Whether you are a car freak by passion or you fix cars for a living, you need to have the best tools for every scenario. One of these scenarios is the purpose of supporting an elevated vehicle for maintenance or servicing purposes. And usually, this purpose is served by a jack stand or ramp.
Even though they do the same thing, there are some functional and practical differences. To narrow those down, you can take a look at this jack stand vs ramp comparison.
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Diffrences Between Jack Stands And Ramp
Don’t be flustered at the similarities between these two; skim through these reasons and it’ll be a piece of cake to choose one for yourself.
The first thing you need to consider about any product is how easily you can use it. Jack stands require some practice to get right. You will also need a floor jack to lift the car while using a jack stand. Even then, setting the stand in the right place and locking the key takes efficiency.
On the other hand, ramps are much easier to use. You only need to put the ramps in place, drive your wheels on them, and hit the emergency brake gear. There is no need to use additional tools when you have a ramp since it can both lift and hold your vehicle, unlike jack stands.
Verdict: Ramps are Easy to use than Jack Stands; So The winner is Ramp
Stability while holding a car is more important than it sounds. Jack stands are quite safe, but only if you know how to use them right. Hundreds of people sustain injury because of human error during the installation of a perfectly functioning jack stand. They are more like a pin holding up a cushion.
Meanwhile, ramps don’t require such mastery. They have wider bases that take up more surface area, enabling them to hold more weight and distribute the stresses more equally. In the end, ramps offer a greater amount of stability compared to jack stands.
Verdict: Ramps are more stable while using; So The winner is Ramp
3. Solo Workers
If you are working alone or traveling alone, you can’t rely on ramps. You will need another person to help you get your car on the ramp with signaling. Unless you are an expert, it is very tough to position your car on ramps alone.
But jack stand doesn’t have such a demand. You can accomplish all of the steps it requires on your own.
Pro Tip: If you are changing tires, leave the old tire under the frame even when you have jack stands on. This provides additional safety.
Verdict: Jack Stand is best when you are alone; So The winner is Jack Stand
In terms of functionality, the jack stand is more versatile. Jack stands allow you to fix, service, or replace your tires. Since the stands are placed under the frame or the pinch point of your car, you can easily access any part of your car’s chassis.
But ramps don’t allow that. One pair of tires are busy resting on the ramps while another pair sits on the pavement. This leaves you no chance to work on your tires. Moreover, functionality is compromised by stability. The bulkier blocks of the ramp reduce the amount of workable area on the underside.
Verdict: Jack Stands are multifunctional. So, The winner as functionality is Jack Stand
Storage convenience depends on the kind of vehicle you own. If you are using ramps for a regular-sized sedan, they will be of decent size, and their storage and transportation will be much easier. But if your ramps are for a monster truck or a gigantic SUV, your ramps will be quite big and heavy.
Jack stands are rather easy to store regardless of their types. Some of them even come with a removable handle that allows you to store your stand in a narrow place. Just remember, jack stands are not stainless, and you should keep them in a dry place.
Verdict: Jack Stands are easy to store. So, The winner as Storage is Jack Stand
6. Stranger Danger
If you are a stranger to the kind of accidents that happen from wobbly jack stands, you can easily fall victim to it. Even if you have the expertise, you never know when a jack stand is at the end of its life.
Systemic malfunctions happen, and although rare, jack stands can cause grievous incidents that would never happen by ramps.
A faulty bolt, a released hydraulic valve, or a loose key is all that it takes for a jack stand to cause a catastrophe.
Verdict: Ramp is safer than Jack Stand
7. Elevation Level
There is not much difference in how high they can lift vehicles. Ramps can lift slightly higher than jack stands, but the former is amazing for changing oil or lubrication. Oil changes are much faster with ramps.
Verdict: The winner of Elevation Level is Ramp
If it isn’t obvious already, ramps require much lesser setup time while jack stands are time-consuming. It has multiple steps that you need to finish for operation. When you are running out of time, it’s best not to use jack stands.
Verdict: Jack Stands are time consuming. So The winner is Ramp
Ramps are made from regular duty materials, which make them affordable. A pair of ramps cost around 30 to 60 US dollars. In the meantime, jack stands cost around a hundred dollars or more. Don’t forget that you’ll need a floor jack as well.
Ramps are durable and low-maintenance items that will last a long time. While jack stands are susceptible to more damage and will need frequent replacements every three or four years.
Verdict: Ramps cost lesser than Jack Stands. So, The winner as Affordability is Ramp
This is a rather rare situation, but sometimes a ramp might slip on the ground if there is not enough traction in between. This can happen on slippery roads or in a garage room with an oil spill.
This article has provided a thorough comparison of jack stand vs ramp; now the choice is yours. Both are equally valid and useful choices; whichever of these seems more relatable to your requirements is the right one.