Bottle Jack vs Floor Jack: Which Is Ideal For You?

Bottle jack vs floor jack is a comparison that you might find yourself wondering about when you want to get a car jack for your vehicle. The car jack should always be in the trunk, as it is something that will come in handy if your car ever breaks down because of a punctured or burst tire.

Bottle Jack vs Floor Jack

If you want to change your tire in the case of a puncture or blowout, you should choose between a bottle jack and a floor jack. In this article, we will look at the differences between the two types of car jacks and help you choose the ideal one for you.

Features Bottle  Floor 
Size Lightweight and will fit in your trunk Heavy and stays in your garage
Price Cheaper More expensive 
Balance Unstable  Stable 
Lifting Capacity 20 tons 50 tons


What is the Difference Between Bottle Jack and Floor Jack?

The main difference between the bottle jack and the floor jack is the design, as the former is portable, while the latter is stable with a higher height range. Since the bottle lift and floor jack have different orientations, it affects the lifting capacity and stability of the hydraulic jacks.

The bottle lift is designed with a vertical cylinder, a lifting platform on top with a wide base, but the design of the floor lift is a horizontal cylinder instead. Also, bottle lifts have a lower load capacity of 20 tons and can be easily carried around in your trunk. On the other hand, the floor jack can lift a load of up to 50 tons and is too large for a car trunk, so you need to leave it in your garage.

The hydraulic floor jack and hydraulic bottle jack are the two main kinds that are used to lift heavy loads. Another type are the scissor jacks and trolley jacks. These are used to lift your car if you want to change the tires. The two car jacks are different in terms of their capacity, cost, lift range, portability, and stability. Here are other differences between the two car jacks.

– Stability

Another difference between the floor lift and bottle lift is their stability. Since floor lifts have a lower center of gravity and a wider base than bottle jacks, they are much more stable. These jacks are less likely to tip over when you are using them. Big Red jacks and Torin hydraulic jacks are two brands of jacks that are known for their stability.

– Height Range

Floor jacks and bottle jack lifts have different height ranges. With the floor lift, you have a wider range of height adjustments, allowing you to lift your vehicle to a very high level. But, you can only lift sports cars and small sedans with a bottle lift because of its lower height range.

– Portability

In terms of portability, bottle lifts are more portable and compact, making it easy for you to transport them and put them in your trunk. The small size of the bottle lift makes it unsuitable for lifting heavy loads or on uneven roads. But a floor jack is much larger and cannot be carried around in your car.

– Cost

In terms of cost, bottle lifts are cheaper to purchase than floor lifts. This is a cost-effective jack that allows you to lift your car for a do it yourself project or if you want to lift your vehicle to replace the tire. The bottle jack is less expensive because it is portable, smaller and less advanced.

– Features, Pros and Cons of Bottle Jacks

A bottle jack is a car jack that has the shape of a bottle, with a neck and a cylindrical body. It is also called a whiskey jack. You can mount your bottle lift vertically under the car and use this to lift heavier loads. With the vertical design, the bottle lift is not as stable for larger cars. But, the small shape makes it convenient for storage.


It is very easy to use a bottle lift. Once you put it in position under your car, you should turn the piston in an anticlockwise direction until it lifts your car to the desired height. And then, you can use the valve to keep it in place. This allows you to lift your car and change the tires without stress.

– Pros of Bottle Jacks

The main advantage of the bottle lift is the weight, as it is designed to be lightweight. One person can carry it and use it. It is also highly affordable, especially since it has a small size. It is considerably cheaper than a floor jack, and the cheaper one is usually preferred by those who need one for the road.

Features of Bottle Jacks

Another advantage of bottle lifts is their efficiency. Aside from their lower price, they are very efficient and so you can use a 20-ton jack easily without breaking a sweat. But check how much weight the jack can carry before you buy it. The portability of the bottle lift is another advantage, as you can put it in your trunk.

The bottle lifts are ideal for emergency uses if your car tire gets punctured or blown out when you are on the road. In general, the jack is highly reliable. It is very easy to use, and if you take care of it, it will last for a long time.

– Cons of Bottle Jacks

There are a couple of downsides that you need to keep in mind if you have decided to get bottle jacks. The jack has a low lift height because it stands up vertically. So, it comes as no surprise that it cannot raise your car very high. A bottle jack is ideal for a car or truck with more floor clearance.

Another disadvantage of the jack is the stability. Although they are good for storing and lifting, bottle lifts have a narrow frame that makes them unstable. Since it is a small jack, it can lift a heavy load without poor stability.

– Features, Pros and Cons of Floor Jacks

The floor jack is another type of car jack that you can use for lifting your cars. The jack is a hydraulic cylinder which operates horizontally to the base of your car. Although they appear small, they are also pretty robust and heavy. When you push and pull the lever of your floor lift, it raises the cylinder so you can lift the car and handle the weight easily.

Pros of Floor Jacks

Many types of floor jacks are designed with a caster, making it convenient to move them into position. The floor lift is very handy to have in your garage. Since they are bulky, it would be hard to store them, especially if space is a problem.

– Pros of Floor Jacks

There are different advantages to using a floor jack. For one, they are highly durable, which is expected since they can carry heavy weights. Car garages and mechanic shops usually use floor lifts because they can last for a long time when maintained properly. Although it costs a bit more than the bottle lift, it is worth it since it lasts for a long time.

Floor lifts are also easy to use. Since there is a long handle on it, it is easy to lift vehicles very quickly. It is also a stable jack because of the wide surface area. Since the base is wide enough to give you a stable lift for your car, you can prevent any damage or even your car from falling off.

The floor lift is quite mobile despite being heavy. The jack is designed with castors which makes them easy to move around. Also, floor lifts have a great fit, so you do not have to worry about the problem of fitting it under your car. Since the jack is shaped horizontally, you can place it under any kind of vehicle.

– Cons of Floor Jacks

Floor jacks have a large size which is a bit convenient. The floor lift can take up a lot of space, so you need to ensure you have enough room to tear it. Also, you need enough working room to use the handle. If you are driving on the highway, you will not have this jack in your trunk. Since they are too big to store, you can only keep them in your garage.

Another downside of using a floor lift is the smaller hoist. The design of this jack is great and can be easily used under low vehicles. This also affects how high the jack can lift your car. Before you use a jack, you should check the weight restriction because it might not be able to lift some cars.

Frequently Asked Questions

– When Should I Not Use a Bottle Jack?

You should not use a bottle jack when you are lifting a large car or if the car is too low. It is best to check the weight restriction of your jack and the weight of your car. Don’t use a bottle lift if you are placing it somewhere uneven.

– What Are the Risks of Using a Bottle Jack?

The risks of using a bottle jack include a collapse if you use it to lift a car beyond the weight capacity that it can handle, the load slipping off the jack, which can lead to an accident, and placing the jack on an uneven surface.

– What Happens If You Overload a Bottle Jack?

If you overload a bottle jack, the valve will release pressure from the system, and the ram will not continue to rise. It will not be able to go higher than its limit and might also snap. You might also risk the car slipping off the jack and cause accidents.

– What Are the Maintenance Requirements for Bottle Jacks and Floor Jacks?

Both bottle jacks and floor jacks require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and safety when in use. This may include checking for leaks, keeping them clean, lubricating all the moving parts, and inspecting for any damage or wear that may have occurred.

– Can Bottle Jacks and Floor Jacks be Used for Purposes Other Than Lifting Vehicles?

Yes, both bottle jacks and floor jacks have applications beyond lifting vehicles. They can be used in various industrial, construction, and DIY projects that involve lifting heavy loads or equipment. However, the specific jack selected should be appropriate for the intended use.

Can I Use a Bottle Jack or Floor Jack to Fix a Steering Wheel that Won’t Lock and Car that Won’t Start?

When faced with a steering wheel lock and car start issue, using a bottle jack or floor jack won’t really help. These jacks are designed for lifting vehicles, not for fixing steering wheel or starting problems. To address the situation, it’s best to consult an automotive professional who can accurately diagnose and repair the specific issue you’re facing.


If you are looking to buy a car jack, you should compare the bottle jack vs floor jack and choose the one that is the best for you. The main difference between the bottle jack and the floor jack is their design, as the former is compact and portable, while the latter is more stable and is not portable.

With this buyer’s guide, you now know how bottle jacks and floor jacks work. If you need a car jack for a smaller car and to take on the road, the bottle lift is great. But the floor jack is ideal for larger cars and mechanic stores with its higher lift height and greater capabilities.

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