Let's talk about upcoming after-Thanksgiving sales on tools

Every year, after Thanksgiving, there are good sales on power tools and hand tools. I am of course, talking about tools suitable for the do-it-yourselfer, not tools made for a professional mechanic to use every day.

I am specifically looking to buy a good quality floor jack that is low-profile and has a maximum lift of at least 19". I currently have the Pittsburgh 1.5 ton aluminum jack, which only has a maximum lift of 14". That is not enough lift for me to raise my Daewoo in order to change the oil, let alone to change the transmission fluid and filter.

If anyone is aware of a good upcoming sale, please post here!

We have a few of the Pittsburgh 3-ton floor jacks at work and they should lift your car high enough for your routine maintenance. I think they normally run about $100 so if they’re on sale they will be even cheaper than that. We keep a few of them around because they rarely last more than a year. The hydraulics work fine but the jacks are poorly made. The frames bend and buckle and wheels come off regularly. But like you said, you just need it for home use.

When you need extra height, it’s common to lift a car, put jack stands under it, then throw a 4X4 block of wood between the jack and car to raise it even higher.


If this is just for oil changes, I’d suggest getting a set of ramps instead.


Northern Tool often has a 3 ton Arcan for something like $150 this time of year. Really good jack. Low profile enough to get under my MR2’s seriously low front bumper. Otherwise Costco has a 2.5t Arcan for $100 at various times throughout the year.

How do you jack up an MR2 from the front?

There’s a jack point behind the spare tire well.

This is for more than just oil changes, but I also don’t like ramps. It’s too difficult to get a car, especially with front wheel drive to go onto the ramps but not overshoot and drive off. Then the car and ramps get damaged.

Long ago I learned to jack up cars and rest the wheels on bare rims laying on their sides and now that I’m home without a lift I fell back into that routine and feel there isn’t a safer way to deal with getting under there.

And I seem to recall that the MR2 had jack pads in each rocker panel @shadowfax.


I use jack stands. I jack from the front or rear center point and then slide the stands under the rocker points. The rim under the wheel works very well unless you’re doing brake/suspension work.

Harbor Freight is having a Black Friday sale in my area, and I notice from their advertisement which I picked up in-store that they have a couple of jacks on sale. Both are spec’d at 17-18 inch height. It would be nice to have a jack that reached that height. I usually have to resort to work-a-rounds involving blocks of wood.

Funny story. I was taking a neighborhood walk last summer and noticed a 6 x 6 x 48 inch block of douglas fir from a home-brew construction project a neighbor had finished, the wood was sitting there unused among a big pile of scrap wood for several months, all covered in mud. Next time the neighbor was there I mentioned that if he was planning to toss that block of wood anyway, I could use it for fixing my cars. If you leave wood scraps in a visible spot in this area you’ll eventually get a fine from the city, piles of wood are considered a fire hazard. He says “ok, I have no need for it, so you can have it”. I told him I’d be back with my truck to pick it up a little later. Too heavy to carry. I decided the old adage “he who hesitates is lost” is good to follow in this case, so I immediately returned with my truck, 5 minutes later. He had already strapped that block of wood to his hand truck and was about to haul it out of sight … lol … I guess he changed his mind. He still let me have it though. And the other wood is still there, covered in even more mud.

For years I used the cars jack and 3’ sections or railroad ties to get under the car. Now I have Rhino Ramps, a steel HF 3 ton and small 1 1/2 ton jack plus 4 jack stands although I won’t work under a car on 4 jack stands. Too wobbly. The aluminum HF jack gets poor reviews, as the poster says, it is too flimsy.

Ramps take up far more space under the car, versus floor jacks

Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend them

There is no way in ____ I’m getting underneath a vehicle supported by Harbor Fake jack stands

I’ve worked on plenty of vehicles supported by 4 jack stands, but they’ve always been professional use tools, not cheapo stuff


I got a flyer from Northern Tool. They just had discount cards though for about 10% off. Maybe on line they would offer similar.

I’ve got at least one car up on 4 stands at any given time. Often high enough to pull a transmission out from underneath. Car is more stable than on wheels on ground. I try rocking it from multiple directions before going under and it doesn’t budge one bit. Like db, I’m using quality stands and taking care in placing them for best support…

I like to browse a site called slickdeals.net at least once a day. It is user submitted deals on everything from TVs to computers to tools and pretty much all other consumer goods for that matter. Need a tool. Type “milwaukee” or whatever into the search and you never know what will come up. Need a coffee pot? Type “Kuerig” in and see what comes up. It can be dangerous but I like to get stuff like impact bits, sawzall blades, etc. from here. They have pretty much all the name brands as well as the cheaper ones represented. You can get what I consider “The Big Three” (Milwaukee, Makita, and Dewalt). I am not a huge Dewalt fan but have been picking up some bits and such that are too cheap to pass up. For the price I can deal with them not lasting as long as Makita or Milwaukee. Dewalt stuff fits my Milwaukees just fine. One of my recent projects with a circular saw ended up ruining a nice Milwaukee blade because there was metal in the wood and I was pretty much guaranteed to hit it. I didn’t use a sawzall because there was stuff behind the wood and set the depth low on the circ saw. Cheap blades are a great way to do this kind of work and not trash a good blade.

As for a floor jack, I did a search and yep, there are results! https://slickdeals.net/newsearch.php?forumchoice[]=4&forumchoice[]=9&forumchoice[]=10&forumchoice[]=13&forumchoice[]=25&forumchoice[]=30&forumchoice[]=38&forumchoice[]=39&forumchoice[]=41&forumchoice[]=44&forumchoice[]=53&forumchoice[]=54&forumchoice[]=71&q=floor+jack&firstonly=1

As for ramps, many are made with a lip so it is hard to drive over them. I often drive one wheel up on a ramp when changing oil, etc. I get more space to work and can tilt the oil pan so it drains out more completely.

Incidentally I noticed that NAPA is now taking on Craftsman tools, in addition to Ace and Lowes. Guess the brand has been sold but I still think why bother? The brand has been soiled.

I don’t have a single vehicle around here that will even go up onto car ramps. The noses are just too low and that includes my Sonoma pickup of all things.,

I very rarely use ramps anymore. I have made a couple of mods though to make them more useful. I built removable extensions to allow a lower car (little Honda) to drive up on them. Just angle iron wit a couple bolts to hook into the holes on the ramps but it works. Then because they would slide on the garage floor, I welded pieces of hole stock (what the hey are those called?) on the front and drilled holes in the garage floor to insert a bolt in the concrete to hold them in place. I can move them right or left as needed and just stick a plug in the hole in the concrete when not in use. I don’t like working on cars anymore so most of the time they just gather dust.

I will say I didn’t scroll through ALL of those floor jacks . . . I did look a the first 2 pages . . . and there wasn’t anything I’d feel comfortable using