Best Aluminum Floor Jacks Ranked
Lifting up a car with a standard scissor jack can be a real pain. Not only does it take way longer to raise up a vehicle with one of these, it makes the job more dangerous than it should be. Using one to change tires on the side of the road is fine, but if you regularly work on cars or perform your own maintenance then you should consider upgrading to a floor jack.
Floor jacks have several advantages over small scissor jacks, including faster lifting times, more stability, and greater range of motion. They are a necessary tool for any mechanics garage, and anyone who works on cars should have one. Obviously if cost weren’t an issue a portable car lift would be a better choice. But since most people aren’t in a position to spend a couple thousand dollars on a single tool for their home garage, an aluminum floor jack is much more cost effective.
To help you pick the perfect tool for the job, we reviewed the top 3 aluminum floor jacks. We looked at product details like weight, lifting capacity, features, and price, and came up with our top 3 choices. Here is a quick comparison chart summarizing our picks:
Click the buttons above for detailed information about each unit, or read on for our review of each of the top 3 aluminum floor jacks.
Our top choice for the best product in this review is the Arcan ALJ3T Aluminum Floor Jack. This tool really impressed us, exceeding our expectations. We think that the Arcan is higher quality, has more features, and has better reviews than any other aluminum jack.
Due to its aluminum construction and clever design, this jack is able to lift 3 tons of weight, while being only 56 pounds. This weight seems like even less, as the shaft is removable, and there is a convenient handle on the side for carrying across the shop.
Another nice thing about the Arcan ALJ3T is it is designed with quick pump action, allowing the jack to be raised and lowered extremely fast. This is a major time saver over scissor jacks. Other features that speak to the quality of this floor jack are the reinforced lift arm, piston dust shields, and bypass and overload valves.
One place that the Arcan aluminum jack really stands out from the competition is in the customer reviews. This product is well tested and well liked, as it has about 250 reviews averaging almost 5 stars. Customers who purchased this jack had things to say such as “This jack is amazing” and “LOVE this jack”. The Arcan ALJ3T is probably the best aluminum jack on the market, and can be had at a very reasonable price for a product of this quality. It stood out far among all of the other jacks that we reviewed, so it was easy to choose this one as the best option.
- 3-ton capacity while only weighing 56 pounds
- Reinforced lift arm for added strength, chassis torsion control and durability
- Dual pump pistons for fast rising action, 3.6" to 19.4"
- Piston dust shields to prevent hydraulic contamination
- Bypass and overload valves prevent over-extension of hydraulic ram and jack use beyond rated capacity.4.6 inch saddle
Our second choice in this review of aluminum floor jacks is the NOS NSJ0301 3-Ton Aluminum Service Jack. This jack is very similar to the Arcan, but it does have a few differences. One of the biggest differences is weight, with this jack being about half the weight. If having a lightweight jack is the most important factor, than this is the jack to choose.
As we said, the NOS NSJ0301 is very similar to the Arcan. It has the same basic design, the same lift capacity at 3 tons, and a very similar lift height range. But, this jack is about half the weight, weighing in at just 27 pounds. Other features on this model include the two piece handle, safety valve, and reinforced lift arm.
Although this aluminum jack is relatively well liked, it was not reviewed as well as the Arcan. It received an average of 4 stars rating on Amazon. Some customers had complaints about wheels breaking as well as overstating the specifications. The NOS NSJ0301 is about the same price, as the Arcan, although it is about half the weight. If having a lightweight jack is the most important thing to you, this is the jack to get.
- Lift capacity: 3 Tons (6,000-Pound)
- Height range: 3.75 in to 18.125 in
- Ultra lightweight aluminum construction at just 27-Pound. Thick frame side plates and reinforced lift arm for added strength, chassis torsion control and durability
- Safety valve prevents overloading
- 2 Piece handle with bumper pad
The last item in this floor jack review is the PITTSBURGH Aluminum Racing Jack. Although it is not directly comparable to the previously reviewed jacks, this is a good option for a low cost jack. Costing about a third of the price of the other jacks, this will allow you to purchase other tools for your garage, as long as you are willing to sacrifice quality.
The biggest difference between the Pittsburgh jack and the other two is the lifting capacity. This floor jack is only rated for lifting 1.5 tons, which is half the capacity of the other two. Still, this is plenty if the vehicle being lifted is of lower weight. As far as product weight, this jack comes right in between the other two weighing in at 40 pounds.
Although it is less expensive, this jack has some of the same features found on higher priced models. For example, it has dual pump action, a universal joint release mechanism, and a reinforced handle.
This jack averaged 4.5 stars in reviews from customers, but some had concerns about the quality of the jack, with some pieces breaking. The Pittsburgh is a solid aluminum jack for lighter jobs, and the crazy low price makes it way more appealing to add to any persons garage. If you need to build a set of tools on a budget, this is the aluminum jack for you.
- Dual parallel pump system
- Lifts most vehicles to an appropriate work height in just 3-1/2 pumps!
- Constructed for professional race teams
- Precision-machined, high strength, aircraft aluminum billet
- Two piece knurled aluminum handle
Recommended products to go with an Aluminum Floor Jack
The first product we recommend you purchase with a floor jack is a pad that goes in between the jack and the vehicle being lifted. This nifty little product does double duty, protecting the vehicle frame from damage, and increases safety due to getting better grip. Here is an inexpensive option that will get the job done:
- Practical: The ABN 5-1/2" Inch Jack Pad is designed to protect your vehicle's frame, specifically pinch welds while using a hydraulic jack
- Safe: Increases safety when secured properly by providing extra grip that prevents slipping
- Sure Fit: Underside of pad provides grooves to ensure a correct and safe fit onto jack
- Dimensions: Pad measurements are 5-1/2" length x 1-3/4" height, 3/8" slots, and 3/4" slot depth
- Contents: This package includes (1) ABN 5-1/2" Inch Jack Pad
Another product that will be useful in the garage is wheel chocks. These are a basic safety tool that will prevent a vehicle from rolling. Sticking these under the wheels can provide another layer of safety when lifting a vehicle. Here is a great set that we found:
- This durable, solid rubber wheel chock designed for use with heavy-duty loads
- Non-slip rubber bottom maximizes the grip when vehicle is parked on the chock
- Unique built-in rubber handle for easy transport
- They smell strong of rubber and it goes away after leaving them outside for weeks
- Pack of 2
Why an aluminum floor Jack?
Obviously, a floor jack is a more effective tool than the scissor jack. But you may be wondering why we suggest getting an aluminum one. Of the different construction materials that floor jacks are made with, aluminum and stainless steel are the most common.
Aluminum vs. Steel
In general, products made with aluminum will be lighter, but not as strong as stainless steel. In the case of floor jacks, having a low weight is more useful than having extremely high durability. The metal pieces on the jack are not very likely to break. Instead, the smaller interior parts such as the seals and castors are the vulnerable parts. Ultimately, whether the jack is made of aluminum or stainless steel should not effect the long term durability of the tool. Another factor is the price difference between the two materials. the aluminum jacks tend to be a bit more expensive than the steel alternatives.
How To Use A Floor Jack
Using a floor jack to lift up a vehicle is a relatively simple process. Although the process is not complicated, lifting up a vehicle can be dangerous, and proper safety measures should always be used. Here are a few safety tips:
- Always make sure the vehicle is turned off, and in park with the parking brake applied.
- Only lift the vehicle up on a flat surface.
- Use A jack stand whenever going under the car.
With these safety tips in mind, here is the general instructions for lifting a vehicle with a floor jack:
- Center the floor jack under frame of the vehicle, starting in one of the four corners.
- Slowly use the lever to lift up the jack until it makes contact with the frame.
- Continue to lift raise the corner until it is high enough off of the ground to place a jack stand under it.
- With the Jack stand underneath the frame, slowly lower the corner until it rests securely on the stand.
- Repeat this process to get all four wheels off the ground. Make sure to do one at a time.
As you can see, the process for lifting a car off the ground with a floor jack is very simple. Just make sure to be careful, and take plenty of time while lifting.
Aluminum Floor Jack Video
Here is a YouTube video giving a few tips on using a floor jack: