Floor jacks - MAC Tools 2.5 ton vs Craftsman 3 ton

Shop, Garage and Tools

  1. Righty Tighty

    Righty Tighty FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I've had the Craftsman 3 ton floor jack pictured on the left for 19 years. It's always worked fine, raised anything I needed it to raise. However, I've never liked how the handle isn't fixed to the jack. It's always a pain in the neck to keep it inserted, so I went on the hunt for a more traditional jack with a fixed handle.
    vqanezHjSsOrmTZQHZoRhw.jpg
    I found the MAC Tools 2-1/2 ton jack, and right away I noticed the obvious size difference. Now, engineers aren't stupid, so I know some thought went into each design. My question for the experts is, do they determine the lifting capacity simply by what the actual hydraulic mechanism is rated for, or is there also the factor of the design of the jack? The MAC Tools jack looks more stout and stable, but I guess if the hydraulic part can only lift so much, it's a moot point.

    Am I wasting brain energy trying to figure this out? Ah screw it, I'm gonna go have a beer...
     
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    • j par

      j par Well-hung Member

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      Me and almost everybody I know has a Harbor Freight one LOL...
       
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      • RustyRatRod

        RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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        The Craftsman isn't even technically a floor jack. It's called a trolley jack. Very light duty. If you're not dead yet, consider yourself lucky.
         
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        • RustyRatRod

          RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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          I have their big green Daytona floor jack.
           
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          • j par

            j par Well-hung Member

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            Are you suggesting this man crawls underneath his car without putting jack stands down first?...
             
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            • Joey4speed

              Joey4speed FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              I'll join you for that beer...
              I have a mish mosh of tools, Some Snap On, Mac, Matco, Cornwall, Craftsman, Kobalt and even Pittsburg (Harbor Freight).
              Craftsman tools are "entry level".
              Comparable example, the wrenches are bulky and fat, the open ends sometimes have clearance issues in tight spots.
              The MAC wrenches are thinner, smoother and made stronger.
              Can't go wrong with MAC, they are professional quality.
              Look at that MAC jack, it's a wider base, and smoother action with less strain while pumping, and probably lifts the load higher.
              You can shift or even roll the MAC jack with the car on it, the Craftsman will def flip over on you.
              Im sure it also has a smoother return when dropping the car.
              MAC or Snap On wouldn't put their name on anything of Craftsman quality.
              As far as capacities, maybe @toolmanmike would have a better explanation.
               
              Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
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              • RustyRatRod

                RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                No, but the discussion isn't about jack stands.
                 
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                • j par

                  j par Well-hung Member

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                  I realize that but implying that he could have killed himself with it seems like you're also implying that he would get under his car with only the jack?..
                   
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                  • RustyRatRod

                    RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                    Do you magically throw the jack stands under the car at the exact same time you get it jacked up? No.
                     
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                    • j par

                      j par Well-hung Member

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                      Yes I do it's part of my internet supermodel superpowers...
                      Actually I do is after I jack the car up with my cheap Harbor Freight Jack I slide the jack stand underneath the car with one hand that is on the jack stand so if it was to ever fall I couldn't even crush my arm because the jack stand is going first but I'm stupid like that...
                       
                    • BWDart

                      BWDart FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      I just bought the same one in black
                       
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                      • toolmanmike

                        toolmanmike Moderator Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                        As far as I know both the hydraulics and the jack frame integrity are tested. There is a lot of liability with lifting equipment and there is some design overkill built in. Look at the two jacks and tell me which one you would trust. And yes, I have owned a MAC jack like the one pictured. I have 2 actually. A low lift and a 3 1/2 ton. I used it servicing my tool truck. It weighed 16,000#
                         
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                        • Righty Tighty

                          Righty Tighty FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                          Every morning I wake up, I consider myself lucky. I get what you're saying though, I mean it even LOOKS light duty compared to the MAC.

                          The bigger my tool collection gets, the clearer the differences become when looking at higher quality vs. entry level tools. I'm actually surprised to hear so many folks have the Daytona jacks.

                          100% agree - the MAC jack has a nice, wide base. In fact, everything about it is more stout than the Craftsman. The handle is almost twice as long for more leverage, nice big beefy wheels. So, I guess the deal here is less about lifting capacity and more about a nice, stable platform and better design overall.
                           
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                          • 67Dart273

                            67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                            AND NOW yet another annoying story from the old days

                            IN the 70's, stationed at NAS Miramar, N of San Diego, I had a part time paying job at the base auto hobby shop.

                            One day I went out into the lot, and here's a guy working under is 57 Chev. He had it up in the air with two OEM BUMPER JACKS one on each side, jammed up against those two bit "tits" on the front bumper. I didn't even waste time saying anything. I just went over and grabbed his ankles and pulled him out of there

                            He wanted to argue. I was an E-5 in civvies for the job, and he was in dungarees, and I could see he was not rated, so I "pulled rank."

                            I told him, "I know what you are, but you don't know what I am. I can fix it so you cannot come back in here. So you have two choices......either leave, or go up to the tool room and check out a pair of jackstands...........they are free."
                             
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                            • 67Dart273

                              67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                              There are FAR too many "ratings" and "specifications" are right out of the imagination of who ever wrote them. Winch line ratings are one. Air compressor flow specs at SUCTION. Electric (well and gas!!) motor HP ratings!!
                               
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                              • mcodecuda

                                mcodecuda Senior Member

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                                I’ve used Craftsman 3 ton jacks since the ‘70’s with out issues but I wouldn’t use the one in the picture.
                                 
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                                • Righty Tighty

                                  Righty Tighty FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                  You may have saved his life. Maybe not that day, but by teaching him that lesson so that he remembered not to that again.
                                   
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                                  • toolmanmike

                                    toolmanmike Moderator Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                                    This is Brad a old customer of mine. His jack failed and he's damn lucky to live to tell the story. It was one of these bumper jacks. It should be safe but no jack stands were used. Think before you jack!

                                    walker.jpg

                                    Brad.jpg

                                    Brad2.jpg
                                     
                                    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
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                                    • Joey4speed

                                      Joey4speed FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                      Unbelievable.
                                      I've seen a few similar injuries like that before, but unfortunately they were dead.
                                      Lucky man!
                                       
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                                      • Righty Tighty

                                        Righty Tighty FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                        I’ve only seen one injury like that that was survived, and that was a baseball bat to the head. Repeatedly in the same spot. The guy was a vegetable.
                                         
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                                        • Chris Biggs

                                          Chris Biggs Active Member

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                                          • Bodyperson

                                            Bodyperson Pedal to the metal FABO Gold Member

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                                            I trust them equally. As far as tonnage goes, if she wont lift it up, we gonna need a bigger jack
                                             
                                          • Righty Tighty

                                            Righty Tighty FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                            I'm gonna keep the Craftsman around for those times I need 2 jacks, but I think I'll be using the MAC as my primary from now on.
                                             
                                          • Cuda Al

                                            Cuda Al Well-Known Member

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                                            Still like this matrix...
                                            HaborFreightMatrix.jpg


                                            Alan
                                             
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