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View Full Version : General use floor jack recommendations


TD
12-23-2009, 11:02 AM
Steve (who posts here from time to time, albeit infrequently, and who many of the DC-area guys know at the guy who got t-boned at an autox years ago) finally reclaimed his floorjack from my garage earlier this year. It had been around for many years (I'm guessing about 7 or 8) and it was damn nice to have it around for the occasional brake job or whatever.

So I need a floor jack. I want one solid enough that it's easy to use and confidence inspiring (unlike, no offense, Blair's Sears jack that we used at his place many years ago). Being light and easy to transport is not an issue and I don't want more jack than I need. Basically I'm looking for a good all around general use jack that I can get without spending more than, say, $150.

Anything specific to avoid (brands or features)?

Some (very) quick searching came up with this- http://www.amazon.com/Torin-T83014-Quick-Pump-Service/dp/B000234IS0/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1261515258&sr=8-10

equ
12-23-2009, 11:03 AM
Holy shipping charges! I'm guessing amazon prime doesn't cover this. :ack:

TD
12-23-2009, 11:04 AM
Holy shipping charges! I'm guessing amazon prime doesn't cover this. :ack:
Same jack at Costco.com- http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11489465&whse=BC&Ne=4000000&eCat=BC|3960|21277|61837&N=4018446&Mo=8&pos=1&No=1&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=61837&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&ec=BC-EC22577-Cat21277&topnav=

JST
12-23-2009, 11:16 AM
I (and probably 50 percent of DC area autocrossers, judging from the events I've been to) have the older version of this Harbor Freight special:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=96562

It's light and works well enough. It's of moderate apparent quality, and I certainly wouldn't go underneath the car with just the jack supporting it, but then again I wouldn't do that with any jack.

Also, the new ones have LEDs, yo. LEDs! On a floor jack! Truly, we are living in the future.

Nick M3
12-23-2009, 11:20 AM
If you want to spring for a little more, this will reach the center jack points on even my car:
http://www.amazon.com/Omega-29023-Heavy-Profile-Service/dp/B000RFUETA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1261581519&sr=8-1

Otherwise, the harbor freight special is surprisingly decent. Here's the version with no LEDs:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=91039

At some point, I need to buy an AC Hydraulics DK13HLQ to go with my DK20. I can not express my annoyance that I didn't buy one before prices shot up (and they abandoned this country) strongly enough. Now, I have to buy from Canada.

bren
12-23-2009, 11:27 AM
http://www.vorshlag.com/tech_jacks1.php

My Sears jack has finally started to show signs of failure - after 5 years of solid use and countless trips to parking lots across the country.

John V
12-23-2009, 11:28 AM
I can't say enough good things about the H-F jack I bought this summer. It is built very strong, is relatively inexpensive, starts very low and goes very high. It's seen a lot of use this year and has been holding up well. It is also the most stable floor jack I've ever used.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=92782

TD
12-23-2009, 11:30 AM
There has to be more differences between those two than just LEDs - or else the LEDs add 50% to the price of the jack.

TD
12-23-2009, 11:31 AM
I can't say enough good things about the H-F jack I bought this summer. It is built very strong, is relatively inexpensive, starts very low and goes very high. It's seen a lot of use this year and has been holding up well. It is also the most stable floor jack I've ever used.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=92782
Just visually (from the tiny pic) that one looks a lot more substantial.

TD
12-23-2009, 11:33 AM
BTW, I was thankful I found a neighbor with a floor jack the other night when I had to rip that underbody panel off of the Audi. I'll need to post pics of his garage sometime. It's not a "working" garage but rather a showplace garage, with black and white flooring, a wall of aluminum cabinets and a pristine white '68 Corvette convertible and a pristine white GTO plus the kitschy diner-style table, clock and Pepsi machine. Not my style, but still something to see.

JST
12-23-2009, 11:36 AM
http://www.vorshlag.com/tech_jacks1.php

My Sears jack has finally started to show signs of failure - after 5 years of solid use and countless trips to parking lots across the country.

That's very useful.

This is not the best sentence ever written in English:

"Its not the most professional sold shop jack of all time for no reason. "

Nick M3
12-23-2009, 11:54 AM
I have two sears jacks, an AC jack, and a harbor freight jack. The sears jacks are too damned expensive for the crap that they are. They are no better than the HF jacks (one is only useful for catching the side of the car when I'm using a center jack point), but Sears wants too much for them. The HF lightweight jack is my travel jack. It's small, stable, light, and packs easily.

The AC jack rules. So much so that I pick it up and put it in the truck to take to the track. Keep in mind that it is all steel when I say this.

John V
12-23-2009, 12:05 PM
The AC jacks are great. And for some applications they are a must-have. But they're overkill for the occasional use that TD will put it to.

There was also a very popular jack sold at Costco that looked nice to me. It's all steel and weighs almost 100lb but if it doesn't have to leave the house, maybe it's an option. Made by Arcan.

http://www.tsobad.com/jtso/Images/Floor%20Jacks/Jacks1.JPG

I am done with the mini jacks. They just aren't stable enough for my liking.

John V
12-23-2009, 12:10 PM
Just visually (from the tiny pic) that one looks a lot more substantial.

If at any point you want to come see it in person I can give you my address and you can stop by. It's a very nice jack. I got it on sale for $149 (H-F seems to have a lot of unannounced sales) and it came with their free lifetime protection plan - if any part of the jack ever fails I can bring it back and get a replacement.

TD
12-23-2009, 03:16 PM
http://www.vorshlag.com/tech_jacks1.php

My Sears jack has finally started to show signs of failure - after 5 years of solid use and countless trips to parking lots across the country.
This article points me to (the replacement model of) that particular Craftsmen jack- http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00950242000P?vName=Tools&cName=Auto+%26+Mechanics+Tools&sName=Lift+Equipment+%26+Jacks

However, that jack look suspiciously like the HF jack.

EDIT- Nevermind, the user reviews pan the shit out of it. Still, the vorshlag article references the Craftsman 50240 as a best buy and this is the 50242. Hmph.

TD
12-23-2009, 03:29 PM
Looking more closely, ALL of the Sears jacks have crappy reviews. Apparently they all start leaking hydraulic fluid after about a year. While we all know internet commentary skews negative, it doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy.

Rob
12-23-2009, 03:53 PM
My harbor freight jack of the type mentioned above lasted about a year and started leaking fluid. That was common then, but I hear they are better now and I would consider one if I were in the market. Especially if they all have a lifetime guarantee. Still, I am happier with a heavier version for staying in the garage. It probably doesn't make any difference, but it *feels* more stable. I would probably get whatever Costco had in your position and find comfort in the fact that if anything ever went wrong with it, I could just take it back.

rumatt
12-23-2009, 04:23 PM
I have the little HF jack and it lasted a couple years but then started falling apart in multiple ways. I still have it, but need to toss it because it's dangerous now.


I am done with the mini jacks. They just aren't stable enough for my liking.

Ditto, except maybe for an autox when a) you're putting it in and out of the car every weekend, and b) only using it to get the car high enough to change a tire.

But for a multi-purpose jack that lives in the garage most of the time, get a slightly bigger, more stable jack.

I also have a 3-ton steel costco jack. The thing weighs like 100 lbs. It's crazy. My logic was "I'm just going to wheel it around the garage, so who cares what it weighs?" Yeah right. It's too heavy. Any of mid-size, lightweight jacks are probably fine.

Terry Kennedy
12-23-2009, 09:23 PM
Anything specific to avoid (brands or features)?
Assuming you have jackstands (and they're decent), then you can probably get away with a jack that might be of potentially lower quality.

Personally, I have the DK13HLQ and 4 3000N stands, all with the rubber "hockey puck" tops.

For those who live near a Greg Smith location (Indiana / Delaware / Georgia), look at their jacks (http://www.gregsmithequipment.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=jack) - you won't pay shipping and while most of their stuff is from the Far East, they support it here (overnighting replacement parts) and it seems to be of better quality than the equivalent stuff at Sears / HF. Of course, when you get there you may be tempted to buy other stuff, too.

lupinsea
12-30-2009, 03:22 PM
I'd look at jacks in the 4000+ lb. range. And something that is low profile to fit under your cars. If it's for the home garage then steel vs. AL would be less of a concern and most of the AL jacks I've seen don't go up much in capacity. Although if you're ONLY lifting cars then it's probably not a big deal.

For my use a 3 ton jack is perfect and gives me a bit of extra margin. It's an all-steel Craftsman unit that I have had for 12+ years and it is still in great condition. Probably because I don't use it all that much, maybe 4-6 times per year. When I bought it it came as a kit with the jack and a pair of mid-height jack stands for about $99.

The Craftsman unit I have has proved a bit bulky. On the Miata I needed to get that car up on some 3/4" thick boards to get the jack under the car. Its even worse with the front of our BMW E46 considering there really isn't a center jack point on that car due to the hollow aluminum subframe brace.

Just steer clear of those small weenie jacks. They don't offer much support and stability.

TD
12-30-2009, 03:24 PM
I suspect that the older Craftsman jacks must be of higher quality than the current products.

I have more or less decided to get the "better" HF jack that John V posted. I just haven't gone out to get it yet (too busy with the holidays).

lupinsea
12-30-2009, 03:26 PM
Personally, I have the DK13HLQ and 4 3000N stands, all with the rubber "hockey puck" tops.

Ah, you must be a Jack Pimp (http://www.vorshlag.com/tech_jacks4.php).*





* Read review of the DK14HLQ



.

Terry Kennedy
12-30-2009, 09:31 PM
Ah, you must be a Jack Pimp (http://www.vorshlag.com/tech_jacks4.php).*

* Read review of the DK14HLQ

Funny - I bought mine from Steve at Ultimate Garage. By picking it up I saved on the shipping, which made it a better deal than buying one for less elsewhere but paying for shipping.

lupinsea
12-31-2009, 03:52 PM
Regardless how how much you paid I still think you're a Jack Pimp with such an awesome car jack like that. :D

Terry Kennedy
12-31-2009, 04:39 PM
I still think you're a Jack Pimp with such an awesome car jack like that. :D
True, but I also have an awesome car to use the jack on :D