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The 9 Best Jack Stands For Auto Maintenance

The 9 Best Jack Stands For Auto Maintenance

popular mechanics; Courtesy BIG RED

For many auto repair and maintenance jobs, lifting the vehicle off the ground will provide much-needed access to components on the underside. A simple floor jack is the most cost-effective method of lifting a car, but it should also be combined with a jack stand kit of a similar weight to ensure the safety of anyone near the vehicle.

Dear Jack Stands

What to consider?

Weight

The most important factor with any jack stand is its rated load capacity, which should never be exceeded by the user. The stands are often valued as a set in a value of tons. For example, a pair of jack stands may be marked with a 3 ton or 6000 lb. capacity. Each of these stands will be individually rated to hold 3,000 pounds per corner, which is enough for most small and medium-sized cars. When using jack stands, it is better to have too much load capacity than just enough. As a rule of thumb, each stand should be able to support approximately 75 percent of the vehicle’s total weight to ensure safety.

Height

Most jack stands also have an adjustable height, with a locking mechanism to hold the desired setting in place. Higher maximum settings may be required when lifting larger trucks or SUVs.

Stability

A stand with a larger surface area at the feet will often be more stable under load. Plywood sheets can provide a solid foundation when lifting vehicles on surfaces such as dirt, but a hard concrete floor is always preferable. Parking brakes and wheel chocks should also be used to prevent wheels from rolling on the ground during jacking.

Best Practices

Always position jack stands under manufacturer-designated lifting points, which are often marked along the underside of the vehicle. The user manual can also help locate it. Place the car on a flat, level surface, jack up each corner to the desired height and carefully lower onto the jack stands. Repeat until all four corners are off the ground and stable. To get the car down, do it all in reverse.

How we selected

We chose these jack stands based on personal experience with car maintenance, as well as data from consumer reviews and input from publications such as The Drive, AutoGuide, Forbes Autosand Napa knows how† When selecting products, we also aim for a wide range of features and price points to suit different budgets and needs.

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1

Best Overall

Large Red Jack Stands (Set of 2)

  • Wide range of weight capacity
  • Top quality and great price
  • One Year Limited Warranty

Key specs:

  • base Dimensions: 10 x 12 inches
  • Product weight: 29.3 pounds
  • Height Range: 15.3 to 23.83 inches
  • Capacity: 6 tons (12,000 pounds per stand)

Torin’s Big Red Alloy Steel Jack Stands from our top position overall for quality, range of weight capacity options and reasonable price. Plus, Torin is a highly reputable company that has been around for decades, and their jack stands come with a one-year warranty.

The jack stands are available in capacities of 2, 3, 6 and 12 tons respectively. We highlight the 6-tonne option here, which is ideal for lifting larger trucks and SUVs. Their height adjusts from 15.38 inches to 23.83 inches, and the saddle on top is designed to accommodate large axles and frame rails. They lock using a simple ratchet configuration.

If you have a small car, ATV or motorcycle, go with the set of 2 tons† The design is the same, but their height ranges from 10.7 inches to 16.55 inches, making them ideal for getting under sports cars and compacts with relatively low ride heights.

2

Buy budget

Double Pin Jack Stands (Set of 2)

  • Double locking mechanism
  • One year warranty

Key specs:

  • Basic dimensions: 7.6 x 6.85 inches
  • Product weight: 13.9 pounds
  • Height Range: 11.3 to 16.75 inches
  • Capacity: 3 tons (3,000 pounds per stand)

This set of two Pro-Lift jack stands comes with a weight of 3 tons, suitable for small and medium-sized cars. The whole thing is all-steel alloy, with a spread of about 7.6 by 6.85 inches at the feet.

These stands use two locking mechanisms for safety. The ratchet lock allows the head to move freely up, but not down until the lever is released. An additional metal pin further prevents the stand from slipping.

Height ranges from 11.3 to 16.75 inches, which will cover most vehicles, but may not be suitable for lowered cars or high trucks. Pro-Lift also includes a one-year warranty with purchase.

3

Extra stability

3-ton jack stand

  • Wide height range
  • Great basic coverage
  • Padded head

Key specs:

  • Basic dimensions: 12 x 12 inches
  • Product weight: 11 pounds
  • Height Range: 13.2 to 21.5 inches
  • Capacity: 3 tons (6,000 pounds per standard)

The Esco stand has ten variable height settings and a wide 12-inch footprint for added stability while holding the vehicle. It uses a thick metal pin to lock itself in place, with a height range of 13.2 to 21.5 inches.

The bodywork uses a silver powder coat for rust protection and the head of the stand features a thick rubber pad to protect the underside of the car from potential dents and scratches. The weight rating is also fairly heavy, at 6,000 pounds per unit. However, each stand must be purchased separately rather than as a set.

4

Made in the USA

3-ton jack stand (set of 2)

  • Two Year Limited Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Key specs:

  • Basic dimensions: 9 x 7.5 inch base
  • Product weight: 19 pounds
  • Height Range: 12 to 19 inches
  • Capacity: 3 tons (3,000 pounds per stand)

This whole has a bright blue and yellow color scheme, with a footprint of 9 by 7.5 inches. It is manufactured in the United States and comes with a two-year warranty upon purchase.

Locking is achieved with a simple ratchet mechanism, which extends from 12 to 19 inches. Not much reach, but those few extra inches at the top can come in handy when lifting vans and crossovers. Each stand can hold up to 3,000 pounds, for a total capacity of 6 tons in the set of two.

5

Most compact

Large red aluminum jack stands (set of 2)

  • Lightweight mounting
  • Flat base

Key specs:

  • Basic dimensions: 6.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Product weight: 10.2 pounds
  • Height Range: 10-3/4″ to 15-5/8″
  • Capacity: 3 tons (6.000 pounds per booth)

These lightweight, die-cast aluminum jack stands have a compact design that is great for keeping in a suitcase or tool kit. The assembly has a hollow tube with a 6.75-inch flat base for extra stability. A thick stainless steel pin is used to hold the arms in place, with each stand suitable for a load of up to 3,000 pounds.

The height range is on the lower end, from 10.75 to 15.63 inches, although it’s hard to expect more given their size. Please note that they are not recommended for working on large trucks and SUVs.

6

Best for SUVs

Double closing stands (set of 2)

  • High weight capacity
  • Double lock

Key specs:

  • Basic dimensions: 10.65 x 9.38 in
  • Product weight: 24 pounds
  • Height Range: 16 to 23.5 inches
  • Capacity: 6 tons (6,000 pounds per stand)

With a capacity of 6 tons, this jack stand set is suitable for medium-sized cars, up to larger SUVs and light trucks. Each stand also has a double locking mechanism for added strength.

The lift settings range from 16 to 23.5 inches, which is suitable for taller ride heights. The footprint is also fairly wide, with coverage of 10.65 by 9.38 inches at the base. With their 6-ton weight capacity, they can also carry up to 6,000 pounds on any corner of the vehicle.

7

Best 2-in-1 System

uni jacket

  • Quick and convenient solution
  • Wide height range

Key specs:

  • base Dimensions: 9 x 9 inches
  • Product weight: 22.7 pounds
  • Height Range: 11 to 21 inches
  • Capacity: 3 tons (6,000 pounds per stand)

The Unijack is essentially a jack with a ratchet lock built in, which can be useful for quick operations like changing a tire on the road.

The flat 9-by-9-inch footprint prevents the jack from slipping or tipping over, with an impressive height range of 11 to 21 inches. Also, the single standard has a weight of 6,000 pounds.

However, the integrated nature of the tool makes it heavier than many typical designs. If you are lifting more than one corner of the vehicle, several will need to be purchased as well, and they are more expensive than the more traditional jacks and stands.

8

Best for lifted trucks

10 ton high jack stands (set of 2)

  • Large height range
  • Large footprint
  • High weight capacity

Key specs:

  • Basic dimensions: 16.75 x 16.75 inches
  • Product weight: 105 pounds
  • Height Range: 28.1 to 46.5 inches
  • Capacity: 10 tons (10,000 pounds per stand)

These Sunex stands are a good solution for medium and fork-lift trucks, with a high load capacity of 10 tons. They can also be used to hold suspended components such as transmissions in place.

The whole is held up by four elongated legs, with a sturdy pole held by a thick steel pin. The legs spread out to form a 16.75-inch square footprint for optimum stability. The height ranges from 28.1 to 46.5 inches, which will likely be too tall for smaller vehicles. The assemblies are also heavier and more expensive, with each stand weighing over 50 pounds.

9

Best heavy duty

22 ton HD jack stands (set of 2)

  • Sturdy construction
  • High weight limit
  • Two year warranty

Key specs:

  • base Dimensions: 9 x 9 inches
  • Product weight: 77 pounds
  • Height Range: 11.8 to 9.75 inches
  • Capacity: 22 tons (22,000 pounds per stand)

The K Tool jack stands have an uncompromising load capacity, thanks to their thick steel construction. With a 22-ton rating, they can handle repairs on cars, trucks, RVs and some buses. The heavy-duty construction naturally leads to more weight, with each stand weighing over 30 pounds.

The arms of the set taper to flat bases about nine inches square. One drawback to the sturdy design is that the height range is relatively short, ranging from 11.83 to 19.75 inches. This will suffice for most vehicles, but may be lacking in particular for forklifts. It also comes with a two-year warranty.

Claw Homer
Talon Homer is a South Carolina writer and photographer born with a passion for automobiles, gaming and advanced technology.

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