Whether you’re looking to do some repair work at home or just want to make sure you have something in the trunk to counter the inevitability of a flat tire they’re simply good to have around. The main thing you should be looking for when selecting one is, of course, the amount of weight it can lift so let’s take a look at 4 of the best bottle jacks on the market and help you find what you need.
Maasdam MPL2B Bottle Jack Standard, 2 Ton, Green
This bottle jack offered by Maasdam is a great option for those who just need to get some quick work done. The weight capacity is enough to lift the corner of most private vehicles to allow for tire changes, but don’t expect miracles from this one. It stands at 7 1/8” though, so make sure it can fit under your vehicle’s frame before you purchase it. If it fits, it’ll make the perfect companion for the occasional tire change or brake job. This is a great bottle for cars.
Torin T90603 Hydraulic Jack – 6 Ton
If you’ve got a larger vehicle like a truck or an SUV, you might want to consider making the investment in this jack from Torin. It’s not suitable for most people’s cars, however, since it stands at 9” tall—this is one tall bottle jack. The weight capacity, however, is pretty impressive, and you should be able to easily lift most private vehicles with it in order to get done what you need. The action is super smooth, and it makes a great addition to any home which has a vehicle it can fit under and is easily one of the best bottle jacks for the money.
OTC (9320) Stinger 20 Ton Bottle Jack
If only the best will suit you, and you want to make sure that you can lift anything short of a loaded semi-trailer, then you’re looking at the jack (see full specs) for you. The entire thing is high-quality with little details attended to well like the chrome base which will inhibit corrosion. The only problem with this jack is that it’s another very tall bottle jack, coming in at 10 5/8” even when fully retracted. If it fits, though, you have an absolute winner.
ATD Tools 7385 Short Hydraulic Bottle Jack – 12 Ton Capacity
Coming in at 6” when retracted, this bottle jack (see full specs) is sure to fit under almost any vehicle you might own. The 12-ton capacity ensures that it will be able to easily move even heavy luxury cars and the low profile will help to make sure that it can get under most vehicles with a surprising amount of ease. It’s not the most powerful bottle jack you’ll be able to find, but the power and short height combined lead to a wonderful combination of qualities.
Picking out the Best Bottle Jacks
You’ll need to take two primary things into consideration before you get yourself a bottle jack. The first is the lifting capacity of the jack if it’s too light for your vehicle then you’re going to be out of luck when it comes time to get to work.
The second is the height. You’ll need to measure from the frame to the ground on your vehicle if you’re planning on using it for something specific. This is the main disadvantage of tall bottle jacks over floor jacks and scissor jacks: the height can make it hard to use on many vehicles.
If you own a lifted truck or SUV, however, you might find this additional height to be something of a boon.
Deciding on what you’ll be doing with a tool before you purchase it is the key to making sure that you get the most out of things. Most people will keep their bottle jack in their trunk with a spare tire in order to replace unwieldy scissor jacks which can be a bit unstable.
That said, for most cars or sedans you simply won’t be able to find a bottle jack that will fit comfortably under the frame. Don’t cheat yourself when you make your measurements, while there’s plenty of uses for a bottle jack around the home they’re not going to do your vehicle much good if they don’t fit.
Once you’ve found the right one for your vehicle, you’ll want to take a few other things into consideration as well when using a bottle jack for cars.
Make sure that the whole thing works easily, and that the release valve isn’t too awkward. As a general rule you do not want to be under a vehicle when you lower it, so being able to reach the jack’s release valve from a position next to the vehicle is very important.
You’ll also want to remember that, like any steel product, the jacks are prone to rust. Various paints and alloy coatings like chrome will help to keep things running smoother. While rust generally won’t kill a bottle jack, in the wrong places it can cause the jack to run a bit rough or take more force to be used.
Lastly, make sure the tonnage is good for your uses. For a complete lift don’t go cheap, find something which can lift twice your cars weight in order to make sure that you have a solid lift and aren’t straining the jack itself which can result in damage.
Keep in mind that bottle jacks are not just useful for vehicles, thanks to the impressive tonnage even the cheapest ones can be used for they’re great for maneuvering engines or other heavy parts and they even find some quite utilitarian uses like lifting concrete slabs.
Find the best bottle jack for your needs, however, and you’ll never need to fear a flat or brake job again since you’ll have something easy and quick to get that wheel off the ground and get you back on the road faster than ever before. Good luck!