Best Car Axle Stands

car axle stands

Car axle stands are an absolutely essential piece of safety equipment if you intend carrying out any work on a raised vehicle. Below, I’ve listed a number of different car axle stands to cover a wide variety of vehicles.

You may also be interested in our list of the best car trolley jacks.

1 and 2 Ton Axle Stands

See “Car Axle Stand Features” below the comparison tables for an explanation of the features listed.

3 Ton Axle Stands

Obviously, you will need a jack to lift your car (see our list of the best car trolley jacks) and a set of chocks to prevent the car from rolling away whilst you’re underneath it.

More than 3 Ton Axle Stands

If you need axle stands of this load capacity, then you are working on some pretty big vehicles!

Car Axle Stand Features

Load Capacity

This is the key piece of specification for keeping you safe if you are working under your vehicle. Unfortunately, it is also the most ambiguous.

To start with, some axle stands are specified in metric tonnes (1000 kg); some in British tons (1016 kg) and yet others in American tons (907 kg). For clarity, I have only listed axle stands whose specification is in metric tonnes.

The second element of ambiguity is that some products are specified with the load capacity for the pair of axle stands whilst others specify the load capacity for a single axle stand.

I have listed the load capacity for a single axle stand followed by the value for the pair e.g. Capacity: 2t / 4t means that this axle stand is rated at 2 tonnes per axle stand and 4 tonnes for the pair. Hopefully, this will make it easier to compare like-for-like.

Note: You should only combine the capacity of axle stands if the weight of the vehicle can be applied simultaneously and equally between the two stands.

How heavy is your car?

You need to be sure of the weight of your vehicle, so look it up in your handbook, on your VIN plate or Google it (other search engines are available 😉 )

As a rough guide, a classic sports car will be about 1 tonne. A modern saloon car between 1.5 and 2.5 tonnes and an SUV 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes. The gross weight (fully ladened) of a Ford Transit 330 is 3.3 tonnes.
A pair of 3 ton axle stands will cover most domestic vehicles.

Height

The minimum height of the axle stands is the height with the saddle (the bit that the car sits on) at its lowest setting. Obviously, your car jack will need to be capable of lifting your car to at least this height in order to use your axle stands. Maximum height is the highest setting!

Ratchet Axle Stands vs Hole and Pin adjustment

These are the 2 available methods for adjusting and locking your car axle stands at a given height.

Ratchet axle stands automatically lock in position as you raise the centre column. To lower them, hold the centre column, lift the lever and lower the centre column. Typically, ratchet axle stands allow for finer height adjustment than hole and pin axle stands.

Just for clarity, the ratchet is not like a jack for lifting the car, it is simply a mechanism for locking the car axle stands at a particular height.

Hole and pin adjustment is more traditional and a little more fiddly than ratchet axle stand but just as effective. There are a series of holes in the centre column that determine the intermediate height settings of the axle stands. Lift the centre column to the desired height and place a pin through the hole to lock it in place. When you have finished, hold the centre column, remove the pin and lower the centre column.

Shipping Weight

I have included this to give some possible insight into robustness. Not very scientific but “heavier sort of equals more robust?” I know, tenuous, but at least you know what you’ll be lugging around.

Base style

Fixed vs Folding. I have removed a couple of axle stands from my original list that had folding bases (for easier storage). I just don’t like the idea of them and have read a number of accounts of them failing (most probably through incorrect use but I’m still not convinced by them.)

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