The 9 Best Jack Stands for Auto Maintenance

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Popular mechanics; Courtesy of BIG RED

For many automotive repair and maintenance jobs, raising the vehicle off the ground will provide much-needed access to the components below. A simple floor jack is the most cost effective method of raising a car, but it should also be paired with a set of jack stands of similar weight to ensure the safety of anyone near the vehicle.

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What to consider

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The most important factor of any crutch is its rated weight capacity, which should never be exceeded by the user. Racks are often rated as a set worth tons. For example, a pair of jack stands may be marked with a capacity of 3 tons or 6,000 pounds. Each of these brackets will be individually rated to hold 3,000 pounds per corner, which is enough for most small to medium cars. When using jack stands, it is better to have too much weight capacity than just enough. As a general rule, each rack should be able to support approximately 75% of the total vehicle weight to ensure safety.

Height

Most jack stands will also have an adjustable height, with a locking mechanism to hold your desired setting in place. Higher maximum settings may be required when lifting larger trucks or SUVs.

Stability

A stand with more surface area under its feet will often be more stable under load. Sheets of plywood can provide a solid base when lifting vehicles on surfaces like dirt, but a hard concrete floor is always best. Parking brakes and wheel chocks should also be used to prevent wheels on the ground from rolling during the lifting process.

Best Practices

Always place jack stands under the manufacturer’s designated lifting points, which are often marked along the underside of the vehicle. The owner’s manual can also help locate them. Place the car on flat, level ground, raise each corner to the desired height, then gently lower them onto the jack stands. Repeat until all four corners are off the ground and stable. To lower the car, do everything in reverse.

How we selected

We selected these candles based on our personal car care experience, as well as consumer review data and feedback from publications such as The Reader, AutoGuide, Forbes Autosand Napa know-how. When selecting products, we also aim for a wide range of features and price points to meet a variety of budgets and needs.

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1

Best overall

Big Red Jack Stands (Set of 2)

  • Wide range of weight capacity
  • Top quality and great value
  • One year limited warranty

Key specs

  • Base Dimensions: 10×12 inches
  • Product weight: 29.3 pounds
  • Height range: 15.3 to 23.83 inches
  • Ability: 6 tons (12,000 pounds per bracket)

Torin’s Big Red alloy steel jacks hold our top spot overall for quality, range of weight capacity options, and reasonable price. Additionally, Torin is a very reputable company that has been around for decades, and their candlesticks come with a one-year warranty.

Jack stands are available in capacities of 2, 3, 6, and 12 tons, respectively. Here we highlight the 6-ton option, ideal for lifting larger trucks and SUVs. Their height adjusts from 15.38 inches to 23.83 inches, and the saddle at the top is designed to accommodate tall axles and frame rails. They lock using a basic ratchet configuration.

If you have a small car, ATV, or motorcycle, go with the 2-ton set. The design is the same, but their height ranges from 10.7 inches to 16.55 inches, making them perfect for getting under sports cars and compacts with relatively low ride heights.

2

Economic purchase

Double Prong Jack Stands (Set of 2)

  • Double locking mechanism
  • One year warranty

Key specs

  • Basic sizes: 7.6 x 6.85 inches
  • Product weight: 13.9 pounds
  • Height range: 11.3 to 16.75 inches
  • Ability: 3 tons (3,000 pounds per bracket)

This set of two Pro-Lift jack stands comes with a weight rating of 3 tons, suitable for small to medium sized cars. The set is made entirely of alloy steel, with approximately 7.6 by 6.85 inches in width at the feet.

These mounts use two locking mechanisms for added security. The ratchet lock allows the head to move up freely, but not down until the lever is released. An additional metal pin additionally prevents the bracket from slipping.

Height ranges from 11.3 to 16.75 inches, which covers most vehicles, but may not fit lowered cars or tall trucks. Pro-Lift also includes a one-year warranty with purchase.

3

Extra stability

3 ton jack

  • Wide height range
  • Great basic coverage
  • Padded head

Key specs

  • Basic sizes: 12×12 inches
  • Product weight: 11 pounds
  • Height range: 13.2 to 21.5 inches
  • Ability: 3 tons (6,000 pounds per support)

The Esco stand features ten variable height settings and a wide 12-inch footprint for added stability while holding the vehicle. It uses a thick metal pin to lock in place, with a height range of 13.2 to 21.5 inches.

The bodywork uses silver powder coating for rust protection, and the head of the mount features a thick rubber pad to protect the underside of the car from potential dents and scratches. The weight rating is also quite heavy, at 6,000 pounds per unit. However, each stand will need to be purchased individually, rather than as a set.

4

Made in the USA

3 Ton Jack Stand (Set of 2)

  • Two-year limited warranty
  • Made in the USA

Key specs

  • Basic sizes: 9 x 7.5 inch base
  • Product weight: 19 pounds
  • Height range: 12 to 19 inches
  • Ability: 3 tons (3,000 pounds per bracket)

This assembly features a bright blue and yellow color scheme, with a 9 x 7.5-inch footprint. It’s made in the USA and comes with a two-year warranty when purchased.

Locking is achieved with a simple ratchet mechanism, which extends from 12 to 19 inches. Not much range, but those few extra inches at the top can be useful for lifting vans and crossovers. Each stand is rated to hold up to 3,000 pounds, for a total capacity of 6 tons in the set of two.

5

The most compact

Tall Red Aluminum Candles (Set of 2)

  • Light assembly
  • Flat bottom

Key specs

  • Basic sizes: 6.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Product weight: 10.2 pounds
  • Height range: 10-3/4″ to 15-5/8″
  • Ability: 3 tons (6000 pounds per medium)

These lightweight cast aluminum jack stands utilize a compact design that is ideal for storing in a trunk or tool bag. The set features a hollow tube with a 6.75 inch flat base for added stability. A thick stainless steel pin is used to hold the arms in place, with each bracket able to support up to 3,000 pounds of load.

The height range is on the lower end, 10.75 to 15.63 inches, though it’s hard to expect more given their size. Just note that they are not recommended for working on large trucks and SUVs.

6

Ideal for SUVs

Double Lock Brackets (set of 2)

  • High weight capacity
  • Double lock

Key specs

  • Basic sizes: 10.65 x 9.38 inches
  • Product weight: 24 pounds
  • Height range: 16 to 23.5 inches
  • Ability: 6 tons (6,000 pounds per support)

With a capacity of 6 tons, this jack stand set is suitable for mid-size cars, up to larger SUVs and light trucks. Each stand also features a double locking mechanism for added strength.

Lift settings range from 16 to 23.5 inches, which is suitable for higher ride heights. The footprint is also quite wide, with a coverage of 10.65 by 9.38 inches at the base. With their 6 ton weight capacity, they can also support up to 6,000 pounds at each corner of the vehicle.

seven

Best 2 in 1 system

unijack

  • Quick and convenient solution
  • Wide height range

Key specs

  • Base Dimensions: 9×9 inches
  • Product weight: 22.7 pounds
  • Height range: 11 to 21 inches
  • Ability: 3 tons (6,000 pounds per bracket)

The Unijack is essentially a bottle jack with an integrated ratchet lock, which can be useful for quick operations like changing a tire at the roadside.

The flat 9 x 9 inch footprint prevents the jack from slipping or tilting, with an impressive height range of 11 to 21 inches. Additionally, the single mount has a weight rating of 6,000 pounds.

However, the built-in nature of the tool makes it heavier than many typical designs. Raising more than one corner of the vehicle will also require the purchase of several, and they are more expensive than more traditional jacks and stands.

8

Ideal for forklifts

10 Ton Tall Stands (Set of 2)

  • Large height range
  • large footprint
  • High weight capacity

Key specs

  • Basic sizes: 16.75 x 16.75 inches
  • Product weight: 105 pounds
  • Height range: 28.1 to 46.5 inches
  • Ability: 10 tons (10,000 pounds per bracket)

These Sunex racks are a good solution for medium and lift trucks, with a high weight capacity of 10 tons. They can also be used to hold suspended components such as transmissions in place.

The set is supported by four elongated legs, with a sturdy post held by a thick steel pin. The legs spread out to form a 16.75 inch square footprint, providing optimal stability. Height ranges from 28.1 to 46.5 inches, which will likely be too tall for smaller vehicles. Assemblies are also heavier and more expensive, with each bracket weighing over 50 pounds.

9

Best Heavy Duty

22 Ton HD Jack Stands (Set of 2)

  • Robust construction
  • High weight limit
  • Two-year warranty

Key specs

  • Base Dimensions: 9×9 inches
  • Product weight: 77 pounds
  • Height range: 11.8 to 9.75 inches
  • Ability: 22 tons (22,000 pounds per stand)

K Tool jack stands offer uncompromising weight capacity, thanks to their heavy-gauge steel construction. With a capacity of 22 tons, they can carry out repairs on cars, trucks, motorhomes and some buses. Heavy-duty construction naturally results in more weight, with each stand weighing over 30 pounds.

The arms of the set taper into flat bases that measure approximately nine inches square. A downside to the rugged design is that the height range is relatively short, ranging from 11.83 to 19.75 inches. This will fit most vehicles, but may be lacking for forklifts in particular. A two-year warranty is also included.

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