Whether you need to change your truck’s tires or troubleshoot an annoying issue under your vehicle, you need a bottle jack. The versatility of this tool reaches far beyond only vehicle maintenance, however.
In this article, we will give you a complete rundown of the best bottle jacks that you can find for a safe and reliable lifting experience. What confuses most people, especially those who do not know much about the tool, is the difference between the floor jack and a bottle jack.
Difference between a Floor Jack and a Bottle Jack
Both of the tools are used to lift cars, right? Then why do they look so different? Well, in practice, the design of the two machines and their purpose are drastically different.
Before heading to the list of reviews, it would help if you understand the differences between these two machines.
- Bottle Jack: This machine comes with a bottle-like shape with a round lower part and narrow top. Typically, it is quite portable and comes with a carry handle. Bottle jacks are mostly used for heavy transports like trucks or vans. Using it for a small car is not really ideal.
- Floor Jack: Floor jacks are usually shorter than bottle jacks. This tool is mostly used for low-profile vehicles like racing cars. It is also quite wide and weighs more than bottle jacks. Some models come with wheels installed to help you move them from one car to another.
The major difference between the two tools, apart from their design, is the lift capacity. Bottle jacks can typically handle far greater weights as they are designed for heavier vehicles. With a floor jack, you will not be able to match the lift capacity that you get from a bottle jack.
Floor jacks are also usually more expensive than bottle jacks. And since they are bulky in nature, storing them when not in use can be troublesome. However, floor jacks come with many safety features that make it safer for you to go under the vehicle after lifting it up.
Using a floor jack is also quite easy. You do not need to exert as much effort because of the long handles you get with this tool. Getting to the desired height is also quicker with a floor jack. With bottle jack, it does take some effort, but you can also lift heavier vehicles, which you cannot do with a floor jack.
Top 7 Best Bottle Jack Reviews
Finding the best bottle jack in the market is not always an easy task. If you do not do your research, you might end up with a product that does not give you a good experience. If the unit breaks down in the middle of your task, the result could be disastrous.
In the following section of the article, we will give you a complete review of some of the top-rated units on the market that you can buy without any second thoughts.
1. Powerbuilt Alltrade 640912 Black 3 Ton
When it comes to automotive maintenance and care, there are only a handful of brands that can match the quality of Powerbuilt. The Alltrade 640912 is one of the simplest bottle jacks in the market that offers you excellent performance making a smart investment, whether you are a professional or a basic user.
This machine features a simple design along with a smooth lift mechanism that can raise any heavy vehicle quite easily. It has a lift range of 11 to 21 inches, which is enough for any sort of repair or maintenance task for your trucks or SUVs. You also get a safety bar lock feature that allows you to lock it at the selected height.
The jack features a compact design with a height of just under 10 inches. It is an all in one unit where both the jack stand and lift mechanism are integrated into a single unit. With a weight of only 22 pounds, it is a highly portable unit that you can keep in the trunk of your car if you ever need it.
Thanks to its strong and durable construction, you can use it for vehicles of up to 6000 pounds effortlessly. The wider base of the unit is completely flat, ensuring a stable working experience. Even if you are lifting on softer surfaces, you will not have to worry about sinking.
- Can lift heavy vehicles of up to 6000 pounds
- Compact all in one design
- Excellent lift range
- Comes with a safety bar lock
- The hydraulic quality is not that good.
2. Pro-Lift B-004D Grey Hydraulic Bottle Jack
Speaking of great brands for car maintenance, you should not forget the name of Pro-Lift. The best thing about this brand is their dedication to budget consumers. Even if you do not have a lot of money to spend, with the Pro-Lift B-004D, you will be able to lift your vehicle to check and repair any problems.
Featuring a lift capacity of four tons, or 8000 pounds, you can use this to lift the heaviest of vehicles. The leaver feels smooth, and the steel lifting saddle ensures that it will be stable under load. It also comes with extension screws to support the adjusted height for even better stability.
All the critical stress areas of the device feature a heat-treated finish. This addition ensures that the component will not bend or get damaged in any way under load. The unit can handle a lifting range of 8 to 15 and 3/8 inches, which is more than enough for any of your requirements.
Despite its high-strength and performance, it weighs only 9 pounds. The lifting saddle features a full steel construction that can handle a massive load like a champ. Whether you run an auto shop or want a bottle jack on the back of your trunk for basic repairs, you cannot go wrong with this product.
- Excellent lifting range
- Massive lifting capacity of 8 tons
- Heat-treated stress areas ensure secure lifting.
- Amazing value for the cost
- A bit of an overkill for personal use
3. Powerbuilt 620471 Unijack – 6000 lb
Next up, we will be looking at another unit by the infamous Powerbuilt. The 620471 is a beefed-up version of the Alltrade 640912 featuring a similar design with some significant improvement. Although it costs a bit more, the extra features are definitely worth it.
The all in one design of the unit means that it comes in a compact shape making it highly portable. It has a total lift capacity of 6000 pounds and can handle heavy vehicles such as trucks and SUVs. Because of the wide flat base, you also do not need to worry about any stability issues.
The lift range you get with the device ranges from 11 to 21 inches. After setting your desired height, you can lock it using the safety bar while you get to work. You do not need to worry about your safety as the jack can keep your vehicle raised without any issues for an indefinite period.
Durability-wise, you have nothing to worry about. It features a strong, high-quality metal construction that can survive any abuse you throw at it. In addition, the unit is also quite lightweight, weighing in at about 22 pounds. Overall, it offers excellent value if you want a consistent level of performance from your bottle jack.’
- Excellent construction quality
- Compact all in one design
- It can lift up to 6000 pounds easily.
- Great value for the price
- The handle is a bit short
4. BIG RED T91207A Torin Hydraulic Stubby Low Profile Welded Bottle Jack
If you want the most lift capacity at an entry-level price, you cannot go wrong with the Torin by Big Red. It offers a level of price to performance output that is hard to find in other units. However, for a casual user, it might be a bit overkill as you will not be able to use it to its fullest potential.
This unit comes with a lift capacity of a whopping 12 tons, which is equal to 24000 pounds. If a particular heavy truck is giving you trouble, with this tool, you can easily lift it without much effort. To give you good leverage, the handle you get is strong and long.
The lifting range of the unit falls between 7½ to 13-13/16 inches, giving you enough headroom to handle most tasks. However, a bit of extra lifting range would have been great with this tool. But with the adjustable screw top extension, you can get a greater range.
With this tool, durability is never a concern. Not only is it built like a tank, but it also comes with a lot of safety features that enhance its longevity. For instance, it comes with an overload valve and oil-bypass system to ensure the hydraulics stay within operating limits at all times.
- Extremely versatile unit
- Massive lift capacity
- Perfect for automotive repair shops
- Comes with many safety features
- No apparent cons
5. Powerbuilt 647501 Heavy Duty 12-Ton Bottle Jack
For the next product on our list, we will look at a high capacity unit by Powerbuilt. This is the third product that we are recommending by the brand, which should give you an idea about the quality you can expect from it. The combination of an affordable price and massive lift capacity makes this investment a no-brainer.
With its whopping 12 ton capacity, you can lift any heavy vehicles without any hassle. To prevent tipping, it comes with a stable and oversized base constructed with cast iron. You also get a precision pin valve that lets you lower the head when the repairs are finished.
You can get a maximum of 16¼ inches of lift height with this device. Thanks to the reliable iron saddle, you can get the highest lift range without too much effort on your side. It is a dependable machine that ensures you enjoy your time in the repairs by making things simple.
The unit also comes with a carry handle to make sure you can move it anywhere easily. Add that to the measly 6 pounds weight of the unit, and you have a truly portable machine. It also features a tough and durable build quality with a smooth exterior that can survive any sort of work environment.
- Strong and durable construction
- Massive lift capacity
- The excellent handle allows for easy lifting.
- The precision pin valve allows you to lower the height easily.
- No apparent cons
6. Pro-Lift B-020D Grey Hydraulic Bottle Jack
It seems Pro-Lift is making another appearance on our list of reviews with their high capacity bottle jack, B-020D. The brand, as we already mentioned, caters to the budget buyers. If you are looking for something affordable without compromising on the lift capacity for your shop, you cannot go wrong with this one.
It has the most lift capacity out of all the units on our list, which is around 20 tons. This makes it perfect for a heavy-duty repair shop as it can lift almost any vehicle imaginable. The Steel lifting saddle integrated into the unit is designed to make sure that it can hold the load securely without any issues.
It also comes with a decent range of lift capacity. You can use this machine to lift any vehicle up 18-7/8 inches with little to no hassle. The extension screws allow you to set the desired height quite easily. To protect it against ram-over travel, it comes with a built-in bypass system.
Despite the affordable price, the device features solid build quality. It is made out of strong and durable metal with heat treatment in the critical pressure areas to ensure the best and strongest performance. You also get carry handles if you want to move it from one place to another.
- Perfect for commercial use
- Massive lift capacity
- Heat-treated critical areas for extended durability.
- Comes at a highly affordable price range
- Rust can build up quickly if you are not careful.
7. Performance Tool W1633 20 Ton Heavy Duty Hydraulic Bottle Jack
Wrapping up our list of reviews, we will be looking at a heavy-duty unit by the brand Performance Tool. If you are looking for value, and want to get the best performance per dollar, the W1633 is a suitable candidate. It comes with excellent lift capacity, range, and a reasonable price point, making it a highly desirable option.
In fact, the lift capacity of this unit is tied to the B-020D that we saw earlier. With a massive capacity of 20tons, it can fit in perfectly in an auto-repair shop. The steel saddles are designed to give you better strength and gripping power while under extensive load.
It also has a decent lift capacity ranging from 9¼ to 18½ inches and an oversized heavy base to make it more stable. The patented bypass technology in the unit ensures full protection against over-pumping. With the adjustable screw tops, you can set the desired height easily in no time.
Construction-wise there is not much to say about the unit except that it is made to last. It features a full metal construction that will not dent or get damaged easily. The critical stress areas of the unit are heat-treated to ensure greater durability under pressure. All in all, it is a great value investment for anyone.
- Strong and durable construction
- Massive lift capacity
- Comes with a heavy base for stable lifting
- High quality steel saddles
- The handling quality could be better.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Bottle Jack
Now that you have taken a look at our reviews, you should have a decent idea about the best bottle jacks in the market. However, before you take your pick, there are some factors that you need to understand. Without looking at these features you cannot be sure whether you are making the right choice.
With that said, here are some of the things that you should focus on when choosing the perfect unit for your requirements.
- Lift Capacity
The most important element of a bottle jack is its lift capacity. This is the factor that sets them apart from the floor jacks. So before choosing your unit, make sure you are buying one that comes with a decent lift capacity.
The lift capacity of a bottle jack is usually measured in tons or pounds. A unit with a 20-ton capacity should be enough for most auto repair shops. But if you want to be prepared for any situation, you can find units with higher capacities.
However, before sprinting towards the unit with most capacity, consider the type of vehicles you will be lifting. One good thing is that the weight capacity of the jack does not need to match the car’s weight exactly. As long as the weight capacity is at least 60% of the vehicle’s weight, you should be good to go.
It is always a good idea to think ahead when looking at this factor. If you run an auto garage and deal mostly with SUVs or Sedans, it does not mean you should not get a high capacity jack. Having a high capacity jack allows you to cater to a wider range of vehicles, including trucks, if you ever need it.
- Lift Range
You also need to consider the lift range of the unit that you are going to buy. If the capacity of the unit is 20 tons, but the lift range is small, you will not benefit much from it. Consider the maximum lift height of the unit before making your final investment.
Typically, the maximum lift height you can get from a bottle jack can be as high as 22 inches. However, most people do not need it. As long as you have a machine with a lift range of 9 to 18 inches, you should be covered for almost any situation.
You also need to check the minimum height as it would let you know what type of vehicle you can use it with. For most instances, the minimum height of a bottle jack is 9 inches. So the vehicle’s ground clearance must be above that for you to be able to use a bottle jack with it.
Most bottle jacks also come with an extension screw to help you adjust the head of the machine to the vehicle’s height. It allows you to line it up with the vehicle so that every pump you give lifts it slightly.
- Construction Quality
The build quality of the bottle jack is obviously one of its most important elements. Without a solid construction, you cannot be sure whether it will give you a stable lifting experience. The last thing you want is the jack snapping under pressure from a heavy vehicle.
Look for a unit that uses strong materials such as steel alloy, iron, or other tough metals. Furthermore, reinforcement in the critical areas is also excellent as it improves the strength in those parts. Make sure the unit features heat treatment in the pressure points.
If you pay attention, you can easily inspect the durability of the unit just by looking at it. The welding quality of the different sections is also important in determining the type of performance you will get out of it in the long run.
- Ease of Use
One good thing about bottle jacks is that they are typically quite easy to use. Typically, the operation procedure for this tool is exactly the same across different models. We will be looking at how to use a bottle jack on a later portion of this article to give you a better idea.
However, if the components are not designed well, it can get difficult for the user. For instance, if the handle size is too short, you will not get decent leverage to lift the vehicle. You would have to exert more pressure to get to the desired height. So make sure the overall design of the tool allows you to use it easily.
- Brand Value
When it comes to bottle jacks, it typically pays off if you stick with a known brand. There are a lot of knock-off products that are floating around in the market that usually sell for a much lower price. However, they end up costing you more in the long run because you have to replace them once they break.
As long as you stick with a reputed brand, you can be sure of the overall quality of your investment. Thankfully, there are some reputed brands out there that cater to low-budget people. Even if you do not have a lot to spend, try going for a brand that you know will take care of you if you end up with a faulty or defected product.
How to Use a Bottle Jack the Right Way
Before we leave you, we want to give you a basic rundown on how to use a bottle jack to help make things easier for you. The working procedure for a bottle jack is the same regardless of the model that you are using. With our handy step by step walkthrough, you can have a safe and productive work session with your tool.
- Before starting with your work, make sure to park it in solid, level ground. A garage is an ideal place to use a bottle jack, but for some reason, if you cannot get there, make sure the ground is solid and plain. Make sure the truck is set to part so that it does not roll off as it might cause severe accidents.
- If you have to lift the front part, make sure to check the rear wheels with some bricks. It will further ensure that the vehicle does not roll back and is as stable as it can be. If you are lifting the rear part, do the same with the front wheels.
- Before proceeding, double-check the overall condition of the bottle jack. If there are any oil leakage or other flaws, do not use it. Things to check are the plug, the release valve, the saddle, and any dents on the body. Give it a thorough wipe to ensure there is no dirt in the way.
- The first step is to assemble the handle. At the side of the barrel, there should be a receptacle where you can insert it once it is assembled. Insert it all the way and give it a tug to see if it is securely locked.
- Test out the jack by giving it a few dry pumps slowly. See if it is working properly. Once you raise the height, let it down by turning the release valve. If everything is smooth, retighten the release valve, and you should be ready for the next step.
- Before getting to your vehicle, make sure your workspace is clean and clutter-free. You do not want anything distracting you or getting in the way. This means your area should be clear of people or unnecessary objects.
- Every vehicle comes with a lift point to reduce pressure that comes from using a lifting jack. You should only use a bottle jack in these positions as they are made to prevent damages to the vehicle. If you are unsure of the lift point, you can usually find it listed in the owner’s manual.
- Once you have identified the lift point, place your jack directly under it. Remember to check the base of the jack and also the ground where you put it. It should be solid and level to ensure you have a stable lifting experience. If the ground is soft, place a solid block under the jack before lifting.
- After placing the jack and inserting the handle, it is time to start pumping. When the saddle touches the vehicle check for any inconsistencies. If the saddle does not line up with the lift point, you might need to do some adjustments.
- If the saddle lines up perfectly, you can start lifting the vehicle. It is best to take things slow and give it one push at a time. Keep pumping steadily until the vehicle is at the desired height. Try to stick within the specific lift range of the jack since over-extension might damage it unless it has a safety feature built against this issue.
- A bottle jack alone is not secure enough to go under the vehicle. If you want to go under, make sure to use some jack stands for additional support. Bring them out and place them in the proper position if you want to check under your truck. Make sure the jack stands are in good condition before you do that.
- Once the vehicle is raised, and the jack stands are in place, you can remove the handle from the bottle jack. With the handle removed, you can use the release valve to bring the vehicle down. Take it slow and keep lowering the vehicle until it reaches the jack stands.
- Now that the pressure of the vehicle is on the jack stands, you can take out the bottle jack and start your work. However, do not put away the bottle jack yet, you still need it to lower the vehicle from the stand.
- After your work is done, place the bottle jack under the lift point again and raise it to relieve the pressure from the stands. Then remove the stands from under the vehicle and use the release valve to lower the vehicle safely.
A bottle jack is a must-have tool in any auto-repair workshop. Without this device, you will not be able to work on any heavy vehicles which drastically limits your capabilities.
With our handy guide on the best bottle jacks, you should now have a complete idea of which units to buy and which elements to check when taking your pick.