Type of Floor Jacks – A Detailed Guide


There are different floor jacks in the market.

It may be a hard task to choose the right jack for your vehicle or your garage.

For the purpose of understanding, a floor jack is a mechanical device used to raise the heavy load to a satisfactory working position.

Generally, floor jacks are divided into 3 types. These are Hydraulic floor jack, scissor jack, and bottle jack.

Types of Floor Jacks

Let’s get a detailed summary of each of the above types of floor jacks, how they work, the kind of loads each can take, the situation or where they are best suited for, and their benefits and downsides.

1. Hydraulic Floor Jack

It is a widely used floor jack and is common in all auto shops.

It contains wheels, a trolley, and a hydraulic cylinder. It uses the cylinder to lower the vehicle at minimal intervals.

To commence the lifting mechanism, a detachable lever is pumped with lesser efforts.

The unit is simple to use since minimal effort is applied to the lever. They have a higher lifting range and maximum stability.

Their only downside is the fact they are bulky and expensive.

Here is how to use them properly – >

2. Bottle jack

These kinds of jacks are also called piston jacks.

They are operated through hydraulic pressure, and they are made of dual concentric cylinders.

These cylinders initiate the lifting process. Since they use hydraulic pressure, they work the same as hydraulic floor jack.

The bottle jack is used manually where the user uses the handle to elevate the lift. It can handle four to fifty tons of load.

They possess a small footprint, which is important in case you have limited space.

3. Scissor Jack

This kind of jack is the primary type of jack in almost all cars. Unlike hydraulic jacks, this one uses a screw mechanism to initiate the lifting.

It is small in size, lightweight and portable. They are mainly used to replace flat tires.

The major limitation comes from their compact nature since they can only lift smaller weights and cover lesser heights compared to other jacks.

You as well require more physical efforts in turning the screws.

Why do we need Different Types of Jacks?

There are various reasons why we need different types of floor jacks. So what are these reasons?

Load capacity:

This is the total weight a jack can carry. One is advised to go for that which can handle their intended weights.


Sometimes, we need the help of a jack in our garage, but we lack enough funds since their prices are different.

Always buy the best jacks you can get for your money. But do not feel the need to overpay.


It is risky to travel long distances without a jack; that is why a scissor jack is provided in every new car.

Due to its compactness and small in size, it is the best portable jack even though its capacity is limited to lesser loads.

Jack quality:

This is an essential consideration, and because jacks are of different make, one can choose the quality they prefer best.


Different types of jacks are widely available in the markets.

These jacks have their unique features. Major areas to consider include load capacity, material, lifting heights, speed, and safety, among others.

Therefore it is important to know the capabilities of each and go for that which takes care of your needs.

About Sharon Martin

Sharon is a woman of many talents. She loves to work on power tools and provides handyman services. Sharon has expertise with both woodwork and metalwork, so she's always prepared for any job! When not working, Sharon can be found listening to country music or spending time with her cats.