If you are buying a floor jack for the first time then chances are you are conflicted about what type of floor jack to buy. Whether to set up a professional workshop or just to keep in your car or home garage, there are a few things you have to consider.
Even if you are conflicted about what type of floor jack you should get, the difference is pretty nuanced. When referring to the material, it refers to the frame of the jack. Hydraulics, bearings and some other parts are going to be the same no matter what type of jack you choose.
Aluminum vs Steel Floor Jack | Which Is Better for You?
That said there are some instants where one might be better than the other. Let’s discuss some basic differences and find out which one is better for you.
Steel is heavier than aluminum. So it is of no surprise that aluminum floor jack is lighter than their steel counterpart. Being lighter, aluminum jack is easier to carry. That’s why it is used for racing tracks as you have to be quick about everything.
For comparison, the lightest aluminum jack weighs around 20 pounds or 9 kgs, where the lightest steel jack weighs around 80 pounds or 36.5 kgs. So aluminum jack is much lighter thus easier to work with.
When it comes to strength, it is a common misconception that one is stronger than the other. If you are buying the same labeled aluminum and steel jack then both of them will have the same strength. As far as personal uses go, you should be okay with either of these jacks.
A 1.5 or 2 ton labeled floor jack should cover your personal uses whether its aluminum or steel. A professional workshop usually uses a 3-ton jack to cover all the basics. But as long as you choose the right weight capacity, you should be fine with both types of floor jack as far as the strength goes.
Durability is a big factor when it comes to the floor jack. Steel jack is more durable than its counterpart aluminum jack. While aluminum jack is lighter it doesn’t last as long as steel ones.
Then again a steel jack is more prone to rust. If you use it in an environment where there’s a lot of moisture then the steel will rust. So you have to be careful about rusting when using steel jacks. Aluminum is immune to rusting but it tends to break if used too much.
The aluminum floor jack is called the premium floor jack because of its lightweight. Hence they cost more than their steel counterpart. The steel floor jack is cheaper than the aluminum jack.
Uses, Pro and Cons of Aluminum Floor Jack
Like everything, an aluminum floor jack has its pros and cons. They are widely used in different scenarios where steel jack would be harder to use.
It is used on race tracks as they need to roll in quickly and change the tires. Being lightweight, it is ideal for a fast tire change.
In a personal garage, people usually go for an aluminum floor jack. You don’t need to use the floor jack too much in a personal garage and it’s easier to roll under the car. Since you will most likely work alone in your garage it is better to have a lightweight aluminum floor jack.
If you want to keep it in your car in case of an emergency, an aluminum floor jack is the best. Again because of its lightweight it will be easier to carry on a journey and use it if needed.
Pros and Cons
The biggest benefit of the aluminum jack is its lightweight. It is easier to carry. It is immune to rusting. So you will be able to use it in any environment or just keep if stored anywhere.
But aluminum jack tends to break faster in a heavy-duty workplace and it costs more than steel jack.
Uses, Pros, and Cons of Steel Floor Jack
Steel jacks have their benefits and use depending on the circumstances.
Steel jack is commonly used in the professional workshop since they need to use it frequently. The weight is not a problem for the workshop since they have multiple people working at the same time.
Pros and Cons
Steel jack is more durable. It costs less than aluminum jacks. It is good for keeping in a place.
But it is harder to carry around. Since it is made of steel, it is prone to rust. Be careful and use it in a dry place.
If you are buying floor jack for your garage and have the budget then you should buy aluminum jack. If you are going to use it for a true workshop then steel jacks would be a better choice. Of course, depending on your budget you can go for either one for your convenience.