If you are someone owning a car or have any relation with its maintenance then you probably have some good reasons to take interest in a floor jack. These reasons could be like replacing a tire or doing anything with the undercarriage or suspension. Your interest might have directed you to consider both types of jack such as the hydraulic floor jack and the scissor jack.
This review guide is not intended to prove one best over the other since both are distinctly different with advantages and disadvantages on either side. We have rather tried to let you know what type of floor jack suits your needs most. Please bear with us for this brief comparative analysis.
What they are
Scissor Jack: It is a mechanical jack that uses a lead screw to operate. To raise the jack you just need to tighten the screw to draw the concurrent linkages and to lower the jack slacken the screw to move them apart.
Hydraulic Jack: This jack uses a hydraulic ram to provide the mechanical advantage for lifting your car. This basically means to pump a handle to raise hydraulic pressure which uplifts the jack. Lowering is mainly done by turning the handle anti-clockwise to open the valve to get the pressure reduced and lower the jack.
Advantages of Scissor Jack over Hydraulic Jack
There are a couple of advantages that a scissor jack has over a hydraulic floor jack
- Portable: This jack can be easily portable due to its small footprint. They are small enough to be fitted in the trunk, which is why you would love to keep one to stick in your spare tire.
- Lightweight: Another advantage that it has over hydraulic jack is that it is very lightweight in nature. This makes it very handy as you can easily carry it and place it under your car even in pinch moments like having to replace the flat tire with a spare while being on side of the road.
Disadvantages of Scissor Jack
There nothing in the world that only comes with advantages likewise the scissor jack too has some disadvantages along with the discussed advantages.
- Slow: The first disadvantage to mention is that it works quite slow in getting you the maximum height as you have to turn the screw a few times making the process slow.
- Inappropriate: Its basic use comprises comparatively light-duty vehicles which makes it somewhat inappropriate for very heavy vehicles.
Advantages of Hydraulic Floor Jack over Scissor Jack
If you are not very excited after hearing the advantages of a scissor jack or annoyed about its negative points, it’s probably better for you to go for the hydraulic jack instead. Some of the advantages that the hydraulic floor jack has to offer you are:
- Faster Speed: Speed is the biggest advantage the hydraulic jack has over the scissor jack. With only a few pumps in the handle, A hydraulic jack can quickly be raised to the maximum height in a matter of seconds while the scissor jack takes up to 3 or 4 minutes to do the same. A similar speed advantage also applies to lower as well.
- Higher Capacity: It tends to have a better capacity on average than scissor jacks.
- Mobility: It also has mobility advantages such as its casters which you can use to roll on the floor rather than striving against your back.
Disadvantages of Hydraulic Jack
- Large Size: Nevertheless, the hydraulic jack also has some compromising features. Perhaps, the biggest one is the size. Being larger than the scissor jack makes it a less ideal choice to keep in the trunk as an emergency tool.
- Heavy Weight: Due to the heavyweight of around 50 pounds, carrying it could be troublesome.
- Hydraulic Fluid Maintenance: It demands more maintenance than a similar scissor jack due to its hydraulic fluid which is likely to leak at times. So it might feel messy, although the scissor jack is nothing indifferent as it also has grease on the lead screw.
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To conclude things up, we would rather simplify the points to ease your decision-making process of which floor jack to go for.
If you are planning to get something faster and also one that you can use very often, in this case, the choice becomes rather easy for you as we have already mentioned that the hydraulic floor jack has this sort of advantage.
On the contrary, if you are someone who gets into emergencies pretty often and needs a jack that provides easy portability and can be kept in the trunk easily, then the scissor jack is the go-to for you.
As you see here, both the floor jacks have their own purpose to serve while having advantages and disadvantages based on different demand types of users. To know more about floor jacks, have a look at our floor jack buying guide. Wrench Happily!