Best Car Lifts – Buyer’s Guide

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Best Car LiftsCar lifts are the wave of the future for car enthusiasts. Automotive businesses have a good sense of what consists of a top of the line lift. As things are changing many people are now looking to do some vehicle maintenance at home, and car lifts will make it easier and faster.

For those car enthusiasts that may want to restore an old car or do regular maintenance, this buyer’s guide is for you. Here, you will learn about six different car lifts that are available today and receive a detailed explanation of the specs and safety of the lift. Take some time to look at these options over before purchasing a car lift.

Contents

Best Car Lifts of 2019

Product TypeDimensionsLifting HeightCapacity, lbsPower sourceWeight, lbs 
TRIUMPH NT-9 (Editor's Choice)TRIUMPH NT-9 Two Post Floor Plate Lift2 post car liftWeight 132 in; Height 111 in; Width Between Posts 106"72 in9000Motor 3 Horse Power Voltage 220V1300Check Price
QuickJack BL-5000SLXQuickJack BL-5000SLX Car LiftCar liftLength 72.5 in; Weight 18 in; Height 3 in60 in5000110V AC Motor. Other motors available: 12V DC, 220V AC, 240V AC-Check Price
BendPak MD-6XPBendPak MD-6XP Portable Mid-Rise Scissor LiftPortable car liftLength 81 in; Width 40 in; Height 4.75 in48-53 in60001-phase 110-220V electric motor954Check Price
TRIUMPH NSS-8TRIUMPH NSS-8 4 Post Storage Service Lift4 post car liftLength 175 in; Height 84 in; Overall Drive Through Width 93 in67 in8000110V Motor1570Check Price
QuickJack BL-7000SLXQuickJack BendPak BL-7000SLX-AC Car LiftCar liftLength 72.5 in; Height 3.5 in60 in7000110V Motor-Check Price
Dannmar DMJ-6 MaxJaxDannmar MaxJax Portable 2-Post LiftPortable 2 post car liftLength 78 in; Weight 25 in; Height 24 in89 in6000110V Motor880Check Price

1. TRIUMPH NT-9 – Top Rated 2 Post Car Lift for Home Garage

The Triumph NT-9 is versatile and can be used for multiple vehicles just by changing the three-stage front arms.

High Lifting Capacity

The Triumph NT-9 has a lifting capacity of 9,000 pounds with 111 inches in height and 132 inches in width. It can lift its load as high as 72 inches and low as 4.5 inches. The space between the two posts is 106 inches in length. The lift is portable but doesn’t fold into a trunk of a car. Instead, you should use the bed of a truck. Sadly, this lifting system doesn’t have a safety shutoff switch, and it’s recommended to put the two posts in four inches of concrete for better stability and safety.

Recommendation

We highly recommend the Triumph NT-9 for those who are mechanically inclined. It comes with floor mounting hardware for extra sturdiness. What’s more, it has a power voltage of 220 volts. The NT-9 three horsepower motor lifting time is only 40 seconds, and it definitely speeds up vehicle maintenance. For the price and the amount of pounds, this lift can handle you will be astonished by how quick the maintenance job is done.

PROS:
  • Can handle 9,000 pounds of capacity
  • Easily assembled
  • It is solid and sturdy
CONS:
  • It doesn’t have an electric safety shutoff
  • There is no folding mechanism

TRIUMPH NT-9 Two Post Lift

 

2. QuickJack BL-5000SLX – Great Auto Lift for Suspension Work

The lift allows the center of the undercarriage to be open for exhaust work and for the tires free to work on the suspension or brake system.

Plenty of Ground Clearance

The BL-5000SLX can lift up to 5000 pounds and raise a vehicle all the way up to 21-inches leaving plenty of room for maintenance on your car. This portable 75-inch frame can collapse your load all the way down to three inches. It is important to know that the weight of the load may shift when lowered or raised. Also, it is possible that the connector may fail if the fitting is not connected correctly.

Recommendation

We highly recommend this BL-5000SLX portable lifting system to those who routinely does maintenance on vehicles. The car lift weighs 215 pounds and has an 110V AC Motor system. It features a welded steel durable box frame along with cantilevered rubber block trays for better functionality. Beyond that, we love the fact that you can do extensive suspension work with ease.

PROS:
  • Saves a lot of time
  • It is portable
  • Works great for cars with little ground clearance
  • Easy to use
  • Center is open for exhaust work
  • Tires are free for suspension and brake work
  • Lightweight
CONS:
  • The weight of the load shifts when raised and lowered
  • The quick connect fittings may fail if not fastened properly

 

3. BendPak MD-6XP – Great Portable Scissor Lift for Small Garage

The design of the MD-6XP is made to fit adequately into narrower bays, and it will not take up your garage floor space.

Durable Structure

The BendPak MD-6XP is sturdy and durable enough to lift 6,000-pounds. The load can be raised at an amazing high of 48 inches within 45 seconds and can go to a low of 4.75 inches. The solid steel frame support bars provide a strong mid-rise lift to give you access to your brake system. It is difficult to work on the exhaust system due to the positioning of the lift. It comes well equipped with safety locks that have multiple lock positions, adjustable arm assemblies, free truck adapter package, and more.

Recommendation

We recommend this mid-rise scissor lift to those who have a narrow garage and a vehicle within the weight capacity. The design of the jack wheels move inward on the stand the higher you lift your load. It includes a portable motor cart that serves as a tow handle for easy maneuvering.

PROS:
  • Can lift up to 6,000 pounds
  • Easy to work on your brake system
  • Can raise your load in 45 seconds
  • Very stable and safe
CONS:
  • The jack wheels move inward on the stand
  • Difficult to work on exhaust systems

 

4. TRIUMPH NSS-8 – Top Rated 4 Post Residential Garage Car Lift

The Triumph NSS-8 car lift can make your one car garage into a dual storage two car garage.

Drive Through Runway

The NSS-8 can handle a load up to 8,000 pounds and has a drive through width of 93 inches with a runway length of 165 inches. It can lift the load all the way up to 72 inches and as low as five inches. It comes with a jack tray, drip trays, and a caster kit. The overall height is 84 inches, and the total length is 175 inches. As you raise your vehicle, the NSS-8 has a safety automatic locking system that connects to 10 different locations.

Recommendation

We are excited about this versatile car lift where the top vehicle is lifted to 72 inches, and the bottom car is pulled through the 93 inches runway for extra storage in the garage. If you need to do maintenance on one of your vehicles, then pull one vehicle outside while you work on the other car. There is an adequate amount of room to work on the suspension, rotating the tires, or changing the oil.

PROS:
  • Dual storage space in the garage
  • Can lift up to 8,000 pounds
  • Has a safety automatic locking system
CONS:
  • Is not able to be folded
  • The welding may break if you exceed the weight limit

 

5. QuickJack BL-7000SLX – Great Automotive Lift for Portability

This portable BL-7000SLX can easily be stowed or hauled in your truck within a short amount of time. The portability feature makes it possible to take it to the track to change tires in a flash or to repair damages after an unexpected crash.

Superior Durability

The frame length of BL-7000SLX is 71 inches, and it can hold up to 7,000 pounds. The durable platform frame height is 17.7 inches and can rise to 21.2 inches and all the way down to 3.5 inches. As the lift rises, the dual-position automatic safety lock bars engage automatically. The rudder lift block position can exceed up to a 60-inch spread and a small spread of 31.5 inches.

Recommendation

We recommend the 7000SLX for its sturdy platform and portability. However, one minor detail we would like to mention, it can’t be folded. If you have a large vehicle such as an SUV or an F-150 pickup, you will not have any difficulty. This car lift also provides an adequate amount of room to work on the transmission and brake system.

PROS:
  • Is portable
  • It has an automatic safety lock
  • It can lift 7,000 pounds
CONS:
  • The load when it raised may shift forward
  • It can’t fold for storage

 

6. Dannmar DMJ-6 MaxJax – Great Safety Auto Lift for Home Garage

The hydraulic feature makes it quick to lift your load and locks in place with its automatic safety locking system.

Lifting System

The Dannmar MaxJax lifting system can hold 6,000 pounds and rise to a high of 45 inches within 30 seconds. The pad can also lower all the way down to 3.5 inches. The Dannmar MaxJax portable two-post lift system is designed to be secure and adaptable to your vehicle’s frame. When using two separate hydraulic cylinders, it will lift unevenly. Unfortunately, it only has two holes in the columns that you slide the lock bar in limiting what maintenance you can do on your vehicle. Sadly, the hydraulic feature and structure of this car lift can’t fold.

Recommendation

This lift is great for those who have low clearance ceiling garages. The Dannmar MaxJax lift includes a power pack voltage of 110 volts, 156 inch hose that connects to the power pack. This patented design car lift is easy to use and is the safest lift design that we found for low ceilings.

PROS:
  • Can lift up to 6,000 pounds
  • It is portable and easy to move
  • Makes working on cars easy
CONS:
  • It lifts unevenly
  • You’re limited to what maintenance you can do

 

Buyer’s Guide

Car lifts are one of the best investments that a mechanic can have to work on vehicles. It speeds up the process tremendously. The hydraulic systems of today’s car lift can lift the load within 30 to 45 seconds. Many mechanics are reaping the benefits of having a car lift in the household garage.

Some lifts make it possible to double stack cars like the Triumph NSS-8 4 Post Storage Service Lift mentioned above. Car lifts are becoming more popular among those car enthusiasts and hobbyists that like to restore old classics.

Who can Benefit from Using a Car Lift?

Car lifts will benefit anyone who likes to do maintenance on vehicles at home, small mechanical business, body shops, and at the race track. Some people believe that car lifts are only for businesses, but that is not true. Homeowners with a garage can benefit from owning one as well.

The Benefits of Car Lifts

Vehicle maintenance becomes more accessible with a car lift

If you’re a mechanic by trade or someone who likes to do the maintenance on your investment vehicle, then you will be pleased about the versatility of a car lift. It can make life easier when working on the undercarriage of your vehicle, exhaust repairs, oil changes, suspension replacements, brakes, and the rotation of your tires.

A car lift will protect your investment

Your vehicle is a financial investment that can be protected with a car lift added to your garage at home. It will give more space by raising your car out of the way of other storage items or second vehicle.

By parking your car in the garage, it will protect it from theft and vandalism. With your vehicle in the garage, it will also be protected from weather damage and prolong the life of the body and paint job.

Seasonal garage storage for your pride and joy

During the winters, it is not logical to have your classic sit out in the weather. When there is little to no room to put your pride and joy into your garage, car lifts can make it possible. Having added storage can save you a costly storage fee during those big winter months.

Store a second vehicle in a one-car garage

There are many homes available today that have only one garage connected to it, and if your family has two cars, there is a dilemma. If you utilize a car lift, you will have plenty of room for two vehicles to be out of the weather conditions.

Two Cars in One-Car Garage

Car lifts are for more than cars

Even though these mechanisms are called car lifts, they can hold other vehicles such as pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs. The only condition is that the car doesn’t over exceed the lifting weight capacity. Believe it or not, they can even help store your lawn equipment, snowblower, and even your motorcycle.

Motorcycle on Lift

Main Feature – The Ability to Lift a Vehicle

These mechanisms are great for lifting your vehicle for maintenance purposes or more storage space. It can be done with the hydraulic pack, arm restraints, lifting pads, and so much more. The motor and features of these car lifts have the strength to lift a load of 5,000 to 9,000 pound within 30 to 45 seconds.

The adjustability is what makes it possible to use the same lift for every vehicle in the household. The automatic safety locks make it safe to lift your load in the range of 17.7 inches to 45 inches. The remote control helps the lift to have perfect precision.

What are other essential features to consider?

Hydraulic Pack

The hydraulic pack design is with the safety of others in mind with the use of velocity fuses or hydraulic flow restrictions and includes the hydraulic circuit and hydraulic cylinders. These vital safety devices can control sudden downward travel if the component fails.

Arm Restraints

Car lifting positions designs are for different vehicle styles as no structure is the same. The two-post car lifts use the swing arm assemblies to adjust the arm design to fit a wide range of vehicles. The arm restraint device locks in place as the load is lifted.

Automatic Safety Locks

The automatic electronic safety locks on these products have multiple positions for dynamics flexibility. It keeps you safe and secure when you are under the car doing maintenance and your car from falling and becoming damaged. These safety locks engage as your load is lifted and to release the locks, you must go up slightly to lower the pressure of the load.

Remote Control

The remote control is what puts the motor in motion. It makes it easy and convenient to raise the vehicle in 30 to 45 seconds flat, and it is so much easier than those hand jacks. It can lower the load just as fast with perfect precision.

Lifting Pads

These pads are what help hold your load weight in place. Car lifts, typically, have different adapters that either come with the purchase of your lift or available at the manufacturer. There are pads for cars, motorcycles, and SUVs.

Solid Steel Frame Support Bars

Support bars are what hold the weight of the load. Each car lift has a weight capacity in the range of 5,000 pounds to 9,000 pounds. It is vital that you stay within the weight requirements for the maximum amount of support.

Frequent Asked Questions

Would it be safe to use a car lift for prolonged periods like over the winter?

Yes, it is possible with four post car lifts. The weight is not rested on the hydraulic system but rather on the automatic safety locks. It is not recommended for two post car lifts.

How much weight pressure can the lifting arms handle?

The arm restraints can handle 5,000 pounds to 9,000 pounds. The weight of most vehicles will work for these car lifts.

Can a car lift be mounted outside in a driveway?

Yes, it is possible. The only thing to worry about is covering the motor when you’re not using it to protect it from weather damage.

How much weight capacity can a car lift handle?

It depends on what brands they are and if they are a two or four post lift. In general, they typically can handle 5,000 to 9,000 pounds.

Are these car lifts portable for easy storage?

Yes, most car lifts are portable. However, they don’t typically fold small enough to fit into the trunk of a car.

Does a car lift need to be mounted on the garage floor? If so, how thick must the
concrete be?

Some designs are necessary but not all. If you do choose a car lift design that needs to be mounted to the floor, then it is recommended to place it approximately four inches into the concrete.

Are the hydraulic power pack 110 volts or 220 volts?

Depending on the brand or size of the car lift will depend on the voltage. BendPak car lifts are powered by 110-220 volts. The Triumph NSS-8 is powered by 110 volts.

What prevents the car lift from dropping your vehicle?

Typically, car lifts have an automatic safety lock system that connects in different positions as the lift is raised. The locking system is what makes it safe for you to walk underneath your vehicle for maintenance purposes.

Does hydraulic fluid come with the lifts?

No, DOT and insurance laws do not permit it due to the hazardous ingredients.

Do I need a special floor or foundation to support the lift?

Most commercial and residential foundations are adequate to support car lifts. However, you should always follow the concrete specifications.

What is the recommended ceiling height for car lifts?

The ceiling height will depend on manual of the lift you have chosen. Read it carefully and be sure not to skip over any import details.

Do car lifts require maintenance?

Visual inspections every month as you raise and lower the lift is sufficient enough. The hydraulic system and cables need to be maintained regularly.

How do I bleed my two-post hydraulic cylinders?

Raise the lift up and down with no weight on it. Lower the arms roughly to one foot off of the floor. Next, open the bleeders on top of the cylinders, the fluid will begin to bubble. After the fluid stops bubbling, you will need to reclose the bleeders.

Do I need an air compressor for a four-post lift?

Yes, it is necessary to have a 30 to 40 PSI to unfasten the locks.

What causes the arms of a two-post lift to bounce up and down?

You may have air in the lines. To check it, raise the lift until it locks in place, then open the bleeder on top of the cylinders to release any air in the lines. When the fluid begins to leak out of the cylinder, close the bleeder.

What is the dissimilarity between the two post and four post lifts?

The four lift posts are mainly used o store a vehicle up in the air with another car underneath it. They have two steel track runners that lift vehicles by the wheels. These lifts can also be used for doing maintenance such as exhaust work, oil changes, and brakes.

The two lift posts lift your vehicle at four separate points on the frame and provide access to work on the underside of the car. These car lifts are not recommended for storing your vehicle for extended periods.

Final Thoughts

In this guide, you’ve learned how a car lift can save space in your garage and double stack your vehicles. You have been educated on how car lift adjustments can accommodate multiple vehicles as most families have more than one automobile. If you are a car enthusiast, a small business, or someone who is mechanically inclined, then a car lift may be beneficial to your garage.

Who knows what the technology of the future may bring, but for now, all car lifts mentioned in this guide will make maintenance on your vehicle more accessible and more storage space. We firmly believe if you read this guide you, now have the tools to make a good car lift choice.

Ryan Chambers

I'm Ryan Chambers, an enthusiast of cars and pretty girls; I try to run, repair and equip my garage on my own. On the pages of this blog you'll find all information you'll need related to the operation and repair of a home garage.

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