From professional mechanics to clueless car owners, owning a jack is a must if you drive a car. While most cars come with a scissor jack to help change a flat tire, a floor jack helps to lift the car even higher, which makes changing a tire and performing other mechanical improvements much more comfortable. As Drivr Zone points out, the most critical step when using a jack of any kind is to know the ins and outs of the jack and never do any job that you or the jack are not capable of performing.
When using a car jack, the car must be on an even and solid ground, which means doing repairs on grass or dirt is out of the question. As Progressive notes, using a jack on the side of the road is extremely dangerous and should never be attempted and car owners should instead call a tow truck. But if you have a flat tire and can make it somewhere safe like an empty parking lot or your garage, then a floor jack can be hugely beneficial.
While floor jacks are often large and heavy and therefore kept in a garage, we’ve included a lightweight option that is ideal for keeping in your car. Whatever model you choose, it’s imperative to make safety your number one priority.
1. Torin Big Red Steel Scissor Jack
For a compact and lightweight jack that you can keep in your garage or the trunk of your car, we recommend the Torin Big Red Steel Scissor Jack. The Torin has a lift range of 4.125″ to 15.125″ and an oversized 4.5″ base that provides support and stability. The Torin meets ASME standards and we like that it comes with a one-year limited manufacturer warranty.
Pros: The Torin weighs only 7.7 pounds and measures 26.4″ x 19.1″ x 9.4″, making it an ideal size for storing in the trunk of your car to use in emergency roadside situations.
Cons: The Torin has the lowest weight capacity on our list at 1.5 tons.
2. Arcan 3-Ton Quick Rise Aluminum Floor Jack
With a 3-ton weight limit that can handle trucks and vans, the Arcan Quick Rise Aluminum Floor Jack is a great option for both cars and larger vehicles. The Arcan, which is ASME compliant, has a rubber saddle and foam handle bumper to protect both the car and the user. It also features a side mount handle for convenient jack position, a two piece handle that makes storage easy, and bypass and overload valves that act as a safety feature to protect against over-extension of the hydraulic ram or the risk of lifting beyond its 3-ton rated capacity.
Pros: The Arcan features dual pump pistons that lift automobiles quickly and with minimal effort.
Cons: The Arcan weighs 56 pounds and is better suited for use in a garage and not stored in a car for emergency purposes.
3. Pro-Lift Grey Low Profile Floor Jack
When looking for a jack with an extra-low profile, we recommend the Pro-Lift Grey Low Profile Floor Jack, which has a lifting range of 3.15″ to 14″. Unlike the first two jacks, which are made of aluminum, the Pro-Lift is constructed with heavy-duty steel for added durability.
Pros: The Pro-Lift comes with several safety features, including a patented bypass device that protects against over pumping and a built-in safety valve that provides overload protection. The Pro-Lift is also rust-resistant.
Cons: With a maximum capacity of 2-tons, the Pro-Lift falls below the Arcan in terms of how much weight it can accommodate.