Floor Jack purchase, need guidance

I work on our 3 cars, the heaviest being a Mazda CX-9, the new addition. For the last 7 years, have used a $20 two ton floor jack (Team Machanix) from advanced auto, along with 2 ton stands. It is only able to lift one tire at a time on my Van and Camry, has also started to leak oil. I am not going to fix it.

The Mazda does not have a good spot for jacking one tire at a time, the points are on the cross membrane, so unless I want to damage to body, I have to jack half the car up (front or rear). No way my jack can do that.

So without braking the bank, these are my candidates for purchase. My DIY projects are engine/transmission oil, brakes and brake fluid flushes, maybe some basic suspension work and anything else that comes up and I can do without danger to my life. The Mazda seems to require the highest lift height, not sure how much yet though since not been able to get the tires off ground. I always use the stands as anybody should, have safety goggles, and throw the tires under the car.

1- Home depot online, not sure about the extension pipe;

2- Sears;

3- Two different options from Harbor freight; low profile is nice if I ever get my sporty midlife crisis car :slight_smile:

4- This jack I can get from local Costco for $100

@galant I recommend OTC and HeinWerner (formerly Lincoln) for the jacks and jack stands

I personally wouldn’t feel too safe using 1, 2 or 3

The Sears link didn’t open up

I’m a mechanic so I’m used to paying more for tools and equipment than the DIY crowd, but I wouldn’t use any of the jacks you listed, especially for the CX-9.

+1 to db4690 above. Spend a few hundred dollars on a quality jack.

I have a Michelin 3.5 ton Speedy Lift hydraulic floor jack that I bought at Sam’s Club about 15 years ago. It was $70 then. It’s fast, sturdy, and a good jack for home use. I doubt that Michelin built it. Maybe one of the two manufacturers @db4690 mentioned builds it. I just checked Sam’s Club and they don’t sell it anymore. Worth looking for, IMO.


I don’t believe OTC and HeinWerner/Lincoln ever made $70 jacks

What color is it?

HeinWerner/Lincoln are navy blue with yellow casters and “handles”

OTC is sky blue and white

Whatever you decide, my advice would be to avoid Sears Craftsman as that name has been prostituted by Chinese junk. Even the quality of basic hand tools has gone down a notch or two.

Four jacks in a row (2T, Two 2.5T, and a 3T) led to one failing right out of the box and the other three dying early deaths over a short period of time even with light use.

Navy blue with black casters. Since I bought it at Sam’s, I would guess that it was normally over $100. If Michelin was an off-brand for OTC or Lincoln, they may have charged less for it as well.

@db4690 and everybody else. Thanks for the comments. Those jacks are pricier than my budget. The DIY is my hobby and saves me some money, but as you can see, a $20 jack lasted me 7 years and it is still working, so see it difficult to justify more expensive ones. There are still a lot of other tools I am short of.

If Craftsman is less recommended than Harbor Freight, then times have surely changed. The costco jack gets great reviews, but weighs 100 lbs itself.

The craftsman that you probably referred to (Item # 00950139000P Model # 50139) looks solid. I’m sure that it will serve you well. BTW, Sears has an OITC 2.5 ton floor jack for $121. Would you consider that? Maybe it’s available somewhere else on the web for less. The Sears Item# is 00990104000 | Model# 1503A. The label on the jack says “The Stinger”. $121 is a really good price for it. Advance Auto Parts (owned by Sears) wants $281, and it’s $148 at Amazon.

Check out craigslist in your area. Here in Denver, there a few floor jacks listed for under $100.


Stinger is the cheapo line of OTC

Stinger is usually Chinese built

OTC is often made in USA

All good comments above. I don’t have experience with any of these, so I’ll defer to the experts here. My one comment, based on my own floor jack experience – I work on both a light weight, low to the ground Toyota Corolla and a fairly heavy, high clearance Ford 4wd truck – make sure the jack specs meets your weight requirements, and the high and low extremes. It’s very frustrating if the jack won’t fit under what it needs to fit under when retracted, and when the jack hits its vertical limit, when you still have another 1/2 inch to clear the tab on the jackstands.

To me speed isn’t that important. If it takes another minute to jack the car, that’s fine w/me. As long as it safely lifts the weight and has the range.

One add’l question I have for others here about floor jacks. Jacking up just one wheel of the Corolla requires placing the jack at a place where there is a 3/8 inch metal seam running lengthwise down the underside of the car. If I just placed the jack there, it would crush the seam. So what I did was sawed a slice (90 degrees to the grain) in a small piece of 2 x 4 lumber that just fits the car’s seam. Then I place that between the jack and the car.

Is that a good and safe idea? Or am I looking for trouble? It seems like lots of folks must have this problem, but I’ve never seen anything to solve it. It seems like the best sol’n would be something like a hockey puck with a groove in it to fit the seam. Anybody have ideas?


For several years I owned a 1995 Corolla and regularly jacked it up on those “3/8 inch metal seams” . . . they were not crushed. And I jacked it up plenty of times.

On the other hand, I personally have had bad luck with those pieces of lumber. I’ve used them on other cars and they usually split fairly quickly

@GeorgeSanJose; I know people carve a hockey puck instead of the wood. It is more resilient, carving it is apparently a lot of work too.

The OTC looks good.

If I wanted to jack one wheel at a time, is the rear control arm safe? The only jacking point for the jack that came with the car is good for stands.

Hey, maybe there’s a business opportunity buying hockey pucks, carving a notch in them, and selling them for this purpose? lol

You need to look in the owner’s manual for the recommended jacking points. It’s worth the trouble, even if you lost your owner’s manual and have to visit your local library and look at their Motor Manuals for your car. If you jack anywhere besides the recommended points, you could damage something.

The owner’s manual shows the jacking point for the scissor jacks, it has a cut in them to fit the body part. The service manual shows the middle of the rear cross membrane and same for the front. The rear one has something welded to extend the cross membrane and doesn’t feel sturdy. I am also debating using my current jack and do it one wheel at a time, just difficult to find the proper spot.

@db4690, I don’t have a problem with things made overseas. Did you know that IBM Thinkpads were built in China by Lenovo? My iPhone was built in China, and it’s the best cellular phone I’ve ever owned. Not all Chinese products are junk. If OTC makes top notch products, why would they buy garbage from China to sell with their name on it? OTC more likely buys a product that they are pleased to sell to the American buyer, and the cost for this high quality product just happens to to be best from China. Remember that it’s a two way street. Both OTC and their contract manufacturer have to work together to build a product worth of the OTC name. It isn’t easy, and it requires OTC to send people to China frequently to make sure the job is done right. Product disasters usually occur when the US buyer doesn’t pay attention to the supplier after the deal is cut.


Yes, I realize that more and more things are being produced overseas

However, for hand tools, I prefer American made

OTC’s stinger line is their budget line and the products are made in China

The “regular” OTC line is still made in the USA

So it boils down to this . . . the “real stuff” is still made in the USA

At least as far as those particular OTC tools are concerned

The same could be said for Snap-On and Bluepoint. A Bluepoint creeper I bought many years ago had a caster break off and once the caster was off I could see the manufacturer’s stamp. That stamp looked vaguely familiar so I dug out an old creeper.

It had the same stamp as an old K-Mart brand creeper I had chunked into the corner after a caster broke off of it. The only difference was the ink logo and the color of the vinyl on the headrest and of course, the Bluepoint price was many times higher… :slight_smile:

Personally, I think Craftsman quality even on hand tools is down as over the last half a dozen or so years I’ve had a number of tool failures that really should not have happened. Sears replaces them but the breakages should not have happened at all.

One was a 1/2" drive breakover that I owned for probably 25 years with never a problem. Eventually the drive sheared in half and Sears swapped it out with no questions asked of course. Over the next 3 years the breakover drive broke in half twice more in the same manner and at this moment in time I need to have Sears swap it out yet again as the drive has about a 20 degree twist in it so it’s toast also.

Don’t get anything quick pump unless you are in a hurry. Keep it simple. I bought a 2.25 ton garage jack from Harbor Freight four years ago for $70. It seems to be just like the ones I used at school in1972. Use the oriental cardboard as a garage air freshener. It will choke the termites.