Home Garage Lift Comparison Chart
Choosing a vehicle lift for your home garage usually comes down to three questions:
- Is your garage ceiling high enough – and your garage wide enough – to accommodate a commercial grade 2 post lift?
- Do you want a lift that works with all types of vehicles, including classics and lowered cars?
- Do you want a “consumer grade” vehicle lift that features cheap hydraulics and electronics?
In the chart below, we’ve laid out the key specs for the four typical types of home garage vehicle lifts.
A Note About “Consumer Grade” Vehicle Lifts And The Hydraulics That Power Them
In order for a vehicle lift to be commercial grade, the hydraulics need to be capable of lifting and lowering dozens of vehicles per day for 10-20 years. As you can imagine, commercial grade lifts have over-sized hydraulics that are extremely capable when it comes to lifting capacity (most of them can lift more than 11,000 lbs).
Basically, when you buy a commercial vehicle lift, you’re getting top quality hydraulics.
But when you buy a “consumer grade” vehicle lift, the hydraulic systems have significant limitations:
- Low lift capacity. To keep costs down, consumer grade vehicle lifts use hydraulics that are just barely strong enough to lift a normal car. You’ll see companies selling lifts that “max out” at 3,500 lbs, for example.
- Temperature management problems. When hydraulic systems are just barely big enough to lift the required load, they heat up quickly. This can lead to leaks, motor damage, and even total failure.
- Leaks. Cheap hydraulic systems leak, and it’s because quality hydraulic fittings are expensive. If you don’t use a cheap hydraulic lift too often, it won’t leak too much. But, at some point, the fittings give into the pressures and there’s hydraulic fluid on the garage floor, your clothes, and maybe even your car.
Whatever type of lift you decide to buy for your home garage, we strongly suggest that you avoid “consumer grade” hydraulics. These systems are nothing but trouble, and our company (which sells the Kwik-Lift as well as a full range of 2 post and 4 post lifts) will have nothing to do with cheap hydraulics.