Sunday, April 18, 2010

Beaterblog Product Review - Harbor Freight 3000lb. Lightweight 'Racing' Jack

Aluminum jacks have been coming down in price for the past few years. When I saw a flier at Harbor Freight advertising one at $69.99, I decided to stop waiting.

Sometimes Harbor Freight items are not something you would want to trust your safety to, but I found the HF jacks to be far more durable than their Craftsman competitors. After years of daily service in the garage where I used to work, the HF jacks were fine while the red anodized Craftsman jacks would start to sneak down under load until they become completely unusable. Naturally, I started to prefer using the HF jacks but I never had one of my own.

So now I do and I like it. It's small, shockingly light, rolls well under load, and has a reasonable travel to effort ratio. It does have a few problems that absolutely annoy the hell out of me, though. In their constant effort to put LEDs on every product they sell, HF have put LEDs on the face of the jack. Yes, the face. The part that contacts the frame rail has lightbulbs in it instead of rubber. That works absolutely as well as you would imagine. But by far the most annoying problem is that the finish on the handle is brake-fluid-soluble. Most of the time when I'm using a jack, it involves spilling brake fluid all over the place. Now when I do this, my hands turn blue.

Consider these annoyances, but don't let them stop you from buying the jack. At $69.99, I can put up with some minor inconveniences.


  1. I've been using one of these for almost 5 years as my race support jack. Its works alright although EVERY fastener likes to work itself loose and there's nothing securing one of the large pins at the top so it tries to slide out too. Not perfect, but I've gotten my monies worth out of it.

  2. Sounds like a pretty good deal. But I have to admit, it's kind of hard to trust a Harbor Freight jack...