7 Best Car Lifts for Home Garages, Including Affordable and Premium Models

EDITOR’S PICK
Launch TLT240SC – 9,000lbs
Launch TLT240SC – 9,000lbs
  • 9,000lbs capacity
  • Clear floor structure
  • Rubber door guards
  • HD arm restraining
  • 3 stage telescopic front arms
  • Stackable footpad extensions
  • Screw-type pads
PREMIUM PICK
Dannmar D2-10A – 10000lbs
Dannmar D2-10A – 10000lbs
  • 10,000lbs capacity
  • Drop-end arms
  • Single-point locking release
  • Two pairs of stackable adapter sets
  • 3 stage triple-telescoping arms
  • Heavy-duty cables with large sheaves
  • Auto arm restraining
BUDGET PICK
QuickJack BL-7000SLX – 7,000lbs
QuickJack BL-7000SLX – 7,000lbs
  • 31-second lift time
  • 7,000 lbs capacity
  • Dual-locking mechanisms
  • Smooth lowering
  • Portable
  • Equalizing flow divider
  • Comes with Lift blocks

Car lifts are a vital piece of machinery to have regardless if you’re a gearhead working commercially or in your own home. However, there are many car lift models available today, with each offering different features.

Before getting one, you must understand that there are plenty of factors involved in choosing the right car lift. To make sure you get the most bang for your bucks, it is vital to evaluate your needs and budget as well as what’s available on the market and how those features compare to each other.

We tried our best at including and reviewing different car lift models so no matter whether you are a beginner or a pro mechanic, have a huge garage, or one on the smaller side, there should be a car lift suitable for you below.

However, as every opinion is subjective, so is this list. Hence, if you think I’ve missed a model good enough to make the list, leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best at reviewing it.

Garage Car Lift Reviews

1. QuickJack BL-7000SLX – 7,000lbs

QuickJack BL-7000SLX - 7,000lbs

Starting with an entry-level portable half lift, the QuickJack BL-7000SLX is a perfect model for weekend DIYers who just need to do quick oil changes, replace tires, brake jobs, and other basic stuff. It has a clever open-center design instead of cross members, offering greater undercarriage access and overall versatility. The hydraulic flow divider ensures equalized lifting, and the low-profile jack frames roll under almost any car without a hassle.

Although cheap, it doesn’t compromise on durability, thanks to the versatile box-welded steel frame. The solid base is also reinforced using mobile lifting blocks.

Its dual-locking mechanisms engage after the full rise and are easily unlockable. Besides, the quick-connect fittings ensure a speedy setup and will also help keep your floor clear of any hydraulic fluid, even at maximum capacity.

However, these factors are all thrown out the window if you intend to tackle bigger tasks, like a transmission replacement, for instance. It can still be done, but you’ll have to be a little more creative and may require a mechanic’s creeper. Still, it’s better than nothing when running on a small budget or limited space.

Highlighted Features

  • 31-second lift time
  • 7,000 lbs capacity
  • Dual-locking mechanisms
  • Smooth lowering
  • Equalizing flow divider
  • Comes with Lift blocks

Pros

  • No screw mechanisms
  • No air compressor required
  • Portable

Cons

  • Not recommended for heavy-duty tasks
  • Only 110-Volt AC power option
  • Floor inclination should be below 3°

See Also: Best Air Compressor For Your Home Garage

2. Dannmar MaxJax- 6,000 lbs

Dannmar MaxJax- 6,000 lbs

Dannmar’s mid-rise car lift comes with a unique and portable 2-post design. While you still can’t stand up under a car, the maximum height is a lot more convenient when doing tire changes and brake services; at least, the wheels are at the right height when standing up beside the vehicle. However, it’s as good as it gets if you need your lift to be portable. Full-fledged, full-height models will need to be bolted down and hence can’t be moved around.

You’ll also get similar “quick-connect” connectors speeding up the assembly and lifting process while preventing fluid leakage. The steel piston with purpose-built seals further prevents leakage.

The MaxJax can also take care of unibody vehicles, hoisting them up with just the right arm positioning. Easy lift arm positioning is made possible with arm restraints that lock based on the lift’s direction. Moreover, the MaxJax uses long-lasting UHMW load bearings, that don’t require lubrication.

Now, while the MaxJax eases under-car access, you’ll still need to use a creeper seat to work underneath the car. Plus, the maximum capacity is lower by a thousand pounds. Nonetheless, 6,000 lbs is usually more than enough to work on cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks.

If height or portability is a concern, the Dannmar MaxJax is probably your best bet.

Highlighted Features

  • 30-second lift time
  • 6000 lbs capacity
  • Superbly machined chrome-rod to lengthen cylinder life
  • Storage area for hydraulic hoses
  • Internally threaded anchors
  • 110V or 208V to 230V power outlet options
  • 6ft long industrial-grade power cord

Pros

  • Simple quick-disconnect hoses
  • No lubrication needed for bearings
  • Low and medium stackable adapter sets included
  • Extra durable columns manufactured using single-piece construction
  • Optional motorcycle adapter kit
  • No lifting chains

Cons

  • Creeper seat still needed

3. Tuxedo FP8K-DX – 8000lbs

Tuxedo FP8K-DX - 8000lbs

Now, this one’s a little different; the Tuxedo FP8K-DX is actually a storage lift that’ll allow you to have a multi-story car parking in your garage! Indeed, if you own two cars and struggle with space, the Tuxedo 4-Post Automotive Deluxe Storage Lift can store cars on top of each other.

But that’s not all! You can also work on your vehicle’s underside thanks to the open bottom design. For that, you will need to install a jack on the built-in jack plate.

While adding additional car storage space in your residential garage is a perk, the lift also offers a higher capacity of 8000 lbs. It also comes with two easy access ramps so you won’t scratch the front bumper on your slammed JDM. And even better, the two pairs of casters make it portable as well. Of course, it’s not as “portable” as the two previous lifts as this one can be moved but cannot really be packed in the back of your truck. So let’s say it’s “moveable” more than actually portable.

While the 4-post setup helps bring more stability, it also has its own set of drawbacks. For instance, since there’s only one jack plate, you can only lift either the front- or the rear-end once at a time. While it may not be that big of a drawback for most jobs, it might be a bummer when changing tires and such.

However, it is a really good compromise between storage space and usability.

Highlighted Features

  • 8,000lbs. capacity
  • 4 posts
  • Adjustable locking positions
  • Slack cable safety
  • Includes drip trays, jack tray and poly caster kit

Pros

  • Perfect to store vehicles
  • Comes with steel approach ramps
  • Fits in most residential garages

Cons

  • Costly
  • Usable only with a 110-Volt outlet
  • Can’t lift 4 tires at once

4. Tuxedo TP9KF-TUX – 9,000 lbs

Tuxedo TP9KF-TUX - 9,000 lbs

The second entry from Tuxedo is a budget-friendly open top/floor plate vehicle lift, meaning it has top plates instead of a top post. Hence, it can be bolted to the floor, and the top of the garage provided the ceiling’s low.

One of the major selling points is the symmetrical system, which will keep your vehicle in the center so that its body is divided almost evenly across the post. The symmetrical configuration makes it a great fit for pickups and most SUVs, whose doors would otherwise open by hitting the post.

Moreover, the 1-piece column combined with chain drive cylinders makes it a good service lift for pickup trucks and most SUVs. It is also priced well, has auto-arm restraining, and a durable powder-coat finish as standard.

Therefore, It’s a great choice for standard ceiling house garages but doesn’t work for garages with a higher ceiling. Also, the symmetric part comes to bite back when you’ve got a sedan car, as the doors won’t open as easily due to the post’s position.

If you are shopping for a professional lift that will fit in a smaller garage, this is starting to look like it. However, the dual-locking mechanism might be a bit annoying if you wrench on cars 40 hours a week. On the other hand, if you only need a lift to do your occasional oil change, there’s no need to pay more for a single-lock system.

Highlighted Features

  • 9,000lbs. capacity
  • Automatic arm restraining
  • Chain drive cylinders
  • Dual point lock release

Pros

  • Comes with height adapters
  • Symmetric system works well for SUVs and pickups
  • Low-profile lift pads
  • Comes with saddle pad adaptors
  • Quite affordable for a professional model

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with high ceilings
  • Not ideal for sedan/saloon usage
  • Chain drive cylinders
  • Dual point release system

5. Launch TLT240SC – 9,000lbs

Launch TLT240SC - 9,000lbs

If you’d like to use the same equipment as the pros, then you’ll go for the industry-standard—the Launch 9,000lb 2-Post Clear Floor lift. It is built well, economical, and the clear floor system makes it easier to maintain and you won’t risk tripping in that floor plate (I personally hate those).

While the capacity is still 9000lbs, a big quirk is that this rust-resistant car lift can be used in a standard asymmetric (straight column) or rotated asymmetric (turned column) position. You can even call it bisymmetric!

It also comes with steel pulleys and rugged cables for equalization, accommodating from the smallest cars to the largest SUVs and light-duty trucks. Meanwhile, the double telescoping screw pads coupled with rubber pads adjusting up to 2.5 inches help cover the entire vehicle.

When it come to pad types, there’s basically two school of thoughts. Some people prefer height extenders while others would rather have screw-type pads—I personally prefer the latter. However, if you work in a snowy area, dirt and water will gradually fill the threads and make the pads jam in the arms. In this case, just make sure to put tons of multipurpose grease inside the threads and you should be good to go.

Still, the dual-point lock release might feel cumbersome to engage/disengage.

Highlighted Features

  • 9,000lbs capacity
  • Clear floor structure
  • Rubber door guards
  • HD arm restraining

Pros

  • Bisymmetric
  • 3 stage telescopic front arms
  • Stackable footpad extensions
  • Screw-type pads

Cons

  • Needs a high ceiling
  • Dual point release system

6. Dannmar D2-10A – 10000lbs

Dannmar D2-10A - 10000lbs

Dannmar’s premium car lift is Maxjax’s upscale cousin. It is an asymmetric unit with a tubular steel carriage. The hoses and cables run overhead, and the system is protected by an overhead shutoff safety bar. It screams heavy-duty with its rugged equalization cables and huge sheaves to help reduce wear.

The single-piece constructed D2-10A is rated at 10,000lbs maximum lifting capacity. It has rotated asymmetric columns and Tru-Metric arms to ease up the doors of sedans, vans, and even full-size trucks. Furthermore, the versatile drop-in contact pads come with 4 stackable adapter pins.

While potential buyers will frown upon its price, the Dannmar D2-10A should be the first choice for truck owners or anybody intending to do serious auto mechanic work due to its heavy-duty construction. It also has the best warranty here, at 3 years for the structure, and 1 year for the hydraulic cylinders, operating, and electrical components.

And it also comes with a single-point locking mechanism. So yes, it’s pricier. However, if you want the same lift you would find in any repair shop in your own home, get this one; you won’t regret it.

Highlighted Features

  • 10,000lbs capacity
  • Drop-end arms
  • Single-point locking release
  • Two pairs of stackable adapter sets
  • 3 stage triple-telescoping arms
  • Heavy-duty cables with large sheaves
  • Auto arm restraining

Pros

  • Higher weight capacity
  • Easy-to-maintain UHMW bearings
  • Single-point locking mechanism is a blessing
  • The best warranty on this list
  • If I had to buy another one, this is the lift I’d get!

Cons

  • On the expensive side
  • Nothing much else to say here. When it’s good, it’s good.

7. iDEAL MSC-6KLP – 6000lbs

iDEAL MSC-6KLP – 6000lbs

If you’ve got a highly cramped garage and somewhat deeper pockets, then this low-profile portable single-column automotive lift is the perfect fit. It has been specially designed for use in restricted-space settings.

The innovative single-column design and mobile pallet jack system will allow the lift to travel towards the car if the car can’t move on its own. On the other hand, having only one column significantly brings down the weight capacity, now sitting at 6000lbs. However, 6,000lbs is still more than enough to lift most cars, SUVs, and pickups—and it’s also more expensive than a comparable two-post model.

Eyebrows are also raised when it comes to safety and stability due to the single column. But in some cases, a full-fledged twin-post lift might simply not fit your garage. Everybody would want a really huge garage that could fit 4 cars wide and both a twin-post and 4-post lift side by side—but most rarely do. So if you are short on space and need a powerful lift that you can still store when not in use, this is the one!

Keep in mind that the pallet jack style platform could be a real hassle to remove and replace exhaust systems. In this case, you would have to raise the car, unscrew everything, bring the car down, remove the exhaust, place the new one and lift the car again to tighten all the bolts. On the other hand, if you mostly use your lift for periodic services and suspension/steering/brake jobs, it will do just fine.

Highlighted Features

  • 6000lbs capacity
  • Low profile design
  • 2-stage telescoping swing arms
  • Dual telescoping screw pads
  • Stackable footpad extensions

Pros

  • Portable
  • 21 locking positions
  • Drive-over ramps
  • Durable powder coat finish

Cons

  • Lower maximum capacity
  • On the expensive side. But if you need your lift to move around, that’s to be expected.
Auto mechanic car lift

How to Choose the Right Car Lift for Your Garage

Before purchasing, it’s key to know what kind of a lift works for you. There’s a number of lifts available in the market, and the following considerations should narrow down the options for you.

Purpose of Installation

The very first step is to determine if you need a lift for storing two cars due to limited garage space or a lift for working on your car. The basic automotive lift is aimed at lifting your car so that you can work under it, and it is present in all repair shops.

Storage lifts are primarily aimed at stacking one car above another to fully use the garage’s internal height. They, too, allow you to work on your car, but you might struggle with some complications while doing so.

If you need to make full use of your garage’s surface area, get yourself a four-post lift. However, the other lift types are better for auto mechanic work, especially when working on the wheels, suspension, and brakes.

Car lift in home garage

Your Garage’s Dimensions

Always get a lift that fits and also leaves some space for you to walk around (if you’re not planning on an expansion).

The garage’s height is the second key point, and there are specific lift types that cater to low and high ceiling garages.

Another crucial factor is the thickness and inclination of the concrete floor in your garage. The minimum concrete thickness should be between 4 to 5 inches. Also, most lifts have a maximum inclination value that you shouldn’t cross.

Type of Vehicle to Be Lifted

The vehicle’s weight is a vital factor in your decision. Without sufficient weight capacity, the car lift won’t be able to raise your vehicle. Secondary factors include the ground clearance and the size of the vehicle.

If you own a large pickup truck, make sure your lift is wide enough. Otherwise, you might not be able to open the doors once the truck is in place. I know for a fact that it’s exactly what happened when Toyota refreshed its Tundra in favor of a larger model. We had to get out of the truck and push it before lifting it. No need to mention that it was quite a bummer.

The same thing applies for lowered vehicles. Some lifts, especially models with a higher weight capacity, have really thick arms that simply won’t fit under your body kit. In this case, you might need to by optional arms or use a jack to slightly raise the car first.

Home garage with car lift

Features in The Market

Car lift technology has come a long way, and after considering the factors above, you’ll need to look at the hottest and most useful features offered. You might not even have the same vehicle(s) the next day, so be on the safe side and pick the lift with the most viable features, options, and accessories.

You need to understand terms such as lift height and width, asymmetrical and symmetrical, clear floor and floorplate lifts. Compare differences in lift time, portability, maintenance, and weight.

Look for the lift with the most options available so that you can adapt if you buy a pickup truck tomorrow or need to work on your mother’s Smart. Adapters for larger and smaller vehicles, jack trays, purpose-built contact pads, telescoping arms, frame extensions are some optional extras that can evolve with your vehicles.

Price and Warranty

Apart from the technical knowledge gained, one can save hundreds of dollars in repair costs annually by fixing and maintaining their car at home. Hence, as you can potentially save a lot of money long term, do not shy away from paying more for a good lift. It will all be worth it in the end.

Brand Reputation

Now that you’ve narrowed down your choices, it is time to see what people are saying about the brands you’ve selected. The first thing to know about is how long the brands in question have existed, as this can also decide how long they’ll exist and provide you with a warranty and repair. Make sure the lift is ALI certified as well.

Secondly, any company can write big cheques they can’t cash with their marketing. But when you look at consumer reviews and unfiltered opinions found on websites (specifically online lift-based message boards), you might hear some different stories about their quality and customer support.

Saddle pads

FAQs

Clear floor or floorplate lifts?

Floor plate models exist for consumers with low ceilings, as clear floor ones stand taller. However, clear floor models come with a direct-drive design, saving you money and time on repairs while improving safety.

Chain-drive or cable-drive?

Cable drive models are designed to be safer, as the hydraulic cylinders are tucked up underneath the runway. Another disadvantage of chain-drive models is the cylinder placement that can be impractical if you leave the car’s door open while the lift is rising.

Full-rise, mid-rise, or low-rise?

Full-rise models allow you to stand underneath the car, and they raise to about 70 inches, give or take. Midrise lifts, with their rise height of about 50 inches, are the most popular.

There are numerous low-rise lifts available that could raise your car by 30 inches. These are for consumers with lower budgets.

What’s the difference between a symmetric and an asymmetric lift?

In symmetric lifts, the post “symmetrically” divides the vehicle by keeping it balanced in the center. There’s a greater distance between the columns, and the vehicle can be hoisted while facing backward as well. Asymmetric lifts keep two-thirds of the vehicle behind the post, so the doors can open without any obstruction from the post.

home garage car lift

Should I pick a 4-post or 2-post lift?

As far as vehicular support and better weight capacity are concerned, you’ll go for a 4-post lift as it has four posts instead of two. However, it does take up more of your garage’s horizontal space and is costlier.

With 2-post lifts, you can work on the wheels and underside more efficiently. As mentioned above, they also consume less horizontal space. However, a 2-post lift requires proper anchorage to adequately support your vehicle. They’re also not recommended for larger vehicles.

Are scissor lifts right for me?

Only if you seriously lack space. The scissor lifts are designed for portability, as they can be folded and kept anywhere on the side to free up horizontal space. A disadvantage is that the lift is placed directly under the vehicle’s center of gravity, so the vehicle cannot be accessed directly underneath at the center.

Verdict

All these lifts made it to the list because they’re good. Besides, there is no winner here—every car lift is designed for different users.

The Dannmar and the iDeal lifts cater to a premium-level. However, if you’re not a spender, then the QuickJack BL-7000SLX will do just fine with its low price and good capacity. The TP9KF-TUX should be a safe zone for people with low garage ceilings. If storage is your priority, then nothing on this list will cut it like the Tuxedo FP8K-DX.

That leaves the main competition between the MaxJax and the Launch TLT240SC. The M6 works for the ‘average joe’ as it has a decent capacity and is easy to maintain.

However, for only a hundred dollars extra, you can get a lot more with the Launch lift, with some features that you might not even need. But it is a machine that brings the best out of all worlds, and there’s no surprise it’s the industry standard.

Jean-Claude is an Editor at GarageSpot.com and webmaster of TheMechanicDoctor.com. He has been a certified auto mechanic for the last 15 years, working for various car dealers and specialized repair shops. He turned towards blogging about cars and EVs in the hope of helping and inspiring the next generation of automotive technicians. He also loves cats, Johnny Cash and Subarus.

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