Here at slidingunder.com we know a thing or two about getting under vehicles. Personally speaking though, I’m much more interested in getting OUT FROM UNDER that vehicle in the same condition I was going in. That is, in one piece in roughly the same shape.. not flattened. Every mechanic who has been around more than a month knows someone that had a jack fail on them. It happens, especially with the cheap factory jacks that new cars have these days. Even a high quality shop jack can fail or get bumped or knocked off.
Jack stands are dead simple devices, which makes them pretty affordable in the grand scheme of things. I’ll take ‘affordable’ and ‘dead simple’ and also ‘highly effective’ as a backup plan to ‘cheap jacks’ any day. Make sure you use wheel chocks ($5 for a pair on amazon) before jacking up your vehicle as well. These two together will prevent the vast majority of garage accidents involving falling vehicles. [ If you are looking for good storage, we built a cabinet with heavy duty drawer slides for ours. Works great. ]
Jack stands are primarily arranged by their weight rating. 3 Ton jackstands are your every day model for working on cars and light trucks. 6 Ton jack stands are for your heavier vehicles. There are occasionally 2 ton or other odd weighted jackstands but mostly its 3 ton or 6 ton.
Types of Jack Stands
There primarily two types of jackstands, pin and ratchet. Pin style jack stands are generally cheaper. They have a large metal pin that you pull out and then manually adjust the height of the jackstand and then re-insert the pin to lock it in place. Ratchet style jackstands have a lever that when lifted allows you to reposition the height. Dropping the lever locks it in position.
Generally speaking the pin-types are made from stamped steel or aluminum and may warp or bend over time whereas the ratchet types are usually made from solid steel and hold up better.
However, the ratchet types CAN be dislodged with a sharp impact to the ratchet mechanism. It would take roughly 90 lbs of pressure on the lever to do so but if that is a possibility in your application you might be better off with a pin type.
Most jackstands are made from either aluminum or steel. Aluminum is lighter, generally speaking, and not as strong. Within each of the materials there are stamped metals (similar to thick sheet metal), extruded metal, and cast metal. In that order they go from lightest and weakest to strongest and heaviest (generally speaking).
|Model Name||Weight Rating||Made From||Lift Type||Buy|
Torin T4300 - $25 (Pair)
Torin T41202 - $85 (Pair)
Torin T43004 - $80 (Pair)
Generic - $40