The Best Engine Stand and Cradle for the Money

Any real car nut is going to have to get under the hood before too long, but the real enthusiasts find the hood far too constraining. In order to get every little component to upgrade, fine tune, and improve, you need to take the engine out of the vehicle. Only with 360-degree access can you truly get your car to the state that you want. To help you in your endeavor, we have put together a list of the best engine stands as well as the best engine cradle. We think that JEGS is the best bet for most people with a wide variety of options and features and a price tag that will not take too big of a bit out of your wallet.

Top Pick (Engine Stand)

JEGS 80059 Rotating Engine Stand

When you consider the best engine stand for the money, the first thing you have to do is remove all of the premium products as they add a number of minor features simply to inflate the price. This is not to suggest those additional features have no value, but it can be argued that the difference in price does not add up. In this case, the best engine stand for the money is likely going to be an OEM manufacturer who makes the products that other professional companies use. Though founded in 1960, JEGS transitioned into the OEM market where they manufacture a number of different automotive parts, components, and tools.

To this very day, JEGS is also one of the few companies who still sell engine stands made in the USA. Still, as an OEM company, you would normally expect a JEGS engine stand to be purely functional, but the JEGS 80059 can punch well above its weight class. This has to do with its rotating mount that offers versatility, ease, and the ability to work as few other engine stands can. Even top-tier brands with high-priced engine stands have difficulty competing with this rotating engine stand primarily because of how easy it is to use.

More often than not, a rotating engine stand will provide 360-degrees of access but only along a set number of stops. With the JEGS 80059 engine stand with crank, you can literally turn the engine to any angle or degree that you want, and this engine overhaul stand will lock the engine in that position. While this is not the only product on the market to offer that feature, the other entries are still fairly slim. For good measure, this entire product is made of steel and powder-coated to protect it from rust or corrosion. On top of that, it comes with 4 wheels to easily transport it from one place to another. The only real downside from our perspective is that it is the most expensive product on our list. However, when you look at the other rotating engine stands with infinite locking points, this model is often close to half the price of its competition.

Pros

  • Has a 1000 lb weight capacity
  • Has 4 wheels, 2 fixed, 2 caster
  • Has a rotating mount
  • Is easy to adjust
  • Folds for easy storage
  • Made of steel

Cons

  • The most expensive product reviewed

Runner Up

JEGS 80040 Engine Stand

While the JEGS 80040 may not be quite as impressive as the flagship model engine stand, it is still more than in-line with its actual peers. It is important to note that there are not too terribly many differences between this engine stand and the JEGS rotating engine stand. In fact, this engine stand is more than capable of moving and adjusting the position of the engine so that it best suits you too. The main difference is that it is nowhere near as easy to adjust this engine stand if for no other reason than because it has a fixed number of locking positions. Still, the JEGS 80040 engine block stand offers much of the same high quality that made the JEGS80059 our best engine stand for the money.

Of course, it is worth remembering that the JEGS rotating engine stand is also the most expensive product that we reviewed, and JEGS happens to make significantly less expensive engine stands–like this one, for instance. With a 1000 lb weight capacity, this JEGS engine stand may not be able to handle big blocks, but it can still easily handle most other sizes of engine. In fact, this could easily be considered the best small block engine stand for the money. This is because even amongst the less convenient engine stands, the JEGS 80040 is one of the less expensive options on the market that also has a good reputation. It is not every day that you see an American company selling engine stands made in the USA for less than overseas manufacturers.

While the head may not rotate the same way the JEGS 80059 engine stand’s might, this cheap engine stand does still feature 360-degree mounting from the onset. It is also made of steel which is then protected from rust and corrosion with a powder-coating. Similarly, the JEGS 80040 small block engine stand can be easily moved upon its 2 fixed wheels and 2 fully rotating caster wheels. Finally, this engine stand does not fold for easy storage, but it is nearly as simple to disassemble select key pieces for fairly compact storage.

Pros

  • Made of steel
  • Has a 1000 lb weight capacity
  • Has a 360-degree mounting head
  • Has 4 wheels, 2 fixed, 2 caster
  • Is easy to assemble
  • A less expensive product

Cons

  • Not as easy to adjust

Top Pick (Engine Cradle)

JEGS 80064 Engine Cradle

There are generally two types of consumers that use an engine cradle: the first are professional mechanics who regularly hold and move engines around their shop and in and out of vehicles. The other consumer who purchases an engine cradle is generally bargain-shopper looking to avoid the excess costs associated with an engine stand. Regardless of the type of customer, we once again feel that JEGS offers the best all-around value with a price that is about as low as a professional-grade tool can go. That said, much like the previous JEGS products, this is best understood as an extremely effective OEM product. This means that a fair number of bells and whistles that affect convenience more than anything else are left off of this product to help keep its costs low.

In terms of its actual capabilities, the JEGS 80064 is the best small engine cradle that we saw and definitely at this low price point. It would have been nice to see a 1000 lb weight capacity just in case, but those engines likely require a heavy duty engine stand as opposed to an engine cradle. That said, the 750 lb weight capacity is fully within the industry standards and might make this the best small block engine cradle that we came across. Even though it is a fairly unobtrusive product, the JEGS engine cradle still uses quality materials to ensure that it can handle regular work. The tubing features a square shape and is made of steel then powder-coated to help protect against rust and corrosion.

The Jegs 80064 engine cradle also features 4 fully rotating caster wheels so that transporting the engine from one side of the shop to other is a breeze. Another minor touch that makes all the difference for professional mechanics are the 8 screw holes for the engine’s mounting screws. This will help make sure that you never lose another mounting screw again.

Pros

  • Has a 750 lb weight capacity
  • Made of steel
  • Has powder-coated finish
  • Has 4 caster wheels
  • The least expensive product reviewed
  • Has 8 mounting bolt holes

Cons

  • Has the lowest weight capacity reviewed

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