Types of jack stand and how to use them

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 If you were a do-it-yourself kind of guy like I am, you surely would want to know of the different kinds of jack stands available. Everywhere you look, there are allkinds of jack stands for sale, but do you know the different types? To make it simple, there are two main variations. The adjustable height and the fixed height jack stand.

Before you settle on one, you ought to know that the material composition makes a whole lot of difference. Your typical jack stand is made of aluminum or light steel, but the heavy-duty jack stands, their structure is made of steel and cast iron

Let’s start with the adjustable height jack stands.

ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT

These allow for height adjustment. Most adjustable height jack stands have a tripod base, they are also divided into three main categories; the ratchet type, the pin type and the rotation/ threaded type.

Ratchet type Jack Stand

The ratchet type jack stands have a self-locking ratchet center column, hence the name.Coz of the self-lock mechanism, these jack stands are the easiest to use, just place it under the safe jack point, pull on the center column till the saddle touches the jack point and the ratchets will lock in by themselves. To release it, you raise the steel handle that locks the ratchets on the center column.

Pin- type jack stand

They come in all shapes and sizes. What differentiates them from other jack stands it the fact that their locking mechanism is a tethered pin. The center column has varying heights with holes through it that the pin passes through to lock it. Some of them have a foldable base for easy packing.

Rotation/threaded type jack stand

This is the third type and least known of the three. The center column is cylindrical with threads. To use it, turn the center column clockwise to raises it up, and anti-clockwise to lower it down. The saddle rests on a socket that renders it immobile when rotating the center column.

FIXED HEIGHT

These kinds of jack stands have a fixed height. Since they have no moving parts, it is rear to have them fail on you. The lack of adjustability on their part limits their use. Most of them are not portable but are extremely reliable and durable.

These are best for use in one location and for a specific vehicle. When you get the right one for your car, it can be one of your most reliable tools.

Other Types

After looking at the different types, it is only fair to look at what other options are out there. Here, we will look at the all-in-one jack stand.

These kinds of jack stands do both the lifting and holding of a vehicle. They come with the jack affixed to an adjustable jack stand, mostly a pin type.

The advantage of this type over the others is especially prominent when you have a unibody vehicle to deal with. These kinds of vehicles have the challenge of properly lifting and holding the body up, owing to the number of safe jack points per location.

With this jack, you only need one safe jack point to both lift and hold the vehicle up.

Conclusion

After looking at the different types of jack stands and their use, which one best fits the bill for dealing with your car? Answer this and get your self a set. Remember that a quality set of jack stands will last a lifetime.

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Steven Reilly
Steven Reilly is a qualified mechanic and his passion for cars goes beyond just the technical aspects. He is also an amateur racer and all round car enthusiast. When he is not driving them, he can often be found in his garage under the hood of a rare model. Steven Reilly has lost track of the number of hours he has spent setting up his fine collection of rebuilt models. He believes that cars can provide a constructive and fun opportunity to teach the youth important life skills. In line with this, he is developing a community outreach program, potentially dubbed ‘Cars for change'.

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