Best Car Lifts For Home Garage: Turn Your Residence Into A Garage
Enjoy safety and comfort while working under your vehicle with one of the best car lifts for a home garage
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PUBLISHED ON June 15, 2019
Do you get back aches from lying on the floor while working on your car at home? Then, it makes great sense to invest in a good car lift for your home garage. It provides a comfortable and safe environment for you to work on your car. Most can lift or lower vehicles of up to 9,000 pounds. Here’s a buying guide for some of the best home car lifts available today.
- Best OverallTriumph NT-9SummarySummaryA two-post floor plate lift with a maximum lift capacity of 9,000 pounds and swing arms for easy attachment to the vehicleProsProsA great option for limited space. Has a high lifting capacity. Easy to assemble and user-friendly operation. Maintains the vehicle in a stable position. Made of durable and strong all-steel construction. Takes only 40 seconds to lift to 72 inches.ConsConsNot portable. Low-quality arm lock. Requires regular greasing.
- Best ValueQuickjack 5175376 BL-5000SLXSummarySummaryA variable two- and four-post car lift with a maximum lift capacity of 5,000 pounds and a powerful 110-volt AC motor.ProsProsAffordable. Handy remote control for versatility. Lightweight. Low profile. Portable. Easy to store. Easy to use. Comes with mid-level and full-height safety locks.ConsConsLow lifting capacity. Lower lift height. Poor-quality quick-connect fittings.
- Honorable MentionBendPak Portable Mid-Rise Scissor LiftSummarySummaryA scissor lift with a maximum lifting weight capacity of 6,000 pounds. It has a small profile and is powered by a 220-volt motor.ProsProsSmall profile that’s ideal for small garages. A large lifting weight capacity. Comes with a multi-position safety lock. Great for low cars. Lifts to 48 inches in less than 45 seconds.ConsConsDifficult to install. The middle section blocks the midsection of a car. Heavy.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy a Car Lift for Home Garage?
- Enhanced safety. If you are looking for something to lift your vehicle, safety is a major concern, and you can’t afford to go for poor-quality hoists as they cause accidents. Modern car lifts feature stable steel construction and anchors that keep the lift firmly on the ground, to prevent the unit from collapsing while you’re working underneath your vehicle.
- Hold larger automobiles and equipment. Auto lifts are not just suitable for small family cars. Most can expand to heights and widths that can accommodate larger vehicles like pickups, vans, and SUVs. They can also be used to store snowmobiles, motorcycles, lawn mowers, and snow blowers.
- Work from home. If you hate spending a lot of money hiring someone to work under the vehicle for you, then a car lift will help you give your car all the extra attention right from the comfort of your home.
Types of Car Lifts for a Home Garage
Scissor-style or portable car lifts are the easiest to use and install. Some come ready to use, and you, therefore, don’t need to set them up. They are great for temporary repairs for your vehicle like changing a tire or repairing a damaged wheel. However, they are a bit underpowered in comparison to two-and four-post lifts.
Two-post lifts use two frames supporting a vehicle and take up less space than four-post lifts. They are more powerful than scissor lifts and have a higher lifting height in comparison. Their small profile makes them ideal for small home garages and shops.
Four-post lifts are the largest, most powerful, and compact car lifts. They often weigh a bit over 2,000 pounds and need to be bolted on the floor for stability. They are, therefore, not portable. Despite that, they can quickly lift a vehicle and keep it stable long enough for you to finish working on it.
Triumph is a UK-based brand that specializes in making motorcycles. It also makes clothing and automotive accessories. The company was started in 1983 by John Bloor. Some of its best residential garage car lifts are the Triumph NT-9 and the Triumph NSS-8.
With over 50 years in the industry, BendPak has been known to make some of the best car lifts featuring the best-in-class technology. It’s a U.S.-based company that sells its products all over the world. The BendPak Portable Mid-Rise Scissor Lift is one of its best car lifts for the money.
Best Car Lift for Home Garage Pricing
- Under $1,500: 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.
- $1,500-$2,000: Expect to find some high-end products in this price range that 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.
- Above $2,000: Budget this much for a high-quality garage lift made of tough and durable construction. 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 10,000 pounds.
The weight capacity lets you know how much weight the lift can handle. Most home garage lifts have a maximum lifting capacity of 6,000 pounds, and some go as far as 10,000 pounds. The choice here depends on the total weight of your vehicle. If you have a small family car, then anything within 6,000 pounds will suffice. Go for higher weight capacities if you own an SUV or a truck.
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.
Ease of Use
Go for a lift with user-friendly features. The set-up 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.
- Construction: The construction will determine if your vehicle will remain stable while lifting or lowering it. Go for a tough all-steel construction that’s bolted on the ground as it’s durable, stable, and safe for use.
- Lifting Speed: This specification is important for anyone who doesn’t like to waste even a minute while fixing their car. Most lifts typically stretch out to their full height and weight in less than a minute if it has a powerful motor.
Best Car Lift For Home Garage Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Triumph NT-9
The Triumph NT-9 is our top pick due to its minimalistic design and user-friendly features. For starters, it has 111 inches of height with 72 inches of lifting height and 4.5 inches of lowering height. It can expand to 132 inches of width and has 106 inches between posts. This two-post car lift is suitable for almost all vehicles with a lift capacity of 9,000 pounds.
With a 220-volt high-performing motor, the lift is capable of lifting vehicles in less than 40 seconds to the maximum lifting height. Its lifting speed automatically matches the weight of the vehicle, and there are available extensions for trucks. Each post comes with dual-anchor bolts for an easy setup process, and it’s easy to install the lift, even without using the manual.
However, the unit has its disadvantages as the bolts require regular greasing, and it’s inconvenient to move around the motor for outdoor use. Also, the unit requires almost four-inches of the slab to be stable, and it has a low-quality arm lock. Nonetheless, it has a space-efficient design suitable for small garages.
Best Value: Quickjack 5175376 BL-5000SLX
The Quickjack 5175376 BL-5000SLX is a budget-friendly car lift that allows you to adjust the height of the lift and move around the car at the same time. The device can be powered by either 220-volt, 240-volt, or 12-volt motors. It can also function effectively with either two or four posts, and a hand-held remote simplifies the lifting process.
The frames are lightweight, and the lift is portable. Each section of the lift only weighs 70 pounds. The unit is easy to set up, and you won’t have to bolt it on a secure ground as with most two post car lifts. It’s also powerful and easy to use. The lift automatically engages its dual-position safety lock whenever the lift is raised. The safety lock features a flip lever for quick shut-off.
The main drawback of this lift is that it can only lift 5,000 pounds, which is low compared to other garage lifts. In that regard, it also has a lower lifting height, and its quick-connect fittings are of poor quality. The lift can be used to change the tires, adjust the chassis, and conduct other maintenance services.
Honorable Mention: BendPak Portable Mid-Rise Scissor Lift
The BendPak Portable is a scissor-style lift that measures 81-inches in length and 40-inches in width. It can raise a 6,000-pound vehicle in around 45 seconds courtesy of its powerful 220-volt motor. The unit can sink to a low height of four inches and is, therefore, capable of getting under a normal family car. Holding its maximum weight capacity, it can rise to a maximum height of 53 inches, which is a comfortable height to work underneath.
The lift features a free truck adapter that allows you to lift trucks on the device, and its space-saving design is perfect for a small garage. It also comes with wheels to make transfer easy. The unit is made of quality steel construction, with a safety lock bar that includes multiple lock positions for enhanced safety. The lifts also feature a premium quality hose that’s typically connected to an external cylinder to supply oil and other incompressible fluids to the hoisted vehicle.
The disadvantage of this unit is that it’s more expensive than other car lifts. It’s also difficult to set up. Moreover, the plate blocks the mid-section, and you can’t access important features of your car like when replacing the transmission fluid. Also, it’s worth noting that the lift gives a slight wobble when pushed to its maximum height with weight on top.
- 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 flat platform that’s stable. That way, the lift can operate safely without slipping or collapsing. In addition, the car won’t be unstable as you work on it.
Q: How do I install the car lift on a damaged slab?
A: Typically, a level floor is suggested for level lifting, but all hope is not lost if you are willing to get creative. First off, you need to cut out a 40-inch by 40-inch square from the damaged slab and pour in new concrete to a depth of one foot. Then even out the slab to be aligned with the existing slab. Alternatively, you could purchase extra chemical anchors to increase grip on the damaged surface.
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 vehicle, then comparing 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 most basic car lifts.
Q: How thick does the garage concrete need to be for installing a car hoist?
A: It largely depends on the type of car hoist you have. Two- and four-post lifts require a minimum of about 4 inches (100 millimeters) of a reinforced concrete slab. It can also be as low as 3.5 inches if the lift has a low lifting capacity of anything less than 6,000 pounds.
Our top product is the Triumph NT-9 due to its high lifting capacity and ability to stretch out to widths and heights ideal for lifting a truck.
If you are looking to spend less than $1,500 on a car hoist, then think of the Quickjack 5175376 BL-5000SLX. It’s decently priced, comes with safety features, and is ideal for lifting a small family car.