Very strong jack: If you often hoist up your car, or have several cars you work on regularly, you’ll need a more powerful jack. If you have a heavier car, such as a people carrier or SUV, a slightly more powerful jack with a lifting capacity of over 2.5 tonnes will come in handy. These jacks also tend to have double pistons and a slightly longer lever that makes the job easier.
Normal jack: The most common type of jack has a good lifting capacity (between 1.5 and 2.5 tonnes) and is suitable if you usually just use the jack for tyre changes and simpler repairs. If you have a normal-sized car, there’s no reason to buy a more expensive or powerful jack than that.
Compact jack: If you just want a jack that’s simple and easy to handle, a compact jack is your best option. These jacks are also eminently suitable to keep in your car for roadside tyre changes. Just double-check that it has enough lifting capacity for your vehicle.
Low profile: There are jacks designed specifically for sports cars and lowered vehicles. These vehicles generally have a lower ground clearance, which is why you need a low-profile jack to fit under the car.
High lift: There are also jacks specially designed for vehicles that need to be raised a little higher and which, for example, have very high ground clearance. They are suitable if you have a vehicle that’s built for use in tough terrain.
The main difference between jacks is how easy they are for you to handle. Some jacks have an aluminium chassis that makes them a little lighter than others.
Double-piston jacks make lifting the vehicle faster.
Also look at the wheels. If you’ll be using the jack on gravel or other types of soft or uneven surfaces, it may be a good idea to choose a jack with slightly larger wheels that make it easier to move around. Some jacks have wheels that can rotate 360 degrees.
Another good detail is a rubber plate on the jack’s lift arm, so you don’t risk damaging your vehicle when you lift it.