A floor jack is an essential tool for automotive and motorcycle service projects that allows you to manually lift a vehicle off the ground making it easier for someone to tinker around the underside of the vehicle, change flat tires and do other things as well. A hydraulic floor jack (as opposed to a mechanical floor jack) uses valves, hydraulic pistons, and different multiple levers to lift the vehicle.
Choosing a hydraulic or aluminum floor jack from all the options available can be a daunting task. There are many different models, brands and each with its individualistic characteristics. Even deciding what you need in itself can be a challenge. That is where we come in. We give you all you need before deciding to buy a hydraulic floor jack to make sure you get the best value for your money. By the end of the article, we are hopeful you will be better informed of what you need.
Aluminum Floor Jack Reviews
We will kick off by reviewing five hydraulic floor jacks we think are worthy to rank among the best hydraulic floor jacks in the market. Feel free to choose the floor jack that best satisfies your particular needs and fits well in your budget.
Powerzone 380044 3 Ton Aluminum and Steel Garage Jack
This is one of the best floor jacks in the market. It is extremely well made giving it nearly 150 5-star ratings. It is made out of both aluminum and steel and thus offers a mixture of both portability and strength. Its steel lifting arm gives you the capability of lifting to a 3-ton vehicle and at the same time, the aluminum frame keeps its weight down ensuring you can comfortably carry it around (it weighs less than 65 pounds). It has a 4-inch minimum height, but it is not a low-profile design. What this unit lacks in height it makes up in lifting range. It has a total lift range of 14.25 inches thus allowing you to lift your vehicle to 18.25 inches off the ground. This hydraulic floor jack has a dual cylinder quick lifting system to save time and effort when lifting loads. The hydraulic system is fitted with a safety valve to prevent damage caused by overloading. It features a two-piece handle, and the lower piece is covered in a thick black foam to prevent damage to your vehicle by accidental contact with pumping. The saddle comes with a rubber pad to prevent damage to the underside of your vehicle when lifting.
Its wheels are made of steel, the front wheels are fixed, and the rear wheels are caster-type wheels that can swivel 360 degrees for easy positioning. There is a handle on each side of the body for easy carrying.
- Max Lifting Capacity – 3 tons (6,000 pounds)
- Min Lift Height – 4”
- Max Lift Height – 18 ¼”
- Weight – 59.2 pounds
- Made with both steel and aluminum
- Dual Cylinder Quick Lift System
- Rubber padded saddle
- Foam covered handle
- Safety valve to prevent overloading
- Swiveling rear wheels
- Handles on both sides for easy carrying
Watch this video, make sure you are buying the right Powerzone 380044 floor jack:
-high lift capacity of 3 tons
-lightweight and easy to carry around
-dual cylinder reduces time and effort of raising the vehicle
-made in China
Image Source: Amazon.com
Blackhawk B6350 Black/Red Fast Lift Service Jack – 3.5 Ton Capacity
FLOOR JACK LIFTING CAPACITY: 3.5 tons (7,000 pounds) 3.5-ton floor jack
WEIGHT: 85 pounds
LIFTING RANGE: 5 1/2″ to 22.0″
The Blackhawk B6350 floor jack is made from heavy-duty steel. It is manufactured in China by Banner which is owned by Shinn Fu America Corporation. It can lift to 3.5 tons and weighs 85 pounds. Its lifting range is between 5.5 inches to 22 inches. The unit has a standard trolley design fitted with fixed front wheels and rear caster style wheels. The saddle swivels and is removable leaving a large hole that is about 1.12 inches in diameter.
One feature that is unique to this floor jack is that it rapidly lifts a load, and once it senses a load, the raising becomes slower. The removable two-piece handle has been padded on the lower portion so that when the vehicle is in position, the handle sticks out at a slight angle and does not go completely vertical. Takes between 5-8 strokes of the handle for the lift to reach the maximum height of 22 inches.
- Heavy-duty steel construction with rolled side plates
- Reasonable price
- Quick lift to load system
- Maximum lift height of 22”
- Built-in safety valve and bypass device
- Padded handle to avoid damaging vehicle
- Rubber saddle disc is not secured
- Rear caster wheels are small and can get caught on small objects when rolling
- The handle range is limited and does not rise to a full vertical position
Watch this video, make sure you are buying the right Blackhawk B6350 3.5 ton aluminum floor jack:
Image Source: Amazon.com
JEGS Performance Products 80006 Professional Low-Profile Aluminum Floor Jack
LIFTING CAPACITY: 2 tons (4,000 pounds) Aluminum Floor Jack
WEIGHT: 49 pounds
LIFTING RANGE: 3 1/2″ to 19 1/4″
The JEGS 80006 floor jack design is inspired by Sprint Cup’s lightweight pit jacks. It is also manufactured out of China but with quality aluminum with the fit and finish top-notch. It has a lifting capacity of 2 tons with a lightweight of 49 pounds. The floor jack’s chassis is 26.5 inches long and 14 inches wide with fixed front wheels and rear caster style wheels. The JEGS 80006 has a lifting range of 3.5 inches to 19.25 inches. Its side plates have been tapered from back to front to give the front quite a low profile. The saddle is also padded with a rubber disc and can swivel 360 degrees.
The floor jack reaches full lift height with only 5-6 handle strokes. The lower portion of the handle is padded to avoid damaging the vehicle if contact is made when raising. To lessen the likelihood of slippage, the upper part of the handle has a knurled grip.
- High-quality fit and finish and craftsmanship
- Easy to carry as it is lightweight
- Raises to full height in mere 5-6 full strokes
- Low profile body design
- Two side handles for easy handling and carrying
- Padded handle to avoid damages to the vehicle
- Made in China
Image Source: Amazon.com[ads1]
Arcan ALJ3T Aluminum Floor Jack – 3 Ton Capacity
LIFTING CAPACITY: 3 tons (6,000 pounds) aluminum jack
WEIGHT: 56 pounds (25.4 kilograms)
LIFTING RANGE: 3 3/4 ″ to 18 1/8″
BODY DESIGN: Do not get distracted by the beautiful design. This aluminum jack is no beauty queen. It is a low profile design that allows fitting under any type of vehicle. It still has a maximum lifting height than or equal to most of its competitors. Even though it is made out of nearly 100% aluminum, it has a thick frame, side plates and a reinforced lifting arm that enables it to lift to 3 tons (6,000 pounds) safely. The lifting pole is a two-piece design made out of aluminum. It snaps together with a quick-lock button press system. Only the bottom half of the lifting pole is padded and the pole tends to flex slightly when been used. Even though the saddle has a soft rubber pad that prevents damages to the underside of your vehicle, it can get torn up easily. The rear casters have ball bearings which allow them to rotate with ease. There are two handles on each side allowing the jack to be easily carried around. Availability of a bypass and an overload valve prevents over-extension of hydraulic ram and using the jack beyond rated capacity. This jack complies with the 2009 ASME PALD Standard. aluminum jack
LIFTING AND LOWERING SYSTEM: The lifting system has a dual-piston design, which allows relatively quick and effortless lifting. This one is not having a super-fast lifting system. It takes about 12 full strokes to go from fully lower to fully raised. However, the effort required on the lifting pole is much less than most jacks that fully raise in four to five strokes. The hydraulic release allows the load to be lowered slowly and steadily.
Pros and Cons of ALJ3T 3 Ton Aluminum Floor Jack
- Beautiful design
- Low profile design but better lifting height
- Strong, but relatively light due to aluminum construction
- Very controlled lowering of the load
- 2-piece quick-lock lifting pole for easy storage
- Carrying handles on both sides
- Made in China
- Rubber saddle pad easily torn up the aluminum jack
Image Source: Amazon.com
Hein-Werner HW93642 Blue Hydraulic Service Jack – 2 Ton Capacity
With so many floor jack options in the market today, it may be difficult to decide which one you should buy. To help you make the best decision, here’s a Hein-Werner HW93642 Floor Jack review.
Introduction to Hein-Werner
For every car owner, there is a service jack. You need one in case your tire bursts or you meet a technical problem while on the road. But what are the kinds of car jack you should buy?
A hydraulic floor jack is one of the most common kinds of floor jacks. Many people prefer it because it’s easy to use. What makes a hydraulic floor jack different is its use of hydraulic fluid. Oil is used to lubricate the hydraulic chamber. To operate it, you only need to pull back the plunger.
There are several hydraulic floor jack brands in the market. Among the best is Hein-Werner. Hein-Werner’s floor jacks are all manufactured in the US. They have a high standard of performance and quality for their products. Thus, they usually manufacture jacks that are not only rugged in design but are also highly dependable.
Hein-Werner has been in the field for quite a while, and they claim to be the favorite for military and private company’s lift applications. They have 2-ton floor jacks, 3-ton floor jacks, and other heavy-duty floor jacks. One of their best products is the Hein-Werner HW93642 Floor Jack.
What We Like
- Made in the USA
Any expert will tell you that the best floor jacks are manufactured in the US. Jacks made in the country are known for their durability and quality, and Hein-Werner is one of the top brands in the country.
Hein-Werner HW93642 Floor Jack will not let you down as it is built to meet the US standards. In other words, it is a quality tool. It performs well, and it looks durable enough to last for years. If you’ve been using inferior floor jacks made from countries other than the US, then you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to use Hein-Werner HW93642 Floor Jack.
- Precise Hydraulic Valve Control
Hein-Werner HW93642 Floor Jack has a universal joint that allows you to precisely control the hydraulic valve. Because it has a U-Joint release mechanism and a unique in-line pump assembly, using it to lower or lift your car is effortless.[ads1]
- Dependable Body Design
Hein-Werner HW93642 Floor Jack is mainly made out of steel. Thus, it is strong enough to handle 2 tons of vehicles. Its body plates are flanged, thus reducing flexes and increasing rigidity. With a minimum lift of 3-3/4 inches, it is not a low jack.
Hein-Werner HW93642 Floor Jack has notches on its sides so that when you operate it, the vehicle does not slip off. The product’s rear casters can swivel up to 360 degrees so you can roll and position it easily.
- Good Lifting System Design
Like most floor jacks, the product’s hydraulic valve of Hein-Werner HW93642 Floor Jack can be opened and closed by turning the lifting pole in a clockwise and then in a counter-clockwise manner. This said the single hydraulic piston is sealed. Thus, no dirt or other debris can contaminate the fluid inside.
Because it makes use of a universal joint between the hydraulic valve and the pole socket, you will require little effort to operate the pole and lift or lower a vehicle. What’s more, is that it comes with a safety valve, so you can’t forcefully use it to lift loads heavier than 2 tons.
- Decent Minimum Lift Height
The Hein-Werner HW93642 Floor Jack can lift vehicles of up to 2 tons. It has a minimum lift range of 4-1/2 inches and a maximum lift range of 20-1/4 inches. To improve control, it comes with a U-Joint and a one-piece handle. So, if you need to bend it while working with a vehicle, you can do so easily.[ads1]
What We Don’t Like
- At 99 pounds, the Hein-Werner HW93642 Floor Jack is too heavy to carry. To maneuver it easily, Hein-Werner puts large front and rear wheels on it. However, if you must carry it, you need to remove the lifting pole and grip it by the front axle.
- While the lack of padding on the saddle is not a deal-breaker, it certainly is disappointing. The saddle is square-shaped with round corners. Without the padding, you might scratch your vehicle.
- The Hein-Werner HW93642 Floor Jack only has a one-piece lifting pole. When you use it in a small garage, you might find that it’s hard to maneuver. Working with it in tight spaces will require some thinking as you need to find the right angle to position it.
- The one-piece lifting pole of Hein-Werner HW93642 Floor Jack is made out of steel. Thus, it can be rigid. To remove it, you need to loosen a 14mm bolt.
- The Hein-Werner HW93642 Floor Jack is not a quick-lifting jack. It will take you several strokes before you can successfully lift the pole and reach its maximum height.
Image Source: Amazon.com
Benefits of using a Hydraulic Floor Jack
An aluminum floor jack is much faster than a typical scissor jack. Some top-rated models with dual lifting pistons require only 4-5 pumps to reach their maximum heights. This saves you an enormous amount of time and effort needed to get the hydraulic floor jack to its maximum height.
This is perhaps the most significant benefit to the customer. Because of the larger base, ample gripping surface, and solid build, hydraulic floor jacks are the most stable and safest type of jack. Scissors and bottle jacks have a slight tendency to tilt and eventually collapse if they are used on a ground that is not correctly leveled.
- Ease of Operation
The huge mechanical advantage you get from the hydraulic system, and the long jack handle makes it incredibly easy to lift a corner of any vehicle with a few easy pumps. To lower your car, you just slowly twist the handle. This is opposed to the mechanical jacks in which you have to sweat to get your car to the required height that is ideal for you.[ads1]
Factors to consider before buying a Floor Jack
- Lifting capacity
This is the most important factor to consider in a floor jack. Most hand-operated floor jacks can lift a weight from 1.5 tons up to 20 tons. It will be crucial for you to select a floor jack that can handle the weight requirements for the job you intend doing. As a general rule, when lifting a vehicle, your floor jack should have a maximum lifting capacity that is greater than or equal to the total weight of the vehicle. Even though the jack does not lift your entire car, selecting a floor jack that closely matches the vehicle’s weight gives you an adequate safety margin keeping in mind that the actual functional capacity of a jack is often less than its stated maximum rated capacity.
- Design profile
Floor jacks come in two design profiles-standard profile or low profile. A low profile jack allows you to roll it under vehicles that have a lower ride height such as sports car models.
- The Construction Material
Floor jacks are made up of either aluminum or steel. A steel floor jack will be suitable if you are going to use the floor jack in and around the garage. In the case that you need to move your floor jack from place to place regularly, an aluminum floor jack is the one to go with.
- Lifting Range
Another important factor to consider is the lifting range. Every floor jack has its rated minimum lifting height and the range it can lift. You should, therefore, consider how high you want to raise the vehicle and make the appropriate choice.
- Lifting Speed
A standard jack will take about 8 to 10 strokes of the lifting bar to raise the vehicle to the designated height. If you want it to reach full height faster (say in 3-6 strokes), consider buying a floor jack with dual lifting pistons or a quick lift system. Like if you are dealing with racing cars in track you probably need a 1.5-ton aluminum racing floor jack with a rapid pump so that you win the race.
You will need to consider your budget before choosing a hydraulic floor jack that meets your needs. Anything between $150-$250(and above of course) should get you a solid, easy-to-use, and reliable floor jack
How to Use and Maintain a Hydraulic Floor Jack
- Never use Jack to lift a weight higher than its maximum rated weight. This will damage the floor jack and lead to safety issues.
- Always store the aluminum floor jack with the hydraulic piston in a fully retracted position.
- Wipe your jack with a lightly oiled rag before storing it to ensure metal parts don’t rust while in storage.
- Before using your floor jack after an extended period of storage, check the hydraulic fluid using the fill plug. In case the level is low fill it off with hydraulic oil and look for any leakage in the equipment.
- Check all the nuts, bolts and fasteners to make sure they are in place and firmly secure. If any of them is loose, tighten them first before proceeding to use the aluminum floor jack.
- Lubricate the hinge points with high-quality grease to reduce friction and increase the durability of the parts.
- The front and rear wheel axes should also be lubricated with high-quality oil.
- Regularly inspect the jack’s body, lifting arm and handle for any signs of a crack or excessive wear. If any defect is found, your jack needs to be repaired by a professional, or you may need to buy another jack.
- Do not continually expose the jack to water as this will cause it’s metal parts to start rusting.
- Who invented the Floor Jack?
The floor jack was designed in 1851 by Richard Dudgeon during his time working as an apprentice and with Allaire Ironworks. At that time, heavy objects were lifted with great effort using inefficient screw jacks, and he recognized the need for a robust and portable lifting device.
- How does a hydraulic jack work?
Hydraulic floor jacks use valves, hydraulic pistons, and different multiple levers to gain mechanical advantage and lift the vehicle. The handle of a floor jack is positioned so that the hinge gives the user a tremendous mechanical advantage right from the start. For every pound of force that is applied to the floor jack handle, an amount of energy exponentially greater is applied to the hydraulic piston system.
- Should I get an Aluminum Jack or a Steel one?
It depends on your requirements. Aluminum jacks are lighter thus easy to carry around, but a steel jack can lift more weight than its aluminum counterpart. You are going to pay more for an aluminum floor jack that lifts the same amount of weight as a steel one. You should also check on the type of Aluminum used to make sure you buy the highest quality aluminum.
- Can I Use the Differential as a Jack Point?
To answer this question, it would be best first to refer to the owner’s manual. In case the owner’s manual specifically says not to, or there is no definitive answer, it is perhaps best not to use it to avoid localized physical damage and bending of the axle housings.
All in all, the hydraulic floor jack is a necessary tool that all vehicle owners should have. Its portability, speed of lifting, ease of operation and safety make it the best jack to be used when you want to lift your vehicle. There are many types of hydraulic floor jacks in the market and before buying you should consider your budget, the lift height range, the material, the rated maximum lift, lifting speed and the design profile to make your money count. As the aluminum floor jack is useful, it can also be very dangerous when not maintained well. Always use the jack for its proper rated load, do not exceed the rated maximum load as this might cause damage to the hydraulic floor jack. Check the jack for any faults and leakages of the fluid to avoid any accidents while lifting your vehicle. We hope this guide gave you all the necessary information that you need before making a decision on which floor jack to buy.
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