Floor Jacks are predominately made from either Steel or Aluminum of a combination of both. So it’s no surprise one of the most common questions we get here at bestfloorjacks.com questions we get is which to choose?
The discerning factor between choosing a steel or aluminum Floor Jack is what will be the primary purpose of the Jack.
Aluminum jacks are lighter in weight than their steel counterparts, they are easily maneuvered around and are and for this reason are often seen in low profile racing jacks, as they are need to move into place quickly and with a minimum of effort. Durability with these jacks is still very good, but they are a little less robust in comparison to their steel jack counterparts. The low weight means you can easily take this jack in the back of your vehicle or store it on a shelf.
Steel Jackson the other hand are more suited to a true workshop, garage situation where they are in constant use and need to stand up to a lot of punishment and at times borderline neglect. While these jacks are tougher the trade-off is they are often much heavier and therefore more cumbersome to move around and transporting in the back of a vehicle for example isn’t really an option
To illustrate the difference the Hein Werner Steel 3 Ton Garage jack weighs in at a whopping 123 pounds, where as the Arcan AlJ3T weighs in at just 56 pounds, that’s a back breaking (or saving) difference of 67 pounds!
There is a third option and that is to go for a Steel and Aluminum hybrid such as the Powerzone 380044. These Jacks usually have an aluminum body which helps keep the Jack weight down, but have steel components in the areas that take the most wear and tear and where safety and reliability matters the most such as the lift arm.
Which one you choose really is depends upon your needs.
- If you need a jack you can throw transport around easily, or a low profile jack for performance vehicles a Aluminum Jack is the Jack for you
- If you need a robust hard working, long lasting Jack for a workshop or professional Garage situation then a Steel Jack will be more suited to your needs.
- If you want an all purpose jack, one you can transport, but will also proved strength where it matters most, then the combination steel and aluminum jacks are the way to go.
As you can see, the difference between Aluminum and steel is largely a strength versus weight decision. One other thing to keep in mind is that steel jacks often take a bigger load capacity, where as Aluminum jacks are often low profile jacks and as such are suited to racing or lowered vehicles. Check out our favorite Aluminum floor jack here.