Twice a year, a tire change is on the vehicle. Many motorists like to get their summer and winter tires on their own because their own contribution saves money for the workshop. If you belong to the group of artisans, you need a suitable jack. The selection is large and the same applies to the price range of the offers. But which jack is not only good and safe but also meets your special requirements? After all, not every lifting instrument fits every vehicle. With our jack comparison, we want to help you decide on the best product for you. At STERN.de we compare 12 different models for you and give you practical tips on what to look for in your choice.
Top 10 Jacks
- Lightweight jack stands are used to support your vehicle after lifting with a jack; Wide pyramid foot base provides added strength and stable support
- Constructed of high-grade forged steel with a welded frame design for durability, it handles a wide range of vehicles including small cars, SUVs, and...
- Adjustable height ranges from 11-1/4" to 16-3/4" with a 3 ton (6,000 lb) load capacity
- Min. Height: 5.25", Max. Height: 12"
- All welded Steel frame Construction with rust resistant
- Large Steel casters and swivel casters for easy maneuverability
- Helps prevent jacks from sinking into soft ground
- Interlocking design and handy storage strap for easy storage
- Built in handle for ease of use
- The Hi-Lift Handle-Keeper holds the Hi-Lift jack handle to the upright steel bar, keeping it in place when not in use and eliminating rattling during...
- Crafted from rugged polyurethane material
- Easily slips on and off for quick, no hassle removal when you need to use your jack
- Double locking jack stands that are sold as a pair; Height ranges from 11-1/4" to 16-3/4" with a 3 Ton (6,000 lb) capacity each
- Equipped with a double-lock protection feature, increasing safety by 200%
- Saddle has a large surface area that provides better contact with the load being supported; Large foot base size of 7-11/16" by 6-7/8"
- Hydraulic bottle jack designed for residential and commercial use; Serrated, heat treated saddle provides generous lifting area and secure grip
- Features a lifting range of 9-1/2" to 17-3/4" with a 20 ton (40,000 lb) capacity; Adjustable screw top extension adds versatility
- Engineered using a drop forged alloyed steel construction for quality and durability; Inner/outer welded structure delivers leak-free performance
- Sturdy stamped Steel Construction with 6 ton capacity
- High quality cast ductile iron ratchet bar
- Double locks mechanism with both handle locks and mobility pin
- The product is 4Ton bottle jack
- Easy and simple use kit
- The product is manufactured in china
- Reduces time and effort to raise or lower Scissor jacks
- Fits 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch power drills
- Works with all 3/4 inch hex drive jacks
- Collapsible, steel scissor lift jack has a compact design that can be used as a rugged replacement jack or as an extra utility jack that can be stored...
- Features a lifting range of 4-1/8" to 15-1/8" with a 1.5 ton (3,000 lb) capacity
- Engineered using a drop forged alloyed steel construction for quality and durability
What is a jack – and who needs it?
What a jack is, explains itself actually by name: A jack is a device with which a car or other vehicle can be lifted in one place. Usually, a pending wheel change is the reason for the lifting. However, this may also be necessary for repairs to the underside of the vehicle, such as when working on the exhaust or on the oil pan. The same applies to the renewal of the brake pads. Certain types of jacks, so-called shunting jacks can be misused.
If the support surface is large enough, you can also carry heavy loads. For example, this is handy when building, if you want to move a range of stones over a shorter distance. In principle, anyone who drives a car needs a jack. This is not only true if you change your summer or winter tires yourself twice a year. Leave this work to a workshop, at least a simple scissor jack in the trunk is still recommended – even if the entrainment is not required by law. If you have a breakdown on the way or you have to install the spare wheel at home because of a flat foot, such an assistant is indispensable.
Jacks are available in different versions
Almost in every trunk, you will find a jack at the factory. It allows you to replace the defective tire on the spare wheel in the event of a breakdown. Usually, a simple, diamond-shaped scissor jack is sufficient – and with such models, most vehicles are already equipped with the purchase. In this form of jack, the carriage is jacked up by a spindle winch. You lift the car with the help of a crank and a lot of muscle power. For the change from summer to winter tires and vice versa, there are some more comfortable versions. We distinguish in:
- Shunting jack
- Stamp or stick jack
- Air cushion or balloon jack
For private use and in workshops then find mainly shunting jack use. Today these devices work mainly hydraulically. Thanks to small and mobile wheels, the utensil can easily be pushed under the car. It is pumped up with a lever, the manoeuvring is done by simply opening a valve.
Stamp jacks usually work like shunting jacks according to the hydraulic principle. Again, the vehicle is lifted by oil pressure and lowered by releasing the pressure via a valve. In addition, there are stamp jacks, which are based on the pneumatic principle instead of hydraulics, ie work with air pressure. This slightly more expensive version is preferred in the workshop area. The advantage of a stamp jack compared to a manoeuvring model is the usually higher load capacity.
Air cushion or balloon jack
A vehicle can also be effectively lifted with an air-filled bag. Then it is a so-called air cushion or balloon jack. The advantage of these models: they do not need to spend any muscle power. There is a long hose on a plastic bag that you simply attach to the end of the exhaust. The vehicle is almost pumping itself up. In addition, such a jack can be used on soft and uneven ground. However, the jacks are more prone to damage. Since the vehicle is running, no gear is engaged. It must, therefore, be secured with the handbrake and additional brake pads. When using an air cushion or balloon jack, note that most of the balloon is under the vehicle, even when inflated. Otherwise, the necessary stability is not given. In addition, the pillow may never be fully inflated, as it may burst. For such jacks, it is particularly important to study the manual carefully.
How does a hydraulic jack work?
Hydraulic jacks operate on a simple physical principle: Inside the jack is a liquid. This is usually hydraulic oil. By pumping with the pump rod, this oil is increasingly compressed. This resulting pressure pushes up the lifting bar of the jack and the vehicle is raised. It is easy to understand that this creates an enormous pressure inside the jack. This is also the most common cause when a hydraulic jack is denied service. The gaskets become porous over time and can not withstand the pressure. As a result, hydraulic oil escapes, so insufficient pressure can be built up to lift a vehicle.
Which car jack is the best?
The question of which jack is the best, can not be answered flat rate. The helper with whom you can best cope and who meets your needs is the best for you personally. Of course, the device must match the weight of your vehicle. If you have your tires changed in the workshop and do not otherwise make any repairs to your car, the simple scissor jack is certainly sufficient, which is usually on board anyway. Then you really only use the tool as a breakdown helper, such as when a puncture on the road. The most comfortable, even on the go, are air cushion or balloon jack. Here you do not have to do any physical work to lift your vehicle. The disadvantage of this variant is that the balloons are quite vulnerable to damage, especially at the seams.
In addition, the vehicle must run when pumping – although you should actually jack up only switched off the car. Securing by means of the handbrake and additional brake pads is therefore mandatory to ensure your safety. Are you a passionate screwdriver, your claims are probably a bit higher. Do not just spend a lot of time inside, but also under the car, more comfort is needed. In this case, it pays to invest more money in a professional shunting jack. This saves you time and money in the long run. The high-quality helpers are usually of high quality and durable. With frequent use, this is a criterion, which can facilitate you the selection.
Which jack is suitable for which car
Before buying a jack, it’s worth taking a few moments to think about what your requirements are and which model will do it justice. Depending on the mobile pedestal you have to consider certain criteria. If your vehicle is lowered, you need a jack that fits underneath. An SUV, in turn, is usually heavy and tall. 2.5 to 3.5 tons deadweight are not uncommon in these vehicles. This weight must first lift the jack and still reach the required height. In principle, a balloon jack is suitable for every vehicle. Thanks to a barely existing own height, it fits under every lowered car. Its usually high load capacity makes it even in a heavy SUV not limp. Another criterion for choosing the right jack is the maximum lifting height. The vehicle must always be pumped so high that a tire change is possible. An SUV makes different demands on the tool than a sedan.
The price question: What does a good jack cost?
The large selection of different variants and different models make the decision when buying a jack not easy. The price range goes from very cheap for a simple scissor jack – you can buy from just 10 euros – up to professional versions. However, then arises quickly a few hundred euros high cost. Choose first for a variant that meets your needs and the conditions such as vehicle weight and height of the car. Afterwards, you can take a closer look at the different models.
Tips for changing tires: Where to attach the jack
If you do not want to leave the assembly to the workshop, you can easily change your tires yourself with a little practice. The right tool alone does not make a master but makes the job a lot easier. It is important that you take enough time at the beginning. It is not completely harmless such a tire change in own direction. We will show you how to proceed correctly and what to look for.
- Only jack up the vehicle on a level surface: Only make a tire change on a level surface and solid ground. A sloping terrain is not suitable. Additional safety is provided by brake pads.
- Applying the handbrake and gear: Apply the handbrake and engage the first gear. If it is an automatic transmission, select the “P” position.
- Familiarize yourself with the jack: The jack in the trunk is only for emergencies. For a planned tire change of all four wheels, you should use a more comfortable jack. Familiarize yourself with the operation of the aid in advance. Take a moment and read the manual. At least briefly try the functions of the jack without raising the vehicle.
- Looking for a specific location of the vehicle for attaching the jack: To enable the jack to safely lift the car without slipping, it must be attached to the designated location of the vehicle. There is no general information here. The lift point is different for almost every car. A glance at the manual of your vehicle provides information about where to place the jack. This part of the car is usually reinforced to withstand the high loads.
- Have the tools you need: Put your tires and the tools you need at hand. So you can work quickly and above all concentrated. If you have to interrupt the tire change or other work on the vehicle several times, it will lead to carelessness errors faster, thereby increasing the risk of accidents. You definitely need a wheel hub, even better is a torque wrench. Of course, the new bike should also be next to you. Pay attention to the correct running direction of the tire. The correct position of the bike also plays a role: If the bike was left in the front last season, you should mount it there again.
- Loosen wheel nuts before lifting: Before jacking up the car, loosen the wheel nuts diagonally. Proceed in the order of loosening the bolts in the compass pattern – North, South, East, and West. Or you just remember the formula above, below, right and then left. Half a turn per wheel nut is enough. The reason for this is simply this: after lifting the wheel you have no more resistance to loosen the nuts – the wheel would rotate with no firm ground contact.
- Only jack up as far as necessary: Once you have loosened the wheel nuts, you jack up the vehicle. You do not have to use the maximum lifting height of your jack. It is enough to lift the car so far that the wheel can turn freely. The rule of thumb is: About a hand’s breadth of air under the wheel allows you a safe wheel change. Only now the wheel nuts are completely unscrewed and removed. Then you can remove the old wheel and put on the new one. The best thing to do in the process is to put the wheel nuts right into the rim holes. Always start with the screw above. Turn this a few turns into the thread, so the rim has held. Then hand-tighten the screws. Follow the same procedure as when unscrewing. First the upper, then the lower screw – then right and left opposite.
- Tighten wheel nuts crosswise: After releasing the nuts are tightened correctly crosswise. This is easier with a torque wrench because you are not over-tightening or over-tightening when you have adjusted the torque correctly. Which setting is the right one can be found in the manual of your vehicle. An important advantage of the torque wrench is safety. With such a tool you avoid the tearing into the screw metal or even tearing of the screw thread.