A car jack is a useful tool to have for not only general maintenance and inspections, but also in case of emergencies. However, car jacks can be pretty hefty, so you are going to want to find a lightweight option if you plan to keep on in the back of your vehicle.
In this article we are going to show you some of the best portable car jacks on the market that will be suitable for emergency use, general maintenance, and car inspections (if you go to see a used car for example).
Best Portable Car Jacks
Torin Hydraulic Low Profile Aluminium Racing Floor Jack – 1.5 Ton
While a floor jack is always going to be a bit heavier than something like a scissor jack, they do tend to be much more reliable when it comes to lifting a vehicle. Torin’s Low Profile Aluminium Racing Floor Jack is on the lighter side for a floor jack, coming in at around 18 kg (39.6 lbs). While this is much heavier than some of the other jacks on this list, it is significantly lighter than most other floor jacks on the market.
This jack has a lifting capacity of 1,360 kg (3,000 lb), so it is better for smaller vehicles. This is the main downside to this floor jack as many modern cars now weigh in well in excess of this weight limit.
Torin’s jack is manufactured from durable, high-strength aluminium and steel, and is equipped with a dual piston quick lift pump that allows you to easily raise the jack to the desired height. There is a foam covered handle for better comfort and to protect you car from any damage, and a side mounted handle makes the jack convenient and portable to carry.
The lifting range of the Torin Low Profile Racing Jack is 88.9 to 359 mm (3-1/2 – 14-1/8 inches), which makes it perfect for vehicles that are low to the ground.
Overall, this is a very well-reviewed low-profile floor jack. Some owners have reported failure of the jack, but most buyers seem to be very happy with the product. It does have a lower lift limit, so if you plan to use the jack on a wide variety of vehicles you are better going with something else. Still, if you need a lightweight jack that is easy to carry round this is one of the best options out there.
- Relatively lightweight at 18 kg (39.6 lbs)
- Carry handle
- Lifting range of 88.9 to 359 mm (3-1/2 – 14-1/8 inches)
- lifting capacity of 1,360 kg (3,000 lb)
- 1 year manufacturer warranty
- Brand: Torin
- Part/Item Number: AM815016L
- Weight: 18 kg (39.6 lbs)
- Product Dimensions: 577 x 251 x 155 mm (22.7 x 9.9 x 6.1 inches)
OTC LDJA2 Aluminum Racing Jack – 2 Ton
If you are looking for a higher quality racing jack with a bit more lifting capacity than the Torin above, you can’t go far wrong with OTC’s LDJA2 Aluminium Racing Jack. It is a few pounds heavier than the Torin at 19 kg (42 pounds), however, the lifting capacity is significantly higher at 1,814 kg (4,000 lb).
Another benefit of OTC’s jack is that it has a slightly wider lift range of 88.5 to 473 mm (3-1/4 to 18-5/8 inches). This makes it not only a great option for lower to the ground sports cars, but also higher to SUVs that are not too big in size and weight.
The quick-lift design of the LDJA2 Racing Jack will get your vehicle in the air quicker with fewer pumps. OTC have updated the jack with new and improved hydraulics and a wider track for the wheels that make the whole unit more durable and easier-to-use.
There is a 4-foot padded lower handle that helps to protect the rocker and door panels of your car while providing maximum leverage. OTC have also designed their racing jack with a rubber saddle that protects the underside of your car and prevents slipping. This saddle can be removed to reach the minimum lift height of 88.5 mm (3-1/4 inches).
OTC are well known for producing some of the best tools in the business and the LDJA2 Racing Jack meets all 5 ASME PASE-2019 safety standards for Service Jacks. This floor jack is definitely a bit more pricey than some of the other jacks in this list, but if you are looking for something that is dependable and will last the test of time, it is undoubtedly a good pick.
- Lifting range of 88.5 to 473 mm (3-1/4 to 18-5/8 inches)
- Fairly low weight at 19 kg (42 pounds)
- Good lifting capacity for a lightweight jack of 1,814 kg (4,000 lb)
- Meets all 5 ASME PASE-2019 safety standards for Service Jacks
- Brand: OTC
- Part/Item Number: LDJA2
- Weight: 19 kg (42 pounds)
- Product Dimensions: 638 x 292 x 152 mm (25.125 × 11.49 × 6 inches)
CPROSP Scissor Jack with Hand Crank – 2 Tonnes (2.2 Tons)
If you feel that a floor jack is just a bit too much for you, a good quality scissor jack may be just what you need. Scissor jacks tend to be much lighter than floor jacks and they will usually take up much less space as well.
CPROSP’s Scissor Jack is one of the best around and at only 3.4 kg (7.39 lbs) in weight it is much lighter than the two jacks we’ve already covered. The lifting capacity is pretty good, with a max weight of 2,000 kg (4,409 lbs), making it perfect for emergency use on most vehicles out there.
The lifting range of this scissor jack is 250 to 385 mm (9.8 to 15 inches), so it is much more limited in the types of vehicles it can lift up than a floor jack. If you have a low to the ground sports car you are probably better off with a low to the ground floor jack like the ones we have already listed.
CPROSP’s jack also features a solid steel construction with a base plate that provides better stability. A handy ratchet wrench is included to help make lifting easier and less time consuming, a big plus in our books.
Overall, this is a very good scissor jack that is portable and lightweight. It has a fairly high lifting capacity, and while its lifting range is limited compared to some other types of jacks, it will be perfect for most vehicles. Reviews are generally very good for this jack with nearly a five-star rating and over 500 reviews.
- Lightweight at only 3.4 kg (7.39 lbs) in weight
- Good lifting capacity of 2,000 kg (4,409 lbs)
- Low price when compared to other types of jacks
- Solid steel construction
- Brand: CPROSP
- Part/Item Number: 11SJ
- Weight: 4 kg (7.39 lbs)
- Product Dimensions: 495 x 127 x 152 mm (19.5 x 5 x 114.3 inches)
STANDTALL Electric Car Jack – 5 Ton, 12V
If you have a higher, heavier car, an electric car jack such as this one from STANDTALL is an excellent option. The STANDTALL 12V Electric Jack features a massive 4,536 kg (10,000 lb) lifting capacity, while still being relatively lightweight at only 8.5 kg (18.85 pounds) in weight. This combined with the excellent carry case make this a great portable jack for SUVs and many other vehicles as well.
The lifting range is 155 to 450 mm (6.1 to 17.7 inches), which means you probably won’t be using it on any low to the ground sports cars, but it will be perfect for a wide range of vehicles out there, including many SUVs, sedans and station wagons.
Connecting and setting this jack up is a straightforward process and lifting takes less than a minute with the press of a button. Once you’re done, you can then steady lower the vehicle as well. The quick, easy operation is made possible by double motors inside the jack that work independently and effectively. Power is supplied via a 12V vehicle power outlet connection.
Along with being able to jack your car up, STANDTALL’s product comes with a few other features such as an LED flashlight.
In the box you will get an electric jack, electric impact wrench, safety hammer, 3.5m power calbe, battery clamp with a wire, pair of gloves, a sturdy carry case, and a user manual.
The STANDTALL 12V Electric Car Jack has a number of great reviews and many buyers have found it much more convenient than a more traditional car jack. The only real downside is that it is slightly higher priced than some other offerings (although similar to a mid-level floor jack such as the Torin) and it has a much more limited lifting range that rules out use on low to the ground sports cars. Additionally, some users have complained about overheating issues.
- Electric operation with a lifting capacity of 4,536 kg (10,000 lb)
- Lightweight at only 8.5 kg (18.85 pounds)
- Multifunction with extra features such as a built-in flashlight
- Lifting range of 155 to 450 mm (6.1 to 17.7 inches)
- Brand: STANDTALL
- Part/Item Number: SY-008
- Weight: 5 kg (18.85 pounds)
- Product Dimensions: 363 x 334 x 185 mm (14.29 x 13.15 x 7.28 inches)
Powerbuilt Unijack/Bottle Jack
Another excellent option if you have a bit more space under your vehicle is a good quality bottle jack. Bottle jacks tend to be on the lower end of the price spectrum along with scissor jacks, so if you are looking for a cheaper option this style of jack could be right for you.
Powerbuilt’s 4000 lb Unijack combines both the best bits of a bottle jack with a jack stand for more secure operation. The company offers two versions of the product, the lowest capacity version is good for weights up to 1,814 kg (4000 lbs), while its bigger brother can withstand weights up to 2,721 kg (6,000 lbs).
The minimum lifting height is quite a bit higher than the other jacks on this list with a range of 219 to 467 mm (8-5/8 to 18-3/8 inches) for the 4,000 lb model and 279 to 533 mm (11 to 21 inches) for the 6,000 lb version. This means that you are really going to be limited to the smaller model, unless you have a big SUV or truck (even then a bottle jack won’t fit under most sedans and smaller cars).
With a wide and flat base, Powerjack’s Unijacks have greater stability than many other bottle jacks on the market and they offer both concave and flat lifting surfaces that accommodate a wider range of lift points.
Powerjack’s Unijacks are very well reviewed with over 1,000 reviews and a 4.5 star rating. Some buyers have received defective units or their units have failed in a short time, but this seems to be a very small minority. The Unijack will be perfect for those with a bit more space under their vehicle, but if you have a normal sedan, hatch or something like a sports car, go with one of the other jacks on this list.
- Great lifting capacity of 1,814 kg (4000 lbs) for the smaller version and 2,721 kg (6,000 lbs) for the bigger model
- Lifting range of 219 to 467 mm (8-5/8 to 18-3/8 inches) and 279 to 533 mm (11 to 21 inches)
- Low price for lifting capacity
- Starts at 7 kg (15.36 lbs) for the lightest model
- Brand: Powerbuilt
- Part/Item Number: 620470 & 620471
- Weight: 7 kg (15.36 lbs) & 10.3 kg (22.7 lbs)
- Product Dimensions: 191 x 203 x 241 mm (7.25 x 8 x 9.5 inches) & 251 x 248 x 292 mm (9.88 x 9.75 x 11.5 inches)
Pro-Lift F-767 Low Profile Floor Jack – 2 Ton
A more budget friendly option for those wanting a low profile floor jack is this one from Pro-Lift. At only 13.6 kg (30 lbs) in weight it is fairly lightweight, yet it still has a lifting capacity of 1,814 kg (4000 lbs), which makes it perfect for a large range of vehicles.
Pro-Lift’s F-767 Low Profile Floor Jack has a lifting range of 89 to 356 mm (3-1/2 to 14 inches), making it great for vehicles from low to the ground sports cars to SUVs with greater ground clearance.
The Pro-Lift Low Profile Jack is manufactured from heavy duty and durable steel, and there are built-in safety valves for overload protection.
Pro-Lift have manufactured their floor jack from heavy duty steel, and they have included built-in safety valves for overload protection.
This floor jack is one of the most popular jacks available and it has very good reviews with a 4.5-star rating from nearly 4,000 buyers. A number of people have complained about the jack losing pressure, but this seems to be a very small minority. There is a 90 day warranty, so if you do have any issues in the first 3 months, Pro-Lift should be able to sort you out.
- Very lightweight for a floor jack at only 13.6 kg (30 lbs)
- Good lifting range of 89 to 356 mm (3-1/2 to 14 inches)
- Lifting capacity covers a good portion of cars on the road at 1,814 kg (4000 lbs)
- Inexpensive compared to other floor jacks
- Brand: Pro-Lift
- Part/Item Number: F-767
- Weight: 6 kg (30 lbs)
- Product Dimensions: 455 x 135 x 215 mm (17.91 x 5.32 x 8.47 inches)
Bonus Product – Big Red Torin 3 Ton Capacity Aluminium Jack Stands
Simply relying on a jack alone is a good way to wind up flattened like a pancake. It is always best practice to combine the use of a jack with good quality jack stands that provide extra support when lifting a vehicle.
Unfortunately, jack stands can be quite heavy themselves, but if you opt for something like Big Red’s Aluminium Jack Stands you can save quite a lot of weight. They come in at only 4.6 kg (10.2 lbs), making them significantly more portable than other options.
The main reason why these stands are lighter in weight is that they are manufactured from a high-grade of aluminium. There are locking support pins for extra support and security with six locking positions. The adjustable height ranges from 274 to 397 mm (10-3/4 to 15-5/8 inches).
The Big Red Torin Aluminium Jack Stands come highly recommended with nearly a 5-star rating and well over 500 reviews. The stands also meet ASME safety standards and come with a 1 year manufacturer warranty, so you know they will be good for plenty of lifts.
- Lightweight when compared to other options at only 4.6 kg (10.2 lbs)
- 3 ton (2.72 tonne) lifting capacity covers most cars on the road
- Solid high-grade aluminium construction with locking support pins.
- Brand: Pro-Lift
- Part/Item Number: T43004
- Weight: 6 kg (10.2 lbs)
- Product Dimensions: 800 x 290 x 180 mm (31.5 x 11.42 x 7.09 inches)
Portable Car Jack Buyer’s Guide
Owning a portable car jack is incredibly handy. You can keep one in your car for emergencies and they will be easy to move around your garage or workspace.
What Is a Car Jack?
A car jack is a mechanical lifting device that is used to lift up a vehicle. Hydraulics, electricity and good old arm grease are commonly used to provide lift for a car jack. There is usually maximum weight that a jack can lift and this limit should never be crossed.
Are There Different Types of Jack?
Yes, as you can see from the list we have created above, there are quite a few different variations of a car jack.
A scissor jack is a very common form of car jack and they are often included with a car as part of the tool kit. Scissor jacks use mechanical advantage to allow a human to lift a vehicle by manual force alone.
Two of the biggest benefits of a scissor jack are that they are collapsible and lightweight when compared to the other types of car jacks on this list. This means they can easily fit in the back of your car and can be carried around without too much difficulty.
A good scissor jack often has quite a high lifting capacity as well, however, lifting a lot of tonnage with a scissor jack can be dangerous (same goes for any jack really). They tend not to be as stable as other options and you really do need to use them on a nice and flat surface. Another downside is that you need to use a little bit of elbow grease to lift a vehicle, but if you don’t mind a bit of exercise this could be a plus.
Electrically operated scissor jacks are also available, however, they tend to be quite a bit more expensive than hand-operated scissor jacks. They usually use the 12 volt electricity supplied directly from your car’s cigarette lighter.
Floor Jack or Trolley Jack
In a floor jack or trolley jack, a horizontal piston pushes on the short end of a bellcrank, with the long arm providing the vertical motion to a lifting pad or platform. Floor jacks usually consist of wheels, a lifting pad, a low body, and finally a handle. They tend to be easy to manoeuvre and quite low to the ground.
A good quality floor jack is probably your best option if you are looking for something that will not only come in handy for emergency use, but also if you are looking to have something for garage work as well.
Thanks to their low-profile design, floor jacks tend to have a much greater lifting range, so they can be used on anything from low to the ground sports cars to higher SUVs with a lot more ground clearance. Floor jacks are also usually much more stable than something like a scissor jack, making them overall a much safer product.
The biggest downside to a floor jack is their weight. Even the lightest floor jacks are quite a bit heavier than a scissor jack or bottle jack with the same lifting capacity. Still, if you can handle something in the 18kg (40 lb) plus mark and don’t mind hauling something like that around, we would recommend that you go with a floor jack. This is why we have included far more floor jacks on this list than other versions of a car jack.
Bottle or whisky jacks usually resemble the shape of a bottle with a cylindrical body and neck. Inside they feature a vertical lifting ram that makes a lifting or support bad go up and down. Both hydraulic and screw action bottle jacks are available, however, almost all car bottle jacks are the former.
Due to the design of a bottle jack, the minimum lifting height is much more restricted than that of a scissor or floor jack. This makes a bottle jack unsuitable for low to the ground sports cars and even many regular sedans and hatchbacks. For those with larger SUVs and cars with greater ground clearance, a bottle jack may be a good option as they tend to be much cheaper and more portable than a floor jack.
Electric Car Jack
An electric car jack can come in a number of different forms and uses the power of electricity to lift a vehicle. They are usually powered by the 12 volt power supply from your car and often come with some extra features such as flashlights, air pumps and more.
The main benefit of an electric car jack is you can simply press a button to raise or lower the jack, eliminating the need for physical labour. While this is great, it does come at a price. Electric jacks tend to be quite a bit more expensive than hydraulic or manual jacks and they are often much more limited in range than something life a floor jack.
Another problem with electric jacks is that the motors can burn out, however, hydraulic jacks and even manual jacks can fail as well.
Why Is Owning a Portable Car Jack a Good Idea?
Owning a portable car jack is a good idea for the following reasons:
You can use it for emergencies – A portable car jack will easily be able to fit in your car and shouldn’t take up too much space. If you or somebody else every gets in an emergency where you need to lift a vehicle, having a portable car jack on hand is incredibly handy.
So that you can work on your car – Owning a good quality jack will allow you to work on your car and do tasks that are not possible without lifting the vehicle.
You can take it to used car inspections – While not all sellers will be happy with you jacking up their vehicle, if they are okay with it, we recommend that you do so. Being able to get a better look at the underside of a vehicle could save you a lot of money if you notice something really wrong.
A jack could save you money – This is really a combination of all the above. If you can do some work on your vehicle yourself or change a spare tyre by the side of the road without calling for roadside assistance, it could save you a lot of money.
Things to Consider When Buying a Portable Car Jack
While buying a car jack may seem like a fairly straight forward process, there are a number of things to consider:
The type of jack – We have already talked about the different types of jacks above, but it is worth mentioning again. If you are looking for a jack that you will use more at home, with the occasional use on long trips, you may be fine going with a heavier floor jack. If you only need something for emergency situations and you want the lightest option available, a good quality scissor jack may be the best option.
Lifting capacity – There is not point in purchasing a jack that can only lift 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) if your vehicle weighs more than this, so it is important to factor in the tonnage of your car.
Liftin range – This is much the same as above. If you own a sports car with minimal ground clearance, there is no point in purchasing a jack that will not fit under it. Those with SUVs and cars with greater ground clearance will have more options when it comes to the types of jacks they can purchase, however, you may have to go with a model with a higher lifting capacity.
Weight & portability – If you can’t lift 20 kg (44 lb), a floor jack probably isn’t going to work for you. Alternatively, if you don’t mind carrying something heavier and can do so safely, a floor jack may be a better option.
Stability & Safety – Floor jacks, bottle jacks and even electric jacks are usually quite a bit safer than a scissor jack due to their more rugged, sturdy designs that offer better stability. There are some good, stable scissor jacks, but safety and stability are very important things to consider.
Longevity & Price – Generally, like with most things, a higher quality product is going to last longer than a cheaper option. Jacks can get pretty expensive and mid-range floor jacks tend to be in the $150 range. If you are looking for a cheaper option, a good quality scissor or floor jack may be the way to go.
Why You Should Use Jack Stands
At the end of the product list we added some portable, lightweight jack stands. Jack stands should always be used if you plan to lift your vehicle for an extended period of time. Additionally, you should never get under a car that is held by a jack alone as you could wind up like a squashed squirrel. Even with jack stands and a jack you need to be absolutely sure that the surface you are on is stable and the car won’t move.
Conclusion – Best Portable & Lightweight Car Jacks
Thanks for taking the time to read our guide on the best portable & lightweight car jacks.
Whether you are looking to do a pre-purchase inspection on a potential new car purchase (if so, make sure you check out our comprehensive and ever-growing list of buyer’s guides) or whether you are wanting to do maintenance and repairs on an existing vehicle, having an inspection camera or borescope will make life so much easier for many different tasks.
If you have another recommended product, then we would love to hear your feedback too!
Make sure to take the time to look at our other product buyer’s guides as well, including the best paint thickness gauges, top portable jump starters, the best car inspection cameras and the best OBD2 scanners.