Have you ever heard of the phrase “like two peas in a pod”? I can’t think of a better introduction to the topic of Jack Stands because no matter who you are, a professional mechanic or a car enthusiast, you should not be floor jacking any vehicle without having jack stands close by. Their added safety is imperative and is usually enforced in every large garage chain. There is plenty that can go wrong when it comes to working on cars that is why using jack stands is a no-brainer. Coming from a professional mechanic it’s simple, get them, use them, have peace of mind while you work. Period!
Fortunately, jack stands are fairly inexpensive and there is no reason why you should not own a pair. There are 3-ton models that cost less than $40 and 6-ton jack stands can be had for less than $100. Regardless of the type of vehicle you own, we have you covered from 2-ton jack stands all the way up to 12-ton models, and in this guide, we will cover them along with their features.
If by the end of this article you have found the jack stand(s) that suit your needs and are still in my market for a floor jack, we have you covered as well! We have reviewed The Best Low-Profile Floor Jacks as well as The Best Regular Floor Jacks to cover all the bases when it comes to getting your vehicle off the ground! Now let’s get started on The Best Jack Stands on the market today!
Name of Product
Image of Product
1. Powerbuilt 620471 Unijack 3-Ton (Best Overall)
Height Range: 11" to 21"
2. Amazon Basics Steel Jack Stands (Best 2-Ton Jack Stand)
Height Range: 12" to 18"
3. TCE AT43002AU Locking Jack Stands (Best 3-Ton Jack Stand)
Height Range: 11-1/4" to 16-3/4"
4. K Tool 61205A Jack Stands (Best 6-Ton Jack Stand)
Height Range: 15-3/4" to 24-1/2"
5. Sunex Jack Stands (Best 10-Ton Jack Stand)
Height Range: 11" to 17" (low), 19" to 30" (medium), 28" to 46-1/2" (high)
6. Sunex 1003AJ Jack Stands (Best Aluminum Jack Stand)
Height Range: 10-1/2" to 15-1/2"
Here Are The Best Jack Stands
1. Powerbuilt 620471 Unijack 3-Ton (Best Overall)
|Height Range:||11” to 21”|
|Weight:||Around 23 lbs.|
My Review: The Powerbuilt Unijack combines a jack and jack stand into a single unit. This unique design eliminates the need to have a separate jack and jack stand. The durable design also has a locking pin that holds the jack stand in place for some added safety. With a wide saddle, it makes placement under the vehicle easier, especially for trucks and SUVs. It also has a flat base that provides some extra stability when supporting the load. Despite the bulky look, it is not too heavy and portable. With a maximum height of 21”, it is ideal for trucks and SUVs, making it a perfect off-road accessory.
Bottom Line: A combined jack and jack stand with a good maximum lift height. This is a good jack for anyone that owns a vehicle with higher ground clearance.
2. Amazon Basics Steel 2-Ton Jack Stands (Best 2-Ton Jack Stand)
|Height Range:||12″ to 18″|
|Weight:||10 lbs for the pair|
My Review: The Amazon Basics jack stands are an excellent value for the money. Despite the low price, these 2-ton jack stands have a self-locking ratchet and meet ASME-PASE safety standards. They also feature a durable steel frame that has a rust-proof coating for extended life and are backed by a 1-year warranty. The wide base on these jack stands is ideal for a home garage as it distributes the weight more evenly and will not dig into the surface. While the capacity is on the lower end, they are sufficient for most passenger cars. Unless you own a heavier vehicle, the Amazon Basics jack stands are probably the cheapest quality jack stands available.
Bottom Line: Another great option value for the money if you have a smaller car. The complaint with the Amazon Basic jack stands is the load capacity of 2-tons may not be enough for larger vehicles and trucks. But still, a fantastic option if you own a smaller vehicle. Small and easy to store.
3. TCE AT43002AU 3-Ton Locking Jack Stands (Best 3-Ton Jack Stand)
|Height Range:||11-1/4” to 16-3/4”|
|Weight:||Around 14 lbs.|
Torin Commercial Equipment products are designed for professional use. Their tools are commonly seen in many repair shops and are backed up by a two-year warranty, it is no surprise that many mechanics trust TCE.
My Review: The TCE AT43002AU jack stands are designed for professional use and feature a locking pin for added safety. This gives you an added measure of security when working under your vehicle. The heavy-duty steel body is fully welded and means these jack stands were meant to last. The sawtooth support bar locks into place and has a height range of 11-1/4” to 16-3/4”. A large saddle ensures the vehicle remains stable when lifted. Like all TCE products, they meet ASME safety standards and come with a 2-year warranty. If you are looking for durable jack stands with the added safety of locking pins that are built to the last, these are worth the money.
Bottom Line: These particular jack stands are probably the safest jack stands on this list as well. They have two built-in redundancies compared to most other jack stands on the market. So if something were to go wrong, the backup safety lock will keep you safe while you are under your vehicle.
4. K Tool 61205A 6-Ton Jack Stands (Best 6-Ton Jack Stand)
|Height Range:||15-3/4” to 24-2/5”|
|Weight:||33 lbs. for the pair|
Designed with the professional mechanic in mind, chances are you will see K Tool products in your local repair shop. Built to handle the daily grind, there is a reason why many pros use K Tools.
My Review: The K Tool XD series 6-ton jack stands are built to handle the rigors of daily shop use. With a heavy-duty steel frame and a ductile iron support arm, these jack stands will support most vehicles with ease. With a maximum lift height of 24-2/5” they will provide sufficient clearance when working on most vehicles and light trucks. They also feature a wide base that gives these jack stands added stability and with more contact area it will not dig into the surface.
Like most K Tool products, you know they are built to last, and they come with a 2-year warranty. While pricier than most 6-ton jack stands you get what you pay for. If you want professional quality jack stands for your busy shop the K Tool 61205A are some of the best available.
Bottom Line: The K Tool 6-ton jack stands are a solid choice for shop use. They have a rugged design and are backed up by a 2-year warranty.
5. Sunex 10-Ton Jack Stands (Best 10-Ton Jack Stand)
|Estimated Price:||$190 (low), $345 (medium), $310 (high)|
|Height Range:||11” to 17.3” (low), 18.9” to 29.9” (medium), 28.1” to 46.5” (high)|
|Weight:||60 lbs. (low), 75lbs. (medium), 105 lbs. (high)|
My Review: The Sunex 10-ton jack stands are a must-have if you work on fleet vehicles such as big rigs and other Class 5 and below vehicles. Available in three heights, including a low model with a minimum clearance of 11”, a tall model with a maximum height of 46.5”, and a medium model for the in-between, there is a jack stand for your needs. These rugged jacks stands feature a four-leg steel base that is made with heavy schedule pipe for extra durability. A large V-shaped saddle makes placement under trucks easier and supports the load securely. They feature a high-strength pin that locks the support beam into place.
As with all Sunex products, they are designed for shop use and are built to last. If you need a heavy-duty, 10-ton jack stands Sunex has you covered. These are by far the strongest jack stands on this list! SOLID! Great for lifted rigs!
Bottom Line: These are solid jack stands intended for shop use and available in three different heights. Great for big rigs and or lifted vehicles with high lift points.
6. Sunex 1003AJ 3-Ton Jack Stands (Best Aluminum Jack Stand)
|Height Range:||10.6” to 15.4”|
|Weight:||Around 10 lbs.|
My Review: Sunex is another well-respected name in the auto repair business, and they are known for making quality products. The 1003AJ 3-ton jack aluminum jack stands are no exception to this rule and weighing under 10 lbs. they are among the lightest available. However, that does not come at the expense of safety as they have a heavy-duty flanged base and meet all applicable industry safety standards. They also feature a wide saddle that makes placement under the vehicle easier with six adjustable settings. The compact base also gives you more space under the vehicle, something we can all appreciate when working in a tight spot. If you are in the market for some aluminum jack stands that are portable and lightweight, the Sunex 1003AJ is worth a look.
Bottom Line: These are some great quality aluminum jack stands. I would say they are on the high-quality side of the aluminum jack stands on the market. Lightweight and straightforward to use.
7. Torin Big Red T43202 Steel 3-Ton Jack Stands
|Height Range:||11-1/4” to 16-3/4”|
|Weight:||Around 8 lbs. each|
My Review: The Torin 3-ton jack stands are among the most affordable 3-ton jack stands available. They are well-built and have a wide pyramid base for added strength and stability. This gives you some extra confidence when working on your vehicle thanks to the solid construction and welded design. With an adjustable height range from 11-1/4” to 16-3/4” these jack stands will give you adequate clearance when working on your car or light truck. The support bar also features a sawtooth design that locks into place for easy adjustments. Lastly, The Torin Big Red T43202 meets all applicable ASME safety standards. For the money, these jack stands are difficult to beat and with a 3-ton capacity, they will support most passenger vehicles and light trucks.
Bottom Line: Probably the best value for home use with a 3-ton capacity. Probably not the best choice for a large shop operation but great for a handyman.
8. ESCO 3-Ton Jack Stand
|Estimated Price:||$65 each|
|Height Range:||13-1/5” to 21-1/2”|
|Weight:||11 lbs. each|
My Review: The ESCO 3-ton jack stands are perfect for anyone who owns a light truck or needs some extra clearance under their vehicle. With a maximum height of 21-1/2” it is by far the tallest 3-ton jack stand reviewed. They are rugged and durable with a powder-coated frame and a wide, solid base. This is ideal when using them in your garage as the jack stand is less likely to leave marks on the surface. With 10 adjustable pin positions, it is easy to find an ideal height.
They also feature a large, rubber-padded saddle that provides added stability when supporting the vehicle. The ESCO jack stands are more expensive than other models but they are a quality product and built to last. You can feel confident working on your vehicle when it is supported by these jack stands. If you need 3-ton jack stands with some extra clearance, these are a good option.
Bottom Line: An excellent 3-ton jack stand with high clearance, although they are expensive. The large footprint will not mark leave marks on your garage floor.
9. Performance Tool W41022 3-Ton Jack Stands
|Height Range:||12” to 17-1/4”|
|Weight:||Around 16 lbs. Total|
Based in Renton, WA, the Wilmar Corporation was founded in 1971. During that time, they have become an established supplier of automotive tools for professionals and home mechanics alike.
My Review: The Performance Tool W41022 3-ton jack stands are the perfect addition for any garage. These rugged jack stands feature a durable steel frame with a wide base for added stability and a ratchet mechanism that securely supports the load. With a maximum lift height of 17-1/4”, they have sufficient clearance for most cars and light trucks. Costing around $40 for the pair, they are probably the best value for 3-ton jack stands. Built with the professional in mind, they are perfect for a home or professional mechanic.
Bottom Line: A great option and affordable 3-ton jack stand with a similar price to the Torin T43202.
10. Hein-Werner HW93506 6-Ton Jack Stands
|Height Range:||16-1/4” to 25-3/4”|
|Weight:||Around 41 lbs. for the pair|
My Review: Part of the Shin-Fu family of companies, Hein-Werner products are known for their quality and durability. They are popular with professional and home mechanics and are one of the few jack stands that are assembled in the US.
Hein-Werner is an established name in the automotive repair business with a reputation for building quality products. In addition, they are the only jack stands review here that are assembled in the US. These jack stands feature a formed steel frame for durability and strength and are the heaviest 6-ton jack stands reviewed. They may not be the most portable jack stands but they are of excellent quality.
The dual-purpose handle allows for easy release of the support beam and can be used to carry them. They also have a wide base and a large saddle that ensures the load will remain stable when you are working on your vehicle. Backed by a 2-year warranty, you know you are getting a quality product, and these are probably the most solid jack stands you can buy.
Bottom Line: These are some good-quality jack stands. Rugged and durable, they are heavy but will hold up to daily shop use.
11. Big Red T43004 3-Ton Aluminum Jack Stands
|Height Range:||10-3/4” to 15-5/8”|
|Weight:||6 lbs. for the pair|
My Review: Another product from well-known jack manufacturer Torin, the Big Red T43004 aluminum jack stands are small and light. Weighing just six pounds each, they are half the weight of a comparable steel jack stand. Despite the aluminum construction, they can have a load capacity of 3-ton,s making them sufficient for most passenger vehicles and light trucks.
They also have a wide saddle that makes placement under the vehicle easier, and the height is set by a locking pin with six adjustable settings. The base is also removable and has a wide footprint so it will not mark the surface of your garage. In addition, this allows more space when you are working underneath your vehicle. Lastly, the Big Red T43004 jack stands meet all applicable ASME safety standards so you can feel confident when you are working on your vehicle. If you need portable jack stands, these are probably the best available and they are popular with autocross and track racers who need to change wheels out or make last-minute adjustments.
Bottom Line: If you want portable jack stands that are light, these are an excellent choice. The downside is the low maximum height and the small base.
12. Powerbuilt 647529 4-Ton Jack Stands
|Height Range:||13” to 20-1/4”|
|Weight:||Around 19 lbs. for the pair|
My Review: Built with the professional in mind, Powerbuilt prides itself on making quality tools that can handle daily use in a repair shop. With quality and longevity in mind, there is a reason why many mechanics use Powerbuilt Tools.
Known for their professional tools, the Powerbuilt 647529 4-ton jack stands are ideal for heavier passenger vehicles where three tons may not be sufficient. They also have a maximum height of 20-1/4” and that is on the higher end for a jack stand under six tons. This is perfect for anyone who needs the extra clearance but does not jack stands with a higher capacity. For added strength, they feature a ductile iron post, a stamped steel frame, and fully welded seams. They also have 10 adjustable settings that make it easier to find the ideal height under the vehicle and meet all applicable AMSE safety standards.
Bottom Line: For the money and the load capacity, these are an excellent pair of jack stands. Ideal if you have a heavier vehicle where 3-tons may not be enough.
13. K Tool 12-Ton Heavy Duty Jack Stands
|Height Range:||17-3/5” to 27-1/2”|
|Weight:||Around 53 lbs. for the pair|
My Review: The K Tool XD series are built with the professional in mind and these are some heavy-duty jack stands. With a 12-ton load capacity, they will support just about any vehicle. Designed for shop use, these rugged and durable jack stands are constructed with high-grade forged steel and a welded frame. With a maximum height of 27-1/2”, they provide enough clearance for just about any vehicle. The multi-position sawtooth ratchet allows easy adjustment and locks into place and securely supports the load. They also feature a 2-year warranty so you know the K Tool jack stands are designed to last. If you need to support some serious weight, these are some of the best available.
Bottom Line: With a 12-ton capacity, these will support just about any vehicle and are reasonably priced. Durable and rugged, these are ideal for a busy shop.
14. JEGS 3-Ton Jack Stands
|Height Range:||12” to 16-1/4”|
|Weight:||Around 14 lbs.|
My Review: Known for selling performance parts, JEGS has been in the business for several decades. They have a reputation for selling quality products and good prices.
The JEGS 3-ton jack stands are ideal for a home garage and can support most passenger vehicles. Constructed from high-strength steel, they are durable and will provide years of service. They feature a height range of 12” to 16-1/4” and are suitable for most repairs. Despite being a cheaper 3-ton jack stand they are a good value for the money and ideal for anyone on a budget.
Bottom Line: A good choice for home use and extremely reasonably priced for a 3-ton capacity jack stand.
15. JEGS 5-Ton Aluminum Jack Stands
|Height Range:||15-7/8” to 24-1/8”|
|Weight:||Around 24 lbs. for the pair|
My Review: Another quality offering by JEGS, these 5-ton aluminum jack stands are incredibly light, weighing just 24 lbs for the pair. They are the highest capacity aluminum jack stands reviewed here. This is something you will appreciate when having to lug them around. However, that does not come at the expense of strength as they are rugged and durable featuring a wide base and solid construction. The maximum lift height of 24-1/8” is great and makes them ideal for vehicles with higher ground clearance. If you need portable jack stands that can support some weight these are for you.
Bottom Line: The only 5-ton aluminum jack stands reviewed here. They are very light and portable.
16. Apextreme Steel 3-Ton Jack Stands
|Height Range:||11-2/5” to 16-3/4”|
|Weight:||Around 11 lbs.|
My Review: The Apextreme 3-ton jack stands are a good value for the money. They feature a stamped construction with a height range of 11-2/5” to 16-3/4” and are ideal for most passenger vehicles. The wide base and sawtooth lift bar allow for added strength and stability. They have a large contact area that makes placement under the vehicle easier, and they meet all applicable industry safety standards. Being under $40, they are an excellent value for the money and are ideal for anyone on a limited budget.
Bottom Line: You’re getting some excellent and easily adjustable 3-ton jack stands for an extremely cheap price! They are also slightly shorter than other similar 3-ton jack stands you may find on the market which is a plus.
17. Powerbuilt 2-Ton Jack Stands
|Height Range:||10-3/8” to 16”|
My Review: The Powerbuilt 2-ton jack stands are ideal for a home garage if you own a lighter vehicle. Despite the low load capacity, they have a maximum lift height of 16” that will give you enough clearance for most repairs. They also feature a heavy-duty steel frame that is welded at the seams for extra durability and the ductile iron support beam has 10 adjustable settings. These jack stands meet all applicable safety standards. If you do not need the extra lift capacity but need a jack stand with a decent height that is durable these are a good value for the money.
Bottom Line: These are excellent quality jack stands. Safe enough to handle most small and compact vehicles and a must-have for any do-it-yourself handyman or handywoman.
18. OEM Tools 3-Ton Jack Stands
|Height Range:||11-1/2” to 17”|
My Review: The OEM Tools 3-ton jack stands have a good height range and are ideal for most vehicles. They also have a large footprint that will not dig into the surface of your garage. The recessed saddle provides some extra stability when supporting the vehicle. If you are looking for a pair of reasonably priced 3-ton jack stands, the OEM Tools are worth a look.
Bottom Line: They have a great load capacity of 3-tons with a wide footprint that will not leave marks on the surface of your garage.
19. Performance Tool W41023 6-Ton Jack Stands
|Height Range:||15-1/2” to 23-1/2”|
|Weight:||Around 32 lbs.|
My Review: The Performance Tool 6-ton jack stands are a perfect addition for a repair shop or home garage. With a capacity of 6-tons and a maximum height of 23-1/2” they are perfect for light trucks and will provide more than enough clearance for most vehicles. They also have a wide base and solid construction for added stability under load and a wide saddle makes placement under the vehicle easier. With a 6-ton capacity, the Performance Tool jack stands are ideal for a repair shop or home garage as they are built to last and are reasonably priced.
Bottom Line: Excellent quality 6-ton jack stands for the money. They have a nicely cut base allowing you to use them on less than ideal surfaces such as gravel.
20. Sunex 1006A 6-Ton Jack Stands
|Height Range:||15-1/2” to 24”|
|Weight:||Around 30 lbs.|
My Review: Like most Sunex tools, these are some heavy-duty jack stands that are designed for professional use. With a 6-ton capacity, they will support most passenger vehicles and light trucks and the maximum height of 24” will give you enough clearance to do most repairs. You can also feel confident when your vehicle is supported by these jack stands thanks to their large footprint and ductile iron support beam. They also feature a wide saddle that makes placement under the vehicle and provides stability under load. The Sunex 1006A 6-ton jack stands are a perfect addition for a shop or home garage.
Bottom Line: These jack stands are designed for shop use with a good maximum height. They feature a four flat-footed base for even weight distribution for added safety.
Choosing the Correct Jack Stand (Buying Guide)
In terms of choosing the best jack stand, it is more about needs than brands. All of the models reviewed here are of good quality and should last a lifetime if properly used. As jack stands from 2-tons up to 12-tons are covered, there are choices for passenger vehicles and light trucks. When choosing a jack stand, it is more about the weight of the vehicles that you own or will be working on. For shop use, it usually helps to have jack stands of different load capacities. Ideally, 3-tons would be the minimum and you would probably want to have some 6-ton and maybe 10-ton jack stands as well. Considering they will be used regularly, the TCE, K Tool, and Hein-Werner are ideal as they were designed with shop use in mind. They are durable and built to last.
For the best 2-ton and 3-ton jack stands, the Amazon Basics are difficult to beat. They are well-built and affordable although the maximum capacity may not be enough if you own a heavier vehicle. They are ideal for light repairs but if you need to get under the vehicle, you may need some jack stands with more height. For 3-ton jack stands, all of the models reviewed here are good choices and you won’t go wrong with any of them.
For value, the Performance Tool and TCE are difficult to beat. If you want some extra height the ESCO is the way to go. They have a wide footprint that makes them ideal for a home garage as they will not mark up the floor. If you are the type that cringes when crawling under your car when it is supported by jack stands, the ESCO and Hein-Werner have a wide footprint for extra stability.
Moving into the 4-ton and 6-ton jack stands, the Powerbuilt 4-ton jack stands are an excellent value for the money. For home use, 3-tons is generally more than enough unless you own a heavier light-duty truck or want jack stands that will give you some extra clearance underneath the vehicle. If that is important, the Hein-Werner have the best clearance in this category.
If you need the 6-ton capacity, the Performance Tool jack stands are a good choice. The Hein-Werner is another option as they are durable and have a wide base for added stability. However, they are quite heavy if you need to carry them around. For shop use, the K Tool and Hein-Werner are the best choices. They are rugged and durable and build with daily use in mind.
When it comes to high load capacity, the Sunex and K Tool are the best options. The Sunex is sturdy and able to support 10-tons and is available in three different heights depending on your needs. With the low model having a minimum height of 11” and the high model having a maximum height of 46.5” there is a model for your needs. They are well-built and designed for professional use and have a locking pin instead of a ratchet design and this is generally regarded as being safer. The K Tool are the highest capacity jack stand reviewed here and have a 12-ton capacity. These are solid jack stands that were designed for professional use and built to last.
If you want a portable jack stand or own a vehicle with low ground clearance, the Torin T43004 is an excellent choice. Weighing around 5 lbs each, they have a low clearance of 10-3/4” and the base can be easily removed for storage or transportation. Also, with a flat base, they allow more space underneath the vehicle. If you do any autocross or track racing or do not have a lot of space in your garage, these are an excellent choice.
Choosing the best jack stand depends on your needs. For home use, 3-tons is generally sufficient unless you own a truck or need some extra clearance when working on your vehicle. If you own a heavier vehicle, you may need 6-ton jack stands although some people use them since they typically have a higher clearance.
For a professional shop, steel jack stands are preferred as they are more durable. You will probably need a few different types from 3-tons and 6-tons. The TCE, K Tool, and Hein-Werner are all excellent choices as they are built with shop use in mind. Of course, they are perfect for home use if you want some extra security when working on your vehicle. Also, the ESCO and Hein-Werner have some extra stability.
Frequently Ask Questions About Jack Stands (FAQ)
What Type of Jack Stands Do I Need?
Like floor jacks, you want to choose one that supports the weight of your vehicle. Ideally, it should support a load that is greater than the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). For example, if your vehicle weighs 4,000 lbs they should support at least that weight, ideally more. Even though you will not be lifting the entire vehicle and supporting all of the weight on two jack stands, it is a matter of safety. To be safe, we would recommend a pair of 3-ton jack stands as the difference in price is minimal. That extra $20 is well worth it for some extra peace and security.
What is Jack Stand Load Capacity?
This can be confusing, but the maximum capacity applies to the pair. For example, a pair of 2-ton jack stands means they are designed to support 1 ton each or 2 tons total. If the jack stands are sold separately, there should be a sticker or information in the owner’s manual. However, if you are in doubt, you should contact the manufacturer or seller.
Do I Need 6-ton Jack Stands if My Vehicle Weighs 2 Tons?
You do not need a 6-ton jack stand for a 2-ton vehicle although there are some advantages, such as having more lift height. A 6-ton jack stand will be taller than a 3-ton model and can be useful if you are removing items from underneath the vehicle like a transmission where you may need that extra height. Having done this ourselves, having some extra room is not a bad thing.
Also, a pair of 3-ton jack stands may be able to support the weight of light trucks but when they are fully extended, they may not have enough height for you to work under the vehicle. However, you should also keep in mind the maximum lift height of your floor jack. It will not help if it can only raise the vehicle 15” and the minimum clearance on your jack stands is 16”.
For home use, unless you need the extra clearance, 3-tons is sufficient for most passenger vehicles and light trucks. Sure, can you spend the extra money on 6-ton jack stands but they are also going to be considerably heavier. Something to keep in mind if you need to carry them around.
Are Jack Stands Safe?
Yes. Jack stands are designed to support the weight of the vehicle. However, you should always be aware of the GVWR of your vehicle and the maximum weight the jack stands are designed to support. This will usually refer to the pair. For example, a pair of 6-ton jack stands are intended to support a maximum weight of 3-tons each or 6-tons for both.
If you are concerned about safety, you can always leave the jack in place underneath the vehicle in case the jack stand fails. As a general rule, jack stands that have been manufactured the last few years are unlikely to fail unless they are not used properly. The most common cause of failure is overloading them or shock loading (dropping the vehicle on the jack stand). The other issue can be rust or corrosion but if they are stored properly that is usually not an issue. Should they get wet from rain or fluids leaking on them, wipe them down after use.
Jack Stand Placement
This will vary by vehicle, but most lift points are near the wheels. However, depending on the type of work you are doing, this may not be practical you may need to find a different lift point. Many times, the engine cross member or the rear axle (solid axle) can be used to support the vehicle’s weight although it varies by manufacturer. Also, keep in mind the saddle size can affect placement under the vehicle.
ASME-PASE Safety Standards on Jack Stands
The portable automotive safety equipment (PASE) is an industry safety standard that covers most shop tools. In the case of jack stands, they must meet several criteria in order to be approved. Aside from the weight rating applying to the pair as mentioned above, a jack stand must be able to support 200% of the rated load for 10 minutes without any structural failure or bending. In other words, it must support more than the rated capacity. Not that we would recommend using jack stands beyond their rated capacity.
Ramps vs. Jack Stands
Ramps are generally safer as they spread the load over a wider area although you will not be able to do certain repairs like brakes or suspension since the load is placed on the wheels. If you are doing oil changes or removing components under the vehicle, you can use ramps. However, for suspension or brake work you will need a jack and jack stands so you can remove the wheels.
Aluminum or Steel Jack Stands
There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Aluminum is lighter and steel is more durable although steel comes at the expense of weight. Most 5-ton and higher jack stands are made of steel but that does not mean the 2-ton and 3-ton aluminum jack stands are unsafe. They are constructed with durable materials and meet all applicable safety standards. When used properly they are no more likely to fail than a jack stand made of steel.
In terms of choosing a jack stand that is made of aluminum or steel, it comes down to personal preference. Some of the models reviewed here like the Big Red have a removable base that makes them easier to store. If you need to carry them around, aluminum jack stands are more portable. Also, the footprint is smaller and that can help when you are working underneath your car as you will have more space. However, for frequent use in a shop, we would recommend steel jacks for durability.
Jack Stand Base
All of the jack stands reviewed here have three types of bases, three-legs, four legs, or a flat base. A wider base will distribute the weight on the floor more evenly and provide more stability. The ESCO has a three-leg base with a large surface area that will not mark the floor. Most jack stands have four legs and if you are concerned about damaging the surface of your garage it is worth looking at the base. The flat base is only used a few jack stands, mainly the aluminum models. These have the largest footprint and will not damage your garage.
How to use a jack stand
This may seem basic, but there are several things to keep in mind when using jack stands. The first is to find the lift points on the vehicle. This will vary by manufacturer and depending on the type of work you are doing. In most cases, there are multiple lift points such as the engine cross member or the rear axle.
The second thing to keep in mind is to slowly lower the vehicle onto the jack stand. As in, do not drop it suddenly (shock load) as this can damage the lift point or the jack stand.
Also, make sure the surface is level. It is not recommended to use jack stands on a hill or soft surface. Ideally, it should be asphalt or concrete, and always remember to place the vehicle in park or leave it in gear for a manual transmission, set the parking brake, and place wheel chocks to prevent it from moving.
Pin or Sawtooth Jack Stand Design
All of the jack stands reviewed use a pin or sawtooth locking mechanism and both are safe. It is more a matter of personal preference as they have their advantages and disadvantages.
Rachet or Sawtooth Jack Stands: These use a solid steel or iron post that supports the weight of the vehicle. One side of the post has teeth and there is a pin that holds it in place. The main benefits to this design are the multiple adjustment settings that make it easier to find the ideal height when placing it under the vehicle. The main disadvantage of this design is the jack stands are typically heavier due to the solid post.
Pin Jack Stands: Jack stands with this design use a locking pin that goes through the post. The pin usually rests on top of the base supporting the load. There are two main benefits to this design with the first being they are typically lighter when compared to sawtooth jack stand of the same weight capacity since the post is not solid. The other advantage is they are typically stronger, and many 10-ton and higher jack stands are of this design. The pin is unlikely to fail completely if the jack stand is used properly.
As for the disadvantage of this design, there are usually less adjustment settings when compared to a sawtooth jack stand and this can make finding an ideal height more difficult. The second issue is if you lose the pin, you will have to source it from the manufacturer and if it is not available you will probably need a new set of jack stands.
Jack Stand Maintenance
As jack stands are fairly simple, they require little maintenance. In terms of storage, they should be kept in a dry location to prevent rust. Also, before use, you should always inspect the frame and support bar (or pins) to make sure there are no cracks, especially around the welds. Also, check for a bent frame or pin. If there is any damage it is better to dispose of them as they are fairly inexpensive to replace. It is not worth the risk of losing your life over damaged jack stands.
Where Are The Jack Stands Made?
Aside from the Hein-Werner which are assembled in the US from domestic and imported materials, the majority are made in China. That does not mean they are bad since manufacturing standards have improved considerably over the last few decades. The Torin jack stands are of excellent quality and meet all applicable industry safety standards. Jack stand failure is more likely to be from misuse instead of where they were manufactured.
With that said, there are plenty of jack stands to choose from. There are 2-ton to 12-ton jack stands available with choices for professional and home use and steel. Hopefully, this guide will help you find jack stands that are best for your needs whether you need portable or high load capacity we have you covered. All of the models reviewed are of good quality and will last for a long time if properly maintained. As they are fairly cheap, there is no excuse for not owning a pair of jack stands. Just remember safety first. If there is any damage to the jack stand, they should be replaced as they are fairly inexpensive. It is not worth risking your life and safety should always be a priority.
Also, please feel free to leave a comment below on any experiences you may have on any of the products listed above or if you think we have left out any that you think belong on our list. Thank you for reading!
My name is Codi and I have been interested in automotive mechanics for as long as I can remember. Today I am a professional mechanic as well as a certified tire technician with over 10 years of combined professional experience.
I started this website because over the years I have noticed an increasing trend of false information among customers and automotive professionals alike. So I have gone to great lengths to provide the most factual information about tools, vehicles, companies, and other automotive products so that anyone can be provided with solid information on what they might be looking for.
I was born in South Florida and am currently located in Western Pennsylvania. I have seen how vehicles and tools respond to all types of weather conditions and scenarios over the years and I am happy to share every bit of automotive and mechanical knowledge I possess to help better inform the general public. Here at Mechanic Approved, our goal is to provide the best automotive mechanic information so that both customers and professionals can make better-informed purchases.