How Does a Floor Jack Work?

Floor jacks are essential for everyday car maintenance and automotive projects. Whether you are changing a tire, checking components underneath your car, or changing your oil, you will benefit from a high quality floor jack. It is essential that your floor jack be of the highest quality and reliability for safety and job performance. At Northern Tool, we pride ourselves on supplying customer with safe, durable, and high-quality products.

We offer a variety of different floor jacks for various levels of task or project intensity. You will find floor jacks built for basic automotive jobs like oil changes or tire replacements. You can also find heavy-duty floor jacks that are built for larger tasks and heavier machinery.


22 Ton Air / Hydraulic Floor Jack
22 Ton Air / Hydraulic Floor Jack

Black Bull SA20 3 Ton Hydraulic Floor Jack

Black Bull SA20 3 Ton Hydraulic Floor Jack

You may also be interested in jack stands. Jack stands provide an extra level of stability when you are working underneath your car. We recommend highly recommend using jack stands to support your car once you have it lifted off the ground, especially if you are performing any underbody maintenance.



Types of Floor Jacks

Floor jack is a term used for a few different things. The jack you use to raise your car to make repairs under it or change a tire is called a floor jack. Another type of jack is used to raise a building to replace beams that may be rotted or sagging. A third type of floor jack is for telephone connections. It got its name because it is commonly installed at the floor and wall intersection. Each is a floor jack but has very different uses and purposes.

Automobile Floor Jack

When most people hear the term floor jack, they think of the automobile floor jack. It uses a pump arm, hydraulics or air compression to lift vehicles to gain access to the undercarriage. The jack makes easy work out of changing a tire or doing a brake job. This is not to be confused with a hydraulic lift used in auto repair shops. A floor jack needs solid ground or concrete to give it a good base that doesn't shift. There is a lip that can be attached to the automobile itself and is gently raised by pumping the arm, hydraulic system or air compressor. These jacks are rated by the amount of weight they can lift safely. They go anywhere from 2 tons to 20 tons. A 2 or 3-ton jack is what you would normally carry around in your car to change a tire. Heavier cars require stronger jacks, and farm equipment may require up to a 10-ton jack.

Building Floor Jack

A floor jack used to raise a building has to be able to handle much more weight than an automotive jack. There are two separate types of jacks used for buildings. The first one is like the automotive jack; when you are lifting a house, both sides should be lifted equally, requiring more than one jack. These jacks are either hydraulic or compressed air powered. The building is lifted and repairs to joists or foundation are made, and it is slowly lowered back into place. The other type of jack for buildings is basically a pole with flat ends. These posts are placed on a cement or wood block and pumped up to lend support to a sagging joist. They are locked into place and left in position.

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