Among the tools that you need for a vehicle, jack stands are probably one of the must-have’s for the garage. Using makeshift jacks such as cinder blocks, milk crates, or even bottled gas cylinders are some options that you should probably steer away from. Things can get a little dicey, especially with heavier vehicles. Those options simply were not designed to hold the weight of a car to a height where you can get under and get some work done.
Check out our list of the best jack stands below — we’ve got some traditional jack stands in our list as well as a couple other interesting options. These will keep you in the game and aid you in safely working on your vehicle with a comfortable amount of clearance.
There are two common materials used in the construction of jack stands: aluminum and steel. Aluminum has the advantage of being significantly lighter (easier to move around) while steel is significantly cheaper.
Top 5 Best Jack Stands of 2018
As you probably know, jack stands are used to maintain a vehicle at a height so that you can carry out maintenance, repairs or even modifications to the vehicle in question. Raise your vehicle with a jack, then set these puppies under it and roll up your sleeves.
There are some units that allow you to lift the vehicle directly from the wheel and hold securely. They may very well be the next best thing to those automatic lifts such as you see in the auto bays at tire shops and oil change places.
Now, there are 1 ton, 3 ton, and 6 ton jack stands that can be purchased. Based on how much your vehicle weighs you should choose your set accordingly.
Having said that, here are 5 of the best jack stands that are available today:
With a weight of 17 pounds, this pair of jack stands can easily handle 3 tons of weight and has been approved of ANSI standards. In other words, they have ant like strength for their size.
It has a quick adjustment mechanism that focuses on ease of use while the double locked pawl will only allow movement in one direction only. This gives you the control to make precise adjustments safely. You can be sure that nothing will slip down by accident with this jack stand.
The ratchet bar that comes with this tool is in one piece but can be adjusted to multiple positions. With a caved in sort of top base, it will fit perfectly on pinch welds and thin areas too.
This stand is suitable for light trucks, small to medium sized cars, and even heavier SUVs. About the only thing they can’t hold up is a tank (Rated Capacity is 6,000 pounds). One last thing to remember: since they come as a pair, these jack stands can individually handle 1.5 tons.
Being the heaviest of the lot among these top 5 best jack stands, they continue to to be the most popular of the lot too. We think this is because Torin put together a durable and well functioning product. Simply put, they are safe and easy to use which is something that you cannot put a price tag on. The forged iron ratchet bar is a time tested design and works like a charm. A pair of these jack stands cost about twenty bucks in all (up to $75 for the 12 ton units).
- Easy to Use on a Variety of Vehicles
Just like most jack stands, this model comes in a set of 2 with each piece weighing at about 3.5 pounds each. Designed to lift RVs to stable and level position for work, this jack stand is as solid as they come and are built using cast aluminium too. As mentioned earlier, both these jacks come with a capacity to carry at least 6000 pounds but are still extremely light and easy to use.
Apart from this, these jack stand packs also come in a set of 4 pieces. Most importantly, they can also extend from 11 inches up to 17 inches which is excellent for most types of vehicles. Also, they are easy to dismantle and are designed in such a manner that they are compact enough for easy storage.
Some of the benefits associated with this jack stand include ease of use and just right for RVs. Made of aluminium, it’s clear why the weight of this jack stand is the lightest of the lot but just as secure to use, thanks to its ability to hold about 6000 pounds. Best part: the jack stand can extend up to 17 inches too. This jack stand costs only $21.10.
- Perfect for RVs
- Focus on stability and safety
- Available in packs of 2 and 4 pieces
Instead of raising the vehicle from multiple contact points like other jack stands, this one, which weighs at 5 pounds, can lift one wheel quite easily. The rubber coated hooks will protect the wheel while the rubber padding protects both the tire as well as the wheel. It can easily lift up to 5000 pounds and is definitely useful if you’re off road and need to get the job done quick.
This particular jack stand was designed intentionally to be compatible with a wide range of body styles, larger tires, lift kits and bumper styles. This accessory is excellent for lifting oversized tires as well.
Most jack stands usually lift the vehicle from the bumper but this one takes a different approach since it lifts the vehicle from the tire itself. Given this style of lifting, any changes made in body parts such as plastic bumpers, larger tires as well as lift kits will hardly cause the user any trouble at all.
As a satisfied user suggested, it can even be used to re-position the vehicle especially if you are stuck in an obstacle (yes we’re looking at you offroad junkies). One thing is for sure: its design is suited to most vehicles while being nearly as effective as a jack/jack stand combo. This type of jack stand costs $39.85.
- Lifts the vehicle from the tire itself
- Can be used on literally a number of vehicles
- Reduces the amount of travel on the jack bar necessary to lift the vehicle
- Can lift a number of other items thanks to a capacity of 5000 pounds
With a weight of 12.8 pounds, this jack stand holds up to 3 tons of weight quite easily. Sold as a single piece, this jack stand is very easy to use while being able to extend to a height of 13 inches to 21 inches. The circular base on these jack stands provides extra stability. The rubber pad at the top that stabilizes the vehicle is designed so that it will not scratch your vehicle’s paint. Apart from this, the rubber pads also ensure that the grip is firm securing the safety of the person under the vehicle.
You can use two to four of these in order lift a vehicle completely. Simple design, robust performance.
Made from aluminum, this jack stand is able to carry a weight of almost 3 tons on its own. Even if they are a little pricey, using these stands to lift your vehicle means that you don’t have to worry about a collapse – they’re very durable in nature. You won’t have to worry about the paint being scratched either, thanks to the rubber coating on the top. The circular bases have been designed in such a manner that they offer extra stability. Each of these jack stands cost about $60 bucks.
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Stable and durable in nature
- Prevent damaging the body of the vehicle when lifted
- Extremely durable
This jack stand will have to be purchased in a set of 2 pieces while weighing about 12 pounds in all but being able to lift 1.5 tons each. Of course, these are steel jack stands but just as sturdy if a bit heavier than their aluminum counterparts. Fortunately, the price of steel is inexpensive relative to aluminum.
Not only does the quick adjustment mechanism assist in the ease of use but also one can use this jack stand to extend the height between 11 inches to 16 inches. With the ratchet bar in one piece, it has been built with strength and durability which is why it isn’t surprising that this jack stand easily meets ANSI standards too. This tool can easily handle a variety of vehicle from medium sized cars up to SUVs.
Even if these jack stands have been made of steel, they are still easy to carry around and just as effective too. Moreover, the manner in which these stands have been designed will ensure that you are safe when under the vehicle. There will be no slipping or downward movement once the vehicle is lifted to its desired height. These are very easy to use and are compact and is one of the best jack stands for those who need to work on their car at home. A pair of these will be sold at $24.99.
- Made of steel but still light enough to be carried around
- Designed to keep the user as safe as possible
- Slipping or a collapse is ensured given its stable structure
- Easy to use and compact
Summary of Top 5 Jack Stands
If until now, you have not taken the use of a jack stand seriously, here are 5 excellent options that are not only inexpensive but keep you alive as well. All of these are considered to be the best jack stands available today, by popular choice and opinion from their buyers too.
As mentioned earlier, they are made of both aluminium as well as steel — both are effective at holding the weight of a vehicle. Since they are also easy to use, this means that just about anyone can set up a jack stand – at home in your garage, or out on the road to get replace tires or repair the vehicle.
That said, nothing beats the safety that these best jack stands bring with them. So, if you’re concerned about the costs, your life is far more precious.
One last thing: if you decide to purchase one of these jack stands, ensure you obtain a warranty and read the instruction manual carefully.
General Thoughts on Quality Jack Stands
There’s no amount of money worth saving when it comes to a potential collapse with you under the vehicle. An event like this can clearly mean disaster in the life-threatening sense, especially if you are working on your car alone. So, even if it means stating the obvious, there is only one tool made to lift weights as heavy as 1 ton, 3 tons or 6 tons safely. That’s right, a jack stand. Manufacturers list the weight capacity of their stands that clearly informs the user the weight it can accommodate.
How do they work? Quite simply you first jack the car up. Then, using the ground as a firm base, the vehicle is held to a certain height using 2 to 4 of these jack stands. Whether you use 2 or 4 of them depends on what what part of the car you will be working on and how long. One way or another, stability and safety are paramount and without which, the user’s life will be in danger. Don’t risk the worst case scenario by using makeshift stands like cinderblocks and the like.
Now that we’ve established clear reasons as to why a car jack must be the only tool used to lift a car while carrying out repairs or maintenance, there are certain factors that you must consider in order when selecting one from the best jacks stands for you and your vehicle. As a seasoned car owner, you don’t need us to tell you that the number of choices out there for anything car-related its mind boggling.
Of course, one should also keep in mind that selecting the right model from the very best jack stands isn’t enough. There is a proper way to use these jack stands – something that even experienced people such as mechanics fail to heed leading to unfortunate accidents. That’s why we always encourage our readers to read the instructions and prop something lighter up with the jack stand first. This ensures you know how it functions and are prepared to use it under something much heavier such as your car.
While there are steel jack stands, we recommend purchasing an aluminium jack stand if you can afford it. They’re much lighter – about 5-6 pounds each – making it easy to carry around.
Apart from this, it’s vital to consider the lift height when you’re picking one from the best jack stands available. Given that sports cars have a lowered suspension while pickup trucks don’t, it’s wise to check for jack stands that start at a low height.