Best Floor Jacks: Lift it Up and Let’s Get to Work

There’s no getting around it, you’re going to need one.

byHank O'Hop| UPDATED Oct 28, 2022 1:37 PM
Best Floor Jacks: Lift it Up and Let’s Get to Work

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BYHank O'Hop/ LAST UPDATED ON October 28, 2022

Yeah, we all want a lift in our dream garage. But you got to walk before you run, pal. First, you have to set yourself up with a floor jack. Even if you're lucky enough to move into a shop with a pit, lifts, and all the other fancy stuff you can dream of, a floor jack is still going to come in handy. There are a lot of options out there, though, and that can make getting started tough. It can even be a little scary when you think about how incredibly important it is for a jack to be well-made and how many junk brands are out there. That's what you've got The Drive for, though. This guide will familiarize you with the best options on the market and the details you need to make the right choice. 

Best Overall
Big Red 4-Ton Torin Hydraulic Low Profile Service/Floor Jack

Big Red 4-Ton Torin Hydraulic Low Profile Service/Floor Jack

Summary
A solid, reliable jack that'll lift anything you're working with. Big Red's 4-ton jack is the perfect fit for the home garage.
Pros
  • Great Quality 
  • Dual-piston pump for quick operation 
  • Weight capacity covers most applications
  • Built in overload system improves safety
Cons
  • Minimum height is taller than most
  • Quality control issues are somewhat common
Best Value

Husky 3-Ton Low Profile Floor Jack

Summary
Husky's 3-ton jack might be affordable, but it's not cheap. A dual-piston design and excellent lift range put it inline with the best. 
Pros
  • Affordable 
  • Excellent lift range 
  • Dual-piston design speeds up operation
Cons
  • Quality control issues are common
  • Release can be hard to control 
Honorable Mention

Daytona 3-Ton Low Profile Professional Floor Jack

Summary
Daytona prides itself on offering pro-level tools at a discount. This jack is a great representation of its achievements.
Pros
  • Excellent lift range 
  • Competitive pricing 
  • Dual-piston design speeds up operation
Cons
  • Relatively Heavy
  • Rubber pad design can see improvement

Summary List 

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.

Learn more

Our Methodology

Every mechanic, weekend warrior, and DIYer needs a floor jack. Our team has plenty of experience working with them and has a solid understanding of what makes a good jack, as well as which brands you can count on. Still, it's important to keep ourselves in check, especially when talking about a product your safety is counting on. That's why we take the time to research the market, the best that manufacturers have to offer, and what consumers have to say about how floor jacks perform in the real world before we recommend them to you. 

Best Floor Jacks Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Big Red
  • Lift Range:4 to 20 Inches
  • Weight Capacity: 4-Ton (8,000 Pounds)

Pros

  • Great Quality
  • Dual-piston pump for quick operation
  • Weight capacity covers most applications
  • Built in overload system improves safety

Cons

  • Minimum height is taller than most
  • Quality control issues are somewhat common

I'm listing Big Torin as the top pick because it's my personal go-to. Over the years, I've found the quality and performance of its equipment perfect for the average consumer. Competitive pricing is just a bonus. This jack brings a lift range of four to 20 inches to the table with a 4-ton weight capacity. Those two factors combined make for a jack that covers most applications in the average garage. This model also features a dual-piston mechanism that makes for quick lifting and a built-in overload system in case you accidentally try to take on more than it can handle.

Of course, it does have its downsides While I personally have yet to run into any, quality control issues seem to be a bit of a concern for the brand. Also, the minimum height might be a little too high for some low-sitting applications.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Husky
  • Lift Range:3.125 to 19.75 Inches
  • Weight Capacity: 3-Ton (6,000 Pounds)

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Excellent lift range
  • Dual-piston design speeds up operation

Cons

  • Quality control issues are common
  • Release can be hard to control

Husky's 3-ton floor jack is a solid choice for anyone working with budget constraints. With one of the lowest minimum heights on this list, it easily slips under most vehicles. Pairing that with a 19.75 lift height makes for a rather versatile jack. The affordable price is what most care about, though, and it's easy to see why with a price tag that's about half that of notoriously budget-friendly brands. Despite that low price, it still works with a dual-piston mechanism, making it a true contender in every way.

That affordability does seem to come at the cost of quality control, as there are a few too many complaints of defective units among customer reviews to ignore. Also, some have pointed out that releasing pressure can be more difficult to control than normal.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Daytona
  • Lift Range:3.25 to 20 Inches
  • Weight Capacity:3-Ton (6,000 Pounds)

Pros

  • Excellent lift range
  • Competitive pricing
  • Dual-piston design speeds up operation

Cons

  • Relatively heavy
  • Rubber pad design can see improvement

Harbor Freight's Daytona line aims to provide pro-level tools at a reasonable price, which is something many feel it has achieved. This jack is a great representation of its efforts. It offers an excellent lift range, a dual-piston mechanism, and premium design qualities throughout to boost user experience positively. It truly is representative of higher-end jacks but at a much lower price point than its premium counterparts.

There are few user complaints surrounding this Daytona jack. That doesn't mean they don't exist, though. Many feel it's very heavy for what it is, but that may be something you're willing to live with if you're after an all-steel jack. Also, the rubber pad inside the saddle sits below the raised steel edges, which isn't ideal, considering they're more likely to make contact with surfaces you're trying to protect.

Specs

  • Manufacturer:Sunex
  • Lift Range:3.8 to 20 Inches
  • Weight Capacity:3-Ton (6,000 Pounds)

Pros

  • Lightweight construction
  • Excellent lift range
  • Wide base improves stability
  • Dual-piston design speeds up operation

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Casters can see improvement

Sunex's aluminum jack is what you need in the pits. Its 3-ton weight capacity might be overkill for many circle track events and, hopefully, for any other race car you're working on, but that only means it's safer than others. The aluminum construction brings weight down to 58 pounds, but it still has all of the features you demand in high-paced situations between rounds. The dual-piston mechanism keeps things moving along while a wide base maximizes stability and 20 inches of lift gets whatever you need off the ground.

The casters might create some hiccups while you slide around, which isn't great under pressure. It's also quite expensive. However, the low weight makes it easy to work around wheel issues, and any aluminum jack will list for more than traditional steel units.

  • Manufacturer:Yellow Jacket
  • Lift Range:3.75 to 24.1875 Inches
  • Weight Capacity:3-Ton (6,000 Pounds)

Pros

  • Superior lift height
  • Height adapter can be removed
  • Affordable
  • Dual-piston design speeds up operation

Cons

  • Quality control issues are common
  • Low durability

What if 20 inches of lift isn't enough? This Yellow Jacket jack has your back. It comes with an adjustable height adapter that brings total lift beyond the 24-inch mark. Of course, that's not all there is to get excited about. As you should expect, it works with a dual-piston mechanism to help you reach max lift in a hurry. It also has an impressively low minimum height for the heights it can reach, making it more versatile than many options. Despite all of that, it also sits at an affordable price point in line with our pick for Best Value.

Unfortunately, quality control issues keep this model from ranking any higher. That, paired with relatively low durability, will ultimately take many consumers elsewhere.

Our Verdict

The Big Red 4-Ton Torin Hydraulic Low Profile Service/Floor Jack takes the place of Best Overall for its balance of reliability and useful features at a competitive price point. However, the Husky 3-Ton Low Profile Floor Jack is a great option if you're working with a particularly tight budget but need something reliable. 

Consider Secondhand

When we start shopping for tools and products, we never overlook the secondhand market. In fact, it’s usually the first place I look. Whether you’re scrolling through Amazon’s Renewed section, eBay for car parts or tools, or flipping through the pages of Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, you have hundreds of thousands of used tools, parts, and gear ready to be shipped to your doorstep. Refurbished to like-new status, they’ll be willing to give you many more years of faithful service all while saving you money. 

If those options don’t have what you need, your local salvage yard is great for car parts, while swap meets are a great resource you should tap. Just Google either and head on down.  

Secondhand Tips

To make your secondhand search easier, here are two tips to finding the best deals and making sure your new-to-you stuff wasn’t destroyed by the previous owner. 

  • If you’re going to buy a used jack, make sure it’s serviceable first. Buying and installing new seals and components can revive the jack so that it functions like new. 
  • Don’t take chances. Service any used jack before using it. You don’t know how well it’s been taken care of or what kind of condition the internal seals are in. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Floor Jacks 

Floor jacks are a crucial tool in any garage. They really aren't that complicated, though. Aside from making sure you're working with a quality unit, you really only need to keep the following considerations in mind as you work. 

Floor Jack Pricing 

Key Features

Weight Capacity

The first and easiest detail to sort out is the weight capacity of any floor jack you're considering. After all, if the floor jack can't lift what you need it to, it's of no use to you. Thankfully, the weight capacity is often the first thing manufacturers tell you about. They'll generally declare it to be a 3-ton, 6-ton, or whatever weight capacity it's capable of lifting right in the name. The only thing for you to do is pick the appropriate weight capacity for your vehicle. Keep in mind that, even if a jack should only lift a percentage of a vehicle’s overall weight, you should go with more than you think you’ll need to be safe. 

Lift Range

The height range is another critical detail you need to consider before you buy. It's especially critical for lifted and lowered vehicles, but something all car owners really need to sort out to ensure a jack works for them. You'll often find floor jacks listed with a lift range or a minimum and maximum height. These numbers essentially tell you what ride height the jack will work for. You need to compare your vehicle's ride height to these numbers to ensure a jack will work for you. Keep in mind that you want to have a few inches to spare on the maximum height, as suspension travel must be taken up before the wheels lift off the ground.

Construction Material  

How you use a jack determines what material should primarily be featured in its construction. If you're using it around the shop and don't have to move it from place to place, steel is the best choice. It's the sturdiest material and will offer the longest lifespan for a jack. Aluminum is the other primary option you'll have to work with. Aluminum jacks aren't usually as durable as their steel counterparts, but the weight savings are worth the exchange if you're regularly transferring the jack for use in different locations, as you would for racing. This is just a general guideline, though, as different variables, such as how hard you are on jacks, will be the ultimate determining factor in how long it lasts. 

Floor Jack Pricing

Floor jacks can cost thousands of dollars, and those using them to make a living should spend the extra money on something that's going to take countless hours of abuse over its lifespan. Those of us working out of a home garage where a jack sees use a handful of times per week don't need to go overboard. $150-$300 is about what we should expect to pay.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: What is a dual-piston floor jack? 

A: Dual-piston floor jacks use a quick pump system to lift that reaches lift height faster than a single-pump system. This feature saves time but also drives up the selling price. 

Q: Are aluminum floor jacks worth it? 

A: For many people, aluminum floor jacks are a great choice, especially if they have to move the floor jack around frequently. However, if you're going to keep the jack in one spot, there's no reason not to save money and go with steel.

Q: Do I need to use jack stands with a floor jack? 

A: Absolutely. As strong as floor jacks are, the system relies on small components that can give out at any moment under stress. Even if you're only working on a vehicle for a few minutes, it's essential to use jack stands to protect yourself from the worst-case scenario. 

Q: Where should I place a floor jack under my vehicle?  

A: Vehicles often have dedicated lift points for you to place a jack stand beneath that you should familiarize yourself with. If those points are compromised for any reason, you can use any solid point of the frame as a jack point instead. 

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