Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work??

Posted by: MI_Roger

Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/23/14 01:00 PM

D-I-Y work on small to medium cars only. I am favoring the US made 3 ton Hein-Warner stands sold by Northern Tool for ~$65 and others for slightly more. I like to save money but don't want to risk my life for a $30-$40 savings.

Other good choices??
Posted by: benjamming

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/23/14 01:42 PM

I assume the HW model you're talking about is HW93503?
Gray Mfg has vehicle support stands (pin type) made in the US. I have model 7-T but I seem to remember this is a bought item for Gray from a mfg facility in GA.
NORCO Jack Stands are also made in the USA (pin type). I have model 81205.
US Jack has jack stands that are made in USA but are ratchet style. I bought my dad model D-41609.

Edit:
When I bought mine back in Nov-2011, here was the pricing breakdown. Prices should be better now.
Gray 7T $279
Gray 7TH $340
Norco 81205 $200
Norco 81208 $386
US Jack D-41609 $87
US Jack D-41610 $103
HW 93503 $77
HW 93506 $119
HW 93524 $321
Posted by: andyd

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/23/14 01:42 PM

Along with the stands, make pads for the feet out 3/4 plywood. These are essential on an asphalt drive way or dirt. No brands to recommend. The freebies I have dont have a wide enough base to be stable when fully extended. I use cribbing. Crossing alternate layers. Little piers. But I know what I'm doing, I used to do it building ships.Same principle, down scaled. I learned from two mentors, Archie Mendez, and Manuel Labor.
It is plane geometry, plain and simple laugh
Posted by: stephen9666

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/23/14 02:05 PM

Remember, Hein Werner jack stands are no longer really made in the USA.

There was a big thread about it on Garage Journal recently. The company admitted that the base is now made in China and only the post is made in the USA.

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=233556
Posted by: JHZR2

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/23/14 02:14 PM

^ouch.

OP, Im loving my jackpoint jack stands, though they are $.
Posted by: MI_Roger

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/23/14 03:37 PM

The US Jack models are looking better. Made in Michigan and have a much larger base. I just wish they would repeat the promotional pricing they offered in 2012!

It looks like Black Hawk, Omega, and even Snap-On are now owned by Proto-Power which is part of Shinn-Fu America. My concern with buying foreign is that too many parts now come from countries with no concept of quality control or professional integrity.
Posted by: MI_Roger

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/23/14 03:55 PM

From the U.S. Jack Co. facebook page:


About
U.S. Jack Company was founded in 1988 and manufactures 100% American made hydraulic jacks. We offer outstanding customer service, fast delivery, and high quality products at competitive pricing. All U.S. Jack products carry a one year warranty.


Mission
Our mission is to manufacture the highest quality 100 % American made hydraulic jack equipment and offer it at competitive prices. Our hydraulic jacks are not only for the casual user but for our U.S. Military forces as well. U.S. Jack is all about pride in American made products, keeping our fellow Americans working and supporting our troops with the highest quality products possible.

Company Overview

Did you know that U.S. Jack CO. is the only manufacturer remaining in the United States that produces 100% American made hydraulic jacks, long ram jacks, garage stands, port-a-power starter kits, and transmission jacks?

U.S. Jack Company was founded in 1988. The product designs and tooling were purchased from Auto Specialties Manufacturing when they discontinued their after-market business in 1988. Auto Specialties Manufacturing (AUSCO) had been producing automotive jacks and service equipment since the early 1930's. U.S. Jack Company has continued the tradition that AUSCO started of fine quality American made products. Limited parts inventory for some of the early AUSCO products are still available but becoming scarcer with each passing year. A full line of replacement parts and seal kits are readily available for today’s line up of U.S. Jack products.


Description

Today U.S. Jack works with a number of OEM accounts supplying specialized hydraulic jacks tailored to meet their needs. Our products are also sold through our network of service centers and established distributors which can be located from our web site using the map of the United States.

Approximately 93% of our business is under contract with the federal government either through our own contract with the General Services Administration (GSA) or contracts being fulfilled through a number of our customers, some of which include BAE Systems, Lockheed-Martin and Boeing Aerospace.

We take a great deal of pride in the work we do to support our troops with American made equipment. Supporting other small businesses within our community is another point of company pride.

All U.S. Jack products carry a one year warranty on material and workmanship and we have over 170 active authorized service centers across the United States.
Posted by: Mfrank84

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/23/14 04:15 PM

I know everyone is just waiting for someone to mention Harbor Freight jack stands. I have a set of 3 ton jack stands from HF that have served me well over the past six years. Feel very comfortable having either of my vehicles on them. Are there some better made out there? I'm sure there are but for the price and as little as I use them, they're perfect for me.
Posted by: JDW

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/23/14 04:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Mfrank84
I know everyone is just waiting for someone to mention Harbor Freight jack stands. I have a set of 3 ton jack stands from HF that have served me well over the past six years. Feel very comfortable having either of my vehicles on them. Are there some better made out there? I'm sure there are but for the price and as little as I use them, they're perfect for me.


I have the same, Bird sets on them during the winter months no problems smile
Posted by: stephen9666

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/23/14 04:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Mfrank84
I know everyone is just waiting for someone to mention Harbor Freight jack stands. I have a set of 3 ton jack stands from HF that have served me well over the past six years. Feel very comfortable having either of my vehicles on them. Are there some better made out there? I'm sure there are but for the price and as little as I use them, they're perfect for me.


I also have three sets of Chinese stands and they work totally fine. Two of my sets appear to be from the same OEM that is rebranded by HF and many, many other companies.

My third set are the Torin ratcheting stands with a pin.
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200305225_200305225

I was simply pointing out that the Hein Werners aren't made in the USA anymore, so they aren't probably worth the price premium.
Posted by: Sawdusted

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/23/14 04:51 PM

I also have no problems using my HF jack stands. Had it for several years already.

One limitation is that it does not lift very high especially if you have a SUV with long travel suspensions. On the highest setting, my Pathfinder's wheels are barely off the floor. The wheel needs to cone out dead horizontal. If I need the room to work, I usually go with my HF 6-ton set which gives a lot more clearance.

For normal sedans, the 3-ton set will work just fine.
Posted by: jcwit

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/23/14 06:48 PM

Just assuming its made in the U.S. its absolutely top notch is just wrong.

Just assuming its made in the far east it's garbage is just as wrong.

Better check out the cloths on your back and the appliances, electronics you own.
Posted by: MI_Roger

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/24/14 05:40 AM

Originally Posted By: jcwit
Better check out the cloths on your back and the appliances, electronics you own.


Which is EXACTLY why I want to buy US made. There is no longer a US comsumer electronics industry. There is hardly a US major appliances industry (neglecting the foreign owned plants). There is no longer a US garmet industry. I have family members who cannot obtain decent paying blue collar jobs in the US because companies are forced to compete with other companies who are exploiting the cheap labor of impoverished peoples living in the world's developing countries.
Posted by: jcwit

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/24/14 05:49 AM

Originally Posted By: MI_Roger
Originally Posted By: jcwit
Better check out the cloths on your back and the appliances, electronics you own.


Which is EXACTLY why I want to buy US made. There is no longer a US comsumer electronics industry. There is hardly a US major appliances industry (neglecting the foreign owned plants). There is no longer a US garmet industry. I have family members who cannot obtain decent paying blue collar jobs in the US because companies are forced to compete with other companies who are exploiting the cheap labor of impoverished peoples living in the world's developing countries.


And just as I commented, just the fact it is "Made in the U.S.A." does not denote quality. To think otherwise is just plain folly.

All products are made to a price point, no matter where produced.
Posted by: cptbarkey

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/24/14 12:44 PM

Originally Posted By: andyd
Along with the stands, make pads for the feet out 3/4 plywood. These are essential on an asphalt drive way or dirt. No brands to recommend. The freebies I have dont have a wide enough base to be stable when fully extended. I use cribbing. Crossing alternate layers. Little piers. But I know what I'm doing, I used to do it building ships.Same principle, down scaled. I learned from two mentors, Archie Mendez, and Manuel Labor.
It is plane geometry, plain and simple laugh


can you elaborate? my google skills are failing me for your pad concept.
Posted by: Trav

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/24/14 07:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Mfrank84
I know everyone is just waiting for someone to mention Harbor Freight jack stands.

Its inevitable. Someone is looking for quality stuff and Horror Freight gets tossed into the mix. LOL
Posted by: jcwit

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/24/14 08:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Trav
Originally Posted By: Mfrank84
I know everyone is just waiting for someone to mention Harbor Freight jack stands.

Its inevitable. Someone is looking for quality stuff and Horror Freight gets tossed into the mix. LOL


Why not? They work well for me and have for 20 years now, but then I use them on compact to mid size cars, not semi tractors. Common sense to the fore front.

Living fugal has allowed me to retire at 58.
Posted by: Trav

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/24/14 08:37 PM

I legally retired at 48 and don't live especially frugal so how does that effect the price of air at gas stations?
You want to buy Horror Freight stuff thats your business but when some is looking for quality thats not the store to look for it.
Posted by: JDW

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/24/14 08:43 PM

Legally retired at 53 , Love my HF
Posted by: Trav

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/24/14 09:15 PM

It make no difference when anyone retired or how someone chooses to spend their money.
The OP said he was favoring American made and didn't mind spending a little more. He didn't ask how the US made products stack up against HF stuff.
IMO HF doesn't even belong in the thread.

Living frugal by buying from HF isn't going to make a lick of a difference in the amount of money you save for retirement.
In fact it could be just the opposite, buy cheap stuff and replace it numerous times vs buying quality once is a fools errand.
Posted by: NormanBuntz

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/24/14 11:11 PM

Anything that not made in China.
Posted by: JHZR2

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/24/14 11:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Trav
It make no difference when anyone retired or how someone chooses to spend their money.
The OP said he was favoring American made and didn't mind spending a little more. He didn't ask how the US made products stack up against HF stuff.
IMO HF doesn't even belong in the thread.

Living frugal by buying from HF isn't going to make a lick of a difference in the amount of money you save for retirement.
In fact it could be just the opposite, buy cheap stuff and replace it numerous times vs buying quality once is a fools errand.




Exactly.

The only folly is thinking that buying HF is somehow going to magically create retirement bliss, or the worse aspect, that somehow people buying locally made items to keep their fellow countrymen employed are to be belittled for whatever reason. Its just so weird.
Posted by: demarpaint

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/25/14 07:13 AM

Originally Posted By: Trav
It make no difference when anyone retired or how someone chooses to spend their money.
The OP said he was favoring American made and didn't mind spending a little more. He didn't ask how the US made products stack up against HF stuff.
IMO HF doesn't even belong in the thread.

Living frugal by buying from HF isn't going to make a lick of a difference in the amount of money you save for retirement.
In fact it could be just the opposite, buy cheap stuff and replace it numerous times vs buying quality once is a fools errand.




I agree. While I have nothing against HF and do buy certain items from them, I know that if buying from them is going to have any measurable impact on my retirement I have real problems. Or I buy a lotttttttttttttttt of stuff I don't need. LOL
Posted by: doitmyself

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/25/14 07:51 AM

We are not assisting the OP very much.

Sadly, JCWIT is correct that US Made does not guarantee quality.

Stephen1966 will concur that there are numerous threads at garagejournal.com bemoaning US Jacks and Hein Werner (US version) with poor quality welds. Here's one of many: http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=148786
"Yah the welds are pitiful, the paint looks crummy because they are packed very poorly in the box"
"Yep, i made a similar thread a little while ago. Sorely disappointed with the QC on the HW jack stands. One of the arms didnt even fit into the stand without a hammer."
"I would not accept that quality, especially since you paid well over double what a better looking import set would cost."


From Benjamming's excellent suggestions, the US Jack seems to be the best value, but I would insist at ordering time that the welds are excellent, or they will be returned.

We drive our families around on Chinese rotors, so if and when US made jackstands become extinct, we will have to determine which of the imports are good quality. This is what we should be doing here. First, the OP needs to determine which jack "pad" design he likes best. I am at a loss for determining quality beyond fit and finish. Ideas, anyone??
Posted by: jcwit

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/25/14 08:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Trav

In fact it could be just the opposite, buy cheap stuff and replace it numerous times vs buying quality once is a fools errand.




Have yet to replace 1 item at Harbor Freight with money out of my pocket. Most everything from there except power tools carries a lifetime guarantee.
Posted by: jcwit

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/25/14 08:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Trav


Living frugal by buying from HF isn't going to make a lick of a difference in the amount of money you save for retirement.




So saving money and creating a nest egg has nothing to do with having money for retirement? Your logic escapes me as does your knowledge of finance.
Posted by: jcwit

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/25/14 08:50 AM

Originally Posted By: NormanBuntz
Anything that not made in China.


Check the country of origin of your computer.
Posted by: Trav

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/25/14 09:43 AM

Originally Posted By: jcwit
Originally Posted By: Trav


Living frugal by buying from HF isn't going to make a lick of a difference in the amount of money you save for retirement.




So saving money and creating a nest egg has nothing to do with having money for retirement? Your logic escapes me as does your knowledge of finance.


How in hades do you know what i know or not about finances?
What does this have to do with jack stands or HF for that matter. You having a bad day or what?
Posted by: Trav

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/25/14 09:44 AM

Originally Posted By: jcwit
Originally Posted By: NormanBuntz
Anything that not made in China.


Check the country of origin of your computer.


Panasonic Toughbook and Fujitsu both Made in JAPAN. LOL

Posted by: stephen9666

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/25/14 10:49 AM

Originally Posted By: doitmyself
We are not assisting the OP very much.

Sadly, JCWIT is correct that US Made does not guarantee quality.

Stephen1966 will concur that there are numerous threads at garagejournal.com bemoaning US Jacks and Hein Werner (US version) with poor quality welds. Here's one of many: http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=148786
"Yah the welds are pitiful, the paint looks crummy because they are packed very poorly in the box"
"Yep, i made a similar thread a little while ago. Sorely disappointed with the QC on the HW jack stands. One of the arms didnt even fit into the stand without a hammer."
"I would not accept that quality, especially since you paid well over double what a better looking import set would cost."


From Benjamming's excellent suggestions, the US Jack seems to be the best value, but I would insist at ordering time that the welds are excellent, or they will be returned.

We drive our families around on Chinese rotors, so if and when US made jackstands become extinct, we will have to determine which of the imports are good quality. This is what we should be doing here. First, the OP needs to determine which jack "pad" design he likes best. I am at a loss for determining quality beyond fit and finish. Ideas, anyone??


I think people get a little too worked up over the appearance of jack stand welds on GJ. I personally wouldn't have any problem with the welds seen on any of the US Jack stands that have been posted on Garage Journal.

There's never been any evidence posted that the US Jack stands posted on GJ (or any other jack stand weld complained about) were in any way unsafe or didn't meet their rated load. Some people there just get mad that they're not pretty enough.

Here's a relevant snippet from a thread on GJ:
Quote:

And, I can already predict how this thread will go, since they're all the same:
-Someone will claim that you'll surely die if you buy a low-priced jack stand because they sometimes have ugly welds. They may even point to one of the few failures, or claimed failures, posted online.
-Someone else will point out that low-priced jack stands are sold by the millions and there are very, very few reports of failure, and some of those failures don't even really appear to be failures.
-Someone will say you should spend big money on Hein Werner or US Jack stands. They'll claim you're cheap if you don't buy the expensive stands and you shouldn't try to save a buck on safety equipment.
-Someone will point out that there are complaints about the quality of the welds on both US Jack and Hein Werner stands.
-Someone will show pictures of stands they made.
-The thread will end with everyone thinking everyone else is stupid.
Posted by: doitmyself

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/25/14 11:41 AM

LOL. Excellent rebuttal. A lot of this boils down to principles, not quality. US vs. Import. Perfect welds vs. good enough, especially when tied to price paid.

Posted by: NormanBuntz

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/25/14 01:29 PM

Originally Posted By: jcwit
Originally Posted By: NormanBuntz
Anything that not made in China.


Check the country of origin of your computer.



If I lie under my laptop, my life is not in jeopardy!
Posted by: stephen9666

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/25/14 01:49 PM

Originally Posted By: doitmyself
LOL. Excellent rebuttal. A lot of this boils down to principles, not quality. US vs. Import. Perfect welds vs. good enough, especially when tied to price paid.




I'm not trying to rebut anyone's opinion. smile

I would encourage anyone in this thread to buy whatever jack stands they like. If anyone wants to spend the money on US Jack stands, I say go for it. If I were going to buy some pricey stands, those would be the ones I would buy.

But, I think the high price makes some people unnecessarily take out the magnifying glasses to study the welds, without considering that this is purely a functional item that isn't made to be pretty and doesn't need to be.
Posted by: jcwit

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/25/14 03:31 PM

What I dislike about threads such as this are the blanket statements that "such & such" brand or store are absolutely garbage.

Harbor Freight tools for instance are made at a price point that many folks out there in consumer land find acceptable and work for them usually in a DIY basis. Granted they are not made for the ASA Certified mechanic using his tool for 8/10 hours a day, but for many others they work just fine.

Case in point, I have a set of jack stands that I purchased from a seller at our local flea market, MIT brand, got them years ago, have no idea how much I paid for them. In the last 2 years I've used them 2/3 times, and then for compact/mid size autos. They do the job and I'm careful with how I use them.

Another case in point, I have a 1/2 torque wrench that I purchased for $12.00 IIRC, got it at H/F, used it once when I rotated my tires last year. Is it dead on as far as the torque/clicker goes, who knows, but its more than enough accurate for torqueing up wheels when rotating tires. The alternative is no torque wrench at all.
Posted by: Da Game

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/27/14 03:58 PM

Well over the years, I've collected sections of pre-cut sections 4x4s & 6x6s in one foot lenghts. I'm nervous about getting under any car that is sitting on jack stands. I use the wood blocks as additional support (just in case). Yes it takes me an addition four minutes or so, but it helps keeps some evil dreams out of my head. Like the stands giving away or one of the teeth breaking under load.
Posted by: VicVinegar

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/29/14 08:01 AM

I like HF for buying tools that I might not use very often (or potentially only once). Instead of struggling with the wrong tool, or I suppose renting one, you can buy one for a reasonable price. For ratchets and tools that I will probably use regularly, I still prefer to pay for quality. I prefer American made for anything I buy, and tools are where one of the few product segments where I can find American made. For some things, a consumer market product just does not exist anymore unless you look used.

Like Norman points out, we are talking about equipment to keep a car from potentially squeezing the life out of you, so for me the extra $$ for quality isn't a waste.

Not all American made is the highest quality, but it sounds like US Jack is. I'm also interested in the JackPoint product too, but need to dig around for feedback on them.
Posted by: Black_Thunder

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/31/14 04:08 PM

i have a pair of Larin jack stands that are pin style they work well, i also have larger heavy duty jack stands but i can't remember the brand, i wanna say either larin or craftsman, i'll have to check on that.
Posted by: jcwit

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 03/31/14 04:52 PM

I mentioned above that I'm careful when using jack stands.

With that said I never, ever get under a vehicle supported by jack stands, maybe working on brakes, but under, nope, not gonna happen. That's what I have ramps for.
Posted by: Black_Thunder

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 04/01/14 03:07 AM

i use ramps as well but in some applications i use jackstands.


when i removed the transmission out of my 92 f150 i backed it up onto ramps on the rear axle and i jacked up the front, put the front on stands and then put wood blocks under the wheels as well.
Posted by: jcwit

Re: Best Jack Stands for home mechanic work?? - 04/01/14 07:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Black_Thunder
i use ramps as well but in some applications i use jackstands.


when i removed the transmission out of my 92 f150 i backed it up onto ramps on the rear axle and i jacked up the front, put the front on stands and then put wood blocks under the wheels as well.


LOL, At 70+ years old the above is never going to happen with me doing the work, its what I pay a good mechanic for.