Welcome back to the official revlimiter.net Jack Stand Review. In part 2 you’ll get the last two jack stand reviews and a bonus plug for a little tire chock that might just save your life. Also, cliff notes for the entire review. So, lets get to it!
Always be safe!
revlimiter.net. is not responsible for bodily injury or property damage that results from misuse of automotive tools including jack stands. This review is meant for informational purposes only. It is to help you evaluate differences between these five models of jack stands. Follow all directions and safety procedures outlined in each standâ€™s manual. (Yes, these stands actually come with manuals.) Always remember that your car can kill you especially when you are working under it!
The Jack Stands:
(click to zoom to each stand’s review)
- Harbor Freight 3 ton – the orange and white one on the far left
- Torin aluminum 3 ton – the red/silver cylindrical one
- ESCO 3 ton – the silver tripod in the center
- Craftsman 3 ton high lift – the black and red stand
- MVP 2 ton – small red one to the far right
- Special guest star: the little Harbor Freight wheel chock
Craftsman Professional 3 Ton High Lift Jack Stands
Price: $25 per pair.
Buy from: Your local Sears or Craftsman.com
Lift height: 13.5″ minimum, 21″ maximum.
Base dimensions: 8.5″ x 6.5″
Construction: Welded stamped steel. The welds aren’t as even as the (extremely similar) Harbor Freight stands. These also lack the gussets on the feet that the HF stands have. There is a lot of free play in the post-to-stand interface. And the rectangular base doesn’t do much for stability. But they’re amazingly cheap considering how high they lift.
Ease of use: These are at least as heavy as the ESCO stands. The post height range is similar to the ESCO stands. They are not easy to lug around the shop and you’ll have to raise the car quite high to get these under it. And once you do that you notice that they wobble a lot due to the small bases and extreme free play in the post mounting area.
Post design: They are grooved like the HF stands, but are not grooved deeply enough to miss the pinch weld. So guys that want to use the reinforced support area will be disappointed and guys like me that want a nice, flat post will be disappointed.
Stability: Awful. These are worse than the tiny Torin aluminum stands.
Overall: The only thing these stands have going for them is the price to maximum height ratio. If you have a large truck that you want to lift up fairly high on the cheap, these stands might be okay. But I couldn’t live with myself if I ever recommended these to anyone. Harbor Freight makes a 6 ton model for high lifting on the cheap. Though I didn’t review it here, I’d recommend that set before these awful Cman stands.
MVP Pro Lift 2 Ton Jack Stands
Price: About $20 per pair.
Buy from: Nowhere! Seems that you can’t get these anymore. I bought mine from Pepboys around 1995. Sears is actually selling a black set of Craftsman stands that looks identical to these. In 2010!!! I thought this style of welded steel sticks was outlawed.
Lift height: 10.75″ minimum, 17″ maximum.
Base dimensions: 6.75″ x 7.5″
Construction: Steel sticks welded together. I’ve actually got two styles of these stands. The sticks, that you see here and the stamped steel that looks like the HF stands (visible in the overhead shot above). The welds are quite good. There’s not a huge amount of play in the post. They’re constructed quite well. For a stand that could kill you.
Ease of use: Very easy to use. Not too heavy. Not too tall. Juuuust right. I’m honestly embarrassed to admit how much I like these stands. As I said, I’ve used them for as long as I’ve worked on cars. But they are not of a safe design.
Post design: Nice and flat. I’ve used this set of little stands for 15 years now. The is the style of post I prefer. They work just fine under Miata pinch welds or frame rails.
Stability: Decent. When used toward the low end of the lift range, they’re very stable. But when raised up toward the top end,they start to get wobbly. But for just some welded pieces of bar stock? Amazingly stable. Still, I’d never recommend these to anyone reading.
Overall: As I alluded to earlier, I’m thought this style of welded bar stock was outlawed for sale in the United States. That’s why every manufacturer went to the stamped steel style. And that’s also why I was so shocked to find these for sale on the Sears website. Put plainly, I believe that you should not trust your lift to this style of stand. There are far too many possible failure points. However, I still have to admit that I like these. They’re just very easy to use. They’re much more stable than the Torin aluminum stands. But they’re not to be in my garage anymore. They have been replaced by the HF stands for quick oil changes and by the ESCO stands for every other job.
Bonus review: Harbor Freight 2 Piece Folding Wheel Chocks
Price: $5 per pair. Not a sale price. Harbor Freight stocks these regularly, both online and in their stores. Go grab a few.
Features: It has a nice rubber pad on the bottom to prevent skidding. It fits under a lowered Miata. If you’re raising only one end of your car, it could save your life.
Ease of use: Doesn’t get much easier than this. Nice and small, yet it holds a Miata in place very well. And it’s pretty much guaranteed to fit any Miata regardless of how slammed it is. It takes up almost no space. There’s lots of space behind the rear tire of a Miata, but the fronts can get a little bit cramped. This small chock fits the fronts easy.
A story recently went around the various internet car forums about a guy who died due to a car falling on him. And this was not a newbie to the hobby doing an oil change. This was a guy changing out his S2000’s differential to one with better gearing. He had the back end of the car in the air supported by two of the round-based jack stands I mentioned in part one. The front wheels were not chocked and they rolled. The round-based stands tipped and turned into wheels. They rolled. The car came down. He was crushed. This $5 wheel chock would have saved his life.
Let me be the first to admit to not always remembering to use chocks. I’ve owned an identical set of these for about 10 years. (I bought this new, shiny set due to the spiffy rubber base which my old set lacked.) But I’d be lazy and not remember to use them. Not any more. I’m changing my ways.
Overall: This little chock is great. Small and easy to fit under any sports car regardless of how low it might be. The only problem is remembering to use it! I now store these chocks on top of my floor jacks. That way I have to pick them up every time I want to roll a jack out and use it. The rubber base keeps it from sliding off the jack. And since I’m holding the chock, I might as well put it under a wheel. So I do. Easy. And I feel a little safer for it.
- ESCO 3 ton stands: A+ Expensive, but worth it.
- Harbor Freight 3 ton stands: B Cheap, strong, and amazingly decent.
- Torin 3 ton aluminum stands: C+ Lightweight, small. Base is too small. Also $$$
- MVP 2 ton stands: C- Convenient, cheap, and well built. But could self destruct.
- Craftsman 3 ton high lift stands: D- Almost no redeeming qualities.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the revlimiter.net MEGA jack stand review. (And check out part 1 if you happened to link to this post directly and miss it.) If you have any questions, just leave a comment below.