When you are working on your car, there are few positions you will find yourself in where you are quite as vulnerable as when it is jacked up in the air. Think about it – you have literally tons of car held suspended over your soft and squishy human body. In that position you need to take all the precautions you can, and using Jack Stands are one of the simplest, but also highly effective measures you can take to keep safe. Frankly, you should never work beneath your car without this key piece of safety equipment.
Which is why we’re here. So read on for all the help you need to select the right jack stands for you.
Best Rated Car Jack Stands in 2018:
Torin Big Red Steel Jack Stands
Here at Car Bible we love products that happily shout out what they’re all about – which is why we’ve started with these bad boys!
They’re big, they’re red and they’re made of wood. No, wait – they’re made of steel so that is all the boxes ticked. Joking aside, these are really solid stands, made of high-grade forged steel. This makes them a bit heavier than some other models but also gives them a very reassuring heft.
They have a lovely, oversized saddle area too that makes it easy to plant your vehicle’s jacking points into the saddle for safe contact. Price wise they are about middle of the pack, and come with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
This is a very good set of tools for a very reasonable price.
Lifting range from 11 to 16 inches
High Grade Forged Steel Construction
- Weight14.87 lbs
Alltrade Powerbuilt 640912 Jack with Jack Stand
Another option is to go with a built in Jack and Jack Stand, such as we have here in this product. This could be particularly interesting if you don’t currently have a Jack, and so would save you paying out for two separate products.
It is worth noting that as it essentially combines two tools it is a pretty bulky product, weighting in at almost 22 pounds and with no built in wheels, it can be a pain to move around. As a bottle Jack, it is taller then other, vertical models so it may also be difficult to get it underneath smaller cars – if you have a sports car (or car with sport suspension) then this is a no-no!
All in though, this pretty rugged tool does a decent job of combining two functions into one.
Design Combines Jack & Stand in One
Built in Safety Bar
Wide, Stable Base
- Weight21.8 lbs
Camco Olympian Aluminum Stack Jacks
From the innovative design of the built in model above, we come now to perhaps the very polar opposite in Jack Stand technology. This Product from Camco is wonderfully straightforward and easy to use.
With an all aluminum construction, you get a set of stands that are both incredibly light and have very impressive total lift weights – 6,000 lbs total, which is very impressive for Jacks of this size.
When constructed of Aluminum, you will often see the price rise for these products – however that is not the case here. By utilizing a relatively simple design, the price is kept low despite the premium material used in construction.
You are getting a lot of high quality stand for a very reasonable price here.
Can Support 6000lb Weight
Adjusts from 11 to 17 Inches
- Weight3.55 lbs
Cartman 3 Ton Jack Stands
These are very solid stands that provide all the build quality and security you would expect from a company like Cartman.
Built of high quality steel, they are heavier than equivalent aluminum models, but they are a little lighter than you would expect for a pair of stands rated for 3 tons max weight, which means they are easy enough to move around.
The built in quick adjustment mechanism is the real stand out feature here however. As the name suggests, it allows for quick adjustments whilst the stands are in use. So if you jacked the car a little high, you can easily drop it an inch or two to help with draining for example. This makes them easier to use than some other models that have to be unloaded completely to be adjusted.
Heavy Duty Steel Construction
Quick Adjustment Mechanism
- Weight12 lbs
Performance Tool W41022 3 Ton Capacity Jack Stand Set
Cost wise, this set comes in almost bang average in the middle of the price range. The price in this instance actually kind of matches the product, in that these are very much a middle of the road Jack Stand.
That is not meant as an insult by the way. Rather, it just highlights that this product will give you exactly what you need and what you expect. It will give you nothing more, but it also won’t give any less.
This is a just a well constructed, very simple Stand with no bells or whistles – and no obvious faults either. It just does exactly what it says it will – and will probably carry on doing it for a long time to come!
3 Ton Capacity
Lift Range from 11-1/4 inches to 16-3/4 Inches
- BrandPerformance Tool
- Weight15.9 lbs
Torin Big Red Aluminum Jack Stands
From the standard-but-solid stands above to this somewhat innovative design, our second entry from Torin on the list (well done them!)
This is our second pair of stands of aluminum construction, and like the last pair that has allowed Torin to build a product that deliver excellent lift capacity (3 tons) for a very low product weight. What’s more, they fold up into themselves for easy storage – they take up so little room you could probably store them in the car trunk if you wanted to.
The large base size makes them lovely and stable in operation, and the large saddle makes placing them under the vehicle jacking points nice and simple. This is a premium product so it is going to come with a premium price tag – it is one of the most expensive on this list in fact.
For that price though this really is a top, top quality set of stands that will almost certainly do a great job for you and for years to come too.
Lightweight, Aluminum Construction
3-Ton Lift Capacity
- Weight10.2 lbs
ESCO 10498 Jack Stand
First thing to note is that this is a single stand, not a pair like the other entries on this list. Technically, that makes this the most expensive stand on the list even though it’s a few bucks cheaper than the aluminum set from Torin.
So why shell out so much cash on a single stand?
Because it’s worth every penny! This is a professional standard Jack Stand that would not look out of place in a pro body shop or garage. It is of an incredibly robust construction, and that rubber tipped saddle on top makes finding and securing the jacking points so simple. The feet are rounded to provide a nice solid base during use.
Yes, this is an expensive product. But on the other hand, you are basically placing your life in the hands of these tools as you work beneath the vehicle. There are few stands on the market as deserving of that trust as this one.
3 Ton Capacity
Extremely Robust Construction
- Weight2.08 oz
Best Jack Stands Buying Guide & FAQ
There is our take on what represents the best Jack Stands on the market today. Broadly speaking, these tools all work in the same way, by safely holding your car aloft as you work underneath.
Yet, there are subtitles in construction materials, in the way they work and most importantly, in what they cost. To help you select the right model, we’ll quickly run through how best to use these items, the key features to look for and what size you need to purchase for your own car, truck or Armored Personnel Carrier*.
* Please don’t use these stands for your Armored Personnel Carrier.
How to Use Jack Stands Properly
There are a number of reasons why you may need to raise your car up from the floor. It could be to work on the wheels, it could be to drain the oil. As anyone who repairs their own car will know, the list of reasons for Jacking it up is almost endless, but there is only one reason to use a Jack Stand and that is safety.
Never go underneath your car when a hydraulic Jack is the only thing supporting it. These tools are of course invaluable for getting the car up in the air in the first place, however they lack fail safes to protect your from mechanical failure during operation. If they start to leak fluid for example, they will let the car back down again – whether you’re under there or not.
Around 10,000 Americans are seriously injured per year when using Jacks however by adding Jack Stands into the lifting operation you will be much, much safer. So if we’ve convinced you to utilize stands when Jacking your car, the next thing you need to know is how to use them properly:
- Park the vehicle on solid, stable and flat ground. A concrete driveway is perfect, gravel not so much. Anyway, who wants to lie down on gravel?
- Ensure the Parking Brake is fully engaged before you start to raise the car.
- Wheel Chocks can add an extra element of safety, and are in fact highly recommended. They will prevent the vehicle rolling backwards during any stage of the lift or when you are working underneath.
- Check the Hydraulic Jack & Jack Stands for any visible defects.
- Locate the Jacking Points on your vehicle. Your car manual should tell you exactly where they are. The Jack Points are specially reinforced to support the vehicle weight – only lift the car up at these points or you’ll probably put the Jack Saddle straight through the car’s floor – which is bad.
- Raise the car with the Hydraulic Jack, referring to the tools instructions for safe operation.
- Once it is at the required height, place the Stands underneath, also attaching them to the designated Jacking Points on the vehicle. Make sure they are placed on solid and stable ground and that they are comfortably supporting the weight of the vehicle.
- Remove the Hydraulic Jack and test the vehicle is securely held up by giving the vehicle gentle nudge.
- The car should now be securely held aloft and ready to work on.
What Size Jack Stand do I Need for My Car?
Bigger is better, right? Well when it comes to Stands, yes but also no. You do need a stand that is rated to hold more than the weight of your vehicle. But at the same time, you don’t need one that is rated to hold say three times the vehicle weight.
As the weight capacity increases so does the price, and after a while you are simply paying for redundant capacity. Don’t buy a 12-ton stand to hold your 1.5-ton Honda Civic.
Your vehicle weight should be clearly displayed in the vehicle manual and paperwork, and is also easily available online or by contacting the vehicle dealer for more information.
The stands on this list are rated to hold a maximum of 3 Tons. This should be sufficient to hold any normal sized road car aloft. If you have a Hummer or a large pick up or SUV then you may need to look at stronger models.
Bear in mind, if the stands come as a pair then weight rating is split across the set. So if a pair is rated for 3 tons total capacity, each individual stand should have a Minimum rating of 1.5 tons. This is not always the case however, so make sure you read the instructional paperwork with your stands before you use them he first time!
Features of a Good Jack Stand
All the stands in the list above are high quality tools, however they do have different features that differ from model to model. Depending on what you’re looking for, this may affect your buying decisions, so keep an eye out for:
- Material – Most stands are made from Galvanized Steel. This material is very strong but also quite heavy. Aluminum stands will be much lighter and easier to move around without sacrificing strength. They will also typically be more expensive.
- Saddle – This is where the car Jacking Point will sit in. A larger saddle makes it easier to position the stands. Further, a saddle with extra cushioning, like a rubber pad, will help to protect the Jacking Point from damage or wear and tear. Therefore, if you think you’ll be lifting your car quite regularly, it could be a good idea to buy a stand with extra padding.
- Height – Bear in mind the Stand must both fit underneath the vehicle and be tall enough to hold it aloft. If you have a sports car or car with sports suspension then you will need a shorter set of stands, if you have a Ford or a SUV or Pick Up then you will need a stand with a nice long arm to reach up to the Jacking point.
- Locking Mechanism – Most stands will use either a ratcheting mechanism or a pin to secure the saddle at the correct height. Both have advantages, so this will really come down to personal preference. The ratchet style is usually capable of small adjustments in height, and it is quick to set up. The Pin style is simpler, so will generally be cheaper but is also impossible to adjust in use. Both are as a safe as the other, so it’s really whether you think you’d like to be able to make small adjustments.
- Feet/Base – Nice solid feet or a wide base will help the stand to remain stable in use. A good base also distributes the car weight more evenly. So if you are worried about the ground you are planning on lifting the car on, stands with rounded feet or a very wide base is less likely to leave any impressions or other damage.
Safety Tips When Using Jack Stands
Just bear these very simple tips in mind and you should be able to safely use your stands every time.
- Use on Flat Stable Ground – Very, very important!
- Use Wheel Chocks – The car rolling unexpectedly is the worst-case scenario. A flat stable ground, engaging the Park Brake and using wheel chocks will go a long way to preventing this.
- Check the Weight Capacity of the Stands – It should be around double to 1.5x times more than the vehicle weight. i.e. 3 ton stands are fine for a 2-ton car.
- Read the Instructions – These tips, as well as the guide above, are good general-purpose advice. However, each stand will be slightly different from each other, so just take 5 minutes to read the instructions before you get going.