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If you’re a car enthusiast, you have to have a jack stand. If you’re not, you should consider getting one, as they can be incredibly useful. But, simply getting any old jack stand won’t cut it. You need something durable, safe, and stable.
Finding the best option out there isn’t easy. At one point or another, you will need to go under your vehicle to fix something. Only a few jack stands can handle the burden, and even fewer are safe enough for you to put your life in their hands.
The Best Jack Stands
That might sound overly dramatic, but it all boils down to this – if you want to fix your car, and want to be certain you won’t end up crushed, then read on.
1. Best Overall Jack Stand
Omega Heavy Duty Jack Stand
This heavy-duty model has an incredible capacity of 22 tons. That means that it can hold an entire truck. It also sports heavy-duty pins, and it has three heights that you can adjust them to. These are some of the main reasons Omega has some of the better jack stands available.
The pins are simple to use, impossible to lose, and near impossible to destroy. A large saddle is there to support the load securely. The welded steel construction of this stand is amazingly sturdy. Another useful thing here is the heavy gauge steel frame – it is built to add strength and prevent twisting.
This jack stand weighs 62.8 lbs, its dimensions are 17.6” X 11.9” X 11.1”, and its maximum lift height is 19 2/3”. Because of its immense weight, this is definitely a one-location stand. However, if you do decide to carry it from one place to the other, it has a carrying handle, which is a nice touch. The base is wide, and very well welded, which means there’s no chance this will tip over.
This Omega stand has a full one year warranty, which is great if you’re uncertain about the quality or the durability of this product.
- Pros: High-quality materials. High load capacity. Simple to use and easy to adjust.
- Cons: Quite heavy to move.
2. Best Value Jack Stands
Here we have a set of two jack stands that together have the capacity to carry 6 tons. That means that they are suitable for standard cars as well as SUVs.
Hein-Werner is known for their USA made high-quality products. Although most people love their quality, they are not thrilled by the price. This set boasts a formed steel frame that allows it to take on a much bigger load than its competition. We like the multi-ratchet bar; it adds durability and strength to the stand. Side handles are very useful in this case because these aren’t lightweight.
These jack stands weigh 41 lbs each, and the dimensions of each stand are 13” x 10.5” x 16.3”, and their maximum safe extension is 25 ¾”. If you were looking for something lightweight, these aren’t it. However, they are durable and very sturdy. The folded metal footing that these rugged stands come with, helps to spread the weight more evenly and makes them more stable.
- Pros: Stable. Thick metal plating on the base and neck. Simple to use multi-ratchet bar
- Cons: Somewhat expensive.
3. Best Portable Jack Stands
This simple jack stand has a 3-ton capacity and is as straightforward as they come. The jack stand has an all steel construction that is truly heavy duty.
It sports a simple pin type lock that doesn’t jam, however, if you’re not careful, you might lose the pin. A significant advantage of this jack stand is the tripod design that makes it stable even on irregular surfaces. The large round feet are there to ensure that your jack stand doesn’t slide in any direction, even on the worst possible terrain.
We like that these ESCO jack stands come with an anti-rust powder coated finish instead of standard enamel paint. Another big plus is the fact that this jack stand comes with a removable rubber support pad for the top. That is really solid for unibody vehicles for which it can be tough to find support points. Furthermore, this rubber pad also protects the vehicle’s paint.
ESCO jack stands weigh 13.2 lbs, its dimensions are 13” x 12.5” x 12”, and its maximum safe extension is 21”. Compared to other stands, this one is light, easy to transport, and easy to use wherever you are.
- Pros: Lightweight. Perfect for all surfaces. A clever design featuring wide feet and a useful rubber pad.
- Cons: Pins are lack luster.
4. Best Stands for Height
This pair of heavy duty stands can hold 6 tons. So, whether you want to lift a large family sedan, a truck, or a van, these can take it. Performance Tool is a brand popular for its sturdy products, they make everything from jumper cables to floor jacks, and it seems that their jack stands don’t disappoint either.
Although substantial, these aren’t so heavy that they need two people for normal use. What we really like about these, is the fact that they are obviously made with high clearance vehicles in mind. These jack stands are incredibly high, which means that they aren’t a good choice for small cars but are perfect for SUVs and trucks alike.
Performance Tool jack stands weigh 50.5 lbs together, their dimensions are 13” x 4” x 15” each, and their maximum safe extension is 23 ½”. The sturdy steel frame of this model and its wide base are there to provide enough stability and strength for 6 tons, so you don’t have to worry about your safety. Thanks to high build quality, these will last you a long time.
- Pros: Adjustable for most vehicles. Comes as a set. Stable wide base.
- Cons: A few customers have noted weak welds.
5. Best Stands on a Budget
Torin Big Red
This pair of steel jack stands can hold 2 tons. So, if you have a smaller vehicle, and you need something that can be easily transported to wherever you need it, you’ve come to the right place. Torin is known as one of the top three brands in this branch, and these stands demonstrate that quite well.
If you are looking for a low-cost, high-performance pair of stands, there’s no need to look further. These come with perfectly sturdy welds, wonderful finish, and they are great on a budget.
These ratchet jack stands weigh 7.5 lbs, their dimensions are 14” x 8” x 8”, and their maximum safe extension is 16.5”. High grade forged steel and a welded frame in combination with a large saddle surface means that this model provides great support for the load.
Torin Big Red jack stands come with a 1-year limited warranty from the manufacturer.
- Pros: Excellent price to quality ratio. Lightweight. Large saddle surface.
- Cons: Customers note that the bottom of the legs are somewhat sharp and can scratch coatings, sink into asphalt, and leave marks on soft surfaces.
What Makes a “Good” Jack Stand?
Now, simply knowing what the best options are doesn’t mean that you’ll find something that’s best for you. Before you even start checking other features of a jack stand, you should first pay attention to the quality of the material used.
Most stands available today are made from some form of steel. However, you can run into aluminum models, that aren’t really built to last and we strongly recommend avoiding inferior models.
Each jack stand has its own load capacity that’s expressed in tons. The weakest one we found, was able to support only half a ton, while the most powerful one could support up to 25.
What you need, is to know how heavy the vehicle or vehicles you’ll be working with are. Make sure to get a jack stand that can withstand more weight than just that of your vehicle.
This is a must. You need a stand that’s easy to operate. So if you go for an adjustable model, get one that allows fast and simple adjustments. In our experience, if you buy a model that’s tough to use it will end up being a door stopper.
When it comes to jack stands, it’s important to know the maximum safe extension you can achieve. You need a model that has enough lift height to support your vehicle off the ground without compromising your safety.
Jack stands have a lock mechanism that keeps them in a set position. That locking mechanism is the only thing preventing them from falling. The most common one is the lever mechanism. If it is stable and strong, it will hold your jack in the position you chose.
A pin-lock is also very reliable and durable when it comes to locking mechanisms. And, last but not least, a screw lock mechanism – stable, but frustratingly time-consuming.
The Width of the Base
For a good jack stand, a wide base is crucial. With this tool, stability is of the essence, which means that the wider the base is, the more stable it will be.
Adjustable or Fixed Height Jack Stand?
Stands with fixed heights don’t have moving parts, which means they are stronger than models with adjustable height. Unfortunately, they do have a downside – they are mostly heavy, less versatile and less portable than adjustable height jack stands.
So, if you need a stand just for one place, they are great. On the other hand, if you need something that will come with you, adjustable models with safety pins are a better choice.
If you start looking online for jack stand-related accidents, you’ll start to understand how important getting the a jack stand is. Some of those accidents were lesser injuries, while others caused death.
So, if you want a jack stand for your SUV or a truck, pick the Omega model. If you want one that will be great on any terrain, and protect your vehicle’s paint, then the ESCO model is a perfect choice. However, if you’re looking for a stand that you can take wherever you go, and that is also inexpensive, we recommend Torin Big Red.
Arm yourself with a good jack stand, and no car repair will be too big of a challenge, and no car too heavy.
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