What is a Jack Stand? The Ultimate Expert’s Guide

What is a jack stand
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A jack stand is a steel or aluminum support for loads that have already been raised by a jack – floor jack, or bottle jack. It is usually used to hold the load of a car. Its height can be adjusted to your needs. 

A jack lifts your vehicle, and a jack stand holds the car after you have lifted it with the jack. People often don’t use a jack stand. They lift their car with a jack and then leave it to rest on it without installing a stand, which can be dangerous.

A jack stand helps you keep your vehicle off the ground so you can get under it for making any repair, oil change, and more.

How to Choose a Jack Stand That Can Lift Your Car

A jack stand has some features that you need to check before picking any model for your vehicle. You also need to see your car’s manual for its weight, ground clearance, and jack points. With this, let’s walk through the key features of a jack stand.

Load Capacity

As the name says, it is the potential of the load holding of a stand. It tells you how much weight a particular jack stand can support. Stands have different load capacities which are usually measured in terms of tons.

You can either pick a 1-ton jack stand, 2-ton, 3-ton, 6-ton, 12-ton, and so on. They can support 2000 lb load, 4000 lb, 6000 lb, and 24,000 lb respectively. Now that you know about your car’s weight from the manual, you can easily choose which stand is for you.

If your car weighs one ton then pick a 1-ton jack stand, for a 2-ton car choose a 2-ton jack stand, now you’ve got this feature. It is better to choose a jack stand that has more load capacity than your car’s weight. 

Bear in mind that you will need a jack – floor jack, bottle jack – for lifting a load before you place a jack stand under it. So the jack also should have enough load capacity that can lift the load, say your car. 

Min Height

Since jack stands can be adjusted to the height you want, they have two heights that cannot be exceeded – min-height, and max lift height. The min-height of a jack stand is its lowest height. In order to install the stand, you need to provide it the space according to its collapsed height.

Say, your jack stand has 12 inches of min-height. You should make a 12-inch room in height for the stand so you can place it there. Thanks to a floor or bottle jack that can give you the space for the stand.

Plus, the jack with which you want to lift your car should have a lift range that can lift it to the height required for installing the jack stand. If a jack can lift your car to 10 inches, how you will be able to install a 12-inch jack stand?

So always cross-check the feature of a stand with the jack. 

Max Lift Height

It is the extended height of a jack stand. This feature shows how far the stand reaches to support a load. Just like with the min-height, for the max height of a stand, the jack should be able to lift your car high enough so you can install the stand extended.

The higher the max lift height of a jack stand, the more you will get beneath a load.


Safety is essential when it comes to lifting and holding tons of weight. Most jack stands have a single lock system. Some have a double lock system. Make sure to choose a double lock jack stand for secure and safe operation. 

What are the Benefits of a Jack Stand

A jack stand is essential for your and your car’s safety. Due to the hydraulic system, jacks are prone to failure. It is the hydraulic pressure that lifts your vehicle. If the system loses the pressure, it will come down and so does the load. That’s why it is crucial to have something that holds the load with or without the jack. 

For changing a flat tire when you need the tire to be just a few inches off the ground, it is still OK to not use a stand. But never ever get under your car unless you install sturdy jack stands. If a ton of load collapses on you, then you know the end. This is why stands are important. And this safety is the great benefit of a jack stand.   

Related: 4 Best 6 Ton Jack Stands for Heavy Vehicle Support

How much does a jack stand cost?

The price of a jack stand varies depending on its load capacity, lift range, safety lock system, and body – steel or aluminum. 

Under $30

This category jack stand comes either single or in a pair. The pair of a stand features a 2-ton capacity, and a single has more load capacity. They have a steel structure, which makes them heavier than aluminum.  

30 – 70 Dollars

This type of stand features around a 6-ton load capacity with a dual safety lock. They are usually sold in a pair. 

70+ Dollars

This category of jack stands is made from aluminum. They are lighter. For safety, they feature dual locks. 

As mentioned earlier, the price depends on some features. The price mentioned here is just for giving you a rough idea. They can vary. Always check the features without relying on the price.

Top Jack Stand Brands

The market is filled with many stand brands. And some of them are Pro-Lift, BIG RED, and Sunex. 

How Many Jack Stands Do You Need?

You need at least two jack stands for making any repair, or flat tire in your car. They’re sufficient for holding at once either the front end, rear end, passenger side, or driver side. 

For changing a flat tire, one jack stand can do the job and you will need to place it near the tire you want to lift. If you want to lift all of the cars at once, you need four jack stands. In most cases, two are enough. You can get under your car as well with a pair.

How to Use a Jack Stand the Right Way

You will need a jack, a jack stand, and some chocks for locking the wheels.

  • First park your car on level hard ground.
  • Chock the wheels that will stay on the ground.
  • Find the jack points under your car.
  • Install a jack near the wheel you want to lift
  • Lift the car high enough so you can install a stand.
  • Place this stand near the jack
  • Slowly lower the jack so the car rests on the stand.
  • Make sure that the car is fully relying on the stand before starting your job.

How To Lower Jack Stand

  • Bring the jack back, and place it where it was before.
  • Pump it high enough so the car rests on the jack, not the stand.
  • Now remove the stand.
  • Release the jack, you’re done.

Can You Use a Floor Car Jack without a Jack Stand

Yes, you can use a floor jack or a bottle jack without needing a stand. Changing a flat tire can be done without a stand because you don’t need to get under your car.  But for safety, you should have it. It is way cheaper than the damage to the car caused by jack failure.

Best Jack Stands

You can find some of the best jack stands in the article given below.

What Is The Difference Between A Jack And A Jack Stand?

The difference between a jack and a jack stand is that a jack lifts a load and a jack stand holds it after being raised by the jack. This is the only difference. A jack features a pump system that allows it to hoist the load. And as the stand does not lift the load, it has no pump.

What Is The Purpose Of A Jack Stand?

The purpose of the jack stand is as a supporter. It provides a strong vertical beam to a ton of load. It keeps the load a few inches off the ground so that you can get under it, in the case of a vehicle. Holding a heavy load is the only purpose of a jack stand.

Are 2 Ton Jack Stands Enough?

2-ton jack stands are enough for holding 4000 lb or under load. Most cars, SUVs, UTVs, ATVs, and lightweight trucks weigh around 4000 lb. So having a 2-ton jack stand is sufficient for supporting such vehicles. 

Is It Safe To Go Under A Car With A Jack?

No, it is not safe to go under your car with a jack only. You should install some jack stands under your car where you want to get under. It is never safe to go under a car without a stand. No car and jack manufacturers recommend it. The damage is in your hands if you do so.

Is It Ok To Use Only One Jack Stand?

Yes, it is OK to use only one jack stand when you want to change a tire. You will just need to lift that wheel of your car that has a flat tire. And in this case, only one jack is sufficient to hold the load of the corner of your car.

Can You Put Jack Stands On Pinch Welds?

Yes, you can put jack stands on pinch welds. In fact, most cars have jack points along the pinch weld. The best way is to put a stand under the point suggested by the manual.

Can I Put Jack Stands Under The Axle?

You can for sure put a jack stand under the axle. It gives a strong jack point to jacks and stands. Most truck owners use axles to jack their vehicles. They’re strong enough to support the load. For changing a tire, the axle near the wheel lifts that end of your car. 

Is Jack Stand Safe

Jack stands are safe as far as you’re not overloading them. They have a load capacity, which should not be exceeded. You can safely get under your car while holding it by the jack stands. Just make sure that the stands have equal or more load capacity than your car’s weight. 

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