Reviews

Best Transmission Jacks: Easily Lift Your Transmission

These top transmission jacks are a vital tool if you need to install a transmission

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BY Nikola Petrovski , Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON September 27, 2019

Proper tools are essential if you do a lot of work on your vehicle. A transmission jack, for example, is critical if you have to remove or install the transmission on your car or truck. It's a heavy-duty tool that's useful for both DIYers and professionals. Our buying guide below highlights some of the best transmission jacks currently available.

Best Overall
OTC 2,200 lb. Capacity Low-Lift Transmission Jack
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Summary
Summary
This 2,200-pound capacity jack has a low height for trucks with low ground clearance. It can be used on nearly all Class 7 and 8 heavy-duty trucks.
Pros
Pros
  • This jack is sturdy and very well-made
  • It features a swiveling pump handle that permits ease of operation in tight working spaces
  • Mounting adapter fits popular Eaton, Fuller, and RoadRanger transmissions
Cons
Cons
  • This jack is prohibitively expensive for some people. You don't need such a premium jack if you work on smaller vehicles
Best Overall
OTC 2,200 lb. Capacity Low-Lift Transmission Jack
Best Value
Big Red TR4076 Torin Hydraulic Roll-Under Transmission/Floor Jack
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Summary
Summary
High-grade steel construction. 1,000-pound load capacity. Safety overload system. Adjustable saddle and head.
Pros
Pros
  • Heavy-duty construction means strength and durability for users
  • Powder-coated finish helps prevent rust
  • Lifting range of this jack is from 8-11/16 inches to 22-11/16 inches and it can lift up to 1,000 pounds, or ½ ton
  • Universal head with a broad tilt makes for easy positioning
Cons
Cons
  • May take some effort to pivot the platform with a transmission on it. 
  • May be missing the bearings on either side of the angle-adjustment shaft.
Best Value
Big Red TR4076 Torin Hydraulic Roll-Under Transmission/Floor Jack
Honorable Mention
Sunex 1/2-Ton Telescopic Transmission Jac
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Summary
Summary
This 1/2-ton transmission jack has a foot-activated pump pedal and lowered telescopic rams. It comes with a tiedown strap and four ratcheting arms.
Pros
Pros
  • The arms can be adjusted to accommodate the size of the transmission pan
  • It's sturdy, heavy duty, and comparable to more expensive brands
Cons
Cons
  • Knob to lower the jack may not be high enough for some users
  • Directions could be a little more robust
Honorable Mention
Sunex 1/2-Ton Telescopic Transmission Jac

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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Benefits of Transmission Jacks

  • Easy to use. Transmission jacks use hydraulic fluid to lift a car. You only need to leverage the mechanical advantage to easily raise or lower the car. The simple motions make a jack accomplish otherwise hard tasks.
  • Use of technology. Hydraulic transmission jacks are manufactured to leverage technology, which makes life easier. Without this important piece of technology, it is unimaginable how you would lift a 2-ton vehicle to change tires, for example.
  • Uniform lift. With transmission jacks, you will get a uniform lift compared to other methods such as manual lifting. All you need is a transmission jack with a wide leg base at a flat plain for the best results.
  • Economical. By applying force through hydraulic systems, some of the best transmission jacks make it cheap to accomplish what is otherwise a very expensive activity. While you would only need one person to operate a jack, you would probably need dozens of people to accomplish the same task without a jack.
  • Saves time. You may have woken up one day to find a flat car tire as you prepare to go to work in the morning. It is an inconvenient experience. With a transmission jack, you can just change the flat tire fast. Looking for people to manually assist you in lifting the car so that you can change the tire and still reach your destination can be frustrating. 

Types of Transmission Jacks

Under Car Transmission Jacks

This transmission jack is height extendable to access the transmission of a car that has been hoisted on a lift jack. It is compatible with either a two-post or a four-post car lift. With this transmission jack, the operator can conveniently stand and work under the car when either removing or installing the transmission.

Low Profile Transmission Jacks

These transmission jacks are used when repairing or changing a transmission in a car that is not supported above the ground by a car lift. Most of these types of jacks feature an adjustable tilt saddle, easy-roll casters, and versatile swivel pump handles, which are useful when you are working on tight areas.

Heavy-Duty Transmission Jacks 

If you regularly engage in heavy lifting in your workshops, then this is your jack. You can conveniently and safely use them on a heavy fleet truck with a weight capacity ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 pounds. They are constructed of heavy-duty steel, so they can handle heavy trucks while also being versatile enough to work on light trucks and passenger cars.

Bottle Jacks

Also known as the whiskey jack, this heavy-duty jack resembles a bottle in shape. The main component of this jack is a vertical hydraulic ram that is placed in the center. It works through hydraulic pressure via a foot pump that pushes the ram through a pressure hose. This jack is limited mostly to cars with relatively high clearance.

Top Brands

OTC Tools Company

The company, which was founded in 1934 by Geoffrey Kaplan, is headquartered in Owatonna, Minn. The company was acquired by Robert Bosch GmbH, and it has been part of Bosch Automotive Services Solutions since 2012. One of its flagship products is the Sunex Half-Ton Telescopic Transmission Jack.

Torin Automotive Equipment

The company is known to be one of the largest makers of transmission jacks in the world. It was established in 1990 and is headquartered in Changshu, China. One of its notable products is the Big Red Torin Hydraulic Transmission Floor Jack.

Sunex Tools

Founded in 1977, the company is one of the most innovative brands in the transmission jacks market today. Having its headquarters in Travellers Rest, N.C., the company boasts of quality products such as Sunex Half Tonne Telescopic Transmission Jacks.

Transmission Jacks Pricing

  • Under $150. Transmission jacks in this category may not have a high weight rating. They are mostly suitable for handling lighter weights such as motorcycle engines and small cars.
  • $150-$500. You will find some of the best transmission jacks in this category. The majority of transmission jacks are in this price range. 
  • $500 and up. Mostly favorable for commercial operations, transmission jacks in this class have a higher weight rating. They are made of heavy-duty steel and often have more premium features. 

Key Features

Durability

Most heavy truck components, such as differential units and gearboxes, are heavy. Using poor quality jacks may take a toll on the life of the jack. For maximum durability, you should shop for jacks constructed of sturdy, heavy-duty steel for the safety of the operator.

Weight Capacity

How much weight a transmission jack can handle without caving in is one of the most important features to look out for when buying a jack. For home use, a jack with a weight capacity of fewer than 1,000 pounds capacity should suffice. For commercial tasks, you should consider using jacks with a 2,000-pound rating in weight capacity.

Range of Motion

This feature determines the adjustable height of the transmission jack. It is indicated as the minimum and maximum height. Generally, a vertical distance of 35-75 inches is considered spacious enough. You should do an accurate approximation in order to safely fit the transmission on the underside of the vehicle.

Ease of Assembly

While the assembly process of the jack is easy, some products have instructional manuals that are hard to understand. It would be fatal to work with a poorly assembled transmission jack. Learning how you will work with your new jack cannot be overemphasized for its efficiency and safety. 

Other Considerations

  • Price and Warranty. While the price of the jack may be important, you need to make other considerations. For example, a comprehensive warranty of the tool may be equally valuable. A few more dollars on another product with a better warranty may be worth the money if only for peace of mind.
  • Hydraulic Pressure. Some jacks are equipped with a foot-operated pump and lowering pedal to gauge the transmission’s position. This feature does not come cheap and may account for a higher price. However, that may be a minor cost when you consider the need for the versatility of the transmission jack.
  • Stability. While maneuverability is important, you also want a jack that is stable enough to keep the transmission firm. For this to happen, the jack must have a wide ground contact base for stability. A wide base leg firmly anchors the transmission to the ground to avoid tilting or slipping when raising or lowering the transmission for repair work.

Best Transmission Jacks Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
OTC 2,200lbs Capacity Low-Lift Transmission Jack

This hydraulic transmission jack is designed in the United States with a high level of standards, specifically for aerodynamic trucks with low-profile clearance. Its range of motion is 8.25 inches with a 2,200-pound weight capacity.


The jack has a special mounting transmission adapter that is compatible with Eaton, Fuller, and Ranger transmissions found in almost all Class 7 and 8 heavy transportation trucks. The swiveling pump handle makes the jack quite versatile, as it can snugly fit in restricted spaces. 


The fast-acting pump is a quick responder in raising the pump handle. Also, you can swivel the mounting plate in different directions, such as 15 degrees back or 10 degrees forward, for ease of work. All you need is a wrench. 


The main downside of this jack is that it is a little expensive for non-commercial users. 

Best Value
Big Red TR4076 Torin Hydraulic Roll-Under Transmission/Floor Jack

You can use this jack for normal garage use and for industrial use. It is made of high-grade steel and has a lifting range of 8 11/16 inches to 22 11/16 inches. The load capacity is 1,000 pounds or 1/2 ton. The safety-overload system won’t allow usage beyond the stated capacity, and the powder-coated finish helps prevent rust.


The adjustable saddle and head and a 360-degree rotating handle on this jack makes work easier. Positioning is easy too with the universal head for mounting and the broad forward and aft tilt. The jack has four 360-degree swiveling casters, which make for precise, smooth positioning. A one-year limited warranty is also included.


Note, however, that it may be difficult to position the platform when there is a transmission on it. Also, be sure to check the bearings on either side of the angle-adjustment shaft, as they may be missing.

Most Durable
Sunex 1/2-Ton Telescopic Transmission Jack

The Sunex 1/2-Ton Telescopic Transmission Jack is designed to remove, install, and transport transmissions and transfer cases. It features a foot-activated pump pedal that allows you to slowly lower the load with control. It also has lowered telescopic rams to lower the transmission from the jack to the work surface area.


The jack has a nylon strap tiedown to secure the load and a universal saddle with four ratcheting arms, so you can adjust them to support the size of the transmission pan. Other features include an overload valve that prevents the device from being used outside of its capacity and an extended reach of 74 inches. Users report that it's sturdy, heavy duty, and well built overall. It's also easy to bleed the system, and it's comparable in performance to jacks that are much more expensive.


One downside is that the knob to slowly lower the jack may be too low for some users. You may have to crouch down to turn it while trying to judge where the transmission has to go. The directions are also a little vague.

Most Convenient
K Tool International 1,000-Pound Single-Stage Transmission Jack

The first thing you may notice about this jack is its price tag. It’s considerably less expensive than our top choice but is still quite a capable tool. With the ability to lift around 1,000 pounds, this transmission jack from K Tool is versatile and surprisingly portable. It includes smooth-gliding leg rollers to easily access any part of your workshop or garage. Plus it comes with a handy foot pedal to raise and lower it.


It’s capable of hoisting the transmission to a full height of 71 inches and features a speed pump that makes wrenching the hefty transmission easier as well. Though it’s a heavy tool at 123 pounds, you won’t have a hard time moving it, thanks to its design and functional leg rollers. It’s easy to operate too.


While 1,000 pounds is a lot of weight, it could stand to carry a bit more for the price, but this isn’t a dealbreaker by any means. It also isn’t the most durable-looking of tools, but it gets the job done.

Honorable Mention
JEGS Transmission Jack

JEGS is a well-known brand when it comes to vehicle maintenance and equipment. Its transmission jack is another excellent tool to have around the shop or even in your home garage. You can easily lift your vehicle’s transmission, as it’s capable of supporting up to 1,000 pounds. It’s also brightly colored and can be easily stored away.


One handy benefit of the JEGS transmission jack is its price. It isn’t an overly expensive tool by any means. It has a full lift height of 23 inches and can be lowered to 8.5 inches, and it allows 360 degrees of rotation. It also includes four swivel ball bearing casters for easier mobility and portability.


You may run into an issue when it comes to pumping to raise and lower the jack. There have been complaints that the handle can raise back up if it’s not pressed all the way down. Also, the handles and levers may be a bit too small for larger hands and can hurt to use without tools or gloves.

Honorable Mention
Gray Automotive Accessories Transmission Jack

Gray Automotive Accessories’ transmission jack is a premium maintenance tool designed for the mechanic. It’s a great tool for large shops and fits right at home in the garage. The high-rise automotive transmission jack features a two-stage design. The first stage is 100 percent air-operated, while the second is hydraulic for maximizing control.


The machine features four swivel casters, enhancing its maneuverability across smooth floors. It also includes a nylon “speed-strap” to quickly and securely attach the load into place. On top of all of that, the head plate is equipped with four quick-ratcheting brackets, increasing its flexibility and strength.


The one major negative of this transmission jack is its price. Although premium tools like this will generally be expensive, it should be able to lift more weight. It also doesn’t have that wide of a base.

Honorable Mention
OTC Stinger 2,000-Pound Heavy-Duty, Low-Lift Transmission Jack

Here is a heavy-duty transmission jack designed specifically to handle transmissions in class 7 to 8 trucks. While transmissions generally weigh between 100 and 400 pounds, with some weighing much more, this is a great tool to ensure the transmission gets from point A to point B.


One of its best features is its ability to lift 2,000 pounds, making it ideal for carrying heavier transmissions found in larger pickups, such as the hefty 700-pound Eaton Fuller Roadranger. The jack is designed well with a low profile so it can be tucked away out of sight when you don’t need it. It also comes with a full 360-degree hand pump and 3.5-inch ball bearing swivel casters for easier mobility.


This transmission jack comes with a hefty price tag. And while its weight may not be a big issue, at nearly 300 pounds, it can be a beast to move around if one of the wheels gets caught or stuck

Honorable Mention
Honhill 2 Stage Telescopic Transmission Jack

The Honhill 2 Stage Telescopic Transmission Jack holds up to 1,100 pounds and is adjustable from 34 to 68 inches, so it's compatible with many types of vehicles. It can be used as an auto repair station and for items that weigh less than 0.5 tons. It features sturdy steel construction for durability and is covered in a rust-resistant paint finish.


The jack has four cast-iron swivel casters and an auxiliary pulling ring that make it easy to lift. It features an adjustable tray and pedal design, so you can precisely align the transmission. The saddle rotates horizontally 360 degrees and tilts 30 degrees. Users report that it's easy to set up and is a stable and sturdy device.


However, it may not include any instructions, and you may have to replace a caster or another part as some users had issues with some of the jack's components.

Tips

  • A good-quality transmission jack can double as a transmission stand. After you remove the transmission, you can fix it on the jack, and then put it back into your vehicle.
  • Consider purchasing a transmission jack that has a higher capacity than you need for your vehicle. That way, you can use it on various types of vehicles, including larger ones you may buy in the future.
  • Transmission jacks can be costly, but if you purchase a premium brand it will last an incredibly long time. You may want to spend more initially rather than buy an inferior product that doesn't last very long.
  • Be sure to purge a telescopic jack before you use it. It may get air inside of it during shipping. Typically, you can release the air by turning a screw on the jack a few times, pumping the foot pedal, and following a few other instructions.

FAQs

Q: How do I use a transmission jack?

A: First, drain all the fluid out of the transmission and close the valve. Make sure it's centered on the jack platform, and strap a chain over it. Then line up the device, elevate it, find the proper angle, and then unhook the transmission and lower it down.

Q: Can I put an adapter on my floor jack to lift a transmission?

A: Yes. A floor jack transmission adapter works with a standard jack, so you don't have to purchase a separate tool. However, a floor jack with an adapter is much less maneuverable. It will also have fewer capabilities, such as a lower weight capacity, and it isn’t as reliable as a dedicated transmission jack.

Q: Can I use a transmission jack for other purposes?

A: Yes. Transmission jacks are quite versatile when it comes to car maintenance. You can use them to remove other heavy components in your vehicle, such as subframes, differentials, and driveshafts.

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the best transmission jack is the OTC 2,200 lb. Capacity Low-Lift Transmission Jack. It's a professional-grade jack that makes working on heavy-duty trucks much easier.

Our recommendation for a great value is the Big Red TR4076 Torin Hydraulic Roll-Under Transmission/Floor Jack. It is heavy-duty, yet easy to use.