Hi! Am Simon and my Car almost cost me my life
I work at an investment firm, doing stock analysis. I have two lovely daughters, and today they would be living without a father due to a costly mistake that I made.
Being the man in the house am the one always fixing broken stuff in the house. Last year –having run a successful stock campaign; which earned me a couple of dollars in bonuses – I bought my wife a new SUV.
One day she wakes up to the disappointment of a flat tire. Daddy is called to solve the problem – as usual. Fixing a tire no big deal…
I used my hydraulic jack to lift the car off the ground. I noticed an oil leak and got under the hood to check it out. That’s when all hell broke loose!!!
The car came crashing down on me….
I survived by a whisker.
The Jack Hydraulics had failed and narrowly mixed my well-tanned face. My wife was petrified. She was close to banning me from using the garage again. A friend introduced me to Jack stands, and I used several before settling on one that functioned flawlessly. I do not want you to get the scare that I had from a faulty Jack. Jack Stands are a critical tool to have in your garage. This review will help you make the right choice.
Torin T43002 Big Red Steel Jack Stand
- Lightweight jack stands are used to support your vehicle after lifting with a jack; Wide pyramid...
- Constructed of high-grade forged steel with a welded frame design for durability, it handles a wide...
- Adjustable height ranges from 11-1/4" to 16-3/4" with a 3 ton (6,000 lb) load capacity
When it comes to Jack Stands the name – Torin – Stands out. The company has over the years built a reputation for high-quality tools. Torin T43002 Big Red Steel Jack Stand is one of the most popular Jack Stands in the market today. Jack Stand come in pairs, and the Torin big red can handle a load capacity of three tons, which means each stand holds 1.5 tons each. That is enough lifting power for your car, SUV, light trucks and even a snowmobile.
The Torin Big red is made from durable forged high-grade steel. The welded frame ensures that you are safe doing repairs underneath your car. You also get a large surface area that can hold all the cars’ weight. The ratchet bar can be adjusted to multiple positions. Torin Jack Stands come with different load capacities giving users a wide range of options. You have the option of the T42002A, T43002, T43006 among others.
The Torin Jack Stand makes the editor’s choice due to its high load capacity while being lightweight at the same time. Its double locking mechanism means that the risk of accidents is greatly reduced.
- Lightweight and affordable
- Can be used in most vehicles
- Double locking mechanism for added safety
- Large saddle area
- Durable Steel forged frame
Camco Olympian Aluminum 4460 Jack Stand
- Get secure and level RV positioning and stability
- Each jack supports up to 6000 lbs
- Cast aluminum
Camco Olympian Aluminum 4460 Jack Stand follows the Torin Jacks closely. This particular model supports up to 3 tons. What impressed me most about the Jack is its simple design. Made from cast aluminum, the Camco Olympian can raise objects to a height of between 11 and 17 inches. Do not be fooled by how lightweight the Jack Stand is (weighs 3.55 pounds).
The Camco is compact, and you can easily fold it for next usage. This is the right Jack for your RV. You can purchase them as a pair of two or four. The most significant advantage of using Jack stands is that it gives free space to explore your RV. The Jack stand can withstand a force of 6000 pounds comfortably.
The Camco design ensures that your RV is stable under repairs; the legs are interconnected and have an upright angle for greater stability. I have used some Jack Stands that tend to flex a little but not with the Camco. To get your car to the desired height, you use a movable pin. The pin is secure in your hands, and you do not need any gloves to operate it. If you are short of space, then this Jack stand is right for you.
- Lightweight at just 3.55 pounds – ideal for people with small garages
- Adjustable rotating screw
- Interconnected legs for greater stability
- Durable cast aluminum frame
- Great value for money
Powerzone 380036 jack stand
- Rated capacity: 3 Ton (6000 pounds)
- Lift range: 11 inch to 16-1/2 inch
- Heavy duty construction with sturdy/durable steel frame and a wide base to provide strength and...
If you are not familiar with Jack stands then it is straightforward to confuse this Jack stand with the Torin above. Just like the Torin, the powerzone 380036 can hold 3 tons or 6000 pounds. A ratchet-like locking bar is used to secure the Jack into place safely; it also allows multi-position height adjustment. You can lift your car or ATV to a height of between 11 and 16.5 inches.
It is always advised to check the condition of the Jack Stands before usage. You can add rubber pads or jack stand adapters to your jack to prevent paint erosion. If you do not have prior experience with Jack Stands, then this tool makes for an excellent companion for beginners
- Made from heavy-duty steel
- Easy to use
- Suitable for light cars
- Ratchet locking bar for added safety
- Adjustable to multiple locations
OTC 1780 Jack Stand
- Flat base to prevent sinking
- Large support area for load
- Meets all US standards for lifting equipment
This jack comes as a pair and can lift up to 20 tons. Unlike a conventional tripod, jack stands this one has a flat base; great for uneven surfaces. What I liked about this Jack is how simple it is to assemble. It comes in three increments of three inches each.
A non-ratchet pin enables you to adjust the Jack into the three positions. You also get a large surface area to hold most vehicles. The OTC Jack stand has met all the US measurement requirements. It is also made from sturdy steel. With the OTC you feel all the safer than other hatchet jacks. Of the Jack Stands, we have reviewed above the OTC can handle the most substantial weight load.
- Large surface area
- Three-inch adjustment
- Flat base to prevent shrinking
Performance Tool W41023
- Rated capacity: 6 Ton (12,000 pounds)
- Lift Range: 15-1/2" to 23-1/2"
- Heavy duty construction with sturdy/durable steel frame and a wide base to provide strength and...
The Jack stand comes with a broad base and can hold up to 3 tons per pair. Even under pressure performance, jack stands handle well. You also have a lift range of between 15 ½ to 23 ½ inches. This is a great Jack stand for SUV and light to medium weight trucks.
The performance W41023 also comes with a quick adjustment mechanism that is backed by a double locking pawl. The Jack Stand is affordable and lightweight at 11.95 pounds. Made from a heavy-duty rigid steel frame, the performance jack will last for years.
The Jack stand comes in bright yellow color – makes a good light reflector at night.
- Heavy Duty Jack stands made from durable steel
- Meets ANSI standards
- Large saddle offers large contact area
- With over eight inches of ground clearance, this is the right Jack stand for Big SUVs
- Rigid frame and seamless weld that can withstand a lot of pressure
Factors to Consider when purchasing a Jack Stand
If you plan to have some of your car wheels above the ground, then you should have in place a jack Stand for extra precaution. A Jack stand not only provides security from Jack failure, but it gives you access to more contact points. Jacks can sometimes fail – hydraulic jacks can have fluid leakages while the scissor ones could wobble after multiple uses. To avoid your beloved car from crashing you purchase a good pair of jack stands – just in case. In this section am going to highlight several factors that you need to look out for before you make that purchase.
Types of Jack Stands
Jack stands come in all manner of shapes and sizes; each performing a specific function.
Fixed height: These are “old school” type of jacks. They have no adjustable pin for height adjustment. With these, you do not have to worry about failure of any movable parts. They are easy to operate and are reliable. The drawback is that they offer you little flexibility when it comes to height adjustment.
Adjustable Height: The jack stands use a tripod structure and have pins for adjusting height. This customizable feature makes them the most type of Jack stand.
Pin through Jack Stands: This have the locking pin being located at the top of the base, or it can pass through an adjustable tube. Some modern models have it passing in both the top base and the adjustable tube. The pin type locking system is preferred in heavier vehicles because it is very strong. The pins type system is very safe because it is very hard for the supporting bar to collapse and slip to the base. You also do not have to Jack up the car more than a few millimeters before you can remove the pin. One drawback to the pin is that it often bends after continuous use. However, you can solve this problem by having on standby several pins. Another problem with the Pin through system is that the increments are very far apart, making it difficult for the stands to be even on all sides.
Ratchet mechanism: These systems have an adjustable handle that helps you control the Jack Stand height. Ratchet systems offer the most flexibility when it comes to the car’s height. You can do very small increments, and if you are using multiple Jack Stands, the car is even. You can also reposition the Jack to another side without affecting the car’s balance. We only found one drawback with the ratchet system in that you have to jack up the car high enough before you can release the ratchet.
Car Height and Weight
This is the most critical factor when you are purchasing a Jack stand. Cars have varying ground clearance, and it is paramount that your Jack stand supports this. A sports car like a Lamborghini or Porsche 911 GT will have a lower ground clearance than an Escalade or Range Rover Vogue. Every jack stand has a minimum and maximum height. You will also need to consider the car weight before purchasing specific Jack Stands. You can find this from the car’s manufacturers manual.
This is key to ensuring that your Jack stand do not cause you any harm. If you do have one that wobbles try a little grinding. Look at the base area of the Jack Stand for maximum stability. The larger the surface area, the better. Quality Jack stands tend to have all the welds running throughout the length of each joint. Check for any gaps or cracks; if you see any, know that the Jack stand is of poor quality.
The stronger the materials used to build it the more stable the jack stand. Common durable materials used include cold-rolled steel or cast aluminum. Most of the adjustment arms in ratchet jack stands are made from sturdy cast iron; this prevents them from breakage during heavy loads. Pin through Jack Stands use cold-rolled steel for the adjustment arm. Regularly check your Jack Stands for any signs of corrosion.
Price should be a factor when you are looking for the best jack stand. Set yourself a limit to avoid unnecessary purchases. This does also not mean that you go for the cheapest model. Seldom you will find that quality jacks cost higher. In our Jack Stand review, we have shown you some good models that are affordable while at the same time made of high-quality materials.
In the same way that you seek your friend’s opinion when making important purchases, it’s the same way with Jack stands. When you go to online forums, you will find reviews of some of the best Jack Stands in the market. Customer reviews are a realistic way to find out any problems to be encountered by a particular jack stand. However, take the reviews with a pinch of salt – what does not work for somebody else may be suitable for you. In doing this review, we have put into consideration customer reactions in coming up with the best jack stands.
Every car comes with different specs when it comes to pinch welds. Ordinary cars have on their body the pinch welds where you can attach your jack stand. Trucks have specific points to attach the stands. If you are worried about destroying your car body and ruining the paintwork, you can attach jack adapters to the car frame. Select an adapter that clear fits your jack and stands. Most of these adapters/pads are made from rubber. Read on to discover the various top jack pads in the market. You can consult your mechanic when making this purchase.
Knowing Your Jacks
Jack Stands and Jacks are complementary products. They cannot exist without each other. You use the car jack to lift the car off the ground. Jack stands are then fitted on the lifted side. Multiple jack stands can be used to prop a car, but you need just one jack for this.
Trolley Jack: The Jack uses hydraulics to lift the car. They also come with long handle and wheels to enable you to raise any part of the car. You will need to find the right spot to lift your car and avoid harming your car. The Jack can handle large loads, but they are bulky.
If you have a sports car like the Lamborghini then the Arcan Black Profile XLT is made for cars with low ground clearance. With a ton capacity of 2 tons it has a minimum height range of 2.75 inches. If you are looking for something heavier then you can check out the Torin Hydraulic Trolley Floor Jack. This jack has 360 degree swivel casters, with a lifting range of between 5.6 to 13 inches.
Scissor Jack: This is the most common type of Jack. They usually come with the car and are small enough to fit small compartments in your boot. The scissor jack is sometimes used a jackscrew. Scissor jacks come in handy during roadside tire repairs. If you are looking for a high quality, top-rated scissor jack then go no further than the Torin T10152 Steel Scissor jack. The jack has a lifting weight of 1.5 tons.
Bottle Jack: it is also called the “whiskey jack” due to its shape. The bottle jack uses a hydraulic mechanism to move a single lift rod. Many people love this jack due to its ease of usage; all you do is pump the arm of the jack and you should see a rise in the piston. Some of these jacks have a loading capacity of up to 50 tons. They are small enough for easy storage. Powerbuilt have an innovative jack that also doubles as a jack stand.
Electric Scissor jacks: Modern innovations have led to a scissor type of jack that uses the car battery to operate. They often come in a case and are very easy to use. if you are opposed to manual labor or lack the time to jack up your car then go for the electric ones. One great model that we found is the MarchInn Electric Car scissor. This jack uses 12 volts from the car battery and comes in convenient jack box. The moment the jack reaches the required height, it stops working. The jack itself is made from durable steel.
Hi-Lift Jacks: You will often find this type of jacks on most farms. This is because of the versatility of the jack; you can use it for pulling, winching, levering, and lifting. They can rise to a height of six feet and use a manual system for pumping. They also come with a ratchet mechanism for extra security.
Motorcycle Jack: These are used for motorcycles. You can also use them for ATVs and snowmobiles. They help users to clean and repair their bikes with ease. You can check our review of some of the best motorcycle jacks in the market.
How to accurately Place your Jack Stands
If you plan to do any repairs underneath your car, then Jack Stands are a must. Repair could be changing flat tires or changing an oil leak. It is catastrophic to go under with just your Jack. Most Jacks after years of usage become faulty. Hydraulic jacks fluid could leak, and this can bring over 6 tons of car weight on your body. Jack stands reduce the chances of this happening, but you have to learn how to put them in place safely.
Position the car on a flat, solid ground – concrete is preferred. Gravel can be hard to work on while fresh ground may cave in due to weight.
Before you put the Jack in place, make sure you have engaged the handbrake.
Your handbrake may fail so add wheel clocks on the wheels you are not working on. These provide extra safety.
Locate the pinch welds and put the Jack in place. You can add Jack adapter pads to prevent any form of damage to your pinch welds.
After you have raised the car to the desired height, place the jack stands on the cars’ designated jacking points. Once you have ensured that the vehicle is stable and does not wobble, you can then go ahead and remove the Jack.
You can now go ahead to fix that oil leak.
Jack Stand Adapters for Pinch Weld
Most cars will come with jacking up points that you can use with your Jack and Jack Stands. The problem is if you Jack up your car the wrong way damage will be caused by your car doors and destroy the car bodies’ alignment. Jack adapters help prevent damage on your pinch welds. Jack adapters for pinch welds should be used with jack stands. DO NOT attempt to work under the car with the Jack alone. It is advisable to place the adapters in your car glove compartment for easy access during emergencies. Have also multiple adapters in case you need to use a different Jack.
Shaft Style jack adapter– If you have a removable saddle, you can use this adapter to replace it when jacking up the car. The adapter is slightly smaller than the saddle but works well to prevent damage to your pinch welds.
Flat Style Jack adapter– their instances where the saddle is non-removable. You can use this if your saddle is flat rather than cupped. Flat surfaces help in weight distribution when the car weight presses the adapter.
If you are looking for a rubber adapter for your jack stands then you can check out the Pittsburgh Rubber pads for jack stands. They come as a pair and are oil and slip resistant. They can be fitted on 3, and 6-ton jack stands. Try this out if you do not want to see scratches on your vehicle.
The ABN Jack pad is another great adapter pad for your hydraulic jack. It works by offering extra grip to the vehicle, and this prevents slipping. The pads come with a dimension of 5 ½ inches in length.
Ways to Lift up Your car
There are several ways to lift up your car. We have discussed using jacks previously in the article. Other ways include driving on ramps and automotive lifts. The latter is mostly found in commercial garages because they tend to be very expensive for personal use. The type of work you are doing will determine what method of jacking up.
If it’s a simple tire burst, oil change or fixing faulty brakes, you can use the ordinary Jack backed up with Jack stands or the automotive lift. Drive ramps are not suitable for brake change because you cannot access them. But, if you are thinking of oil change then go for it. When using ramps make sure that you align your car wheels with the ramp. Since your visibility is hindered, you can request someone to assist you through the process. Remember to engage the handbrake to prevent the car from rolling.
Different cars have different lift points. Cars have company manufactured pinch welds while trucks have an exposed frame to lift. Do not lift using the car oil pan or lift where the pinch welds are rusted and bent.
Jack Stand Rated Capacity
Jack Stands often have a rating of between 2 tons to above 20 tons. Most of the stands are sold in pairs; some come as a pair of four. You will need to understand the weight capacity before purchasing a Jack stand. The weight can either be in tons or pounds (remember 1 ton is equivalent to 2000 pounds). In the car manufacturers manual, you will find the car’s curb weight. This is the vehicle weight when there are no passengers and when the fuel tank is full. This number is the one you will use when purchasing the best Jack Stand. Keep in mind that the car’s weight is not evenly distributed; you can have more weight in the front than the rear and vice versa. The rule is to buy Jack stands that a few pounds higher than your car.
Safety Precautions when using Hydraulic Jacks
Hydraulic jacks come in handy when you are doing any vehicle repairs. The jacks are very handy, but you will need to observe several safety precautions when using them. Below are a few tips you need to observe to ensure safety.
- Always wear protective gloves and eye protection. Goggles will prevent unwanted materials from harming your eyes while gloves give you that grip when holding various tools; they also protect your eyes. You can add non-skid shoes if your garage is slippery or their oil leakages.
- DO NOT wear jewelry or loose clothing when operating in the garage. This is because they can get caught up in moving parts or get lost.
- Always use a jack that has 20 percent more weight capacity. Be aware of uneven load distribution.
- Before you start using your hydraulic jack, carefully examine each component for defects. Make sure that the hydraulic mechanism is working before jacking up your car.
- Firmly support your jack or ensure that the ground you are going to place it is even. Concrete grounds are recommended.
- Use the lifting points to center the load. DO not use cheater bars on the hydraulics.
- If you are using multiple rams, make sure you have distributed the load evenly. You can use blocks every time you jack up. Never use the rams as permanent solutions but use Jack stands instead.
- Avoid placing the hydraulic jacks where there is extreme heat. Also, avoid dragging the hydraulic jacks by the hoses.
If you are planning on jacking up your car, then jack stands are paramount. The competition is stiff and selecting the best jack stand has been a challenge – but we have a winner. The Torin T43002 Big Red Steel Jack Stand wins in this battle. This jack is affordable, durable and can handle any weight thrown at it.
Steven Reilly is a qualified mechanic and his passion for cars goes beyond just the technical aspects. He is also an amateur racer and all round car enthusiast. When he is not driving them, he can often be found in his garage under the hood of a rare model. Steven Reilly has lost track of the number of hours he has spent setting up his fine collection of rebuilt models. He believes that cars can provide a constructive and fun opportunity to teach the youth important life skills. In line with this, he is developing a community outreach program, potentially dubbed ‘Cars for change’.