So, you’re considering doing more at-home car maintenance to save money. Having your own set of tools is necessary, but one piece of equipment makes DIY vehicle repairs easier: a car lift. However, it isn’t cheap. Before making a big purchase, check out the best car lifts for your home garage, according to CNET.
The essentials of car lifts
Car lifts are used to raise vehicles into the air so you can get underneath to work on them. Though auto shops commonly use car lifts to service vehicles, vehicle owners can install them in their home garages.
You can even use them to store cars vertically or store one vehicle for long periods with the weight lifted off the tires.
Car lifts come in scissor, two-post, and four-post styles. It’s crucial to choose the right one for your needs and use it properly for your vehicles. If you don’t, you run the risk of severely damaging your car and hurting yourself.
You also need to ensure you’re using one that can handle your vehicle’s weight. For example, pickup trucks need heavy-duty equipment because they weigh more than a standard passenger car.
Here are the six best car lifts of 2022, according to CNET.
1. QuickJack BL-5000SLX
The QuickJack BL-5000SLX is a good portable option you can use in more than one place, like a friend’s house. This car lift provides 17.5 inches of space to view the under-chassis of a vehicle. That means you’ll have to lie on your back to service the car, but it works fine if you want an affordable lift that handles up to 5,000 pounds. A new one costs about $1,300 to $1,500, depending on the retailer. If you need a model that holds more weight, QuickJack also sells a 7,000-pound option.
2. APlusLift HW-10KOH 2-post hoist
This car lift is a great option for heavier vehicles like full-size pickups and large SUVs. It can handle around 10,000 pounds and comes in a two-post overhead hoist configuration. You can stand up while working on the underside of your vehicle. Amazon customers report good experiences with this model. Expect to pay around $3,000 or so for a new APlusLift HW-10KOH.
3. BendPak MD-6XP mid-rise car lift
This model is a mid-rise scissor-style hoist, which lifts the vehicle using a scissor-like support system. These generally don’t raise cars very high, so you’ll have to recline on the floor or use a rolling creeper board. However, the BendPak MD-6XP provides 48 inches of space underneath your car, so you won’t feel cramped when you need to check the underside.
Still, this lift can handle up to 6,000 pounds. A new model runs around $3,000.
4. BendPak XPR-10AXLS extra-tall car lift
The BendPak XPR-10AXLS is another two-post car lift that can handle up to 10,000 pounds. It also offers a whopping 75 inches of space underneath the vehicle — the tallest on this list. This model also uses direct-drive cylinders instead of lifting chains.
Perfect if you’re tall, it lets you easily walk around and check your vehicle’s underside. This option hovers around $6,000 or so.
5. Triumph NSS-8 4-post car lift
If you want more stability, this four-post hoist is the perfect solution. It supports your vehicle in all four corners, so you can confidently store another car underneath. The Triumph NSS-8 provides up to 72 inches of space and can handle 8,000 pounds.
This car lift has casters on the posts, so you can move it to wherever you need it in your garage. It also comes with drip trays to prevent fluid from leaking onto the vehicle underneath the hoisted one. Though Triumph no longer makes this model, you might be able to find used ones on eBay for around $3,000.
6. Triumph NT-9FP 2-post lift
This Triumph model is a two-post hoist that comes with two- and three-stage lifting arms. It provides 72 inches of clearance, but if you don’t have that kind of space in your garage, you can customize this car lift by raising it to a height of your choice.
This model receives high marks from Amazon customers, many of whom praise its reliability and affordable price. However, like the NSS-8, the NT-9FP is no longer available on Amazon. You might find one on sites such as eBay for about $2,500 or so.
Car lifts are great for DIYers and car collectors. Finding the best car lift will depend on your needs and the size of your garage.