LAST UPDATED: October 9, 2019
Best Jack Stands: Be Confident When Lifting Your Vehicle
Complete multiple maintenance tasks on your vehicle using these high-quality jack stands
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PUBLISHED ON October 9, 2019
Jack stands are a vital component of vehicle maintenance. They allow you to have access to the underbody of your car, and it's very important that they safely hold thousands of pounds. If you're unsure which brands of jack stands are the best, we've got you covered. This buying guide narrows down the best jack stands available.
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Benefits of Jack Stands
Increased safety. Hydraulic jacks are used for lifting your vehicle, but you shouldn’t depend on them for long-term holds. If the jack fails, your car will come crashing down on you. Jack stands provide you with solid support and protection should your car jack fail.
- Tire preservation. If you plan on storing your vehicle for a long period of time, then jack stands will preserve the tires by taking the weight of the vehicle off of them. This will preserve the tires and help prevent flat spots and rotting.
- Easier maintenance. Jack stands can hold your vehicle up high to allow for easier access under your vehicle. This makes performing repairs and maintenance easier in your driveway or garage and reduces the need to take your vehicle to a professional shop.
Types of Jack Stands
This is a traditional style of jack stand. You’ll adjust the height of the stand by hand while lining up the holes. Once you have it in place, you slide the pin into place to hold the stand at the desired height. The pin is typically made out of steel or iron to provide the most support strength.
This isn’t the easiest or fastest type of locking system. The advantage is that it’s one of the most stable and durable. For the most usability, look for one with several hole options for the most adjustability. It’s also easier to use the stands with a built-in pin rather than the one with a separate pin.
Jack stands with a ratchet system are the easiest type of locking system to use. But this type has the most risk of failure. If you want stands with this system, buy them from a reputable manufacturer. This will ensure you get stands with a well-constructed and refined system that reduces the risk of failure as much as possible. These reliably-built jacks are just as stable as the other two types.
To work this style of jack stand, you’ll pump the lever to ratchet the stand up to your desired height. Then to lower it, you trigger the release.
This is the least common style of jack stand. It’s more stable than a ratchet stand and only slightly less stable than the pin lock style. The biggest problem with this style of jack is how you use it. The support saddle that your car rests on is on the top of a large screw. There’s also a holding bar that’s threaded onto the screw.
If you want to raise or lower it, you have to screw or unscrew the bar from the base of the jack stand. This is time-consuming and tedious. The advantage is that it’s easy to use, and you can achieve a completely custom height.
For more than 40 years, the Powerbuilt name has represented consistent quality and performance. Tool users can depend on this company to continually produce innovative and durable products for automotive work. The Powerbuilt Unijack with 6000 lb. Capacity is sure to hold up to your lifting needs.
Torin Automotive Equipment
Founded in 1993, Torin distributes its products through the United States and Canada. Its product line features wheels, valves, engines, jacks, and a variety of lifting equipment. The
Big Red Torin Steel Jack Stands are a solid set of stands for holding your vehicle.
Founded in 1978 in Kansas City, Pro-Lift has continually developed and produced innovative automotive products. Its products are widely distributed throughout the automotive industry.
The Pro-Lift Double Pin Jack Stand is a reliable and durable stand.
Jack Stands Pricing
Under $30: In this price range, you’ll find single jacks for sale and jacks with low weight capacity and lifting ranges. This works well for smaller and lighter cars.
- $30 to $50: Jacks in this price range have quality builds, may come in pairs, and have decent weight capacities and lifting ranges.
- $50 and up: These are the highest quality jacks that have the highest weight capacities. You may also find complete sets that include a pair of jack stands and a hydraulic jack.
You’ll find that jack stands have a wide range of lifting heights. You’ll need to find stands that are tall enough to lift your vehicle off the ground. This means if you have a low-to-the-ground car, you don’t need as tall of jack stands as you would if you have a large Jeep or truck. Look at the height range to know how much adjustability you’ll have.
Always size up when shopping for weight capacity. You don’t want to buy jack stands that are maxing out their weight capacity because this creates instability. You’ll find that they come in weight capacities from 2 tons to more than 20 tons. When buying a set of jack stands, the weight listed is the total weight the pair of stands can support when working together. So a pair of 2-ton jack stands can each support one ton each.
Not all car jacks are built the same. This means that when everything else is the same, always opt for the better-built jack. Investing in a quality set of jack stands now will save you time and frustration later. Better built stands tend to be more durable and reliable. The difference in quality becomes apparent when considering the finish and corrosion resistance.
Locking Mechanism. This is how you secure the stands into place so they can hold a consistent height. The pin lock style is the most secure because there’s minimal risk of the pin coming out or breaking. The screw lock is the next most secure because it would have to spin to change the height, and it can’t do that while a vehicle rests on it. The ratchet is secure, but the least secure of the three.
- Saddle Construction. Look for stands that have a wide saddle for your vehicle’s frame to securely rest on. Some have a contouring design to cradle the frame instead of having a flat surface that it could slip off of. Some higher-quality stands have a non-slip surface on the cradle for a more secure setup.
- Base Size. The base size is the foot of the stand that rests on the ground. A stand with a larger diameter base will be more stable. Some even have extra welding to create larger feet on the wide base. The higher the stand can lift, the wider the base should be for the necessary support and stability.
Best Jack Stands Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This pair of jack stands have a 6-ton, or 12,000-pound, weight capacity. They come in a bright red color with black lifting bars and saddles. They also come in a range of weight capacities, so you can buy the right pair for the size of your vehicle. Choose from 2, 3, 6, and 12 tons. You can adjust the height from 15 3/8 to 23 13/16 inches.
What makes these jack stands excel is their wide pyramid base. This gives you the most strength and stability. They’re forged from steel and have welded frames. The wide saddle gives you the greatest versatility and stability during use.
Unfortunately, the welding quality is inconsistent. Carefully inspect yours to ensure the welds are solid before you use them. These stands also have an issue with being crooked when you extend them to their full height.
This pair of jack stands has a 3-ton capacity. They’re formed of welded steel and have a self-locking ratchet handle. You cannot release the handle while the stand is under load to prevent accidental release. These stands conform to ANSI PALD load rating standards.
These stands are durable thanks to the baked enamel finish that will protect them from corrosion. They’re also factory-tested before shipment to ensure consistency of quality. The foot pads have welding to prevent them from sinking into soft ground.
Unfortunately, the welds aren’t clean, and the stands have weld splatter and inconsistencies. They feel lightweight and can make you nervous about using them on larger SUVs and trucks.
This attractive pair of blue and yellow jack stands have a 6-ton lifting capacity. They are formed from steel and have a multi-position ratchet system. The dual-purpose handle is the release and makes it easier to carry the stands. They have a lifting range of 16 1/4 to 25 3/4 inches.
These jacks have a large base that can give more stability to the jacks. The welds are also continuous, which increases the strength of the welds and overall construction of the stands. They also have a wide range for their lifting height, which makes them more versatile.
Unfortunately, you may find that these jacks don’t sit squarely on a flat surface. This could be because one leg is shorter than the others. The pictures show the label claims they’re made in the USA, but they’re actually assembled in the U.S. from global parts.
- It's important that you use the jack stands on level ground, or the vehicle can slip. If the surface area is a bit soft, you can put the jack stands on heavy-duty plywood, which will provide better support.
- Make sure the jack stands each has a weight rating that's three-quarters of the weight of your vehicle. So, if your vehicle weighs 4,000 pounds, each jack stand should be rated to 3,000 pounds.
- Once you've raised your vehicle on the jack stands, ensure that it is stable by gently shaking the vehicle. You want to make sure it's solidly in place before you start working on it.
Q: Can I work on a vehicle that’s being supported by hydraulic jacks?
A: Do not work under a car or truck that is being held up by hydraulic jacks. When you are working on the underbody of a car or truck, it's safer to use jack stands or ramps.
Q: Can I lift just one side of a vehicle with jack stands?
A: Yes, but you have to follow some safety precautions. Make sure to put blocks or chocks under the wheels so that the vehicle doesn't roll off the jacks.
Q: What do I do if a jack stand fails?
A: Plan in advance. After jacking up your vehicle, put one of the removed wheels in a solid section underneath the vehicle. If the jack fails and the vehicle drops, it won't fall completely to the ground. This could save your life.
Our pick for the best jack stands is the Torin Big Red Steel Jack Stands: 6 Ton Capacity, 1 Pair. They can accommodate between two and 12 tons and are constructed of solid steel. They're also durable and rust-resistant.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the OTC Stinger 3 Ton Jack Stands - Pair.