Jack stands are not a high tech piece of equipment that requires extensive reviews in order to pick the top one. However, there are some features and good values to look for when choosing the best jack stand to support your car, truck, SUV, or RV. Not only will it make working on your vehicles easier, it is important for your safety as well.
Substitute jack stands such as bricks, blocks, rocks (yes, we said rocks), cement pavers, and chunks of old wood should never be used. They aren’t safe and can break while under load.
As a safety note; a car or floor jack should never be used as a jack stand. If a hydraulic seal or mechanical linkage were to fail under load, your car or truck could come crashing down upon you. There are far too many injuries and deaths each year due to jack failure without the safety of a jack stand.
If you are in need of a new jack, TORIN BIG RED JACK STANDS is a good choice.
ARE JACK STANDS SAFE?
jack-stand-failure There was a time years ago when jack stand design was like the “Wild West” and manufacturers were selling stands that were not tested very well, if at all. They were hyped as premium quality jack stands.
If you were around people that worked on cars, there was always a story about someone being hurt from jack stand failure. Inferior materials, poor castings, thin gauge metals, or inferior design were all culprits.
Fortunately for the industry, testing, newer safety regulations, and far better design and materials have produced jack stands that are much better today than they used to be. Most injuries these days are from improper use of jack stands and not jack stand failure.
JACK STAND DESIGN
Most jack stands are made of steel for both strength and economy. However, there are a few aluminum stands available that can have some advantages over steel if weight, corrosion resistance, or easy portability is important. Typically, steel jack stands are considered the best.
In terms of height adjustment, there are two basic designs that get the job done. Of these two, you have a choice of a ratcheting mechanism or the pin type adjustment.
Jack stands with a ratcheting mechanism provide the quickest height adjustment as well as the ability to make the smallest changes in those adjustments.
The one concern that some people have with this design has to do with the rotating cam or pawl that wedges underneath the teeth of the main support post. It is generally held in place to the locking lever with a roll pin.
On rare occasions the roll pin and subsequent pawl have been known to rust and fail over time, disabling adjustment of the jack stand.
This is not a safety issue, however. Even if the roll pin fails, the design of the locking cam will not allow the support post to lower while underweight. It is a safety feature that is designed into the adjustment mechanism and has been used with success for decades.
Pin type jack stands use a high tensile steel locking pin that inserts through the support bar in order to hold it in place.
The pin will either rest in a saddle on top of the base of the jack stand or it will pass through a hole in the base and main support post.
Pin type adjustment for a jack stand is considered stronger than the ratcheting style and will not fail. This is why it is a favorite for heavy-duty or high weight rated jack stands.
Though it’s possible for the pin to bend slightly and make it difficult to pass through the hole, replacement of the pin is much less expensive than replacing the entire stand.
The only disadvantage with a pin-type design is that you can’t make very small adjustments in height in order to compensate for uneven floor heights or different support points under a car.
JACK STAND WEIGHT RATINGS
Contrary to some of the misinformation available about jack stand weight ratings, we want to make clear how jack stands are rated according to the most recent requirements.
The ASME PASE-2014 (Safety Standard for Portable Automotive Service Equipment) states that jack stands must be rated as a pair and not rated per stand. This became effective in late December of 2015. It also states: “Maximum load capacity per matched pair shall not exceed the rated capacity of the individual stand”.
Separate from that, test standards require that each jack stand must be able to pass a proof load test of 200% of rated capacity for a minimum of ten minutes, with no more than 0.125” reduction in overall height of the jack stand. This is measured after removal of the load. This is actually a separate testing requirement from the rating standard as a pair.
Essentially, if a pair of jack stands is rated for 3,000lbs, then separately they must have a minimum rated capacity of 1,500lbs each.
BEST BUDGET JACK STANDS
If you are on a budget and want to find a suitable jack stand for the least amount of money, then nothing really beats the price and performance of a set of Torin Big Red jack stands.
TORIN BIG RED STEEL JACK STANDS
With an all-steel construction and ratcheting height adjustment, these are the least expensive jack stands available that you can purchase and still feel confident about their safety.
They are available in 2-ton, 3-ton, 6-ton, and 12-ton load ratings based on your needs and they come with a 1-year limited warranty.
If you have a small car, you can’t find a better deal on a pair of 2-ton jack stands for under $20.
The price was so good on these that we ordered a set of the 2-ton stands to test for ourselves on some of the smaller cars in our family. We were satisfied with the welds as well as the finish. They have been in use for over 2 years now without any issues.
Torin also makes these same jack stands with a double locking option if you feel more comfortable with the added safety.They have an additional cutout in the top of the base to insert an angled pin under the teeth of the support post.
In the rare occurrence of a complete failure of the ratcheting mechanism, this pin will hold the support post in place under load. This pin should never be used separately if the ratcheting mechanism becomes defective.