While most cars come equipped with a standard scissor jack, you want a more robust tool if you are going to be doing some lifting and working on your vehicle. The hydraulic floor jack and a bottle jack are your best options. But how do you decide which one is best for your needs? Read on and find out how you go about choosing the best floor jack.
The hydraulic floor jack and bottle jack both have advantages and disadvantages. Let’s examine both.
The Hydraulic Floor Jack
These floor jacks are a pleasure for their ease of use and seemingly effortless lifting ability. Most hydraulic floor jacks have four small wheels on the base which makes them easy to move around and reposition as needed. That said, they are very bulky compared to bottle jacks, so if you are working in limited space, they may not be your best option.
Hydraulic floor jacks, often referred to as trolly jacks, tend to have a much greater lifting capacity than other floor jacks and come in a variety of lifting capacities. So work out what your maximum lifting capacity is before you buy. Once you determine your lifting capacity, go one size up. You will always need more than you think. It is better to have extra capacity than be faced with a broken jack from overloading capacity. It’s not a pleasant site and liable to leave oil all over the floor.
If you choose the hydraulic jack, check it’s maximum and minimum height restrictions. They have an advantage over battle jacks in that they can be lowered much further, making them ideal for lower base vehicles where a bottle jack won’t fit.
By far my favorite advantage of the best hydraulic floor jack is it’s speed and efficiency compared to other jacks.
The Bottle Jack
These have the advantage of a very narrow base, making them easy to store and a pleasure to work with in small spaces. However, this narrow base means the weight of the vehicle is distributed over a smaller area, making it less stable. A significant disadvantage. While a trolly lift allows some movement when lifting, the bottle jack needs to remain in place, making it a tipping hazard.
As mentioned above, if your car has low ground clearance a bottle jack won’t fit. But it is their high clearance that makes them a perfect fit for use with trucks. Their compact nature also makes them easy to take along in the truck in the case of emergency. You don’t want to be lifting a truck with a cumbersome scissor jack.
While bottle jacks are more affordable than trolly jacks, don’t let this be an overriding consideration, as a good quality floor jack can last a lifetime.
I hope you find this comparison helpful and have a better idea of which floor jack is better suited to your needs. Don’t rush into your purchase. Write down all your requirements and go about choosing the best floor jack armed with information!