LAST UPDATED: June 15, 2019
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.
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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 2020
This four-post automotive lift is designed for storage and service use. It has a caster kit, so you can easily move the lift around in the garage. The jack tray lets you use a bottle jack or floor jack to lift one end of the vehicle. And the three drip trays keep fluid from dripping on to the bottom of the vehicle.
This auto lift is well-made and sturdy. It's portable, easy to install, and takes about five to six hours to assemble. The automatic locking system engages at 10 separate points while you raise the vehicle. The complex portions are pre-assembled, and the cables are already threaded through everything but the post pulleys.
However, the instructions are a little vague, making it difficult to adjust the safety latches and linkages. The lift is also very heavy, and it is challenging to assemble alone.
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.
This two-post lift has a double "S" column design and a 10,000-pound lift capacity. It's made of steel with a durable powder-coated finish and robot-welded structure, which is CE certified. It features a hydraulic system and a symmetrical and asymmetrical arm assembly with screw-in pads.
To prevent damage during delivery, the lift is shipped from different warehouses in Washington, Texas, Georgia, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. It lifts an 8,000-pound vehicle as easily as a 3,000-pound vehicle. It's a very well made piece of equipment and costs much less than many rival lifts of its size. Overall, it's one of the best values for the money if you're looking for a two-post lift.
The biggest complaint with this lift is that the instructions are not very good, and you largely have to figure out how to put it together on your own. Also, it flexes a little bit when it has more than 7,000 pounds on it.
This is a beefy two-post garage car lift capable of hefting around 10,000 pounds of weight. It includes a 5/16-inch diameter cable and a reliable and sturdy 4.56-inch pulley system. The high-quality cabling is designed to reduce stress during the synchronization process and even increases the life of the cable.
As another big benefit to you, the machine comes with an ultra-high molecular self-lubricating nylon slider to ensure maximum efficiency and smooth operation. It also comes with a high-powered industrial 220V 60Hz 3 horsepower motor. The device also features door guards to protect your car, truck, SUV, or Jeep, and includes a double point safety lock release.
There is a bit of a catch with it, though. You must have a forklift or tractor capable of hauling it from the freight. It is quite hefty and weighs 1,400 pounds. You will have to pay extra if you don’t have a means of transporting it to your garage. Installing and setting it up can be an issue if you don’t have the necessary tools and it can be time consuming as well.
You aren’t seeing double with this car garage jack. It is a little different than the one featured beforehand. First of all, it is less expensive and that’s always a plus, but you don’t miss out on any of the benefits by choosing this option. It comes with a dual symmetric and asymmetrical arm assembly with screw-in pads as well.
It’s capable of lifting a vehicle weighing up to 10,000 pounds, so you can work on just about any car you can think of. The machine includes a CE-certified lift structure and hydraulic system, has a 6-foot, 9-inch maximum lift height, and comes with truck adapters. It’s constructed out of a high-quality powder coat and steel so it’s sturdy as well. It’s also lighter than our previous choice and weighs 1,350 pounds.
You may need to do some research online in order to understand how to properly install it. The instruction booklet can be confusing and it lacks in providing certain information as well. You may also want to set up the lift with another person, as doing it by yourself can be exhausting and difficult.
This car lift may look small and compact, but it’s quite a capable little device. It includes a 51-inch maximum lift height and comes with truck adapters for extra convenience. It has a maximum length of 88 9/16 inches and a width of 78 ¾ inches. It also features a dual 3.25-inch hydraulic cylinder structure that allows you to lift 6,600 pounds.
It’s a bright orange color that you can’t miss so you can avoid it like traffic cones on the highway. Plus, it comes with wheels for easier mobility and ease of access around the shop. It’s triple roller design enhances its stability and contact with the floor. It is also one of the lightest car lifts on our list, as it weighs 1,200 pounds.
While it may be a powerful jack for your home garage, it is still lacking in just how much weight it can handle. Its limit of 6,600 pounds is a lot, but it’s the second lowest of our choices. It also doesn’t lift cars very high and you still have to bend over or crawl underneath the vehicle to get a proper look at it.
This scissor-style automotive lift has a lifting capacity of 6,200 pounds or 2800 kilograms. The maximum car lifting height is 48 inches. It features a safety lock at all work heights and it is portable and a breeze to move around.
The lift is a good choice for either the home garage or a body shop. It has a single-point lock release and two hydraulic cylinders. The kit includes four SUV adaptors, flexible lifting arms so you can use the lift on many car models, and a separate motor stand. To use, you drive over the lift.
On the downside, it does not arrive with hydraulic fluid, so you need about two gallons to use the lift. Also, it’s not easy to move around.
- 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 8000Lbs 4 Post Storage Service Lift. It is sturdy and has a large capacity.
If you are looking to spend less than $1,500 on a car hoist, then think of the Quickjack BL-5000SLX. It’s decently priced, comes with safety features, and is ideal for lifting a small family car.