Bottle Jack vs Trolley Jack: Which One You Should Buy

Can’t decide between bottle jack vs trolley jack? If that’s the case, you’ll get one of both jacks after reading this guide.

After comparing 18 bottle and trolley jacks, and matching their load capacity, lift range, performance, price, weight, quality, hydraulic pumps, we’ve managed to write down this article.

At a glance, if you want to decide between a bottle and trolley jack and get confused, you need this guide.

Before getting into it, we will explore some of the best bottle and trolley jacks first.

best bottle jack
Click the image to see bottle jack's price
best trolley jack
Click the image to see trolley jack's price

What is the Best Bottle Jack?

Pro-Lift B-004D is one of the best size bottle jacks that can lift up to 8000 lb load. It has a 9.4 – 15.4 inches lift range, which means that you need to provide at least 9.4 inches of clearance for its installation and it will raise the load to 15.4 inches off the ground. 

This is a lightweight bottle jack that can be easily carried from one place to another. It weighs 8 lb. With that, the jack has gathered some positive ratings online, which can be found by hitting the button below.

What is the Best Trolley Jack?

BIG RED T83006 is the best trolley jack with a 6000 lb load capacity. It has a lower load capacity than the bottle jack and that’s one of the differences between a trolley and a bottle jack. On the other hand, the jack features 5.9 inches minimum height which is smaller than the bottle jack. 

This jack can lift your vehicle almost 21 inches that leaves more than enough space under the car for installing a jack stand or creeping under it. You can further find out the jack’s ratings, price by clicking the button below.

An Overview of the Comparison

Bottle Jack Features Trolley Jack
2 - 50 ton Load Capacity 1.5 - 3 ton
8.5 - 11 inch Min. Lift Range 5.2 - 5.9 inch
17 - 21 inch Max. Lift Range 12 - 21 inch
4 - 100 lb Weight 20 - 50 lb
20 - 100 US$ Cost 40 - 80 US$
Single Pump Hydraulic Pump Single piston
1 - 2 inch Saddle Diameter ~ 2 inch
Small Volume Medium
No Low-Profile Vehicles Depends
Yes High-Profile Vehicles Yes
No Steel Casters Yes
Steel Material Steel
Good Stability Better
Crank Handle Handle Small

The Lift Range of Bottle Jack vs Trolley Jack

In the car jacks, one of the important factors you need to consider before picking either bottle or trolley jack is the lift range, min and max lift range. 

First talking about the minimum height. Measure your car’s ground clearance beforehand. You need to buy a jack that you can easily place under your vehicle. If you got a low-profile car, you can’t install a bottle jack underneath. 

Getting into more details, bottle jacks have 8.5 – 11 inches (22 – 28 cm) original height. If your vehicle has 9”+ ground clearance, go for the bottle jack. If the bottle jack you want to buy has an 11” maximum lift range, you’ll need 11”+ ground clearance to fit it under. 

Trolley jacks, on the other hand, are shorter compared to bottle jacks. They are used for cars with low ground clearance, 6”+. Because trolley jacks have 5.2” to 5.9” (13 – 15 cm) minimum height. 

How high you want to lift your car depends on the jack’s max lift range. The higher you want, pick a jack with a higher max lift range. In that regard, both jacks have almost the same maximum lift range, 21” (54 cm). 

Going further into it, you can extend bottle jacks 17 – 21 inches (43 – 54 cm) while trolley jack up to 12” to 21” (30 – 54 cm). This also depends on your vehicle’s ground clearance. If your car has 2 feet ground clearance like a lifted truck, will you go for a jack either trolley or bottle with a 21-inch max lift range? Obviously not.

Bottle jacks with a 23 – 43 inches lift range are also available. But they’re used for engine hoist mostly, not for usual car repair. Besides, you can pick a low-profile bottle jack as well that has a 6 – 11 inch lift range. But trolley jack is better over low-profile bottle jacks.   

Bottle Jack vs Trolley Jack: Which One Has More Load Capacity?

Bottle jacks. Trolley jacks have less load capacity compared to bottle jacks. Their lifting power ranges from 1.5 to 3 tons (3,000 – 6,000 lb). This capacity isn’t fit for heavy duty vehicles but for small cars. Many vehicles like unibody cars have weight in this range. If your car has more, you can still raise one corner of your car with such jacks for a tire change, say. Coming to that ahead.

Bottle jacks have the largest load capacity range in all car jacks. They have 2 – 50 tons (4,000 – 100,000 lb) lifting power. Different load capacity jacks are used for different purposes. No one would want to buy a 30-ton jack for a 3-ton car. 

You should pick a jack that surpasses your vehicle’s weight. Say if your car weighs 2 tons, you need to buy a 3-ton jack. This way you can prevent overload on your jack. You also can perform your job securely. 

You can choose a 3-ton jack either in a trolley or bottle. But trolley jack is better over a bottle of the same load capacity. And that will cost you the following two factors. 

Bottle vs Trolley Jack: Which one is Cheaper?

Trolley jacks cost you more if in one way they’re better over bottle jacks . They perform better but you’ll need to give a few bucks more to get good performance. Trolley jacks have a price range from 40 to 80 USD, depending on the lifting power and the brand.  

Bottle jacks are cheaper than trolley jacks. Their price varies depending on the type of jack you want, load capacity. A bottle jack with 2 – 12 ton load capacity will cost you around 20 – 40 USD. 

A 3-ton bottle jack costs you 20 bucks while the same lifting power trolley jack will cost 40 USD. Here is where you’ll pay for the quality. 30 – 50 ton load capacity bottle jack prices lie around 100 USD. 

In short, price varies and depends on some factors. But trolley jacks are expensive and are better than bottle jacks. No need to save a few bucks but get a sturdy jack for yourself. 

Trolley Jack vs Bottle Jack: Which One is Lighter?

You’ve seen above that the jack’s price increases with the increase in its load capacity. The same is the case with the jack’s weight. But the same lifting power bottle jack is lighter than the trolley jack. 

Since trolley jacks have 1.5 – 3 ton load capacity, their masses also lie in just 20 – 50 lb (9 – 22 kg). There isn’t a huge difference as in bottle jack’s weight, which you’re going to see next.

Bottle jacks, with 2 – 20 ton lifting power, weigh 4 – 25 lb (1.8 – 11 kg). And that’s way less than trolley jacks. Some bottle jacks also weigh 100 lb (45 kg). But their load capacity lies from 30 – 50 tons. 

The above comparison shows that trolley jacks are heavier than bottle jacks. The mobility is even easier than bottle jacks, of the trolleys. It’s because they have steel casters that easily roll over the garage. Hence no need of carrying it around as bottle jacks. The handle in the trolley jack is longer compared to bottle jacks. That helps with easy pumping.

Bottle vs trolley jacks: Which One Has a Better Hydraulic Pump System?

Now, this is the factor that needed to be compared in the first place. Because this pump is only able to lift a weight at the end of the day. 

So far in this trolley and bottle jacks comparison, one won over another. But here the match is going to be drawn. Because both the models have almost the same hydraulic system. If a brand makes a better pump then that’s a different discussion. 

For a better pumping system, both jacks will leave the ground compared to the floor jacks. Yes, you’ve heard right. No jack has ever beaten the floor jack in hydraulic pump comparison. Some floor jacks come with dual-piston pumps which are the fastest pumps among other trolleys, bottles, or scissor jacks. 

You can extend such floor jack to its maximum lift range in just 3 – 4 pumps. And these jacks also cost the most. 

Back to the former discussion, trolleys and bottle jacks have almost the same hydraulic system. However, some bottle jacks won’t go down to their original height after unloading. You’ll need to press it with your hands to lower it, just a few inches. That isn’t the case in trolley jacks. 

Which One is More Stable and Has a Wider Saddle, Bottle, or Trolley jack?

Stability and secure work come first in lifting such a ton of weight. So double-check the stability of the jack before picking any car jack, let alone a trolley or bottle jack. The jack’s stability is determined by its base and saddle diameter. The bigger the base, the stronger will be the support. Wider the top saddle, secure the lifting.

Here, you’ll see the comparison of both factors. As clear from its name, bottle jacks are taller like a bottle. And bottles have a small base but have height. Such height and small base make them unstable compared to bigger base and floor body, trolley jacks. 

The trolley jack’s saddle is also wider around 2” (50.8 mm). Yes, that isn’t wide enough but compared to bottle jacks, they’re. Bottle jacks have 1 – 2 inch saddles. Low profile bottle jacks might be stable compared to the normal bottle jacks because of their low height.

Last Words:

Narrowing down this comparison, it’s now up to you to decide which one you should buy for your vehicle. Check out each feature with your car’s needs whether that fits with it or not. How much ground clearance your vehicle has and how much is the jack’s original height.

Does the jack lift your vehicle? And how high will it raise your car if you extend the jack to its max height? Answer them before choosing any model. Trolley jacks compared to bottles are better in many aspects. Yes, the load capacity is less but that can lift most of the cars. 

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