When you are doing car maintenance, you may come across a task that requires lifting the car off the ground. There are a few options for you to lift the car, including floor jacks or scissor jacks, but these tools cannot support a vehicle for a long time. They can fail and increase the chance of injury for the mechanic.
This is where you need a jack stand that improves workspace safety, and without it, you can suffer a serious injury. Jack stand is a simple but very important tool which you should have in your garage. If you have any plans to do car repairs often, you need to choose one of the best jack stands available on the market.
What is a jack stand?
Jack stands are tools with a tower or a tripod shape specially designed to support the vehicle's weight when suspended. These stands are positioned under the frame or axle of the car to offer extra support for the elevated vehicle. You can use the stands on the hard or level surfaces within their weight capacity.
When looking for the best jack stands, you need to consider the jack stand weight rating and also the maximum height that it can achieve. The vehicle’s weight can be expressed in tons and the height in inches. The weight capacity of the jack stands varies from 2 tons up to 25 tons, but the most commonly used are 3-ton jack stands and 6-ton jack stands.
Types of jack stands
There are three different types of jack stands depending on their locking mechanism.
To lock the stand securely, a pin system is used by many car repair professionals. Just like the construction of the overall material, the pin is typically made of durable steel. You can either rest it on the base or slip it between the adjustable bar or slot by using the hand or the lever.
This is not among the most prevalent of the locking systems, since it can be time-consuming to lock the frames. However, screw locks are preferred by many users because of the accuracy they offer over the desired height, and these types of locks can be more stable as compared to other locks.
Ratchet can surely be the best bet for easy locking mechanics. It has a gearwheel that is accompanied by a spring-loaded pawl that tends to lock the ratchet in a specific position when pushed. It is worth noting that the ratchet lock is for light vehicles and not the heavy-duty jack stands.
Features of a good-quality jack stand
You should be looking for the following features in order to buy the right jack stand for the job:
The best jack stands should be able to get enough height allowing you to work correctly under a vehicle. A higher range can offer a larger height and, therefore, a better versatility to access the underside of the vehicle easily.
Whenever you buy a jack stand for the workshop or the car garage, it is possible that you may lift vehicles of different weight capacities. Therefore, you need to consider the jack stand weight rating. Apart from having 3-ton jack stands, there are other options available with higher weight capacity ratings.
Jack stands are bought for the purpose of holding heavy vehicles, therefore, you have to make sure that you buy safe jack stands suitable for all types of heavy-duty work. You need to look out for safety certifications. A tool that comes with recognized certifications means that the jack stand is tested properly for safer use.
Top-rated jack stands
Pro-Lift T-6903D Jack Stand
Pro-Lift is a great option to use in a car workshop or a garage to easily lift cars. These are among the most popular jack stands because they offer great value for money. Pro-Lift offers its customers a very decent weight capacity of 3 tons. Its cast-iron ratchet and steel construction make it one of the best heavy-duty jack stands.
BIG RED T43202 Jack Stand
Big Red is very popular in public as compared to other types of jack stands, and the main reason is the high practicality. The T43202 can be a viable option if you can buy a pair of jack stands. The weight capacity of this jack stand is also 3 tons, and despite being made of forged steel, it is surprisingly light in weight. The multiple position ratchet bar is another great feature of the Big Red jack stand, which can be handy in terms of height.
Powerbuilt 620471 Jack Stand
When it comes to car workshop accessories, Powerbuilt is a very reputable brand, and its heavy-duty jack stands are bestsellers. The 620471 jack stand is the best option for car repair professionals who need a good height range. It is also rated among the safe jack stands because you can get a safety bar on its sides to make sure that the jack stand is locked at any height.
Whether you own a car workshop or working at home in your car garage, you will require several tools, including both smaller and heavier jack stands. The best jack stands are considered to be the most important of the tools because once the car gets off the ground with the help of the floor jack, then a jack stand can be put underneath the vehicle’s pinch points to ensure safety. A properly tested jack stand from a reputable manufacturer can serve you well and should last for decades.
How many jack stands should I buy?
Most people require four jack stands because it gets easier to work underneath the car when it is off the ground. The tires can be rotated, but if you have a workshop, you may need more jack stands.
Should we go for 3 or 6-ton jack stands?
3-ton jack stands are great for the front cross member or rear axle. On the other hand, the 6-ton stands can reach the rails when you perform suspension work.
Is it wise to leave a car on the jack stand overnight?
It is safe for the car, but it can't be that safe for the asphalt. The hot sun may melt the asphalt under the jack stand.