There are four basic hydraulic air bottle jacks configurations you are likely to encounter in your shopping process.
The first is a scissor jack, which center around a mechanical screw that activates hinged steel limbs on either side of the jacking point to lift or raise the load. These jacks offer a solid, wide base that is useful on a wide variety of surfaces, while also delivering a small form factor that is easy to stash behind a seat or in the trunk.
Next up you’ll find hydraulic jacks, of which there are generally two designs. A bottle jack is so named because its hydraulic cylinder represents a small bottle standing on its end. This jack provides a taller-than-average lift height yet is still small enough to be easily portable. The other one is the floor jack, that provides a much lower profile jacking point and spreads the load out across a longer and wider axis, typically on wheels, making it a favourite for garage use.
Finally, there is the Hi-Lift jack or bumper jack. “Hi-Lift” might be a brand name, but it’s one that’s been around for more than 100 years and as such has fallen into common usage among the off-roaders that have been loyal customers. As the name might suggest, it’s intended to offer an extended range of lift, and resembles a single-legged iron trestle with a mechanical lever attached to it.
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