Reviews

Best Car Lifts for Home Garages

Enjoy safety and comfort while working under your vehicle with one of the best car lifts for home garages.

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BY Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON November 22, 2021

If you spend a lot of time fixing cars, there is one tool that could completely transform the functionality of your home garage: a real car lift. All wrenchers own some type of car jack, whether that be a scissor jack, a pump jack, or a bottle jack, but the idea of owning a lift is a dream every home mechanic hopes to achieve one day. 

If you have the budget and the space in your garage, a lift will pay for itself with increased safety, convenience, massively increased accessibility to the underside of your vehicle, and time saved. However, not all lifts are built the same, and it’s important to pay attention to every detail of the products you consider. To ease the stress of your search for the perfect car lift, we’ve assembled a list of options currently available on Amazon and spotlighted the ones worth consideration. Learn more below.

Best Overall
Tuxedo Asymmetric Two Post Clear Floor Car Lift
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Summary
Summary

The Tuxedo TP9KAC-TUX asymmetric two post vehicle lift includes several features: low profile 4-inch lifting pads, stackable height adapters, saddle pad adapters, and dual lock releases.

Pros
Pros
  • 4.5 tons or 9,000-pound capacity.
  • Light duty and versatile
  • Quality build for commercial or residential use
  • Maximum lift height is 72 inches
  • 90-day return and one-year manufacturer warranty
Cons
Cons
  • Need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF documents of info and guides
Best Overall
Tuxedo Asymmetric Two Post Clear Floor Car Lift
Best Value
QuickJack Portable Car Lift
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Summary
Summary

The QuickJack BL-7000SLX portable car lift  features 14-gauge welded steel frames. This powerful device uses quick-connect hoses for speedy setup.

Pros
Pros
  • 3.5 tons or 7,000-pound capacity
  • Portable
  • 90-day return, plus a one-year structural, one-year parts, and one-year shipping manufacturer warranty
  • Quick connect/disconnect hoses for fast, no-leak setup
  • Car lift reaches full rise in 31 seconds
  • Open-center design provides clear under-vehicle access
Cons
Cons
  • Need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF documents of info and guides
  • Needs a 110V AC wall outlet power to operate
  • Maximum lift height is 18 inches
Best Value
QuickJack Portable Car Lift
Honorable Mention
Tuxedo Four Post Automotive Deluxe Extended Storage Lift
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Summary
Summary

The Tuxedo FP8K-DX-XLT Four Post Automotive Deluxe Extended car lift is a great storage/service lift for home hobbyists who want some features of a premium hoist, but who are unwilling to break the bank.

Pros
Pros
  • 4 tons or 8,000-pound capacity 
  • High efficient cable driven
  • Package includes trays and casters
  • Extended Storage Lift 
  • Heavy duty
  • Maximum lift height is 82 inches
  • Features  wheels
  • Great for many full-size trucks
  • 90-day return and one-year manufacturer warranty
Cons
Cons
  • Need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF documents of info and guides
Honorable Mention
Tuxedo Four Post Automotive Deluxe Extended Storage Lift

Why Trust Us


Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Our Methodology

We know that you know that we didn't exactly test out all of the lifts on our list. While that would be a great way to give you some insight, it's not right for us to make any false claims. We did, however, take the time to do as much homework as possible. We stuck to the trusty formula of diving into the infosphere to see what's what and which brands people, like you, depend on. From there, we considered typical budgets and project demands to develop the list of lifts we feel most home garage owners can get what they need from.

Reviews and Recommendations for the Best Car Lifts for Home Garages in 2021

Best Overall
Tuxedo Asymmetric Two-Post Clear Floor Car Lift

Take your regular home garage and turn it into a real car garage. Every car enthusiast with a passion for fixing vehicles needs a car lift. The Tuxedo TP9KAC-TUX has a capacity of 9,000 pounds or 4.5 tons. which makes it great for passenger cars, light-duty trucks and most SUVs.   


This economy-designed clear-floor lift includes several features: asymmetric swing arms, an auto-arm restraint system,  chain drive cylinders, low-profile four-inch lifting pads, stackable height adapters, saddle pad adapters, and dual lock releases.

Best Value
QuickJack Portable Car Lift

Not every individual wants a large car lift in their home garage, nor do they want to pay the large price for one. The QuickJack BL-7000SLX portable car lifting system can quickly have your vehicle in the air without losing quality or paying a lot of money. If you love fixing cars but do not want to struggle with ramps or jacks, the QuickJack car lift eliminates the need for either. 


The QuickJack has a 3-ton lifting capacity and is made out of 14-gauge welded steel. It has quick-connect hoses for a speedy setup and features lower and upper safety locks that automatically engage as the vehicle lift frames rise. This lift raises vehicles in as quick as 31 seconds. 


The safety locks also quickly disengage with just a flip of the lock bar. The portable unit requires a 110V AC wall outlet power to operate, and it comes with a remote pendant control with a 13-feet cord. Stable, heavy duty, and easy to use, the QuickJack keeps your garage clean and ready for all kinds of fixer-uppers.  

Honorable Mention
Tuxedo Four-Post Automotive Deluxe Extended Storage Lift

The Tuxedo FP8K-DX-XLT four-post lift has a 4-ton lifting capacity. The extended length and height of this car lift offer both safety and durability. If you're in need of better space management, the Deluxe Series is the best choice for storing multiple vehicles. This lift includes features like single-point manual lock release, adjustable locking positions, slack cable safety, and steel approach ramps. 


It is cable driven and comes with drip trays, a jack tray, and a poly caster kit. The Tuxedo four-post car lift is a great storage/service lift for home hobbyists who want some features of a premium hoist without breaking the bank.

Our Verdict

If you are looking to turn your home garage into a working car garage, we recommend our Best Overall product, the Tuxedo Asymmetric Two-Post Clear Floor Car Lift. It is sturdy and takes up less space inside the garage.  

For a durable and budget-friendly option, we recommend you take a look at the QuickJack Portable Car Lift. It’s decently priced, comes with safety features, and is easy to set up without the need for large columns in your garage.

What to Consider When Buying a Car Lift 

Not sure if we're in the right ballpark? That's alright. Our list is short and sweet, which makes it easy for us to miss the mark. Even if we did display something you like, you should do as much research for yourself as possible because safety is a major concern here. That's why we want to walk you through some of the key considerations that you should keep in mind while you shop for your own lift! 

Types of Car Lifts

Two-Post Lifts

Two-post and four-post lifts elevate your garage to an entirely new level, as they are what you’d find in real workshops and professional garages. The post lifts bolt directly into the concrete, so you need to make sure you have the space and the height. Whereas four-post lifts use four arms at each corner of the vehicle, two-post lifts frame the center of the vehicle and extend two arms angling to each corner on each side. Two-post lifts, which are more powerful and can lift higher than scissor lifts, are a nice compromise to full-on four-post lifts because they’re slightly more compact and cost less.

Four-Post Lifts

Four-post car lifts are the largest, heftiest, and most secure lifts available. Most weigh more than one ton and need to be bolted on the floor of the garage for stability. Unlike two-post lifts that use arms with pads that extend beneath the vehicle, the most common four-post design features ramps and two platforms that the vehicle directly drives onto. Because these are the top-of-the-line style of lifts, they also come at a premium price. If you regularly work on cars and have the space, the investment might be worth it.

Parking Lifts

Designed essentially the same as four-post lifts, parking lifts are great for those who have the time, money, and ability to build their garages taller but not wider. With a parking lift installed in your garage, you can store a vehicle (or more) on top of the lift, and park a car underneath it, or use that space for something else. Adding a secondary purpose to your lift bolsters its value proposition, but these things are massive and cost a ton of cash.

Scissor Floor Lifts

Some of the easiest to install lifts are scissor-style or portable car lifts. Perfect garage tools that provide either an open-center vehicle or scissor-style lift, depending on which one you choose.  Some lifts come ready to use, and do not need any setup. These lifts are great for temporary repairs for your vehicle. Whether you need to change a tire or repair a damaged wheel, the scissor-style and portable car lifts work great for these tasks.

Parallelogram Floor Lifts

Parallelogram floor lifts are similar to scissors lifts in that they are mobile units that you position on the ground underneath the car. Instead of using a scissor design, however, the rails of these lifts raise in the shape of a parallelogram. 

In-Ground Lifts

In-ground lifts are great because their components are primarily stored within the floor of your garage. That means more space in your garage and less inconvenience due to posts getting in the way. In-ground lifts are typically elevator style or scissor style. 

Key Features of Car Lifts

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity lets you know how much weight the lift can handle. Depending on what you are planning to do with this lift will determine what type of lift you need and how heavy-duty it needs to be. Some basic lifts can do about 6,000 pounds, which is acceptable for small cars, but if you're going to be working on a variety of vehicles, big and small, you will most likely need something that lifts between 10,000-15,000 pounds. Always check weight capacity and compare it to the vehicles you will be working on.

Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical

Post lifts can be designed with symmetrical or asymmetrical columns and arms for different vehicle positioning. How the columns and arms are oriented can change accessibility to getting in and out of the vehicle, as well as changes the accessibility to different parts of the vehicle’s exterior.

Hydraulic vs. Electric

Some lifts use hydraulic power to function while others use electric power to function. Determine your preference and shop accordingly. Keep in mind that one isn't always inherently better than the other based on operation type. It comes down to quality and engineering. In other words, homework is your best friend here.

How it Bolts Down

Depending on the type of lift you buy, you might need to bolt it down. Check how that's done on each lift you consider. Additionally, before you go installing a new lift into your garage, you need to determine if it’s even possible. You need to know how thick your garage concrete pad is and the weight capacity it can hold up. Once you determine your concrete’s rating, add up the maximum weight of the lift and the vehicles going on the lift to figure out if it’ll work. 

Safety Features

Each lift will come with additional safety features to prevent slipping or collapse of your vehicle. An auto-lock mechanism when the lift is ascending is key, and a lock bar mechanism when the lift is descending is important. Each brand has its own proprietary safety technology, so be sure to check that when comparing lifts.

Ease of Use and Setup

Go for a lift with user-friendly features. The setup should be easy for the average user. The system should come with simple instructions that show you how to mount the lift with your vehicle, lift it, lock it in place, and lower it without damaging your vehicle or the lift. Also, a hydraulic lift is easier to use than one that runs on electricity.

Benefits of Car Lifts 

TIME SAVER 

Floor jacks require setup, adjustments, and generally more involvement than a standalone lift. After the one-time assembly of the lift, you won’t have to spend time pumping or manually rotating a floor jack. Just remember that steps like busting lugs before you lift if impact tools aren't present are still very much a part of the process. Also, you shouldn't rush through the lifting procedure because it can lead to catastrophic consequences.

SAFETY 

Full car lifts are generally more heavy-duty and have higher weight limits than a typical floor jack. Additionally, many have built-in safety features to prevent any failure. A floor jack with jack stands is safe, but full lifts are even more secure. Not to sound like a broken record, but safety is still your responsibility. Make sure to use the right lift points and inspect the machine during each use to ensure it's safe for you to work under the vehicle.

TAKE IT EASY 

There’s a reason professional shops have all of their cars on lifts: it’s easier! You’re on your back less, you’re bending over less, and you’re contorting less often. It’s good for your health and makes a lot of work, especially underneath the car, far simpler.

Half of maintaining your car is inspections and checks, and with a full lift, it’s much easier to perform visual inspections of the underside of the vehicle. People avoid maintenance because of the hassle, and this takes away some of the excuses.

Car Lift Pricing Considerations

While it may be almost impossible to find a car lift that’s under $1,000, you will find some pretty decent two- and four-post car lifts at this range. Most offer the versatility of having an adjustable width and height, but often have a maximum lifting capacity that’s less than 6,000 pounds. Many high-end products in the $1,500-$2,000 price range, which are run by powerful motors of around 200 volts. Most products here have a maximum lifting capacity ranging from 6,000 to 9,000 pounds. They also exist as either two- or four-post beds. If you’re after a pro-level lift, expect to spend more than $2,000. Most lifts here come in either four-post or scissor-style plates and are anchored to the ground due to their size. They have a maximum lifting capacity ranging from 6,000 to more than 100,000 pounds.

Tips and Tricks 

As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and crate engines. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.

  • Always study the manufacturer’s manual before you lift your vehicle. It’s never a good idea to wing the operation as you may end up dropping your vehicle.
  • Always respect and stick to the weight limits of the car lift. If it has a maximum capacity of 6,000 pounds, don’t even think of lifting a 9,000-pound truck on it. It may end up falling on you when you are working underneath. 
  • Always place the lift on a level surface. That way, the lift can operate safely without slipping or collapsing. In addition, the car won’t be unstable as you work on it.

FAQs About Car Lifts

You've got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q. How do I install the car lift on a damaged slab?

A. We do not recommend installing a new car lift on a damaged slab of concrete. If you need to install a lift in your garage, have a professional repair your slab or pour a new one entirely.

Q. How tall does my garage need to be for a car lift?

A. The wisest thing you could do is measure the height of your garage and your tallest vehicle, then compare those figures to the maximum lifting height of the lift you go for. Ideally, your ceiling should be at least 12 feet high; some manufacturers recommend a 9.5-foot ceiling to fit some basic car lifts.

Q. How thick does the garage concrete need to be for installing a car hoist?

A. This depends entirely on the type of lift you purchase and the types of vehicles you will be using on those lifts. Read the recommendations and specifications for a specific lift and adjust accordingly. You might not be able to use some lifts without completely changing the concrete pad in your garage.