When it comes to maintaining your car or changing oil, you will definitely need a car jack. With so many options to jack up your car for maintenance, none beats a hydraulic jack. And the two most common types of hydraulic jacks on the market are the floor jack and bottle jack. But which one is better?
Many people have their own preference on which type of hydraulic jack is best suited for their application. Both of these car jacks are used in the garage and have their most preferred uses. If you want to know which one is best suited for your needs, then you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading to find out.
Comparison Table: Floor Jack Vs Bottle Jack
|Ease of Use:||allows the user to pump very quickly||less user friendly|
|Power:||Low to the ground||Great power-to-size ratio|
|Availability:||More in the market||Fewer|
Summary of Contents
What is a floor jack?
A floor jack is a type of jack that is oriented with the hydraulic cylinder placed horizontally. This jack comes with two vital parts, which are the piston pump which is operated by hand, and the other part is the cylinder assembly.
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The biggest reason why people use floor jacks is that they are able to lift their vehicle to a significantly greater vertical height. This is carried out by using the hand-operated pump, which looks like a handle but is slightly longer. It is then pulled forward and turned. When turned, it opens up the valve, and this allows the hydraulic fluid to enter into the cylinder assembly, which later functions by lifting the vehicle upwards.
What is a bottle jack?
On the other hand, bottle jacks are different from floor jacks. These work by being mounted vertically. Bottle jacks come with a more straightforward design which makes them be able to lift more weight and at very high elevations.
In terms of size, bottle jacks are small when compared to floor jacks. This makes storing them to be more convenient and easy than floor jacks. In that regard, bottle jacks are also quite cheaper than floor the bigger floor jacks.
Unlike Torin 3-Ton floor jacks, using bottle jacks is really simple. Simply put the jack under your vehicle and turn the small piston in a counterclockwise direction that will allow you to change the piston’s height. After this, you have to identify the valve towards the bottom of the jack.
Bottle jacks come with a key at the top of the handle assembly, which is created to allow you to open the valve. You need to keep turning this until it is very tight, and then the handle can be out into the shaft. With the help of simple pumping action, the vehicle will be lifted slowly.
Which one is better: Floor Jack or Bottle jack?
Depending on your application, you may find the bottle jack or floor jack to be the better car jack for your needs. Floor jacks are portable and can lift vehicles to extremely higher heights than floor jacks. But this doesn’t mean that they are the best. On the other hand, floor jacks such as Pro Lift or Harbor Freight are easy to operate and can even fit on the lowest vehicles in the garage, which the bottle jacks can’t.
How should I choose the best hydraulic jack for my work?
Strengths and weaknesses of floor jacks
First and foremost, floor jacks are more stable than bottle jacks due to their size. Floor jacks are large, which means that they distribute their weight more evenly than bottle jacks. As a result, it is very difficult for a vehicle to fall off the floor jack when compared to a bottle jack.
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There are some floor jacks that feature wheels which make them be very portable. This allows the user to transport or move the vehicle from one corner of the garage to another easily. This is a wonderful feature as it makes car repair or maintenance to be carried out easily.
Even with so many advantages, a floor jack has its own disadvantage, which is its size. Despite having wheels that make them be portable, floor jacks are bigger in size than bottle jacks.
Strengths and weaknesses of bottle jacks
Bottle jacks are lighter but need more ground clearance to securely lift the car. They fit perfectly in tight a place where the floor and scissor jacks can’t, and that’s why they are regarded to be more portable than floor jacks. These jacks are more suitable for lifting trucks as they don’t need a lot of clearance like small cars.
Due to their smaller size, the weight of the vehicle or load is distributed over a smaller area; thus, the vehicle is not very stable. So, performing a vehicle repair when your car is lifted by a bottle jack can be very dangerous, and it is not advisable. For tire changing, a bottle jack is well suited for this task.
Final Decision between Bottle Jack and Floor Jack
After comparing these two car jacks, it is clear that both of them have their own strengths and weaknesses. The hydraulic jack will be the one that helps you to perform your own applications. But also, it is a good idea to have both of them in your garage and use them interchangeably or together for easier car maintenance.
However, most mechanics and car repair shop owners prefer floor jacks over hydraulic or scissor lifting jacks. But if you’re a truck driver, you are better off using a bottle jack to a floor jack. Make an informed decision and choose a hydraulic jack that serves you better.
Meet our professional car mechanic, Russell D. Steele, who has been in this field for five consecutive years and works with several automotive companies. He completed the "AUTOMOTIVE & LIGHT DUTY DIESEL TECHNOLOGY" course from NorthWest Lowa Community College, where he learned essential diagnostic and transportation management skills and became a certified mechanic.