aluminum floor jack

Best Aluminum Floor Jack Reviews

Best Aluminum Floor Jack Reviews 2019

While every car owner needs a jack from time to time, some will need a jack quite often–especially if they are professional mechanics. With a wealth of options, it may seem like the additional expense of a high-quality floor jack is more than you need. However, with the rise of aluminum floor jacks, even the average consumer can find a great deal of benefit from using a light-weight product that was once restricted to professional garages. That is why we present you with a list of the 5 best aluminum floor jacks as well as a handy FAQ. While we think Blackhawk and Sunex steal the show, they may not be the best option for your garage.

Blackhawk B6350 Black/Red Fast Lift Service Jack – 3.5 Ton Capacity – Best Seller

blackhawk aluminum floor jack b6350
https://www.amazon.com/Blackhawk-B6350-Black-Fast-Service/dp/B0054WGRBA/
Unless you are familiar with the automotive tool industry, you may not necessarily have heard of Blackhawk tools, but those familiar with the industry are well-aware of this brand. In fact, Blackhawk tools have been around for over a century and are now part of the Shinn Fu of America Corporation automotive tool conglomerate. Of course, the age-old saying ‘they don’t make them like they used to’ is something many of the old-school mechanics say, but that still has not slowed down Blackhawk tools in the marketplace. To that end, the Blackhawk floor jack is by and away our top pick for the best floor jack that we reviewed.

Bigger and Badder
Distinguishing between different floor jacks and zeroing in on what separates one for the other can be a bit difficult, especially since most manufacturers use a similar design with similar components. However, the Blackhawk floor jack goes the extra mile to make sure that they provide one of the better options on the market and are even able to accomplish this feat for a far lower price than their competitors. In fact, the Blackhawk B6350 floor jack is actually the least expensive product reviewed on our list. As if that were not enough, this is also one of the best performing floor jacks we saw in a wide range of categories. Of course, the most obvious category that the Blackhawk surpasses the competition in its maximum weight capacity which sits comfortably at 3 ½ tons. This is important because not only will it allow you to lift nearly every consumer-grade vehicle on the market, but it will also allow you to lift most commercial-grade 2-axle vehicles as well.

Like a Slab
On top of the ability to lift a higher maximum capacity, the Blackhawk floor jack also has the ability to lift the vehicles to a higher maximum height than any other product we reviewed as well. To wit, the Blackhawk B6350 floor jack has a maximum lift height of 22” which is almost a full 3” taller than the next closest competitor that we reviewed. Unfortunately, this expanded size also shows up in a number of ways that are less than ideal. For instance, while the Blackhawk floor jack can lift a vehicle higher than any other we saw, it also has the tallest minimum clearance on our list as well. This means that vehicles with lower clearances, especially those which have been lowered aftermarket, may be too low to the ground for this floor jack to fit in place. On top of that, this is also the heaviest floor jack that we reviewed by far coming in at nearly 50-percent heavier than its next closest competitor. Thankfully, this is not simply dead weight as the Blackhawk floor jack is also the most durable product that we reviewed too.

Pros

  • Has the tallest maximum lift height reviewed
  • Is the least expensive floor jack
  • Has the highest weight capacity of 3 ½ tons
  • Is the most durable floor jack reviewed
  • Has a safe swivel saddle
  • Has numerous safety protections

Cons

  • Has the tallest minimum clearance
  • Is the heaviest floor jack reviewed

Sunex 6603ASJ Aluminum Floor Jack, 3-Ton – Top Pick

sunex aluminum floor jack 6603asj
https://www.amazon.com/Sunex-6603ASJ-Aluminum-Floor-3-Ton/dp/B00F3I2390/
After Blackhawk, the name prestige of automotive floor jack manufacturers decreases a great deal with few people able to recognize the other important companies in the market. Still, Sunex Tools definitely deserves to be on that short list of noteworthy manufacturers as they have been manufacturing tools for over three decades. On top of that, Sunex also specializes explicitly in the automotive tool market with hand tools, pneumatic tools, and various other automotive accessories. Granted, compared to the top pick on our list, Sunex might seem like a pale comparison, but there are a couple of particular circumstances where the Sunex is actually the superior choice for your needs.

Easy Power
One thing that often gets overlooked when purchasing a floor jack is exactly how easy it is to use the floor jack. Since floor jacks almost always use a hydraulic lift mechanism, it is a common mistake to assume that using the product will be easy. While figuring out to use an aluminum hydraulic jack is not terribly difficult, the ergonomics of the jack may not always make it the most convenient. Thankfully, the Sunex 6603ASJ aluminum floor jack uses Rapid Rise technology to ensure that you get the most lift out of every pump. This reduces the amount of effort you have to apply while also reducing the amount of strain the lift handle has to undergo.

Solid Specs
Outside of the easy lift mechanism, another great quality of the Sunex floor jack is the second-tallest maximum lift height on our list. With a maximum lift height of just over 19”, the high lift aluminum floor jack provides more than enough clearance to get underneath the vehicle. On top of that, while this aluminum floor jack also has the second tallest minimum height clearance, it is not nearly as tall as the tallest and will not exclude too many factory-standard models from use. Even better, if you find that the Sunex is not quite up to snuff, there are actually a wealth of different options to choose from.

Pros

  • Comes in a variety of sizes
  • Has a maximum lift height of 19 ⅓”
  • Has Rapid Rise technology
  • Has a rubber saddle pad and foam bumper pad
  • Has numerous safety protections
  • Is a fairly lightweight floor jack

Cons

  • Is a more expensive aluminum floor jack
  • Has a somewhat taller minimum clearance

Arcan XL20 Black Service Jack – Best Value

arcan aluminum floor jack xl20
https://www.amazon.com/Sunex-XL20-Black-Service-Jack/dp/B00BMPFI6I/
Arcan tools have not actually been around all that long, around a decade or so, but they have quickly made their mark on the automotive tool industry for providing a solid, professional-grade product at a much more reasonable price than some of their competitors. This is not to suggest that everything has been peaches and cream as the brand is definitely considered a bit more of a mid-tier product. It is also worth noting that Arcan is actually owned by Power Station LLC which also owns another subsidiary on our list. That said, if you are looking for a solid floor jack that will not take a big bite out of your wallet, this could easily be the best value you come across.

Particular Environment
Easily one of the best qualities of the Arcan XL20 floor jack has to be its durability which arguably its top selling point. To be fair, the durability will necessarily need to be better than most as this floor jack has the lowest maximum weight capacity our of any other product we reviewed at only 2 tons. This is important because while 2 tons is more than sufficient for most consumer-grade cars, it is definitely not suitable for a wide range of trucks and SUVs. This makes the Arcan floor jack far better suited for your personal garage at home that it does a professional garage. Of course, if a professional mechanic specializes in cars as opposed to larger vehicles, then this is still a great deal.

Mighty Mouse
Another great quality of the Arcan XL20 is the fact that it is much more compact that the overwhelming majority of the other floor jacks on our list. While this may not necessarily be such a big deal in a professional garage, it is likely far more important for a personal garage where space is generally limited. That said, this is one of the heavier floor jacks that we saw, so its compact frame can make maneuvering it a bit tricky. Thankfully, it also has one of the lowest minimum clearance heights we found at 3 ½” with a respectable maximum lift height of 18 ½”, providing more than enough room for even low riding vehicles.

Pros

  • Is a less expensive aluminum floor jack
  • Is a more compact floor jack
  • Is more durable than most
  • Has a universal joint release mechanism
  • Has numerous safety protections
  • Has a dual piston pump

Cons

  • Has the lowest weight capacity of only 2 tons
  • Is a heavier floor jack

Arcan ALJ3T, Aluminum Floor Jack, 3 Ton Capacity – Runner Up

arcan aluminum floor jack alj3t
https://www.amazon.com/Arcan-ALJ3T-Aluminum-Floor-Jack/dp/B0047D2FWM/
Though it may be at the lower rungs of our list, the Arcan ALJ3T aluminum floor jack has already earned an impressive reputation in the automotive industry for setting the bar with the newer floor jacks. In fact, this lightweight hydraulic jack is arguably what allowed Arcan to ascend to the top of the market in such a short span of time. However, as one of the original models, this floor jack does have a few more warts than some of its competitors and is most hindered by aspects that have nothing to do with the product’s performance at all.

Up and Down
While this particular Arcan aluminum floor jack actually provides a greater maximum weight capacity than its higher rated brethren, there are actually some issues that need to be addressed before we get into the good meat of the review. Specifically, this is easily the most expensive floor jack on our list, and it does little to truly justify that price at this point in its product lifecycle. To be fair, this is not truly the fault of the Arcan ALJ3T as its popularity allows the company to sell the lightweight car jack at a somewhat inflated price. However, one of the genuine issues with this floor jack is the fact that it takes nearly twice as many pumps to raise it to its maximum lift height than any other product we reviewed.

The Good
Of course, if you are not terribly concerned with price or ease, this is still a top-tier product. For instance, this is by far one of the most maneuverable aluminum floor jacks that we reviewed due in a large part to its relatively lightweight design. Sadly, that lightweight design is not enhanced by a compact profile, but it does feature sidebars to make it easier to transport from place to place. On top of that, this lightweight jack is also one of the first in the series to include piston dust shields to help prevent the hydraulic mechanism from getting bogged down and gunky.

Pros

  • Has a rubber saddle pad
  • Has numerous safety protections
  • Has a lower minimum clearance
  • Is a lighter floor jack
  • Is easier to maneuver
  • Has piston dust shields

Cons

  • Is the most expensive aluminum floor jack reviewed
  • Takes more strokes to raise to the maximum height

NOS NSJ0301 3-Ton Aluminum Service Jack – Also Consider

nos aluminum floor jack nsj0301
https://www.amazon.com/NSJ0301-3-Ton-Aluminum-Service-Jack/dp/B00A3ZE3IC/
NOS is definitely an interesting company as it is the second subsidiary company on our list owned by Power Station LLC. However, unlike other brands owned by this parent company, NOS has actually been around for over two decades and was a popular and successful company before being acquired by Power Station LLC. That said, the company has been relegated to the amateur enthusiast market which is not nearly as high-quality as the professional-grade market– though, you may not necessarily be a professional.

Specific Setting
Since the brand actually got its start and fame as a maker of tools for aftermarket purposes, as the name suggests, this aluminum car jack is squarely situated at the upper echelons of the consumer-grade market. This is not inherently a bad thing, but it does mean that the NOS aluminum floor jack is a bit more limited than some of the other products we reviewed. This may come as a bit of a surprise considering it is rated for a 3-ton maximum weight capacity. However, this is also the least durable aluminum jack that we reviewed as well and is best suited for working on tuner cars.

Powerful Punch
Despite the fact that it should not be pushed to its rated limits, the NOS floor jack is still a solid option for consumer-grade garages. One of the main benefits this particular product offers is a much more manageable size than many of the other lightweight floor jacks on our list. For instance, this is easily the lightest aluminum floor jack we found sitting at a svelte 27 pounds. On top of that, this low profile aluminum floor jack also provides one of the most compact profiles we found as well. When you combine these two qualities, the NOS NSJ0301 aluminum floor jack is easily the most maneuverable and portable floor jack we saw.

Pros

  • Is a more compact floor jack
  • Has a lower minimum clearance
  • Has numerous safety protections
  • Has a dual piston pump
  • Is easier to maneuver
  • Has a rubber saddle pad

Cons

  • Is a somewhat more expensive aluminum floor jack
  • Not the most durable

FAQ

Why choose an aluminum floor jack?

These days, there are a multitude of different jacks that you can choose from, but each will provide something skewed more towards one niche or another. Of course, any capable quality jack will be useful in a range of different situations, but whether or not it is the best option is a different matter altogether. As such, it is important to understand when, where, and for what an aluminum floor jack is best suited. Consider that while a floor jack may present some distinct advantages over many of the other types of jacks available, it also has a fair number of potential issues to reconcile as well.

The main things to make sure you have a handle on are the limits of the floor jack, and this is about far more than simple weight limits. Floor jacks, as the name suggests, are intended to be used in an indoor environment or one where the ground is level. This means that floor jacks are not the type of jack that you should keep in the trunk of your car for a flat tire. A scissor, screw, or bottle jack are all superior options for the most common situation that the average person would find themselves needing a jack for in the first place.

Because of this, you should only purchase a floor jack if you have a commercial garage or are regularly working on vehicles in your own garage. Aside from the fact that floor jacks are significantly larger and heavier than most other types of jacks, they are also much more expensive. Where you can buy a solid jack for the road for under $100, there is virtually no high-quality floor jack that will be less than $100. If you do happen to find one under that line, you should be fairly suspicious and not at all surprised if the pumping piston or the components fail much quicker than you expected.

What weight rating to choose?

To the untrained eye, this might seem like the most important consideration, but in reality, it is less relevant than you might first think. Granted, the weight capacity of the floor jack will definitely impact what you can use the floor jack for, but most vehicles fall within a small range of weights. For instance, most vehicles regardless of the type, make, or model fall within the average weight capacity of floor jacks.

On average this will range anywhere from 2000 pounds to 4000 pounds which is actually only 1 to 2 tons. That said, many of the larger trucks or vehicles can get up to or over 6000 pounds or 3 tons, though that is definitely within the minority of consumer-grade vehicles on the road. In fact, even for pickup trucks, you generally will only find a vehicle 3 tons or heavier once you get to the commercial-grade size. Of course, there are a few full-size sedans that hover around this weight range, but they are almost always luxury vehicles that have enough additional features and a higher quality of craftsmanship to account for the increased weight.

That said, for the overwhelming majority of people, including most garages, a 3-ton floor jack will suffice for 90-percent of all consumer vehicles. Of course, if you are looking for a floor jack for a commercial garage, then you are going to want to get a floor jack with a little bit more weight capacity, generally one that is either rated for 3 ½ tons to 4 tons, or 7000 pounds to 8000 pounds. It is important to note that rarely will a jack of that weight capacity reach its limit, but this also brings up the realities of floor jacks too.

Specifically, a floor jack may have a maximum weight capacity, but that does not necessarily mean that you should push that limit to its maximum. This is because floor jacks generally use a hydraulic lifting mechanism which will wear out over time, especially if you are not consistent with its maintenance. It is also important to remember that you should not leave a vehicle suspended on the floor jack as this will degrade the hydraulic sleeve’s integrity much quicker than the manufacturer’s recommended use. This is where jack stands come into play, though that is a discussion for another day.

The best secondary considerations

With the decision to purchase a floor jack in the first place and furthermore choosing one made of aluminum out of the way, it can be a bit difficult to figure out what other qualities are actually relevant. As mentioned prior, the weight capacity is generally not going to be much of an issue as a preponderance of floor jacks are rated for the overwhelming majority of consumer vehicles on the road today. However, understanding which features after those three are meaningful to your needs can be a bit difficult to suss out ahead of time.

By far the most important consideration after those three deal with the different height capacities of the floor jack. That said, it is important to remember that a floor jack is not judged simply on how high it can lift the vehicle, but how low it can get in the first place. This is a vital aspect of floor jacks because many first-time buyers will see a floor jack with an impressive maximum lift height and ignore that it also has a tall minimum clearance. Of course, if the vehicle is set too low to the ground, whether as part of its factory design or due to aftermarket alterations, a floor jack with a tall maximum lift and minimum clearance may not fit underneath your vehicle.

Since you are looking for an aluminum floor jack, we can safely assume that you are also looking to avoid some of the difficulties that accompany floor jacks made of other materials. The most notable improvement that aluminum provides over alternative materials is a significant reduction in weight. While it might seem irrelevant, aluminum floor jacks are often half as heavy as some of their competitors. It is important to remember, however, that aluminum floor jacks are not traditionally as durable or strong as other materials.

This is not to suggest that aluminum is a weak or poor material for floor jacks, and manufacturers have gone a long way in using better engineering designs to maximize aluminum’s strength. Still, you will definitely have to gauge how lightweight of a floor jack you need against how durable the jack needs to be as well. It is also worth noting that aluminum floor jacks are often chosen specifically because they will be transported from one location to another. This is common for commercial garages where you might need to take the floor jack home or if you are part of a racing group and need the floor jack for use during competitions.

After the weight and durability considerations are balanced, one of the next most important factors involves ergonomics. This may seem a bit odd, but those who use floor jacks all day already know how tiresome they can be. One of the biggest benefits you can find is a floor jack that takes a few pumps or strokes to achieve maximum lift height. This is generally accomplished with a superior pumping piston mechanism, though this can perniciously difficult to properly determine ahead of time and will often require using the floor jack to get a good sense of.

Conclusion

As we can see, the kind of aluminum floor jack that will best suit your needs comes down to your setting more than anything else. While our best-rated aluminum floor jacks, the Blackhawk and Sunex, offer a sturdier design, greater maximum weight capacities, and taller maximum lift heights, they are also better suited for larger, commercial garages. Conversely, while the NOS aluminum floor jack is not as durable, it is much lighter and easier to take to races than its larger competitors. Finally, the Arcans serve as a great bridge for those who need a bit more strength but also intend to keep their floor jacks safely stowed in their home garage.

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