The Best Car Lifts For Home and Shop Garages
After thinking about all the stuff we’ve dropped in the store over the years, I felt like I had some lapses in communication, one of these being garage lighting. Another thing that comes to mind is the best car lifts I’ve found for home and shop garages. Nussbaum and Bendpak Lifts are hands down my favorite lifts for the garage space. While we have done videos overviewing Nussbaum, along with doing some installation videos, I felt like we haven’t given you guys enough information considering the magnitude of investment required to purchase a lift.
Why I Wanted a Scissor-Style Lift
I like scissor lifts because they provide the perfect balance between mechanical work and detailing. You can pretty much have full access to the drivetrain, elevate the car for polishing, and pop your wheels off and on quickly without hassle.
Nussbaum - What I Have In My Home and Work Garages
We currently sell four Nussbaum-branded lifts at OG:
The Sprinter’s and the Jumbo’s are all scissor-style lifts. The main differences between the Sprinter and the Jumbo are the lifts’ heights and mobility. The Sprinter 7 will not rise as high as the Jumbo’s, with an effective lifting height of 39” compared to the Jumbo series, which is 79”. However, the Sprinters are more adapted to moving around. The Jumbo’s are heavier and lend themselves better to being recessed into the ground, whereas the Sprinter is easier to move when necessary, generally less adjustable, but has a similar structure and appearance to the Jumbo-class lifts.
The number after the lift for Nussbaum means the weight the lift can handle in pounds. For example, the Jumbo 9 = 9,000 lbs capacity. Most people will not need a Jumbo 9,000 simply because most pickup trucks, SUVs, and smaller vehicles are under 7,000 lbs, so the HF 9 would be overkill for almost everyone outside a shop.
Nussbaum also allows all their lifts to be ordered in custom powder coat colors that look legit, in addition to our available options on our website. You can customize the lift to match the color scheme of your garage or your business. These lifts are assembled in North Carolina, but some parts come from Germany.
What You’ll Need and Other Thoughts
If you have a sportier vehicle with lower ground clearance, you need to approach the ramps slowly so you don’t scrape the bottom of your car while loading it off and on the ramp. However, you could recess the lift, eliminating the need for ramps. I think recessing the lift looks much better and makes it more versatile, but I get that this kind of setup is not for everyone. Some people will still want approach ramps available for both the Sprinter and the Jumbo lines.
When installing the Jumbo or Sprinter, the Nussbaum lifts take about 2-3 gallons of ISO AW 32 Hydraulic Fluid. On the other hand, everything else is pretty much bolt together and turnkey. We recommend you use a 240 volt, 20 amp outlet to operate the lift. If you would like to make accommodations for a 110-volt outlet, contact my guys at firstname.lastname@example.org, and they can help you out. Nevertheless, you should have an electrician come out and set up a dedicated 240V outlet to operate the lift if you want the best experience.
This lift does not require external compressed air, nor does it require synchronization or electronic limit switches. This reduces common failure points on lifts that were common with other scissor lifts I had, making the lift as reliable as possible. Hydraulic redundancy of master and slave cylinders keeps both sides of the lift in tandem, increasing safety and removing the need for an airlock. All hydraulic lines would have to be severed for this lift to fail. Even if that occurred, the lift would come down at the same speed as if you operated the lift using the lever. If necessary, an airlock version is available for order; however, almost no one will need that.
Bendpak stuff is available in the store for two main reasons:
- They provide us with an option to have reliable, high-quality two-post, four-post, and stacking lifts.
- Bendpak lifts are also less expensive than Nussbaum products, so this fits a more budget-conscious segment of OG followers and provides solutions Nussbaum does not.
While the Nussbaum lift is the ultimate OG scissor lift solution, the Bendpak lifts are the OG solution for two-post, four-post, and stacking lifts. They’re just a better option for these applications than any other comparable products in these applications I have come across. They are reliable, durable, and made of high-quality materials, not janky crap.
How to Choose a Bendpak Option
We carry six Bendpak lifts:
- The A6W Autostacker (Scissor style)
- The HD-9 Four-Post
- The HD-973P Tri-Level
- The XPR-9S Two-Post
- The HD-7P Narrow High-Rise Four-Post
- HD9X High Lift Four Post
When storing two sedans or coupes in an average ceiling-height residential garage, the HD-9 will be your best bet. This lift has a 9,000 lb. capacity, so if you can fit it, the lift can handle it. You’re not going to squeeze a pickup underneath this; if you need to store pickups, look at the HD-9XW and the HD-7P.
If you are looking to stack two vehicles in your residential garage but would also like to work on cars using the lift, go with the A6W Autostacker. You can get around the car with more ease than the HD-9, but you also give yourself the ability to store two sedans or coupes as well. As with the HD-9, you aren’t fitting a pickup underneath it and are almost guaranteed to be unable to fit one on top (pardoning you have 15-foot ceilings). If you need pickup truck storage, look at the HD-9XW or the HD-7P.
The XPR-9S will mainly be for those looking to work on a vehicle but not store that vehicle on the lift. This lift is usually used by mechanics or well-informed DIY guys who are constantly tinkering under their cars. You won’t be able to get around the car as easily as possible with the A6W, but you will benefit from better access to the car's underbody. It will also be easier to drop engines and transmissions.
If you have bigger cars or trucks (with a bit more room in your garage) you want to store, go with the HD-9XW. This lift will give you more room to get in and out and get around the car to load and unload stuff.
Although, if you do not have a lot of lateral room and would like to store SUVs and trucks, go with the HD-7P. This lift will give you about the same clearance as the HD-9XW but take up less space in your garage.
Finally, if you are looking to warehouse large amounts of vehicles, you will want one or multiple of the HD-973P. This lift is probably not for you unless you’re a collector or run a warehouse.
Remember that for all these lifts, you’ll need to ensure clearance within your garage. Here’s a list of post/under-clearance heights for your reference:
- HD-9: 7.33 ft post height
- HD-7P and HD-9XW: 8.33 ft post height
- A6W Autostacker: 6.77 ft in highest lock position (under clearance)
- XPR-9S: 9.72 ft post height
- HD-973P: 13.42 ft post height