Lousy jack stands

The failing jack stand doesn’t know whether it’s sitting in a shop holding up a fleet car or in a driveway holding up a Sundance.

It’s all just playing the odds, and we all do things we know to be unsafe. I smoke cigarettes, that’s a bad thing to do, but I’ve decided it’s worth it to me.

I remember destroying a harmonic balancer with an HF remover once that a Lisle or OTC tool would have made short work of.

I’m just a DIYer so what do I know. Jack stand quality is one thing but twice on two of my aged vehicles, the jack went right through the pinch weld jack supports. So even if you’ve got a high quality jack stand, to me the weaker pinch welds are something to be careful of. Like I said before and others will disagree, but I much prefer ramps instead with jack stand back ups. So while a car may be sitting ok on jack stands for a year, rust has been hard at work during that year. Just me.

I don’t like being under cars and can understand the guy with the beat up face. Helping my BIL put an engine in once, I was underneath and the chain on the hoist slipped dropping the engine in the cradle. Kaboom it came down. No harm no foul, just a couple bruised bones but got a little idea of what it is like. Of course I was younger so could scurry out from under the thing pretty fast.

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On the idea of buying Snap-On or other quality used tools through Ebay, years ago I decided I wasn’t going to do it. I’m a natural cheapskate, but I do not want to be putting money in the hands of thieves who steal tools from mechanics or any skilled trade worker. With Ebay there’s no way to know why the seller has the tools. Tool theft just angers me more than I can explain.

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The guy’s harbor fake ball joint kit broke the FIRST time he used it . . .

That’s just one of the reasons I was laughing so hard :laughing:

Personally . . . meaning at home . . . I use Hein-Werner jack stands and jacks

I feel it’s a reasonable “compromise” . . . well made, made in USA, but not as expensive as snap-on

It’s not my job to wonder why or how that stuff wound up on ebayd

I also hate theft . . . but I can’t and won’t assume that all or even most of the professional tools on ebay were stolen

I haven’t bought anything on ebay for probably ten years but it seemed like a lot of the offers were from pawn shops. Who knows where the pawn shops get the stuff but I have bought tools there. Most of the stuff was reasonably well used and needing some work so it would be understandable why a professional would have sold it there. The better pawn shops though generally are pretty careful about taking in stolen items. At least around here.

Professional mechanics use better tools than driveway warriors. Professional chefs use better kitchen ware than backyard barbecues. As we were cleaning up after dinner tonight this topic came to mind so I’ll attach a pic of my ice cream scoop and pizza cutter.


Nice tools. I’ve got a drill that color but it says Black and Decker though. Prolly cost less than the ice cream scoop.

We’ve all had the Pro tool vs the weekend warrior tool conversation… I doubt anyone would raise their hand and say there is no difference. We all know there is…however, I think the main focus here should be the fact that no one should be able to sell an item, that is used the way a jack stand is used…and it fail ANY test.

I mean a block of wood would honestly not fail any of the stress tests or useability tests that these stands are likely put through… so a simple steel stand assy should certainly not fail …in any way. It simply should not be allowed, I guess is my point.

I mean, do I have to cut a few hunks of wood…paint them and put them in a box and slap a label on it stating that these “car stands” are made from “a new light weight super strong material that cannot fail” on the box? Did I just invent the new Pet Rock? Dude I just paid $39.99 for two chunks of 6x6…lol

I’ve had dumber ideas people.


When I was a kid, my parents taught me a valuable lesson by allowing me to respond to one of those ads in the back of kids magazine advertising magic animals with pictures of mythical sea creatures. As you know, what arrived was basically brine shrimp. A controlled fall…but learned a valuable lesson.

People can market and sell just about anything. Most companies won’t make outright garbage for fear of being sued out of existence. But any company making good products they stand behind will also subject those products to safety and/or compliance testing. Then they affix a label or seal from that accredited testing body to show they complied. Consumers need to look beyond price to see what they are actually buying. It’s almost impossible to legislate. Where I work, none of our customers will accept a product that doesn’t meet certain industry standards and we pay small fortunes to get that testing and accreditation done.

Your example made me think of the discussion following my parents lesson. My mom told me about someone she knew that responded to an ad for a bug killing solution guaranteed to work. A miracle solution. When it arrived, it was two blocks of wood with instructions for placing the bug between them.


Be back later. Starting new business.

I also think country of origin is meaningless as far as quality, yet you often see “I won’t buy that Chinese crap” or “I won’t buy anything but made in USA tools.”

Well, OK, but what’s really important is manufacturing quality. China is perfectly capable of manufacturing products at exceedingly high quality levels, but unsurprisingly, the factories that do that expect to be paid for it. Conversely, US factories are perfectly capable of turning out crap, and will happily do so if the customer tells them to cut costs (and corners).

So when a US-based company goes over to China and tells a factory owner that they want a million widgets at 5 cents per unit so that they can sell 'em here for 15 bucks and make an enormous profit, the Chinese factory will happily make those widgets out of pot metal and chewing gum, because that’s what their customer demanded. It’s not Chinese manufacturing ability that’s causing so much cheap crap to come from China, it’s their customer’s demand for cheap crap.


Well gee I remember sending 50 cents in for a Davy Crockett cabin. It was essentially a plastic bag that fit over the card table. It was printed on though so worth the 50 cents.

The point is not that China cannot make quality but that they in many cases fail to make quality. If I read it correctly, the stand failure was due to not changing tooling soon enough so the tools were too worn to make a proper fit. Scrimp is what people do when they are on a shoe string budget and the results can be catastrophic. How many examples do we need from lab safety to fender fit? We’ve been on this kick for 30 years as the gold coins filled pockets.

Yep… I think I came to that same conclusion in a different thread Mr @shadowfax

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I don’t think the military has ever asked to have their electronics made cheaply but still some have been prone to failure due to faulty manufacturing. I don’t think anyone asked for their thermometers to be calibrated to show a lower temperature either. Just saying there is enough fault to go around from both the manufacturer and the customer.

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I was trying to figure out what to get when I return the 3 ton jack stands, so started to read the reviews on the new one. They were all good.
Then it occurred to me, the ones who have to write the bad reviews are probably not with us any more :frowning:
Kidding aside, the reviews aren’t bad, so if they were really lousy, I guess people would say something.
I am still gonna stick to my back up plans A-Z anyway.

I don’t like the idea of tool theft any more than you do. In fact, I have had my work truck broken into, and my tools stolen in the past, which is why I no longer leave any tools and equipment in the truck overnight. Everything gets brought inside the company’s shop at the end of each workday, and is loaded onto the truck in the morning before I head out.

That being said, I have purchased new and used professional tools on Ebay. I would not assume that all, or even most of the tools for sale there are stolen. Also, even if some of the tools were stolen, it is highly unlikely that the person or business offering them for sale on Ebay stole them, or has any idea that they were stolen.

Whether or not you buy tools on Ebay, the criminals who break into businesses and vehicles to steal tools will continue to exist. Most of these people are drug addicts, who sell the stuff cheap for cash to buy dope. They are not sophisticated enough to sell stuff on Ebay, and deal with packing and shipping the items, etc. If they were, they’d be able to make way more money at a legitimate business than they are currently making as a thief.

Yeah, but do you really think Harbor Freight is paying them enough to make changing that tool out worth it? When HF comes over and wants to pay 10 bucks per 100 jack stands, they’re not going to get the highest quality.

And yes, you’re right, sometimes manufacturing is just poorly done despite the high cost. See: Boeing.

But the overall stereotype of “China isn’t capable of making good products” is wrong. Far more often it’s “American companies/consumers don’t want to pay for quality and then whine when they don’t get it.”

On the Ebay tool thing, a lot of the online cheap professional tool sales come from kids who bought all that crap for trade school and then decided they didn’t want to be a mechanic after all. Craigslist populates with Snap-On tool boxes and tools pretty reliably at the end of semesters.

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The manufacturer doesn’t pay for tooling, the customer does. The customer also specifies the cast part implications to the tooling design. The casting house collaborates with customer to design the tooling. And the customer is also responsible for paying to replace the tooling when it wears out. And casting molds wear out pretty fast compared to other types of hard tools.

Seen all too often, parts rejected post machining, out of tolerance due to cast part tooling issues. Big finger pointing exercise ensues. Blame to go around. Parts supplier needs good inspection and so does customer at incoming inspection. The design specs may have also overlooked tolerance stack up issues. Again, not manufacturer issue. It’s also on the customer to request and pay for any special processes or inspection needs to ensure the part will work in application. For example hipping to reduce porosity or ndt inspection to look for interior flaws. The parts supplier doesn’t know how the part is used in application, they just make to specs provided.

We have suppliers all over the globe. Our China based suppliers are some of the best in the world. It really does come down to getting what you pay for and then discipline and diligence on your end as well…


Their tools are cheap but If I’m being honest a defect like this should be obvious to anyone who looks at and inspects their equipment prior to using it. The defect was in the shape not the structural integrity of the materials. Anyone who doesnt know to check something as important as a jack stand for misshapen claws or any sort of crack or damage in my opinion should not be aloud to use it. Like those people who dont do the push test on their car prior to getting under it or not using jack stands all together, your just asking for a good time at the ER.

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“Allowed” but doesn’t matter. Don’t give our Gov any more ideas on what is allowed or not, though. I have to admit I’m guilty of not doing an inspection of my jack stands. I had to pull the transmission on my lawn mower and used my jack stands to support it during the project. I never even looked at them. Foolish me but it was only 600 pounds so a bit under their capacity.

These are the ones I have. I much prefer having a pin that positively goes through the support so all there is to worry about is the pin getting sheared, the welds failing, or metal fatigue. I really don’t like the other design but then I only use them for back-up.