A fear that I have, which I suspect many of you to have, is of a jack collapsing when I am using it. And I think it’s a pretty realistic fear. But here to inject some peace of mind, at least for the actual strength of different kinds of jacks, is the good and reliably entertaining Hydraulic Press Channel.
The host tests out four types of jacks on the press: A scissor jack, floor jack, bottle jack and a jack stand. All are rated for different loads. Let’s see how much they can actually take.
Here’s the video first if you want to watch it to see the results for yourself before we analyze below.
And this is how much force the press needed to crush the four jacks tested: 4.4 tons for the scissor jack, 4.8 tons for the floor jack, 12 tons for the bottle jack and 25 tons for the jack stand (before it basically sheared in half). The jack stand is the clear winner here.
Some interesting things worth pointing out were that the floor jack seemed to be able to withstand an extended period of increasing pressure before thing started to bend and snap. The scissor jack appeared to be the weakest. And that the host recommended the bottle jack to be the safest of the three, but he noted that everyone should use jack stands if you need to be physically under the car.
If your car comes with a jack, as mine does, it’s probably a scissor jack. For the purposes of changing a tire, it should absolutely be fine. But if you’re doing anything that involves crawling under it, please get yourself a set of jack stands. It’s definitely worth the trouble.
(h/t to Derrick!)