Jack stand are a crucial weapon in the home-mechanics armory. Solely relying on a floor jack to carry the weight of your car whilst underneath it is at best a risk, but at worst a life threatening safety hazard. One of the reasons it’s important to double up when you’re working underneath your car is that floor jacks have been known to give out at the critical point. This can be due to long-term usage, wear and tear and leaking of hydraulic fluid. Unfortunately, it’s near impossible to tell when a floor jack will give out. Maybe it’s next year, maybe it’s next week. Faulty floor jacks are responsible for the majority of mechanic related injuries so doubling down with an extra jack stand is one of the best decisions you can make.
Now, every company in the world is going to tell you that their floor jack is the sturdiest, strongest, longest-lasting on the market. To make things more difficult there’s a whole lot of choice, with hundreds of brands all fiercely competing in the same marketplace. Knowing what to look for in a jack stand is half the battle. So, to help you choose, here are the two main things to think about when you’re buying a best jack stand:
- Our 6 Best Jack Stand
- What types of Jack stand suits me?
- How to choose the right jack stand for you?
- Jack stand safety tips
1⇒What type of car do you own?
It’s a simple question, but one that needs answering before you’re ready to buy. Like cars, jack stands are available in all shapes and sizes. Take a look at your car, measure the weight and ground clearance. The weight and ground clearance are the two most important measurements in choosing the right jack stand. You can find the weight of your car by looking in the owners manual. If you lost it, do a quick check on line. This is not the time for estimating so make sure you know the exact weight. For the ground clearance, you can find it in the manual or bring out the tape measure and measure it yourself. Again, estimates aren’t gonna cut it here. The weight and ground clearance are crucial because, as you can imagine, you’re going to need a very different jack stand for a Mini Cooper than you will for a Hummer. As a rule of thumb, always look to purchase a jack stand capable of carrying twice the weight of your vehicle. For obvious reasons, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The same goes for your ground clearance. Think about how much room you need once the car is lifted off the ground. Don’t go for a lower jack stand because it’s cheaper, give yourself a lot of room to maneuver by opting for the higher jack stands.
Check out Best Car Jack Ultimate Reviews
2⇒Quality over price:
This is one I just can’t stress enough. When I think of my tools, I think of them as investments. Yes, the outlay might be a lot, but a good quality tool can last a lifetime. So, when you break it down, it’s all about spending that little bit more to get something that will last longer. Nobody wants to be buying a jack stand every year for the rest of their lives. Here’s what to look for in a good quality jack stand: A good quality jack stand is going to have a spotless, rust proof finish and the weld beads will be uniform across the joining points. A rusty jack can compromise the lifting weight of the whole machine and poor quality welds are going to wear over time. As I said before, a good quality tool should last a lifetime, so making sure you have that build quality is central to choosing the right jack stand.
Now you know what to look for you can go out, or online, and find out for yourself what the best jack stands available are right now. If you don’t fancy it, stick around because I’ve done the work for you. Below we’re going to look at the 6 best jack stands for 2017.
Our 6 Best Jack Stand
Torin 3 Ton Aluminum Jack Stands
Torin is a US based company and a market leader in home and professional mechanics. It’s a great brand that has a BBB A+ rating with the accredited businesses watch dog. What does this mean? They produce great jacks that pass all the safety checks with flying colors. The latest product, and the first on our list of the 6 best jack stands is the Torin 3 Ton Aluminum Jack Stands. These jack stands are a trendsetter. The aluminum frame is a rarity in the industry and this piece of equipment is a third of the weight of most jack stands on the market. It feels as light as a feather. Perfect for when you are carrying other heavy equipment like sockets, wrenches or other tools which, if you’ve owned a jack stand before, will know that’s no mean feat. From a safety perspective, the Torin 3 ton uses a pin rather than a ratchet. Pin’s are the most reliable way to lift a jack stand and, it won’t fade over time like a ratchet. To make it even safer, Torin has added a spring loaded bearing to make accidental removal impossible. The wide base makes this jack-stand versatile too, boasting great performances on asphalt and dirt surfaces. I told you in the beginning of this piece that fit and finish are great ways to judge a good quality build. On the Torin 3 ton Aluminum jack stand both are flawless. They’ve even managed to make it look pretty. Yes, it’s more expensive than other jack stands on our list, but given the build quality, materials and construction we think it’s worth the money. A sound investment.
- Great brand
- Solid Investment
- Super light-weight
- Looks sexy
- wider base for working on tricky surfaces
- One of the more expensive tools on the list
- Placing the pin can be tricky
- You won’t stop staring at it
Torin 3 Ton Double Locking Jack Stands
The Torin 3 Ton Double Locking jack stand is a classic. Affectionately known as ‘the big red’ this prime piece of American engineering gives a whole lot of bang for your buck. Torin is a top brand that has led the market for decades. Their flagship jack stand is ‘the big red.’ The 3 Ton Double Locking jack stands have a range of features for safety and performance. First of all, they support three tons of weight. This is perfect for sedans and can even support some lighter trucks. The minimum height supported is 11.7 inches but they go all the way up to a dizzying 16 inches. With these jack stands, you’re going to have more than enough room to get the job done. A nice little feature is the double locking. A double locking means the ratchet has a self locking system, ensuring they won’t slip during use. Just to make it extra safe, Torin has added an additional pin; for peace of mind as much as anything else. The solid steel construction of the 3 Ton Double Lock guarantees durability and safety so you won’t need to buy a new one anytime soon. Finally, as you would expect with Torin, the build quality is exceptional. It’s our go to buy on our list of best jack stands available in 2017.
- Solid Steel construction
- Excellent workmanship
- Great price for those on a budget
- A top selling piece of equipment.
- Great safety features
- It weighs a lot
- Not the best looking tool, not that it matters
- Not the best looking tool, not that it matters
- At an entry level price, it lacks some sophistication
Hein-Werner 3 Ton Jack Stands
Moving up a little in our budget for the 6 best jack stands available in 2017 is the Hein Werner 3 Ton Jack Stands. These stands are stunning and are sure to stand-out in any garage. Furthermore, they’re made in the USA which means great quality workmanship and easy access to replacement parts should anything go wrong. The Hein-Werner come at a slightly higher cost than anything else on this list but with the features on offer it’s great value. The base of the jack stands have a wide footprint which gives an even weight distribution even on less than ideal surfaces. You get an astonishing nineteen inch height when fully extended so if you own an SUV the Hein-Werner is more than capable of giving you the lift you need. Beyond that, the Hein-Werner has a simple ratcheted system that doubles up as a handle for easy lifting. Overall, it’s a simple design done right. An expensive choice, but well worth the money.
- Made in the USA
- Wide base
- Even weight distribution for working on tricky surfaces
- Excellent build throughout
- Handle for easy lifting
- In the upper range of our budget
- Quite simplistic
Wilmar 6 Ton Heavy Duty Jack Stands
When I talked about tools that last a lifetime I had Wilmar in mind. The Wilmar 6 ton Heavy Duty Jack Stands are the strongest jack stands we have on our list. The solid steel construction, perfect welds and finish are exactly what we look for when selecting the best jack stands for 2017. Capable of sustaining weight of up to 6 tons, the Wilmar is going to handle anything you lay on it. The one criticism I have of these jack stands is the relatively high, 15 inch minimum height. If you’re car is low to the ground these are definitely not for you. On the other hand, if you’ve got an SUV, this is your dream buy. It all goes back to working out what it is you need from a jack stand. If you’ve got a big car then this is what you need, if your car is smaller opt for one of the cheaper jack stands.
- will last a lifetime
- Amazing build quality
- Capable of holding bigger vehicles
- Relatively little features
- It is a specialist tool
- High budget
OTC 1780 Jack Stand
The OTC 1780 makes the Wilmar look like a baby in comparison. Capable of sustaining a whopping 22 tons this is the jack stand of choice for truckers. The OTC is a simple tool compared to some of the jack stands on this list but there’s a lot of value in getting the basics right. A wide base means you get a lot of floor coverage that also prevents the base from sinking into the surface. Crucial when you’re dealing with heavier vehicles. The wide base is more than capable of carrying weight on gravel or soft ground without slipping or sinking. With no ratchet there’s less things to go wrong over time. The reason that the OTC 1780 takes a place on our list of the 6 best jack stands available right now is it’s versatility. It’s designed to last and can carry any kind of weight you throw at it. For the price, it represents great value for money.
- Can be worked on softer surfaces without sinkingCarries 22 tons
- Carries 22 tons
- Built to Last
- Not necessary for small vehicle owners
The last jack stand to feature on our list of the 6 best jack stands is the Camco Olympian. The Olympian stands out because of its innovative design, notably the use of a screwing bolt for adjusting height. Having a screwing bolt instead of a ratchet or pin system means you can set the height to your exact requirements. It also comes in as one of the cheapest options on our list so far. As I said at the beginning of this list, you pay for what you get, and the Camco Olympian is the minimum I would be willing to recommend in terms of quality and build. Having said that, it’s a great low-cost tool that is versatile and would be a great addition for propping up trailers, or light cars.
- Screw Bolt for minute adjustments
- Solid Steel construction
- It won’t last as long as other jack stands on our list.
What types of Jack stand suits me?
This should be the first question you ask yourself when considering a Jack Stand. The answer is related to the kind of car you have, how often will you use it and how many cars you own. If you have a light weight city car you obviously won’t need a 22-ton jack stand. Equally, if you have a light truck than a cheap 3 ton-ner is just not going to cut it. Consider the weight of your car and buy accordingly. The next thing to look at is how many times you are really going to use it. If you’re a regular mechanic you want to go for something more expensive, simple and made from a sturdy material like steel. Finally, how many cars are you going to be fixing with this best jack stand? I have mentioned in the list that some of these tools are versatile and some are specialized. If you have more than one car, opt for a versatile tool.
How to choose the right jack stand for you?
Choosing the right jack stand or best floor jack for you is going to depend a lot on your personal circumstances. How often do you carry out home repairs on you car? Also, what kind of budget do you have? There is no point in bankrupting yourself on a tool you can’t afford and never use. There’s plenty of great value tools on this list so think carefully about your budget and your needs.
Jack stand safety tips
Working underneath your car is dangerous. Making sure you know the capabilities of your jack stand can be the difference between life and death. Always read the safety manual and take every possible precaution. Keep your tools indoors and check for rust on a regular basis. Finally, don’t ever get under a car without first double checking the pin, ratchet or safety lock is in place.
How big a jack stand does I need for my car?
The height of your best jack stand needs to mirror the ground clearance of your vehicle. If your vehicle is high off the ground like an SUV or truck then you need a jack stand with a good height range. If you have a lower ground clearance then check out the minimum height of your jack stand. If the minimum height is too high you won’t be able to get the jack under the car.
Where do you put jack stands on a car?
Every car will have lift points where the weight is distributed evenly. You can find these in the manual or from a quick search online. Never attach a best jack stand to your car without knowing the lift points, it can do serious damage to your car or yourself.
Who makes a good lift jack
The best way to check this is to see what rating a brand has from the BBB accredited mechanical association. An A+ rating will be a good brand. Also look for the longevity of the brand. Companies that have been around for a long time have been for a reason, it’s usually because they make great lift jacks. Check out the list above to see some of the best brands on the market