11 Different Types of Jacks and Their Uses

Different Types of Jacks
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There are many different types of jacks and accessories, but which one should you use for your car?

If you’re looking to buy a jack to lift your car when it’s stuck, these are the things that you need to consider.

Find out everything you need to know about the different types of jacks and how they work, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs in our guide on Everything You Need to Know About the Different Types of Jacks!

What is Jack?

A jack is an abbreviation for a car jack. A car jack, also known as a scissor jack or bottle jack, is designed for use with cars and other vehicles.

They’re used by mechanics and auto-owners alike to safely lift the frame, engine, or another part of the vehicle to make repairs or alterations easier.

The first car jacks were invented in 1873 by James Littlejohn in Scotland, who first sold them under the brand name Littlejohn’s Self-Raising Jack.

Uses of Jacks

A jack is a typically round object made of metal, rubber, or plastic that can be used to change the height of something by lifting it off the ground.

The uses for jacks include lifting a car or moving heavy furniture without scratching them. There are several different types of jacks, including automotive, bottle, bike, and crook.

For example, an automotive jack lifts a car, while bottle jacks and floor jacks provide extra height when working on cars.

Bicycle jacks allow you to remove your bike’s wheels more easily, and a crook jack is a type that looks like an inverted U and is often used for motorcycles.

One or more examples will follow this information for each type. For example, an automotive jack is most commonly used for changing vehicle tires.

This is because it is positioned under a vehicle’s axle and uses ramps in conjunction with its jack pad so that you can raise a vehicle without removing its wheels. 

However, you can also use an automotive jack in many other situations, such as lifting a trailer from off your car after parking on rough terrain or if someone gets their foot stuck underneath a running car.

A bottle jack is typically used when lifting heavy objects that are about waist height and below.

Different Types of Jacks

1. Scissor Jack

The most common type of jack is a scissor jack. A scissor jack uses two opposing parts that move in and out opposite from one another to lift an object vertically.

The jack must be pushed outward from underneath an object, such as a car.

These jacks are typically used when you’re performing routine maintenance or repair on a vehicle by removing it from its weight-bearing points on the ground or axle. 

They’re also used with vehicles that require a full lift, like SUVs because they can accommodate different sizes and weights due to the wide range of movement that occurs while they extend and retract.

One disadvantage of this jack is that you may have difficulty getting under heavy objects to push the handle up and down; there’s also a chance that more than one person will need to apply force simultaneously. 

2. Bottle Jack

A bottle jack is one of the different types of jacks used for heavy lifting. It is a hand-operated device that will provide support when raising or lowering your vehicle.

In essence, it is quite literally a bottle, with a piston on one end and the other extending out in front with a large lever on it. 

The hydraulic plunger forces hydraulic fluid down into the cylinder, which causes pressure against the piston inside and its extension arm.

This forces it up until enough weight has been transferred onto the arms to reach equilibrium.

As you lift, you must apply greater pressure manually; this means that as soon as you remove your hand from the handle, there will be an equal force counteracting your motion.

Bottle jacks don’t allow for adjustment once they’ve been set, so care should be taken not to overextend them beyond their limits.

It’s important not to overcompress them either; if necessary, increase pressure gradually until your desired height has been reached.

3. Floor Jack

A floor jack uses an under-carriage extension and lever to lift a vehicle. A floor jack can typically handle heavier lifts and provide more stability than a scissor or bottle-type jack.

The disadvantages are that they require you to work with your hands at times when you’re usually pushing down, which can make them hard on your joints over time. 

The advantages are that they use more power than other types of jacks and offer good traction for solid base placement (not enough to be wedged).

Also, deliver better results in tight spots or when lifting two sides of a vehicle.

4. Pneumatic Jack

A pneumatic jack is a type of device used for lifting vehicles by using compressed air.

This is among the different types of jacks available in various sizes, and some models come with an attached winch for easing the lifting process. 

Most pneumatic jacks require at least 6 inches (150 mm) clearance on all sides in order to operate correctly.

They are available in various sizes, and some models come with an attached winch for easing the lifting process. 

-this type of jack comes with two pistons that move up and down as pressure is released through valves, creating the air flow that powers the movement.

Pneumatic jacks can be either internal or external, depending on their location within the vehicle being lifted

5. Strain Jack

A strain jack is a heavy tool that is used for building scaffolding. The person using it does not need any professional skills to use this jack.

It can support two 2×4 boards at once and is used for raising a sailboat’s mast and fences, ramps, and decks.

This type of jack is ideal for jobs with repetitive movement and involves lifting something higher than your head while leaning over or bending down. 

Strain jacks come in a few different shapes and sizes. They are typically flat with grooves on one side where boards slide into place, while the other is smooth where you would attach your scaffolding pipes if used in construction work.

6. Hydraulic (Mechanical Service) Jack

A hydraulic jack, also known as a manual service jack, is a great and cost-effective tool for all homeowners.

Hydraulic jacks are perfect for raising or lowering heavy objects and even personal vehicles.

Whether you’re under your car changing a tire or working on projects in your garage, this is one of the different types of jacks that is sure to come in handy. 

The feature includes: 

  • Easy operation with foot pedal, 
  • Handle grip controls that automatically maintain desired height, 
  • Rubber-tipped feet for safe use on any surface. 

They can be used as high jacks for taller items or low jacks for shorter items.

These jack types are typically inexpensive and lightweight so that they can be moved easily from one place to another.

There’s nothing better than having a hydraulic jack in your home when needed!

7. Hi-lift Jack

The hi-lift jack is used to lift heavy objects, mainly vehicles, up on a car jack stand.

A typical design for a hi-lift jack is a steel cylinder with an opening on top for lifting an object and a piston pump handle that is attached to the side of the shaft by means of a valve or pin. 

If your vehicle comes equipped with just one in its trunk, it’s likely that it’s an emergency feature designed for use when you’ve been stranded and can’t get your vehicle any higher off the ground.

For that reason, make sure you keep it in there! When looking at your options for buying or renting one though, make sure you know whether you’re getting yourself a single or dual lever model so you can pick accordingly.

8. Trolley Jack

A trolley jack is a small yet powerful jack that can be moved around on any flat surface, meaning that you can use it in different locations as required.

When using this type of jack, make sure that the work area is cleared so that it can move easily, and it is also recommended to have a bucket underneath to catch any oil spills. 

There are various different types of jacks; some will require a rubber mat under them, while others will require blocks or wood in order for them not to slip when they are being used.

Another thing you should consider before using this type of jack is whether there are any metal fittings nearby.

If there are, then you need something like an extension arm with metal protection pads on end.

9. Wheel Lift

When you need your vehicle’s flat tire replaced with a spare tire, or when you need a new tire put on your vehicle, a jack is a tool that will be needed.

Most jacks require an external power source and usually some way to hold the car in place. This can be done by either putting heavy weights on the car or locking it into place.

10. Motorcycle Jack

A motorcycle jack, sometimes called a scissor jack, is designed for lifting motorcycles.

They come in two types: single and twin jacks. A single jack has a load capacity of around 4 tons. 

On the other hand, a twin motorcycle jack can have a load capacity of up to 18 tons and provides more versatility as it comes with a side-to-side lifting arm for loading large objects like trucks.

11. Forklift (Pallet) Jack

The first jack on this list is known as a forklift (pallet) jack. This type of jack is designed to lift heavy objects, such as pallets.

This type of work will require a high clearance space so that you can move your product and turn it in order for it to be loaded or unloaded.

Features include a wide base; wide lifting range; a long handle for extra height when needed; a chain for additional stability; an air-powered cylinder that can be used instead of the hydraulic cylinder.


Wondering what your automotive jack is used for? Great question! They are essential tools that can be used in a pinch.

The many different types of jacks include trailer jacks, mobile home jacks, car or vehicle jacks, and more. Car/vehicle and trailer jack are the most common type for motorists.

Either one is used for lifting up vehicles with four wheels on the ground (all four tires must be touching the ground).

With this guide, you can go into the market today to buy one of these different types of jacks for your car, motorcycle, or truck.

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