Last Updated on August 31, 2020
Three-ton floor jacks are essential tools for anyone who works on cars to have, whether they are professionals or do-it-yourself mechanics at home. These floor jacks are made of either steel or aluminum, and there is an unending disagreement about which one is better. When you compare them, they actually come up just about equal. They can handle the same weight and amount of use. There are only two differences. First, the aluminum can dent up and look abused faster than steel, and second, the aluminum is much lighter and easier to move around.
Since both function equally well, the one to purchase is strictly determined by the weight of the vehicles that you will be lifting, and your personal preference.
We have reviewed quite a few and found five that we believe excel above all the others, in one way or another. We hope that by reading what we have to say about each one, and considering it carefully, you will be better equipped to make the choice that will best meet your needs.
|Best Overall||Arcan ALJ3T||
|Best Value||Torin Big Red Hydraulic Trolley||
|Liftmaster Ultra Low Profile||
|Neiko Pro 20272B||
The Arcan ALJ3T 3 Ton Capacity Aluminum Floor Jack is made of lightweight, aircraft-grade aluminum and has dual pumps to raise the jack quickly and efficiently under its load. It also has a reinforced lift arm to increase its strength and durability, and a two-piece handle that comes apart for easy storage.
The handle of this floor jack is mounted on the side, so the weight isn’t evenly balanced as it is when it’s straight off the end. When you’re holding the handle, the weight is shifted to the back of the jack, causing you to hold it at an awkward diagonal angle. If the mass were centered, this jack would be rated to handle a more massive load. The rigid frame often keeps one wheel off the ground.
This jack is made with a rubber saddle and a foam handle bumper to protect the vehicle in case of an accident. It also has bypass and overload valves that should prevent the hydraulic jack from over-extending or lifting more than the jack is rated for. The Arcan ALJ3T complies with the ASME PASE-2014 Safety Standard.
The Torin Big Red Hydraulic Trolley Floor Jack is heavy enough to handle lifting most trucks and SUVs. It has an extra-long neck to give it more leverage for more comfortable pumping. The handle isn’t made of the best materials, though, and flexes when you’re pumping it up under any weight.
The pump and releasing mechanisms on this jack are different than most. On most jacks, this is the same mechanism. You pump to raise and twist to lower. This jack has two separate mechanisms. This isn’t an issue; it just gives you another moving part to potentially have problems with.
This floor jack has casters that turn 360° to maneuver it into place for lifting your vehicle. It’s made for larger vehicles, though, so it’s too tall to fit underneath most cars.
This model of Torin jack has a broad lifting range, but also has a safety bypass to make sure that you don’t lift a load too high, or lift one that is too heavy.
The Blackhawk B6350 3.5 Ton Capacity Floor Jack is built with heavy-duty steel that will last and has a swivel saddle to make it effortless to get the jack into the correct position. It has fast lifting technology to make raising your vehicle quick and painless, but it also has safeguards in place to help avoid accidents. It has a built-in safety valve in case of excessive pressure buildup from fluids, and a bypass device that won’t allow the jack to be pumped up too high.
The handle of this floor jack is removable and doesn’t lock into place, so it can get knocked out easily, and the fasteners are made of soft metal that strips without much effort.
The Blackhawk B6350 is extremely heavy and is difficult to move around, even with the wheels, unless you’re rolling it across an even cement floor. This is a three-and-one-half ton jack, and it can do the job it’s meant to do, but we found it struggles more than it should for its size. We recommend using extra caution if you’re going to be lifting a vehicle that’s close to the top of its weight limit.
The Liftmaster 3 Ton Heavy Duty Ultra Low Profile Steel Floor Jack has a three-inch profile that’s low enough to fit under most of the lowest vehicles. It has dual pumps to make pumping the two-piece handle easier when lifting your car. The handle has a foam grip for your comfort.
This floor jack is very heavy and made of steel, but it hasn’t been hardened and can get damaged more easily than it should. When we received ours, the box was all torn up, and there were a couple of dents on the jack that shouldn’t have been there. That doesn’t affect the use of it, though.
We also found that you have to screw the handle tight to keep air from leaking out and your car from lowering slowly. The problem comes when it is time to drop the vehicle. You’ve had to screw it so tight that it’s now challenging to twist it the other way to break the seal.
The Neiko Pro 20272B Floor Jack is made of industrial-grade aluminum alloy, which is supposed to be lightweight, but we found this jack to be quite heavy. Part of that may be due to the location of the carrying handle. It’s towards the end of the jack that doesn’t have the weight. It would be easier to lift and carry if the handle were at the end that has most of the load. It needs to at least be in a spot that would balance the weight evenly.
This floor jack has a dual plunger to make lifting more efficient, and a safety valve that prevents lifting a vehicle that weighs more than the jack is rated for. The casters on the rear also swivel to make positioning this jack simple. The frame is rigid enough that all four wheels don’t touch the floor unless it’s perfectly flat. This can make it difficult to move the jack around, especially if the wheel that isn’t touching is one of the swivel ones.
Safety is the most critical aspect of using a floor jack.
Always use jack stands in addition to your floor jack
Even though floor jacks are heavy-duty and built to hold up a vehicle, you should never trust one on its own.
Always make sure that the car is on level ground before lifting
Even the slightest slope can cause a vehicle to tip.
Raise and lower the car slowly
Raising and lowering your vehicle slowly allows you to identify any issues before they become a problem.
Make sure you have the jack at the appropriate points of the car’s frame
Every vehicle frame has specific locations that have been reinforced to be able to hold up the vehicle’s entire weight. If you put your jack in the wrong spot, the frame can give, and the car will fall.
Price is a significant deciding factor for many of us. Floor jacks can cost anywhere from under $100 to well over $1000. That’s a pretty steep slope, but with floor jacks, you don’t necessarily lose quality when you get the less economically priced ones.
One of the most prominent features that drives the price of floor jacks up is the material. These jacks can be either aluminum or steel. Obviously, steel is heavy-duty and can withstand any beating that it takes. Though aluminum is a lighter material, it’s just about as durable as steel. It can get dinged up faster, but that doesn’t affect its use. They both function pretty equally.
Steel is heavy and costs less than its counterpart, aluminum. Aluminum costs more because it’s so much lighter and easier to use.
Every floor jack is rated to handle a certain amount of weight. Be sure the vehicle you’re lifting falls within the safety parameters for the jack you have.
Floor jacks have lower profiles than any other jack. This is particularly important when you’re working primarily on low vehicles, like sports cars. If your jack is too tall to fit in the clearance under the vehicle, you’ll have to put the car on ramps before you can lift it.
Steel floor jacks can weigh more than 100 pounds. This makes them tricky to roll around and nearly impossible to lift.
Aluminum jacks, on the other hand, weigh closer to 50 pounds, roll effortlessly on their wheels, and can be moved from one place to another.
How fast you can raise or lower your car with a jack should never be a consideration unless you are using it in an automobile race.
Lifting vehicles is heavy work, and you never know when you might have problems with one. Since jacks are used under extreme weight conditions and cost so much, it can be crucial that yours has a great warranty to cover it for any damages that occur.
Floor jacks are essential tools for any mechanic to have. They are the quickest, and easiest, way to lift the weight of any vehicle, as long as they are placed in the proper reinforced parts of the frame.
1. Arcan ALJ3T 3 Ton Capacity Aluminum Floor Jack – Top Pick
2. Torin Big Red Hydraulic Trolley Floor Jack – Best for the Money
3. Blackhawk B6350 3.5 Ton Capacity Floor Jack
4. Liftmaster 3 Ton Heavy Duty Ultra Low Profile Steel Floor Jack
5. Neiko Pro 20272B Floor Jack
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!