I finally bought a jack and stands for my car. I’ve used such implements countless times, but to date have always borrowed from my dad, brother, or someone else. I’ve intended to get one for a long time, but have struggled figuring out which to get.

There are a lot of very similar looking options when choosing a jack. The trolley style are cheap and small, good for a small garage. The low profile are more expensive and bigger, but can fit under the car easier and often seem of higher quality.

It’s hard to tell from reviews about the durability and how slow the release is, important considerations for me. I want the thing to last, and I really hate having to very carefully try to release, only to have the car drop quickly anyway half the time like with some of the jacks I’ve used in the past.

Having done a lot of car work on gravel drives, where getting a trolley jack under the car could be difficult without careful positioning, I had wanted the low profile. Now I have a garage and concrete drive, so I don’t really need the low profile, but the apparent quality of the style won me over.

I got a Pittsburgh 1.5 ton low profile aluminum jack at discount from Harbor Freight. I’ve used it once to change oil and rotate tires, and have been mostly pleased with it. It isn’t as light or small as the trolley style can be, but is close for the low profile style. I definitely can’t swing the handle all the way on one side of the car in my small garage, even with it angled, but it’s manageable. It is fairly easy to roll around by the handle. The release is much smoother to work with than most of the jacks I’ve used. The lever mechanism looks more durable than with trolley jacks.

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