Best Mechanic's Creepers: Make Undercarriage Automotive Work Comfortable
Reach those troublesome spots underneath your car with these top mechanic's creeper
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BY Austin Fracchia / LAST UPDATED ON September 24, 2020
Reaching the undercarriage of a car can be difficult when it comes to routine or unexpected automotive maintenance. A good mechanic's creeper does the job of getting you under a vehicle and supporting your body while working for long hours at a time. The best creepers are easy to move around, comfortable, and slim enough to get you under low vehicles if needed. Here's our guide to the best mechanics creepers.
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Why Buy a Mechanic's Creeper
- Reach hard-to-reach spots. Depending on the type of vehicle, the undercarriage can be very difficult to access without a creeper with swivel caster wheels. Low ground clearance, rough ground, and hanging automotive parts all create an obstacle course a good creeper can help you navigate.
- Stay comfortable. Longer automotive maintenance requires extra support and comfort to get through if you don't want a sore back at the end of it all. Padded shop creepers have a good deal of ergonomic support to keep your back comfortable as much as possible.
Types of Mechanic's Creepers
Traditional car creepers are nothing more than a large plank of wood with casters attached to the bottom. This design, while not the most comfortable, is very effective at reaching tight spots underneath a car due to the low profile. Some come with an adjustable headrest and extra padding to offer more comfort and support.
Contoured car creepers take the same basic design approach as traditional creepers but with some extra curves along the main surface. These curves contour to the body's shape, hugging these areas more for better support. These curves can be along the sides or top to support the back.
For some extra versatility, folding mechanic's creepers tend to transform into a seat or stool you can work from when servicing the sides of a vehicle. The padding tends to be thicker on these creepers, especially around the headrest that often doubles as the seat.
Top Brands of Mechanic's Creepers
Torin offers a wide range of different lifting products like service and bottle jacks and stands. In addition to the large vehicle lifters, the company also offers a line of mechanic’s tools, organizers, and creepers that make automotive maintenance easier, quicker, and more comfortable. For creepers, check out the Big Red Creeper for a great option to consider.
Owned by Shinn Fu Company of America (SFA), Pro-Lift is a line of creepers, jacks, stands, wenches, and other heavy-duty movers. SFA has been making automotive accessories for more than 40 years and has a large presence in distributing hydraulic lifting equipment. The company's Z Creeper line is a good contender for one of the best creeper lines available.
Mechanic's Creeper Pricing
- $50 and under: Budget mechanic's creepers tend to be relatively simple in design. Most will have a basic plank with minimal padding and average casters to move around.
- $50-$100: If you want a high-quality creeper that isn't necessarily professional-grade, this is the range to check out. Within this range, most creepers have better padding and casters to make automotive maintenance more ergonomic and comfortable.
- $100 and above: This is largely the professional-level range of creepers. Many creepers here have thick padding, large casters, and ergonomic contours to better support the body as you roll around under a vehicle.
Lying on a solid plank of wood or metal can quickly become uncomfortable after a while. Worse, it can lead to pain and other issues in the back. This makes padding along the top of a creeper important. With extra padding, you get extra support and comfort so you can work longer without worrying about the health of your back. Pay attention to the thickness of the padding when considering different creeper options.
To move around, a creeper needs a set of high-quality casters. Most come with either four or six casters placed around the frame to distribute the weight equally. The size and surface of the casters are important. Larger wheels with grippy edges make it easier to move around the uneven ground or over small debris.
- Mobility: Since a creeper is meant to move around to different parts of a vehicle, mobility is quite important in the design and function of a creeper. Beyond the rolling casters, mobility is influenced by the size and shape of the creeper. Low-Profile design makes it easier to get around vehicles with low clearance. Portability features like built-in handles also help store the creeper when not in use.
- Clearance: Good clearance, in general, is the most important thing to have for a creeper to be effective. Clearance is partly influenced by the vehicle itself and how much you can lift it safely, but the creeper's design also comes into play. Here, smaller caster wheels and a narrow frame contribute to a low-profile design.
Best Mechanic's Creepers Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- If you use a mechanics creeper with jack stands, make sure you use some redundant stands in case load-bearing stands fail.
- A tool tray or organizer makes it easy to keep tools within reach when using a mechanic's creeper. A sliding tool holder is the best way to roll your tools right along with you.
- For storage, hang the creeper on a wall when not in use. This is easy to do when the creeper has a built-in handle.
Q. How high should a mechanic's creeper be?
A. Lower tends to be better. A low creeper helps with clearance with the undercarriage. If you need to work on an uneven or rough surface, however, something taller with larger casters may be warranted.
Q. How do I clean a creeper?
A. A good mechanic's creeper should have an easy-to-clean surface, especially around the padding. Vinyl and other heavy-duty fabrics tend to be the easiest to clean with a good wipedown or disinfectant.
Q. How much padding do I need?
A. Most creepers come with less than an inch of padding, which is enough for most routine maintenance applications. The right amount is a personal preference, but more tends to be better. At the very least, you should have plenty of padding around the head.
Our top pick for the best mechanic's creeper is the Omega 91400 Mechanic's Creeper, which offers extra padding for enhanced comfort.
If you don't mind a slimmer build and lightweight frame, the Pro-Lift C-2036D offers some unique features with a smaller price tag.