When choosing a set of jack stands, one common question that we get is whether aluminum is better or worse than steel. Fortunately, the answer to steel versus aluminum jack stands question is relatively simple: it depends. Both steel and aluminum jack stands have different advantages and disadvantages.
Steel Jack Stands
Steel jack stands are typically the most ideal from a cost standpoint. That is to say that they are typically quite a bit cheaper than aluminum stands when comparing the cost of two sets that have similar capacity.
One common misconception about steel jack stands is that people often think that they are stronger in some way than aluminum. The strength of a jack stand is not only based on material, but also construction. As such, the strength of a jack stand is indicated by its advertised capacity regardless of what material is made from.
If you are someone who is just looking for a budget pair of jack stands to get the job done, we recommend steel since the cost savings are often pretty decent. You can click here to see some examples of steel jack stands.
Aluminum Jack Stands
The biggest strength for a set of aluminum jack stands is weight savings. When comparing a steel set to an aluminum set that has the same rated capacity, aluminum jack stands are going to be lighter weight on average, and often times the weight difference is significant. As such, if you tend to do a ton of work underneath your car and often find yourself repositioning and carrying your jack stands, aluminum stands start to make sense.
However, aluminum jack stands don’t come without a tradeoff. In addition to their lighter weight, they are also typically higher cost. Often times, this cost difference can be pretty noticeable. If you are looking for the nicest set of jack stands you can find and plan to use them enough to justify the extra cost, we recommend aluminum since the light weight will pay off over the long term. You can click here to see some examples of aluminum jack stands.
While steel versus aluminum jack stands may be a tough call for some, it’s important to remember that both materials are going to work great for most home mechanic applications. We don’t recommend stressing over the decision too much. Most importantly, just find a set of jack stands that have the features you need and you’re going to win every time. If you want to check out some jack stand options, click here to see our jack stand buyer’s guide. Happy wrenching!