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Best Jack Stands – A Detailed Look at Standard and Heavy Duty Models

When working underneath your car, you need a good, strong floor jack to lift it, but jacks fail and accidents happen. You cannot rely on one to safely hold your vehicle up while you’re working underneath.

And with tons of heavy metal floating just above your body, a drop could have catastrophic consequences. That’s why it’s essential that you get the best jack stands you can buy.

A pair of red jack stands supporting a raised carWith the vast array of jack stands available on the market today, of many different sizes and at different price points, it’s never been more convenient or accessible to work under your car safely.

In this article, we take a deep dive look at this essential garage staple, covering why they are needed, the different types available, what you need to look for when shopping, and ending with our top picks of the best jack stands available today.

Let’s get started by finding out more about jack stands, their features, and purpose.

Quick Links to Our Top Recommendations for Best Jack Stands

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon.

What are Jack Stands and What is Their Purpose?

Jack stands are vital when it comes to keeping an elevated car or vehicle safely off the ground in a stable position. If you need to change a tire, a jack (sometimes called a tire jack) which elevates just a side or corner of your vehicle will suffice.

But if you need to carry out significant work on the undercarriage, you’ll need more than just a jack. Never, ever work under a car supported only by a jack! That’s where jack stands come in.

Once you’ve lifted the car, they should be placed securely under the axle or frame to keep the vehicle off the ground…with very little chance of failure and the vehicle dropping.

Over the years, jack stand designs have evolved significantly. These days, many come with useful features, such as a ratchet type height adjustment, for example.

With modern versions, even the most inexperienced handyman can fix their car in the comfort of their own garage or driveway.

Since you’ll usually be using a jack stand to allow you to go underneath your car, you want to make sure you’ve invested in a reliable, sturdy model. You need one that won’t collapse and compromise your safety.

When using them, you must ensure that your vehicle is standing on a safe, solid surface. Otherwise you run the risk of your vehicle destabilizing. This is extremely hazardous for the person under the car.

What Different Sizes and Types of Jack Stand are There?

There are various kinds, suitable for different types of cars. For instance, supporting a sports car will require a smaller-framed, lower capacity stand than that needed for lifting an suv.

Commercial vehicles like trucks, vans, and ambulances will require the heftier types of jack stand. These can have capacities of up to 25 ton.

Different types and sizes of jack stands are available, with variable lift capacities. You need to look for one with a maximum capacity that is heavier than your vehicle’s weight. Those with a 3-ton weight capacity are usually sufficient for smaller vehicles.

There are a couple of main configurations of jack stands. A jack stand can be a straight column construction, designed to stay stable on the ground. Otherwise, it can be a pyramid-shaped construction, which provides more ground area contact. Most modern-day jacks are of the latter kind.

There are two main categories of jack stands. Let’s look at each one.

Adjustable Height Jack Stands

Adjustable models do exactly as the name suggests. They allow you to adjust the height or clearance of your vehicle after it’s already off the ground.

To do this, they generally have a tripod base with a moveable rod in the middle. This rod is attached to the saddle—the part which makes contact with your car. The adjustment is made using a built-in ratchet. Jack stands made for heavy vehicles often feature an adjustable steel pin which is used to secure the stand at the clearance level desired. A threaded type is a third style.

One obvious benefit to being adjustable is you can change the height clearance as and when you need to without going through the hassle of lifting the car all over again.

Fixed Height Jack Stands

Fixed height stands have two main advantages over adjustable ones.

The first is to do with safety. Because there are no moving parts, or fewer moving parts, there is far less potential for them to fail.

The second key advantage is also related to the first. Fixed jack stands are super reliable and will last you for years because they are solidly made without any moving, mechanical parts that can fail.

If you intend to work on just one vehicle at home, fixed height stands are probably your best option. Just make sure you buy the right ones for your vehicle and needs.

A downside to fixed jack stands is that they aren’t as versatile. You won’t be able to use the same ones on different types of vehicle. They’re also quite heavy, so are not as portable as their adjustable counterparts.

Consider What Type You Need

You can find low-rise jack or regular jack stands, depending on the type of vehicle you’re working on. The latter is best suited for suvs and larger vehicles, while smaller stands are best for smaller cars.

If you have a corvette, for example, a small jack stand with an average-sized frame would suit best—larger ones would not fit under the car.

What to Look for When Buying

When selecting the right jack stands for your vehicle, you’ll need to consider the load capacity of both (or all four) jack stands together. They are usually sold in pairs, this gives you a balanced, safe way to lift your car.

There are a number of other factors to bear in mind while considering your purchase. These include:

Their Height

You need a jack stand with a generous enough height setting to accommodate you underneath it. Around 20 inches as a maximum height is likely to be sufficient.

If you’re looking at models with a max height much less than that, there may not be enough height clearance for you to get underneath the car.

The Base Area and Stability

Interlocking jack stands offer the stability and strength you’ll need to keep your vehicle steady, because they are built in a four-legged structure.

Check the welding locations before buying, to make sure you’re purchasing a model that is built to last. The last thing you want is for them to collapse while you’re underneath the vehicle.

A cool feature to keep an eye out for is a double-locking safety feature. This stops the stand from moving even if the handle is bumped. You usually won’t need to use the double lock when the jack stand is at its lowest height setting.

The Larger the Saddle, the Better

The saddle-shaped part of a jack stand is where it contacts with the car and is used to support it.

The larger the saddle’s surface area, the more support your car has off the ground. A saddle with a good surface area also helps keep your vehicle stable.

Materials Used and Durability

You want a jack stand made from a long-lasting material that’s unlikely to rust or crack. Usually, steel is a safe bet. If you choose a product made from a durable material, it should last in your garage for a decade or more with proper care and maintenance.

Cost

With such a huge range of jack stands on the market, you can also expect a range of prices. You’ll find some that cost less than $50 and others with a price tag of over $200.

Because it’s so important to protect to yourself while working under your vehicle, bear in mind that the extra outlay is generally worthwhile.

Cheaply made stands are more likely to collapse. Aim for the highest quality model you can afford. Don’t compromise your safety over a few extra dollars.

Best Jack Stand – a Detailed Look at Our Top Recommendations

Now that we’ve gone over the key features and considerations when it comes to jack stands, let’s take a look at the top models available in 2019.

The following few are great all-rounders before we look into ‘heavy duty’ options later in this guide.

Torin Big Red Steel Jack Stands: 3 Ton Capacity, 1 Pair

Torin Big Red Steel Jack Stands: 3 Ton Capacity, 1 Pair

These lightweight models will work well to support your vehicle after it’s lifted. The generous saddle surface allows for optimal contact with the body it is supporting. These jack stands are suitable for a wide range of vehicles, including cars and some types of smaller truck.

This model from torin is offered in a number of different sizes, all of which offer strong support. The steel build is also durable and well-suited for handling different vehicles.

One of the cool features the torin jack stand comes with is a locking rack and pawl, guaranteeing your safety. The self-locking ratchet bar is adjustable, allowing ample space no matter how far you go under the car.

Thick and sturdy without being too heavy, this garage must-have is not too difficult to move around. The nice finish and sturdy base also make it a premium pick.

Manufacturers Specs and Feature List

  • Weight: 17 pounds, one pair.
  • Dimensions: 15 x 9 x 8 inches.
  • Lift capacity: 3 tons.
  • Minimum lift height: 11.62 inches.
  • Maximum lift height: 16.75 inches.
  • Double locking: yes.
  • Base length x width: 7.5 x 7 inches.

What We Like

  • Affordable price point.
  • Sleek look, the paint is evenly applied and not glossy.
  • Relatively sturdy, enough to support most car models.
  • Manufactured from durable, quality steel.
  • Stable weight capacity because of the product’s strong

What We Don’t Like

  • Some parts may need lubricating to prevent rust forming.
  • Might be too tall for some low profile vehicles.

Summary

These are good quality and reliable. Although they may not appear very strong at first glance, they’re actually very sturdy. It’s really no surprise that they’re one of the more popular models out there.

Learn more about these well-built, rugged stands here:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Torin Big Red Aluminum Jack Stands: 3 Ton Capacity, 1 Pair

Torin Big Red Aluminum Jack Stands: 3 Ton Capacity, 1 Pair

These are some of the more attractive models out there with their bright color design. We also like the locking support pins and the fact that these break down quickly for easy storage.

They have a large base, keeping you safe while your car is securely elevated. The aluminum build also means these stands are likely to last you a good few years. From small cars, jeeps, to suvs, these are suitable to use on a wide range of vehicles.

Like most other models, these come in pairs. Easy to adjust and made with a well-built frame, they’re unlikely to disappoint. The pin-style design and easy assembly make them extremely user-friendly. Also, they’re quite solid and suitable for use on versatile concrete or asphalt.

Living up to Top-Grade Safety Standards, It’s No Surprise That These Torin Picks are A Bestselling Item.

Manufacturers Specs and Feature List

  • Weight: 10.2 pounds, one pair.
  • Dimensions: 30.7 x 10.6 x 7.9 inches.
  • Lift capacity: 3 tons.
  • Minimum lift height: 10.71 inches.
  • Maximum lift height: 15.63 inches.
  • Comes with removable locking support pins.
  • Base length x width: 7.48 x 6.81 inches.

What We Like

  • Constructed of high-grade, durable aluminum.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Compatible with a wide range of cars.
  • Easy to break down for compact storage and transport.
  • Attractive design and paint color.
  • Generous saddle surface area.
  • Limited One-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty.

What We Don’t Like

  • The maximum height setting of just over 15½ inches may be too low for some.
  • There’s no padding on the saddle and the base is relatively narrow.

Summary

It’s hard to resist this compact, easy-to-transport model, especially with the glossy paint and the sleek design. Given all the benefits that come with them, we definitely recommend these jack stands.

More information about this model and the latest prices can be found here:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Esco Jack Stand, 3 Ton Capacity

Another sturdy model, the esco is definitely a long-lasting jack stand that you can rely on to support and carry heavier vehicles. What’s particularly beneficial about this model is that the rubber pad and the circular base provide optimal protection and strength.

They have a generous adjustable range of between 13 and 21 inches. The powder-coated base and circular base pads offer optimal stability, so it’s almost guaranteed to keep you safe.

The flat rubber pad is a major plus, because that means, unlike other jack stands, it won’t leave marks on your car’s undercarriage. These are reportedly too big for smaller cars, but work well when set to the lowest height level.

Each jack stand is sold either individually or in multiples of up to four.

Manufacturers Specs and Feature List

  • Weight: 13 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 20.2 x 14.5 x 12 inches.
  • Lift capacity: 3 tons.
  • Minimum lift height: 13.2 inches.
  • Maximum lift height: 21.5 inches.
  • Powder coated base and circular base pads offer optimal stability.
  • Comes with removable saddle cushion to protect the car frame.

What We Like

  • Protective, sturdy make, with key safety features.
  • Versatile height range makes it compatible with different types of cars.
  • Protective saddle cushion keeps the car frame protected.
  • Doesn’t leave marks on the subframe or suspension components.
  • Offers optimal stability in comparison to comparable products.

What We Don’t Like

  • They are too tall for smaller cars, even when adjusted to the lowest height setting.

Summary

A sturdy, well-built model, these are a great option you can’t go wrong with. It’s really worth the money, and it doesn’t wobble at all. You can buy one at a time, or up to four in a pack. A reliable product with a great reputation, check it out here:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Hein-Werner Blue/Yellow Jack Stand – 3 Ton Capacity

Hein-Werner HW93503 Blue/Yellow Jack Stand - 3 Ton Capacity

With a multi-position adjustment, the Hein-Werner allows for changeable positions, all of which keep your vehicle firmly in place. You won’t hesitate to work underneath your car with these jack stands because the overall quality is top-notch.

With a unique strength and constructed from extremely durable materials, these are sturdy and safe. The saddle column has a good weight capacity, and the overall weld is superior to that of products from comparable brands.

The maximum lift height isn’t particularly tall, so they are arguably most compatible with smaller cars. But these jack stands are still super solid, and one of the best you could choose.

Also, their excellent quality means they’ll still look good, even after you’ve used them regularly for several years.

Manufacturers Specs and Feature List

  • Weight: 19 pounds, one pair.
  • Dimensions: 9 x 7.5 x 12 inches.
  • Lift capacity: 3 tons.
  • Minimum lift height: 12 inches.
  • Maximum lift height: 19 inches.
  • Multi-position ratchet bar with a saddle offers easy height adjustment.

What We Like

  • Versatile height adjustment, making it compatible with a wide range of vehicles while allowing plenty of space.
  • Overall weld quality is superior to that of comparable brands.
  • Reliable and sturdy make.
  • Good finish and colorful design.
  • Assembled in the USA.

What We Don’t Like

  • The pin preventing the riser arm from coming out of the base is too large.
  • Not tall enough to accommodate some higher vehicles, although the adjustable range is pretty wide.

Summary

Thse stands are some of the best around, and they hold up very well against competitors. Yet another quality pick, you’ll definitely want to consider these when you’re making your purchase. Check them out here:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Best Heavy Duty Jack Stands

Aside from the top picks we learned about in the previous section, there are several noteworthy heavy-duty jack stands on the market. These fulfill the requirements you’re looking for in terms of build, durability, and lifting ability when it comes to heavy vehicles.

Most of the products below have a lift capacity several times greater than the standard ones above. Enough capacity, in fact, that one stand may be all you need to support your vehicle while you’re working.

Omega Magic Lift Black Jack Stand – 12 Ton

Omega 32126 Magic Lift Black Jack Stand - 12 Ton Capacity

These have a mammoth capacity, dwarfing many other options on the market. Also, the lift handle rises automatically as you adjust it. That’s where the name “magic lift” comes from.

Sturdy and constructed from welded steel, this pick is notable not only for the self-rising feature but also for its multi-position capability. You can securely lock the ratchet bar with its counter-weighed pawl feature. This helps to keep you safe while you’re underneath your vehicle.

With their huge size, these impeccable jack stands will lift many small commercial vehicles, whether that’s an ambulance, a truck, or a large suv.

The magic lift feature is also great for helping prevent fatigue. When you’re working with larger vehicles, you want to make sure you have all the energy you need for the job at hand.

Manufacturers Specs and Features List

  • Weight: 42 pounds per pair.
  • Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.5 x 17.5 inches.
  • Lift capacity: 12 tons.
  • Minimum lift height: 19.75 inches.
  • Maximum lift height: 30.25 inches.
  • Multi-position ratchet bar with saddle, offering height adjustment.
  • Full one-year warranty.

What We Like

  • Welded steel construction allows for optimal durability.
  • Heavy lift capacity, suitable for lifting only one side of your vehicle.
  • Lift handle automatically raises, dubbed the “magic lift” option.
  • Ratchet bar allows for multiple positions and height adjustments.
  • More stable than most comparable products.

What We Don’t Like

  • Very heavy if you need to carry them around.

Summary

One of the sturdiest jack stands with the heaviest capacity, the omega magic lift is a stellar option with some cool features. Given the size, they’re also well-suited for small commercial vehicles as well as bigger cars. For more information on these giants, click here.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Torin Big Red Steel Jack Stands: 6 Ton, 1 Pair

Torin Big Red Steel Jack Stands: 6 Ton Capacity, 1 Pair

These classic six-ton  capacity jack stands, sold and used in pairs, are the garage essentials you’ll wonder how you ever lived without. They’re also designed to meet top safety standards.

Despite the stability and weight capability these offer, you won’t break your back carrying them around the workshop. They’re remarkably light for such a heavy-duty product.

Featuring a large foot-base size, these big red steel jacks will keep even the heaviest of loads adequately supported. They also come with a one-year manufacturer’s guarantee, so the company has your back in the unlikely event that they fall short of your expectations.

The lifting and height adjustment range is generous and allows for precise adjustments. At a six-ton capacity, these can accommodate heavier vans, trucks, and suvs.

Manufacturers Specs and Features List

  • Weight: 29.3 pounds per pair.
  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 11.8 x 10.2 inches.
  • Lift capacity: 6 tons.
  • Minimum lift height: 15.37
  • Maximum lift height: 23.8 inches.
  • Large saddle surface area allows plenty of contact with the vehicle.
  • Limited one-year warranty.

What We Like

  • Self-locking, multiple-position ratchet bar helps you adjust height ranges easily and safely.
  • Constructed of durable steel.
  • Generous surface area allows ample load support.
  • Locking rack and pawl give exemplary security and stability.
  • Deep red color, nice finish, and glossy look.
  • Not too heavy to carry compared to other six-ton models.

What We Don’t Like

  • The hinges can get rusty.
  • The release requires tension to travel far up.

Summary

A quality, durable product, these are a great choice. When using in pairs, you’ll be able to support a wide range of vehicles.

We love the extra safety features and the fact that they’re easy to move around. Read more about them here:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Omega Black Heavy Duty Jack Stand – 22 Ton

Omega 32225B Black Heavy Duty Jack Stand - 22 Ton Capacity

Capable of carrying a whopping 22 tons, the omega heavy duty jack stands definitely give a new definition to the phrase! The sturdy steel construction means you can hold up some hefty vehicles in complete safety.

Just don’t try moving these bad boys on your own if you suffer from back problems. Many users report that placing these on a slick-bottomed carpet or mat is the best way to shift them around the garage.

The heavy gauge steel frame makes twisting all the more unlikely. An adjustable pin allows for compatibility with varying height levels, giving secure support to an array of loads.

For good reason, these have been dubbed indestructible. They might be heavy to carry around, but they’re almost failproof.

Manufacturers Specs and Feature List

  • Weight: 65 pounds, per pair
  • Dimensions: 17.6 x 11.9 x 11.1 inches.
  • Lift capacity: 22 tons, per pair.
  • Minimum lift height: 13.33
  • Maximum lift height: 19.66 inches.
  • The attached heavy duty pin allows for adjustable heights.

What We Like

  • Heavy-duty adjustable pins allow the model to work for differing height levels.
  • Durable steel construction.
  • Steel frame prevents twisting.
  • Guaranteed safety thanks to the indestructible
  • The materials make it a long-lasting model.
  • Full one-year warranty.

What We Don’t Like

  • The saddle is not deep or wide enough compared to others.
  • At over 30 pounds in weight for each stand, you won’t want to move them far!

Summary

The hallmark of heavy-duty jack stands, the omega black 22-ton option is more than impressive. Given the capacity, each stand or pair is best suited for larger vehicles, like buses, vans, and small trucks. That said, if you’re after a failsafe product that will lift anything with ease, you can’t go wrong. If you’re interested to know more, click here.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Conclusion

Many horror stories abound which feature cheap jack stands collapsing while the owner is under the car. To make sure you don’t star in your own horror story, put some time and effort into choosing a strong, quality product. Figure out your needs, check the weight capacity you need to lift, and decide which features matter to you.

Some jack stands are more expensive than others, but it’s best to invest in a quality brand instead of risking your life each time you slide underneath your vehicle! Plus, when you invest wisely, you’ll have a product that will last for many years in your garage.

Which jack stand have you chosen to buy? How well do they work with your vehicle? Let us know in the comments section below. We’re also more than happy to help if you have any questions ypu’d like to ask.

 

Product image credits: © Amazon.com

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Kyle Palmer

From childhood go karting and motocross, to collecting and obsessing over scalextric, matchbox and radio controlled cars, I've always had an obsession with cars. Learning through manuals, books, trial and error, and more knowledgeable family members, I've also enjoyed tinkering with the mechanics and electronics of any vehicles I've owned. Now, over 3 decades later, I've started this site as a place for me to share my knowledge, to teach others how to care for and maintain their vehicles themselves, at home, so they can get the most of their vehicles and save a pretty penny compared to always seeking out professional help.

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