Best trolley jacks 2022

What’s the low-down on these high-rise products?

Your car often needs to be raised when you work on it, and this makes a trolley jack essential. From an oil change to new brakes, exhaust or suspension, your jack will soon pay for itself and the required axle stands – don’t get under a car without them in place. 

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A jack is not a pricey option, especially if you consider it as an investment and a way to help cut costs compared with a dealer’s service bay. Most units in this test are rated at around two tonnes, which is fine for the average vehicle, but check your car’s weight before you buy.

How we tested them

We compared the basic specifications, because a trolley jack’s height range can vary and needs to be matched to your car. We counted how many full pumps it took to reach 20cm – a typical jacking point height – and then how many to reach its maximum.

We awarded points for good instructions, including safety advice, and expected to find some basic info on the lifting arm. A large saddle spreads the load and makes it less likely to slip, and a rubber insert is useful to prevent bodywork damage. Finally, we factored in the best internet prices we could find. 

Verdict

Our top three jacks retain their podium finishes from the last test, but price changes have elevated Halfords’ Low Profile into the number one spot, with the Clarke and Wolf very close behind. 

  1. Halfords 2 Tonne Low Profile Hydraulic Trolley Jack 657099
  2. Clarke Strong Arm 2.25 Tonne Low Entry Trolley Jack w/Sockets CTJ2250LP
  3. Wolf Black Jack 2.25T Low Profile Trolley Jack

Reviews

Halfords 2 Tonne Low Profile Hydraulic Trolley Jack 657099

  • Price: around £42   
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Contact: halfords.com

This bright orange Halfords model is well made and has a minimum height of 85mm and a max of 375mm; plus its 290mm span is among the best here. We like the large saddle at 60mm (second only to the other Halfords jack), the wide front castors and the 16 pumps required to reach 200mm was equal second-best on test. Although it loses a few points on some aspects of the specification, it’s hard to argue with its keen price. 

Buy now from Halfords

Clarke Strong Arm 2.25 Tonne Low Entry Trolley Jack with Sockets CTJ2250LP

  • Price: around £57 
  • Rating: 4.5 stars
  • Contact: machinemart.co.uk

The Clarke’s rating of 2.25 tonnes beats all but the Wolf. It reached its max height of 380mm in 37 pumps and the 200mm mark in 17, both par for the course. We like the side-mounted clip for storing the 480mm handle, the flexible rubber pad for the saddle (a tad on the small side at 55mm) and the stable, 35mm-wide front castors. But it costs more than the Halfords jack. 

Buy now from Machine Mart

Wolf Black Jack 2.25T Low Profile Trolley Jack

  • Price: around £63   
  • Rating: 4.5 stars
  • Contact: ukhs.tv

The second jack to be rated at 2.25 tonnes has had a price rise since we last tested it in 2020. But it’s still a super jack which also comes with a handle clip and pair of double-ended sockets that fit into a chassis-mounted holder. From its lowest start point of 80mm, it reached the 200mm marker in 16 pumps and went onto its max of 380mm in 39. Its two-year warranty remains impressive but in such a competitive market, the current price squeezes it down the order. 

Buy now from UKHS

Clarke Strong Arm CTJ2000LPB 2 Tonne Low Profile Trolley Jack

  • Price: around £51   
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Contact: machinemart.co.uk

The Strong Arm is a lookalike for its sibling, but there are differences, not least £6 in your pocket at the till. It lacks the handle clip and sockets, and is 10mm down on the overall span. Getting to 200mm in 22 pumps was reasonable, but the 49 needed to get to its max of 380mm was hard work. The instructions are good and, like many,  the basics are repeated on the lifting arm. We like the reassuringly large 60mm saddle, which comes complete with a protective rubber insert, and the longest handle here, at 550mm. 

Buy now from Machine Mart

Sealey 2 Tonne Low Entry Short Chassis Trolley Jack 2180LE

  • Price: around £66
  • Rating: 3.5 stars
  • Contact: sealey.co.uk

Although this is listed as a low jack, it’s higher than the other four, with a 100mm start height. Also, with a max of 350mm, it has less overall span, too. That said, it’s really well put together and we particularly like the classy polished, domed fasteners and the large handle which can be used through 180 degrees – great for tight spaces. The rubber grip at the end of this made it comfortable to use and 16 pumps to 200mm was one of the best, with 42 to the top being reasonable. But the price is almost twice that of the cheapest jack. 

Buy now from Workshopping

Halfords 2 Tonne Hydraulic Trolley Jack 657081

  • Price: around £33
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Contact: halfords.com

Despite its basic, no-frills nature, this Halfords jack features an impressively large, 67mm saddle – the biggest here. A conventional jack, it has only a 200mm span which starts at 140mm, so not good for the low-riders among us. Taking 12 and 31 pumps to get to 200mm and the max height was excellent – both best in test. We like the handle clip built into the chassis but the handle itself is one of the shortest here, at 42cm long. 

Buy now from Halfords

Silverline 2 Tonne Hydraulic Trolley Jack 633935

  • Price: around £38   
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Contact: silverlinetools.com

The Silverline is similar to the Halfords jack above, with a 200mm span, albeit with minimum and maximum heights 10mm lower. The saddle of 55mm is reasonable and matches our second and third-placed jacks. Getting to 200mm in 14 pumps was very good and 34 to the max was good in isolation, although it was only 330mm, the joint-lowest with the Sealey 1050CXDHV . There are a few basic instructions on the lifting arm but like the booklet, they are limited. In a straight fight with the 2T Halfords, it came down to price. 

Buy now from Amazon

Sealey 2 Tonne Short Chassis Hi-Vis Trolley Jack with Storage Case 1050CXDHV

  • Price: around £43  
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Contact: sealey.co.uk

Sealey’s two-tonne jack is the only one here to come complete with a tough, blow-moulded case, and we liked the way it fitted neatly into it so it wouldn’t rattle around while in the boot. It’s clear that the jack is geared for weight-saving and practicality and is designed to be carried, with its narrow chassis and 20mm-wide wheels. The saddle is joint-smallest at 50mm and while 17 pumps to 200mm was fine, taking 45 to its max was less impressive. At the simpler end of the market, it should be a bit cheaper. 

Buy now from Workshopping

Are you a DIY mechanic? Be sure to read our maintenance checklist!

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