This is the most popular type of car jack in the United Kingdom. It is the one that you normally get with your car as it is relatively cheap and pretty easy to store in the boot of your car. We have included an image just above so as you can see exactly what we are talking about.
Most garages tend to use larger hydraulic jacks to raise vehicles off the ground. The more common scissor jack is classed as a "manual jack." That means you attach a handle and physically have to wind it up. You turn it clockwise to raise it and anti-clockwise to lower it down.
Best Seller - Goodyear GOD1252 Jack Scissor Car 1.5 Tons Universal
85% buyer satisfaction based on 2,200+ online buyer reviews
This is a the best selling scissor jack online in the UK and from a well known tyre brand
The maximum load capacity for this jack is 1.5 tons
It can be used for cars, SUVs and trailers
Raises your car from 115-390mm (4.5 - 15.3")
This is a handy jack to have in your car or to replace one if you need to
Overall Best Quality - Leadstand 2 Ton Scissor Jack
90% buyer satisfaction based on 100+ online buyer reviews
This is a tough well made scissor jack suitable for up to 2 ton loads so can be used for cars and SUVs
It uses a ratcheting wrench for manual raising of the jack or you can also connect an electric drill to it and let that do the work
We like this one because it is well made and the screw type makes it much faster than traditional scissor jacks
This model pumps up and down so makes your life a great deal easier
Overall Best Value - Motacare® 1 Tonne Scissor Jack With Crank Handle
Best Scissor Jack with Wheel Brace - Xtremeauto Universal 1.5T Scissor Lift Jack With Extension Wheel Brace Bar
88% buyer satisfaction based on 250+ online buyer reviews
This is a 1.5 ton scissor jack which is good quality and comes with a crank handle
It has a maximum lift height of 370mm and a minimum height of 90mm so that will be suitable for most vehicles
It is suitable for Hatchback, Saloon Cars, Vans, Estate, 4x4 Trucks Jeeps, MPV And SUV Models
The wheel brace (wrench) comes with socket sizes: 17, 19, 21, 23mm
Scissor Jack Buying Guide
How does a Scissor Jack Work?
The scissor jack takes its name from the action. There are 4 main diagonal pieces, a base for sitting on the ground, and a flat plate for going under the sill of the car. The 4 diagonal pieces are connected by a horizontal thick screw. When turned the diagonal pieces expand or contract when the screw is turned in a scissor type action.
How to Use a Scissor Jack
- Try and park your car on a flat hard road and make sure to turn off the engine and leave the handbrake on
- Loosen the wheel nuts a little before using the jack
- If possible try and fix the other three tyres with bricks
- Get out the jack and turn the screw shaft of the jack by hand to control the jack to rise until the top of the jack is against the underbody of the car sill
- Use the jack lever to raise the wheel off the ground
- Remove the nuts from the wheel and then remove the wheel
- Replace the wheel and tighten the nuts
- Lower the jack by turning the screw anti-clockwise and slide out from under the sill
- Tighten the nuts fully with a wheel brace and then put the tyre and tools away
Are Scissor Jacks Useful?
These are really designed for roadside repairs when you have a flat tyre. In most used cars you should have one of these along with a spare tyre. Those used to be provided as standard.
In newer cars the manufacturers have replaced this with a car repair kit or with a temporary small spare wheel. Our opinion is that this is nothing more than saving them money. The repair kits push foam into the tyre which helps seal a puncture and allows you to drive to a garage to get it repaired.
The smaller repair wheel can replace the flat tyre wheel and again allows you to drive to the nearest garage to get it repaired. With this option you still need a scissor jack to be able to remove the punctured tyre and put on the temporary one. It would just be so much easier to have a proper spare tyre, rather then either of those new style options.
It is a good idea to check your vehicle and make sure that you have some solution rather than nothing.
Are Scissor Jacks Safe?
These are designed to be able to lift up one end of a vehicle at the wheel. They shouldn't be used for doing anything other than a quick wheel change. Never ever get below a car and rely on the scissor jack holding it up.
These depend on the base being stable and on uneven ground that can be too big a chance. At the end of the day, these are a small jack with a small base and with enough force these can tipple.
The recommendation is to use these along with an axle stand (also called jack stands) to give better support. If you are stuck along the side of a road with a flat tyre, then more than likely you will not have that option. It is still safe to use your scissor jack, but never get under the car when only supported by a jack.
Designed for Your Vehicle
The scissor jack that comes with your car is actually designed for your car. You shouldn't use any other scissor jack. For example a scissor jack made for a small car would not be suitable to lift an SUV. That is because scissor jacks are designed to be able to life certain weights.
Know its Limits
Scissor jacks were designed to allow the driver to be able to change a flat tyre. That is all they are good for. They should only get a little use over their lifetime so they were never designed for any type of heavy duty use.
The scissor jack is only meant to lift the wheel a couple of inches off the ground to allow you to remove and replace a wheel. If you want to do something like an oil change or a service, then do no use or rely on a scissor jack.
For that you will need something like a floor jack along with jack stands to be safe.
Scissor Jack vs Bottle Jack
We are often asked which is better a scissor jack or a bottle jack. The bottle jack is definitely more durable when compared to the scissor jack and it is also much easier to use. The downside is that the bottle jack is also more expensive. we also have an article on Trolley Jacks if you think you might need something a bit more powerful.
Also, you may think this is common sense but we would always recommend using some axle stands as well as a jack.