which help to prevent tilting and sinking. The footpads measure 4.5 by 9 inches. You can mount the jacks on the front or rear of your vehicle.
Unfortunately, these jacks aren’t very durable and can break during normal use. You may find the bolt pattern to be incompatible with your vehicle. They also might not come with the necessary mounting equipment.
This single scissor lifting jack has a weight capacity of 5,000 pounds. It has a lifting range of 4 to 24 inches in height. The jack’s base is a bowtie shape to give it more stability to prevent sinking and tilting. The jack measures 24.01 by 8.71 by 5.34 inches.
The heavy weight and unique shape of the footplate on this jack gives you more stability when lifting your camper or RV. It also gives you more versatility so that you can use it on both hard and soft surfaces.
Unfortunately, you get only one jack, and no crank handle is included. This is significantly less than other options. The welds aren’t very durable on this jack, so they can snap while it’s in use.
This pair of stabilizing jacks have a maximum weight capacity of 5,000 pounds. They have a range of 4 to 24 inches. These jacks are meant to be raised underneath your RV to give it extra stability when parked. This prevents the RV or camper from shaking, swaying, or bouncing. A hand crank is included.
What’s nice about these jacks is that you can permanently mount them onto your RV. This means they’re always ready for use. They also have large pre-drilled support plates for easy installation.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer specifically states the jacks aren’t meant for lifting purposes. There have also been reports of poor quality control, such as the jacks being welded together crooked.
This single scissor floor jack comes in a convenient and compact carrying case. The kit includes an electric jack, supporting screw head for SUVs, supporting screw head for sedans, gloves, battery clamps, hand rocker, and fuses. The lifting capacity of this jack is 3 tons. It has a lifting range of 14 to 37 centimeters or 19 to 42 centimeters, depending on the support screw you use. The jack can reach its maximum height in two minutes.
This jack stands out because it isn’t hand-operated the way others on this list are. This makes using the jack very easy. You can connect it to any 12-volt outlet or your car battery. The construction is sturdy, with thicker steel used at the stress points.
Unfortunately, the jack may not raise your vehicle as quickly as the manufacturer claims. There also have been reports of the jack failing, causing a vehicle to suddenly drop. If you use your car battery to power the jack, you may find it uses a lot of power and drains the battery.
- Make sure you know the correct points where you can lift your car before an emergency arises. This information can often be found in the owner’s manual, but if you can’t find it, the information should be online as well.
- Any scissor jack you buy will come with information about weight limitations, maintenance, and other important details. Be sure to read these over for your safety.
- Always lift your vehicle on solid ground. Surfaces like gravel and sand will not be able to support the weight of your vehicle properly.
- When replacing a flat, keep in mind that a fully inflated tire will need more space, so lift your car up high enough to clear the ground.
Q: How do I know if a specific jack can lift my car?
A: This is always the first question that comes to mind when buying a new jack. Overall, the make and model is not going to influence the effectiveness of the lift. As long as your vehicle is under the maximum weight limit and not especially lifted/lowered, then you should be fine.
Q: What is a normal vehicle height?
A: Four to eight inches is a common range for vehicle heights. SUVs and trucks can be higher, especially if they have lifted suspension. Most jacks have a minimum height between four and six inches. So, if your vehicle is lower than that, you will need something compact.
When it comes to roadside emergencies, there’s no beating a scissor jack. The best overall value is the ROGTZ Electric 3 Ton Scissor Jack since it’s easier to use compared to a hand crank.
If you’re looking for a great value, go for the Torin Big Red Steel Scissor Jack. It’s an affordable, reliable option well-suited for smaller vehicles.