Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Welcome to our big jack test 2021. Here we present all the jacks we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best jack for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a car jack.

The most important facts

  • The jack is a device with which you can carry out minor repairs or a wheel change on your car.
  • The most important features to consider when buying a jack are lifting capacity, lifting height and underride height.
  • In principle, almost every type of jack is suitable for every type of car, as long as the three most important features are sufficient for the car.

The Best Hydraulic Jack: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a car jack

What are car jacks used for?

The jack is a device that allows you to perform lifting operations on motor vehicles. You can use it to reach the underbody of the vehicle to carry out repairs and maintenance.

The jack is most often used for tyre punctures or for changing tyres every six months.

When carrying out repairs, never go under the vehicle without additionally securing it with jack stands to avoid accidents.

It is an advantage to always carry a small, inexpensive jack in the car. In Germany and Austria, this is not required by law, but with its help you can quickly handle some breakdown situations yourself without having to rely on a towing service.

The jack can be used to lift vehicles in order to carry out repairs. In addition, the vehicle should be secured with a jack. (Image source: / Fancycrave)

The jack is an important tool in case of a breakdown and can save you a lot of trouble. In the following video, you will find some brief information about the jack itself and how to use it.

Which jack is suitable for which vehicle?

There are different types of car jacks and the way they work. Which jack is suitable for which vehicle depends on whether the jack fits under the vehicle, whether it can lift it high enough and whether it can withstand the weight.

For small cars with an unladen weight between 1 and 1.5 tonnes, almost all jacks will fit. The scissor jack is often perfectly adequate.

Compact and mid-size cars can also weigh around 1.5 tonnes. It all depends on the lifting capacity. For heavier cars, hydraulic and manoeuvring jacks are more suitable.

Jacks that can lift up to 2.5 tonnes are suitable for upper middle class and luxury class cars.

An SUV or off-road vehicle can weigh up to 3.5 tonnes. This also has a higher ground clearance. Here you have to pay particular attention to lifting capacity and lifting height.

For lowered vehicles, you must pay attention to the underride height so that the jack also fits under the car. With a caravan, you should not only count the unladen weight, but also the payload.

Basically, any type of jack is suitable for any car as long as the underride height, lifting height and load capacity fit.

What does a car jack cost?

Prices vary greatly and depend on the type and quality of the device. The range of normal consumer car jacks can be from 10 to 300 euros.

The price depends on your use of the jack. If it is only used to take along for a breakdown, a cheaper scissor model will suffice. However, if you do a lot of tinkering with your car at home, a higher priced jack will suit your needs better.

Type Price
Scissor jack 10 € - 90 €
Manoeuvring jack 20 € - 300 €
Stamp jack 30 € - 250 €
Balloon jack 60 € - 200 €

What alternatives are there to jacks?

For somewhat larger repairs, it can quickly become inconvenient to work with a jack and jack stands.

In this case, you can resort to the following alternative options:

  • Drive-on ramp
  • Lifting ramp
  • Vehicle pit

The ramp is the easiest to use and it is also the cheapest version. You can get hold of a ramp for as little as 50 euros. It can also be used as a mobile ramp. However, they are larger and heavier than jacks

With a car jack, you naturally have the most freedom to repair your car, as you can lift it much higher. However, this is associated with very high costs.

A car lift is rarely bought for private use, but is mainly used in specialist workshops. (Image source: / Michael Kauer)

If you have the possibility, you can get a vehicle pit in the garage. This involves conversion work and high costs, but can bring added value in the long run.

Decision: What types of jacks are there and which one is right for you?

The features, handling and maintenance of each jack have advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you prefer and what you want to use the jack for, a different type is suitable for you.

In the following section, we would like to make the decision easier for you.

The following jack types with their different variants should be considered:

Jack type Functionality
Scissor jack Mechanical, electric, hydraulic
Shunting jack Hydraulic, pneumatic
Ram jack Hydraulic, pneumatic
Balloon jack Pneumatic

What distinguishes a scissor jack and what advantages and disadvantages does it offer?

The scissor jack is perfect to be carried in the car. It is small, light and easy to use.

The classic crank jack is the cheapest variant and is very space-saving. The hydraulic version lifts the car quickly and saves power, but is expensive and needs regular maintenance. The electric jack is attached to the car battery and thus lifts the car.

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight and space-saving
  • Easy to use
  • Suitable for breakdowns
  • More effort (crank version)
  • Lower lifting capacity and lifting height
  • Lower stability
  • No manoeuvring possible

What distinguishes a manoeuvring jack and what advantages and disadvantages does it offer?

Probably the biggest advantage of the manoeuvring jack is that you can manoeuvre your car with it. It is mainly hydraulically driven, which makes it easier to operate. It usually also has a higher lifting capacity than a scissor jack, for example.

  • Easy operation
  • Power-saving
  • Manoeuvrability
  • Shear and large
  • Careful lowering necessary
  • Maintenance required

What are the main features of a ram jack and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The main feature of the ram jack is its high lifting capacity, which can be up to 30 tonnes. It is available in hydraulic and pneumatic versions. Its characteristics make it suitable for heavy vehicles.

  • High lifting capacity
  • Suitable for SUVs and campers
  • Compact
  • Inexpensive
  • Lower lifting height
  • Precise attachment required
  • Lower stability
  • High dead weight

What are the characteristics of a balloon jack and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The air-cushion jack is made of tear-resistant plastic and is inflated via a hose attached to the exhaust. The balloon jack is mainly suitable for breakdowns, but does not necessarily need a hard surface.

However, you must be careful not to damage the plastic or let the hose slip off the exhaust.

  • Quick and easy to use
  • Little effort required
  • Space-saving and lightweight
  • Can be used on soft ground
  • Easily damaged
  • Additional securing required
  • Not suitable for regular use
  • Tricky to put on under the car

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate car jacks

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible car jacks.

The criteria with which you can compare the devices with each other include:

  • Load capacity
  • Lifting height and underride height
  • Stability and quality
  • Mode of operation (application)

In the following paragraphs we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria.

Load capacity

The load capacity determines the mass or load that the jack can lift. You must not exceed this load limit.

The jack must have a certain load-bearing capacity in order to lift the weight of your car safely. (Image source: / Counselling)

A simple scissor jack, for example, can lift a load of up to about 1.5 tonnes. Meanwhile, the ram jack has the highest lifting capacity with its up to 30 tonnes.

Before you buy a jack, you should first find out what lifting capacity your jack needs to lift your vehicle.

You can find out the unladen weight of your vehicle in the registration certificate and then select the appropriate jack.

Lifting height and underride height

The lifting height indicates how high the jack can lift the vehicle. The lower height determines whether the jack will fit under your car.

If your car is lower than the jack's minimum underride height, you cannot use it. And if the lifting height is not high enough to lift your car so that the tyre hovers just above the ground, it is not suitable for you either.

Stability and quality

The stability depends mainly on the base of the jack, with which it stands on the ground, and the surface itself.

Jacks with a small base area therefore absolutely need a stable base, otherwise the jack risks slipping.

Basically, you should check the quality of the jack before buying it, read reviews and make sure that the jack you want is TÜV-certified.

Function (use)

If you are going to use the jack mainly for changing tyres or in case of breakdowns, you should choose an uncomplicated jack. Your jack should be compact, light and quick to use.

There are the following ways in which a jack works:

  • mechanical
  • hydraulic
  • pneumatic
  • electric

The mechanical jack is fast and uncomplicated, but requires more effort. The hydraulic jack, which lifts the car using oil pressure, and the pneumatic jack, which lifts the car using air pressure, require no force to operate but must be maintained.

Electric jacks require no effort and are simply plugged into the cigarette lighter, but they take longer to lift the car.

Image source: / Davids Kokainis

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