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The Best Car Jack Stand To Safely Support and Lift Your Vehicle

It’s often said that you should never go for the cheapest option when buying automotive equipment. This is certainly the case with car jack stands. You’re going to be putting a lot of faith in that little tool, so you should only use the best car jack stand you can find.

Quick Look: Our Top Picks

What is a car jack stand?

A car jack stand is a compact device which is capable of supporting immense weight for extended periods of time. Once a jack has been used to raise a car from the ground, two or more jack stands are placed beneath the vehicle to ensure it remains stationary. Mechanics and DIYers alike will use car jack stands when carrying out repairs and inspections of a car’s undercarriage.

But can’t I just use a car jack?

If you can’t find room in your budget for a pair of car jack stands (I know your struggle), you may be tempted to use your car jack as a replacement. This is a terrible idea. While a car jack is built to raise a car off of the ground, very few are designed to hold that amount of weight for long stretches of time. People have died due to their decision to use a car jack over car jack stands. Many have been crushed to death after the jack caved in under the weight of their vehicle. Whether you have to buy them or borrow them, car jack stands are absolutely essential when lifting a car from the ground and keeping in place safely.

How to use a car jack stand

While people have died from using a car jack instead of a pair of car jack stands, hundreds of would-be mechanics have met similar ends due to improper use of appropriate car jack stands. Seemingly insignificant mistakes, such as incorrect placement of the stands can result in them giving way, causing the car to come crashing down on top of you. Thankfully, car jack stands don’t take a whole lot of effort to master and injuries can be easily avoided if you follow a few simple steps.

Prior to the actual utilization of the car jack stands, several things need to be done. Your car should be placed in park at ground level, with wheel chocks steadying the wheels which are not being lifted. Once you’ve done that, you can use a car jack to raise your car. I won’t get too much into using a car jack, but this video tutorial should help.

Once your car has been lifted to a suitable height, you can begin the addition of your car jack stands. Although most cars are raised using a single car jack, you must always use two car jack stands for added safety. Relying on only one car jack stand to hold the weight of your car as you work beneath it is asking for trouble.

Your car jack stands should always be placed directly under your car’s jacking points. If you are unsure where the jacking points are, be sure to locate them before actually raising your car so your jack doesn’t have to support the weight of the vehicle while you search beneath it. When you are certain that you have correctly aligned the car jack stands with your car’s jacking points, begin to adjust the stands to the necessary height.

Once you have followed all of these steps, you can roll up your sleeves and begin whatever work needs to be carried out on your vehicle. However, be sure to double check the sturdiness of your jack stands before venturing underneath your car. It’s also advisable to pause once or twice while you work and inspect the jack stands to make sure they are holding up okay.

Car jack stand prices

Before you start researching specific models of car jack stands, it’s a good idea to set yourself a budget. You’re most likely going to end up deviating from it a little bit, but at least it will give you some sort of idea as to which car jack stands you should devote the majority of your attention to.

Car jack stand prices vary quite a bit, with some entering the hundreds, while others don’t even break $50. Now, you definitely don’t want the mostly cheaply made car jack stands you can find, but there are some seriously impressive heavy-duty models which have been known to sell for as little as $20.

Unless you are a professional or plan to be constantly working on your car’s undercarriage, there really isn’t any need to spend hundreds of dollars on car jack stands. A one-off payment of $70 or thereabouts will get you a sturdy, trustworthy pair of car jack stands that will endure years of automobile raising.

The Best Car Jack Stands

ESCO Car Jack Stand

ESCO Car Jack Stand

This ESCO Car Jack Stand has proven to be a popular choice among professionals and dedicated automotive enthusiasts. It is designed for frequent and demanding work, so you should definitely put it in your maybe pile if you need a car jack stand for regular use.

Pros

  • 3 ton capacity—Perhaps the most impressive thing about the ESCO Car Jack Stand is its strength. One stand has the ability to hold up to 3 tons at a time, which is a lot, even for a heavy-duty car jack stand. The average weight of a large car is 4,366 pounds, so there really are no limitations as to what automobiles you can pair with this jack.

  • Thick rubber padding—There are certain car jack stands which will do a great job in terms of supporting your car’s weight, but will scratch its exterior in the process. The ESCO Car Jack Stand is fitted with a thick layer of rubber padding above the clip so you can be sure you won’t be sacrificing your paint job each time you raise your car.

Cons

  • Only sold individually--Because you should always use two car jack stands at a time, most stands are sold in pairs. This particular stand, however, is not. Unless you already have one Esco Car Jack Stand at home, you’ll have to purchase two of these.

Performance Tool Car Jack Stand

Performance Tool Car Jack Stand

If you’re looking for an affordable heavy-duty car jack stand, Performance Tool may be your best bet. The Performance Tool Car Jack Stand can be used to hoist cars, and even trucks, from the ground and will hold them aloft for however long it takes you to complete your work.

Pros

  • Easily adjustable height—The maximum height of the Performance Tool Car Jack Stand will vary, depending on which model you purchase. Thankfully, the height of each model can be easily increased or decreased, eliminating the need for awkward fumbling while you work.

  • Cost—The Performance Tool Car Jack Stand is sold in pairs of two. Despite this, the cost is reasonable, which means Performance Tool has pretty much every car jack stand manufacturer beat when it comes to price.

Cons

  • Poor paint job—This car jack stand features a bright-yellow paint job. This looks a little silly, sure, but it isn't a problem. What is a problem, however, is the paint’s tendency to chip. Some consumers have complained about the paint on their stands wearing away over a matter of weeks, with some unwrapping their newly purchased stands to find paint already missing. Lack of paint shouldn’t affect performance, however.

Hein-Werner HW93506 Jack Stand

Hein-Werner HW93506 Jack Stand

A pair of Hein-Werner HW93506 Jack Stands will set you back a bit, but for your money, you get a set of incredibly powerful stands with a capacity of up to 6 tons.

Pros

  • Formed steel frame—The Hein-Werner HW93506 Jack Stand features a formed steel frame. This design significantly increases the amount of weight which the stands can support at a time, giving them a distinct advantage over most other car jack stands on the market. Each stand rests on four legs, which spread across the floor like the legs of a spider, resulting in a more even distribution of your car's weight.

  • Multi-position ratchet bar—This car jack stand boasts a ratchet bar which can be maneuvered and manipulated into a variety of positions, allowing you to attach it safely to all jacking points, regardless of their shape.

Cons

  • Made in China—The HW93506 Jack Stand is manufactured in China, so those hoping to buy American-made should look elsewhere.

Larin JS-6 Jack Stand

Larin JS-6 Jack Stand

The Larin JS-6 Jack Stand is a popular choice among professionals and amateurs alike. It has the ability to support a wide array of vehicles and can be used multiple times a day without wear and tear. Likewise, it can be left in the corner of your garage for years and still promise a great performance when the time comes to use it.

Pros

  • Pin locking system—The vast majority of car jack stands feature a ratchet bar design. While this isn’t the worst system in the world, it can be a little tricky to master, especially when using an older stand. The Larin JS-6 features a handy pin locking system, which makes adjusting the height of your stand a whole lot easier.

  • Versatile—One of the coolest things about this jack stand is its versatility. It has the strength to hoist countless vehicles into the air. Cars, trucks, vans, boats, and even RVs can be lifted using the Larin JS-6.

Cons

  • Poorly manufactured base—There have been consumer complaints that the base is uneven, meaning the entire stand is prone to shaking and wobbling. I have used the Larin JS-6 on multiple occasions and haven’t experienced this, but it's certainly something to keep in mind when making your final decision.

Torin Aluminum Jack Stand

Torin Aluminum Jack Stand

If you were intrigued by the idea of a jack stand with a pin locking system rather than a traditional ratchet bar design, you’re going to want to check out the Torin Aluminum Jack Stand.

Pros

  • 5-Hole adjustment—The pin locking system of the Torin Aluminum Jack Stand features 5-hole adjustment. This gives it a minimum height of 10 ⅔” and a maximum height of 15 ½”, exactly what you’ll need in a home garage.

  • Lightweight—You should keep a car jack stand in your trunk at all times. However, a shocking number of car owners neglect to do this as they don’t want to damage their car by loading it up with weighty tools. The Torin Aluminum Jack Stand features a lightweight design and can be easily transported in any vehicle.

Cons

  • Compact base—In order to make it less bulky, Torin fitted this car jack stand with a much smaller base than you would expect to see on most car jack stands. While this does indeed increase the ease with which it can be moved from place to place, it doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence in the stand’s ability to support the weight of a large car.

Conclusion

Each of the aforementioned products has a legitimate claim to the title of Best Car Jack Stand. However, it is my suggestion that you go with the Hein-Werner HW93506 Jack Stand, regardless of where you fall on the novice-professional spectrum.

A pair of Hein-Werner HW93506 Jack Stands can support literally tons of weight for hours on end, giving you plenty of time to carry out whatever complicated repairs your vehicle might require.

Although this stand is not manufactured in America, it is made with the same dedication and attention to detail which turned the United States into the Mecca of automotive equipment.

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