Looking for a set of dependable jack stands to hold up your vehicle while you work under it?
Sometimes, it’s necessary to get under your car when it’s time to change the motor oil or check the timing belt.
This year we’ve gone that extra mile for you in sizing up the best jack stands on the market in 2018. Whether you’re lifting a light compact car or a 3-ton heavy duty truck, we’ve got you covered with a variety of top stands in our reviews.
Let’s take a look at the jack stands 2018 has to offer the home mechanic.
Are you looking for a pair of 3-ton jack stands that are light and easy to transport?
With a weight capacity of 3 tons for each pair of stands, Torin’s Big Red Aluminum Jack Stands can hold up most cars and light trucks. They accomplish this while weighing less and taking less space than their heavier steel counterparts that are also made by Torin.
This makes these stands more convenient if you need to transport them often. They feature a cotter pin locking mechanism to set the lift height, which is safer than other mechanisms like ratcheting stands. The trade-off for this increase in safety is fewer lift height positions that can be selected.
Torin’s aluminum Big Red Jack Stands are lighter and more portable than their steel versions. You do lose some tensile strength by switching to aluminum, but the upside is a lighter more compact product.
We’d recommend these stands if you need to take them with you to remote work sites and don’t need to lift anything heavier than a light truck.
Lightweight aluminum construction makes these stands easy to move from place to place
The locking pin is safer than other mechanisms used to fix the stands in place at a desired height
Rated to lift up to 3 tons, which is enough to support most cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks
Aluminum is lighter than steel, but not quite as strong
Need an inexpensive set of jack stands to lift your car?
Then Torin’s Big Red Steel Jack Stands could be a good choice. They have the weight rating to handle any car, SUV, or truck under 3 tons. The cradle design on this model is also a selling point, being large enough to allow good contact with many different models of vehicle.
The lift height on these stands is not outstanding, but it’s plenty of room to hold up the front end of your car while you change the oil. They are not hefty and can be transported from one place to the next with relative ease.
Torin’s Big Red Steel Jack Stands are a great choice if you want to hold up a 2-ton car or SUV. They have plenty of weight capacity to handle that kind of load without overstraining them.
You may want to get heavier stands for trucks that are over 3 tons, though. These aren’t the ones that you want to test with loads close to their limit.
Never try to support a vehicle with an only one jack stand.
Each pair of the stands has a capacity of 3 tons, handling both cars and light trucks
Lightweight, sturdy construction is dependable when under a load
The large saddle allows maximum contact with the lifting spots under a vehicle
You’ll want to go up to a higher weight capacity if you have a heavy truck
At that point, you can install a locking bar to seat the jack in place at that height and use it as a stand. This makes it a safer option for changing tires or working with only one wheel off the ground at a time.
Traditional floor jacks and bottle jacks are less safe because the chance that they may fail is higher than a jack stand. Still, you’ll need a pair of stands to safely get under a vehicle.
This is a great addition to any DIY mechanic’s toolkit, especially as an emergency jack for changing tires or working on vehicle brakes one wheel at a time. For jobs that require you to get under a vehicle, though, you’ll still need a pair of jack stands to stay safe.
The Powerbuilt All-in-One certainly will make a good back up jack, but it won’t be able to hold up one side of a vehicle by itself.
Functions like a bottle jack to get your vehicle off the ground
Locking bar fixes the jack at the desired height once it’s reached, turning it into a jack stand
Can lift and support any vehicle under 3 tons in weight, which includes most SUVs and light trucks
You’ll still need to use a pair of stands to stay safe when you plan to get under a vehicle
Got a heavy truck to jack up that weighs over 4 tons?
Torin’s Big Red Steel Double-Locking Jack Stands can handle heavy loads like a 6×6 6-ton truck. It has a lift height of over 23 inches to handle making contact with the support points of trucks with extra ground clearance. The wide base on the stands also protects against slippage and adds additional stability to the load.
With a weight capacity of 6 tons for each pair of these stands, four of them can lift a semi-truck that weighs under 12 tons, or you can simply enjoy the peace of mind you get from using jack stands that are rated to carry more weight than you use them for.
These heavy duty 6-ton devices are the answer to supporting heavy trucks, especially when you need the extra lift height to get them off the ground. A set of four of these stands can handle 12 tons, more than enough for most repair and maintenance work on large trucks and machinery.
It’s a best practice to use chock blocks to stop a jacked vehicle from rolling away from the jack and falling.
Extended lift height can reach nearly 2 feet for trucks with extra ground clearance
Weight capacity rated at 6 tons for each pair of stands
Wide cradle affords plenty of surface area to make contact with the lift spots on a vehicle
These jack stands are designed with large trucks like military 6x6s in mind
Looking for a set of jack stands that can handle plenty more than you need?
Safety is foremost in the mind of many DIY mechanics when they need to get under their vehicles. One way to stay safe is to practice overkill with the stands they use to hold their vehicle off the ground.
With a weight capacity of 6 tons, a pair of Performance Tool’s W41023 can certainly ease your mind whenever you work on a car or truck.
With a lift height up to 23 inches, this model can handle lifted trucks as well as smaller cars. These are heavier compared to others in their category, so you may not want to transport them from place to place.
Performance Tool’s W41023 jack stands can hold up any passenger vehicle you might need to work underneath. A set of four of these stands can handle larger loads like large trucks or construction equipment.
If you want stands that aren’t going to be overloaded by anything you’re likely to work on in your garage, these certainly fit the bill.
There are spots under most vehicles intended to support their weight with jacks and jacks stands.
6 ton weight capacity ensures that these jack stands won’t be overloaded by a car, SUV, or pickup truck you need to work on
Can reach a lift height of nearly 2 feet for trucks with extra ground clearance
The broad base on these heavy duty stands ensures they stay stable under a load
You may want to consider lighter stands if you need to take them with you to remote work sites.
Do you have a vehicle that lacks good support points for placing jack stands under it?
ESCO’s 10498 Jack Stands can be a good solution for that kind of situation because of their thick rubber pad that can accommodate irregular support points without damaging them. With a weight capacity of 3 tons, a pair of these will be sturdy underneath most passenger cars and trucks.
They use cotter pins to lock into position, which is an added plus if you’re concerned about safety. These are lightweight jack stands that won’t be a chore to move.
ESCO’s 10498 is a good jack stand with a couple solid features. The thick rubber jack pad is great for cars and trucks that lack flat or solid support points. It can keep good contact with an irregular surface without damaging it.
It’s got enough weight capacity to lift most cars and pickup trucks and the lift height to hold up trucks that sit high off the ground. The cotter pin locking design is also a great way to hold a jack stand in place without the worry that it could slip or get dislodged.
Rubber jack pad makes lifting easier for unibody vehicles that lack good support points
Cotter pin locking design adds to the safety of the design
A weight capacity of 3 tons is enough to lift most passenger cars and trucks
A higher weight capacity rating might make some home mechanics feel more secure
Looking to get outfitted with a handy pair of jack stands, a floor jack, and a creeper?
Performance Tool’s W85030 Garage Starter Set is a good deal with a DIY mechanic looking for a full kit for working under their car to change its motor oil or change its tires. Both the floor jack and the ratcheting-style stands are rating to lift up to 2 tons, which is enough for most cars on the market. You also get a creeper to get under a vehicle without laying directly on the floor.
If you outfitting your garage for the first time and need to a full kit of tools for working under a car under 2 tons in weight, this starter set could be the one you’re looking for. If you have larger vehicles over 2 tons, you’ll need to find a floor jack and jack stands with more capacity than these.
Great starter kit if you need to get a floor jack and creeper
Ratcheting-style stands make setting and locking in the lift height more convenient
Weight rating of 2 tons is enough to support most cars
If you have a large SUV or pickup truck that’s over 2 tons in weight, you’ll need stands with a higher weight capacity
How Did We Test These Jack Stands?
Testing the jack stands we reviewed was challenging because we certainly couldn’t put them through their paces until they failed. No one wants to pay for the damage caused by falling vehicles, after all. We did try to put each jack stand model in different situations to see how it performed.
For each one, we selected several different vehicles within its weight rating to see how well its lift height and cradle did with each. We also simulated different jacking scenarios. We used them to lift one side of each vehicle and then the front and rear ends. We timed how long it took to complete each jack stand setup as well to see if one was quicker than another to use.
Buyer’s Guide on How to Choose the Best Jack Stands
The first thing to do when you decide to buy jack stands is to find out the maximum weight you’ll need to support. If you have more than one vehicle, what’s the weight of the largest one? These devices are rating in pairs, so look at buying at least two that can support more than the weight of your heaviest vehicle.
Another thing to think about is how high you need them to hold your vehicle off the ground. It varies from model to model of stand. A jack stand well-suited for use with a Porsche or BMW may not work well for a Jeep Wrangler, so take some quick measurements of what you would like, and filter your choices accordingly while you shop.
Some jack stands with pinch welds have rubberized cradles to protect your vehicle again any damage that can happen because of the amount of force exerted by its weight on the points where the stands make contact.
There are a couple of common designs used to lock these tools at a given height. Some use a ratcheting mechanism with a lever and others use a cotter pin to hold them in place. Ratcheting jack stands may be a little less safe, but offer more control over how high a jack stand is locked in at.
How to Jack Up Your Car
7 Perfect Jack Stands – Great Addition to DIY Mechanic’s Toolkit (2020)
How and When to Use Jack Stands
Jacks stands should be used whenever you need to work under your vehicle, such as to drain its oil or reach others parts on its underside, such as the transmission or timing belt. Another scenario that requires the use of such devices is when you need to remove one or more of your vehicle’s tires, whether it’s to change them or work on its brakes.
So, what’s the best way to use jack stands?
There are a few things to do before you jack up your vehicle. First, you’ll need to park it on a level, solid surface, like a concrete garage floor or a parking lot. You should also have a floor jack to do the lifting with and chock blocks to place behind the vehicle’s wheels that will remain on the ground.
When you need to lift your car up, the first step is to jack it up with a floor jack. Generally speaking, it’s safest to jack up one corner of a vehicle at a time. Once it’s high enough to place a jack stand under a support point, do so and set the jack stand’s height as close to the vehicle’s underside as possible. Then slowly lower the vehicle onto the stand. Check to make sure it’s firmly seated on the stand before repeating the process for the next jack stand.
You should always use jack stands in pairs for safety and place them under the corners of a vehicle. Holding up one end or side of a vehicle with a single jack stand is dangerous. Always test the stands before getting under a vehicle by giving it is a shove. If the jack stands don’t wobble or slip, it’s safe to start working.
Types of Jack Stands
These tools come in a wide variety of weight capacities and designs suited for the many different vehicles that you might need to work on. They range from motorcycle stands that are rated at less than a ton of weight capacity to truck jack stands that are rated as high as 20 tons or more.
These are specially designed table jack stands that can lift a motorcycle off the ground. Their weight capacity is usually less than a ton.
Stands designed for cars are sold in pairs and typically have a weight capacity of 2 or 3 tons. They are usually designed to be placed under the support points found behind each wheel of a car.
Truck stands are larger versions of car jack stands with taller lift heights and greater weight capacities to handle the heaviest trucks and SUVs. They usually have a weight capacity of 4 or 6 tons. You can also find extra tall stands for lifted trucks. These can also be used to support campers and RVs, which typically have similar weights as large pickup trucks.
Jack stands are also designed to lift trailers from the hitch end. These are usually designed to support up to a ton of weight. Some have wheels to make moving a trailer easier when it isn’t hitched to a vehicle.
When you need to lift loads that approach or exceed 10 tons, you’ll need heavy duty jack stands that can support weights between 7 and 20 tons.
There are also tools specially designed to support 8 to 15 ton boats. They come in sets and are designed to stand at the angles needed to hold a boat upright off the ground.
The Popular Brands of Jack Stands
Here are the top brands to consider before you buy: Big Red, Duralast, Hein-Werner, Ranger Products, Omega.
Jack Stand Design
It is a fairly standard item because the most efficient shape and materials needed to support a vehicle have largely been discovered and replicated by most jack stand manufacturers. That being said, though, there are added features that can make one jack stand preferably to another for the job you have in mind.
You should be allowed for choosing varying heights to hold up the stands’ load, but lock into place securely once they are installed under a vehicle. There are a couple different ways this is accomplished by jack stand manufacturers. Some stands use a ratcheting mechanism while others use a cotter pin to hold them in place. Pins are safer overall since they are less likely to be accidentally dislodged, but they provide less flexibility when setting the height of the jack stand.
The cradle of the jack stand that makes contact with a vehicle is another place where manufacturers compete with different designs. Because of the amount of force a vehicle weighing one or more tons places on the point of contact with a jack stand, damaged can be done to the frame where the jack stands are places. Rubberized cradles are one design manufacturers have found that can avoid unnecessary damage.
How high the stands will extend is another feature to consider, since it varies from one jack stand model to the next. Consider how much clearance your vehicle has from the ground and how high you need it to be lifted when choosing a jack stand.
Materials and Construction of Stands
How do they make jack stands so strong, you might wonder?
These tools are used in a wide variety of situations to lift cars, trucks, semis, and machinery off the ground. The result is that the loads that they are designed to carry also vary widely.
They come in solid steel or aluminum with many different height profiles (even low profile).
Do they need to be made of metal?
There are also homemade jack stands that can be made by stacking strong materials like cinder blocks or wooden blocks under a vehicle to hold it up off the ground. These solutions can work fine, but there’s always the risk of assuming they can hold up loads that are actually too much for them to bear.
That’s why most professionals stick to weight-rated jack stands. You know how much weight they are able to carry and can plan accordingly to stay safe.
What Happens When Jack Stands Fail?
The danger of working under a vehicle is always present when it’s held up by jack stands with wheels because of the possibility of a stand breaking under the load. When that happens, it can cause the vehicle to fall and pin you under it. This is especially true if you are working under a vehicle with its tires off because the tires would normally stop the car from falling onto you with all of its weight.
Because of the risk of serious injury, many home mechanics make a point of giving the vehicle more support than it needs. They might keep a floor jack in place along with the jack stands or place additional stands under it. It’s also important to carefully check the weight of the load and ensure that your stands won’t be overloaded.
How Do Jack Stands Compare to Ramps?
Ramps are an alternative to jack stands when you need to lift a vehicle enough to work under it. There are few different advantages and disadvantages to ramps compared to jack stands.
Ramps are more stable and safer to use than jack stands for a number of reasons. Because you drive your vehicle onto them, there’s no risk involved like there is when you jack up a car up and then place jack stands under it. Ramps are also more stable because they distribute the weight of a vehicle over a larger area.
It easier and faster to drive onto a ramp than go through the process of safely jacking a car up and placing the jack stands.
Ramps are only useful if you aren’t removing the tires that the ramps need to hold the vehicle up with. If you’re changing tires or brakes, ramps won’t be able to help you with that kind of work.
Working while your vehicle is held up off the ground with a jack is an inherently dangerous situation. Your vehicle can be damaged if it falls while one or more tires are removed, and you can be seriously injured if you’re working under it.
You can stay safe by observing these safety tips:
Jacks are used only to lift a vehicle off the ground. Never work on or under a vehicle held only by a jack. Place jack stands under it first.
You must place jack stands before getting under a vehicle. Serious injury or death can result if a vehicle falls on you while you’re working under it.
Use chock blocks to stop your vehicle from moving while you jack it up and place jack stands, and be sure to leave them in place if you’re only lifting the front or rear. A vehicle can roll enough to fall off its stands, especially if it’s lifted on an uneven surface.
Always park a vehicle on level ground before jacking it up. A vehicle sitting on an incline is likely to roll enough to fall off of a jack, or the angled forced of the vehicle weight on the stands could cause damage.
Never attempt to lift and hold in place more weight than a jack or jack stand is designed to support. It goes without saying that there’s a reason jack stands are rated to hold up certain weight limits. Attempting to use them with heavier vehicles can cause them to fail.
Weight and Portability
Jack stands are fairly light and portable tools that can be moved from place to place in a trunk or the back of a truck. The weight of a jack stand is determined by its lift capacity. The more weight a jack stand needs to support, the thicker its construction must be, making it heavier.
6-ton jack stands can weight up to 25 pounds each, while 2-ton ones can weight only 10 pounds each. They are fairly compact, non-bulky items that are sometimes stackable, so transporting them is usually not an issue.
What kind of warranty do you get with jack stands?
Jack stands are usually backed by at least a 1-year limited warranty that protects the customer from failures of material or workmanship. Jack stands are simple, sturdy devices that tend not to break, but when they do, it can cause serious damage and injury.
It’s important when shopping for new jack stands to look at the kind of warranty offered by manufacturers, as well as any safety standards they meet. Longer warranties can indicate confidence on the part of a manufacturer that their workmanship is excellent.
It’s also important to note that warranties are usually only applicable when a product breaks or fails when used as it was intended by the manufacturer.
Most jack stand are weight-rated in pairs, meaning that it takes two 2-ton jack stands to safely hold up a 2-ton vehicle. This is because using an odd number of these tools is unstable. Therefore, you should always buy the stands in pairs unless you already have one of the exact same model.
No, any sort of damage or deformation to a jack stand is a warning sign that it’s about to fail. Continuing to use a damaged jack stand is dangerous. You should discard it and buy a new one of the same model.
They are designed to hold a vehicle up on level ground. Even a slight angle caused by an inclined driveway can cause problems like bend pinch welds. In addition, an incline will make it much more likely that a vehicle will roll off of jack stands, even when in park. It’s best to find level ground to work on.
Pin-style jack stands put a great deal of strain on the pins that hold them in place. If they are bent, having replacements on hand can be helpful.
Which of these jack stands is the right one for you depends on what you need to jack up.
We’ve considered all of these great contenders for being the best jack stands in 2018 assuming all things are equal, but your mileage may vary when it comes to finding the jacks stands that work best for you.
What that said, which of these jacks stands wins the top spot?
Our choice are Torin’s Big Red Aluminum Jack Stands. These stands are sturdy and dependable, and the 3-ton models we reviewed will handle just about any car you might need to be lifted off the ground. Amazon’s customers agree, giving it the best overall rating of the jack stands we looked at this year.