At Home Lifts Designed to Fit Your Garage Needs


For most of us, our first encounter with a garage lift was during a visit to a corner service station. We marveled as the family car was magically lifted in the air, propelled by a huge single steel cylinder that emerged from beneath the floor. These goliath lifts existed only in the dreams of car guys, as the expense to install one in a home shop put them out of reach for most.

As the years passed, the automotive lift continued to evolve. Today, a variety of lift styles and price levels make adding a lift to your shop an easy choice. If you’ve ever jacked up a car, crawled on your shoulder blades, and discovered you had the wrong size wrench, or, if you’ve ever had the unfortunate luck of having a jack or jack stand slip, you’ll understand that adding a lift to your shop will improve your productivity and make working on your car both more enjoyable, and most importantly, safer.

When I finally pulled the trigger and decided to install a lift in my shop, I was surprised by the number of choices available. There seemed to be countless lift manufacturers all claiming their lifts were the best, that their products were just as good as others but at a lower cost, or that their products had a feature the others did not. After much deliberation, common sense prevailed. We knew we wanted to buy from an established company with a solid reputation and good customer service that offered accessories for our specific needs. It was also important that the lift carried certification from an independent testing company.


auto lifts


Perhaps the most common in service garages today, this style of lift allows full access to the undercarriage of the vehicle. They are designed to lift the vehicle by the frame or the factory lift points. Their advantages include easy service of wheels, brakes, and axles. Care should be taken to ensure the weight is centered when placing a car on this style of lift. Most require a minimum of four inches of 3,000 psi concrete and a 13-foot ceiling height.


These styles of lifts have become popular with hobbyists working with limited storage space in their garage. The solid lift floor and design make them a poor choice as a service lift, but if your needs are simply to get your favorite toy out of the way to make room for the daily driver, they’ve proven themselves as a viable solution. They’re available in several styles from single-post to four-post design.


These are the most popular for home shops. Most lift manufacturers offer caster kits that allow the lift to be moved once it’s fully assembled. Jack trays, jacks, and a host of other accessories are avail­-able to aide in wheel, brake, and other service work. Most require 12 feet of ceiling clearance at full height.


Popular in many body shops and wheel and tire service stations, low and medium-rise lifts have gained popularity with car enthusiasts as well. Their compact design and relative portability offer much more flexibility in the home shop where overall ceiling height can often be the largest restriction on lift style.

Lead Photo by: Matt Sprouse

Share tips, start a discussion or ask one of our experts or other students a question.

Make a comment:
characters remaining

40 Responses to “At Home Lifts Designed to Fit Your Garage Needs”

  1. Terry Zerwas

    Two post 10,000 lbs specs and pricing

  2. Paul Dobbin

    Remember a two post lift requires 8 trips to the floor to lift a car. A 4 post , you just drive on and lift. If all you do is brakes, get a two post, I love my 4 post and hate brake work, but I can still doo in on my 4 post, Another caution is under the ramp clearance, 20's and 30's cars are tall, make sure the space below the lift is tall enough for another car to be stored underneath. I had to buy a longer lift to get the underneath height I needed.

  3. Scott Sparkman

    I have 2 4-post lifts in my garage primarily for storage but they do make it much easier to do maintenance. When the fuel pump went out on my 72 Vette it was parked on the ground under my other car. I could have pushed the Vette out of the garage, backed the other car out, then pushed the Vette onto the lift. Instead I purchased a Quick Jack. It got the Vette off the ground so I could get under it to change the pump. With a 454 it was pretty nose heavy so I put jack stands under the front. Worked great. Since then I've used the Quick Jack to lift my restoration project up, remove the suspension and put on a body dolly.

  4. Brian Doran

    im interested in a low to medium lift


    I'm looking for a 4 post double wide, where I could store 2 vehicles on top and have my dailys underneath. Anyone have one of these and would you do it again? Thanks

  6. Daryl Schindler

    Lift that will maybe work for a Mazda Miata and a Subaru Ascent

  7. Joseph Cutajar

    Interested in parking lifts. Please indicate source, price and max weight they can lift and if the can withstand loads for a long duration.

  8. Clifford Benz

    I have a mid rise sissors lift I bought from harbor freight. Had it for 4 yrs. With no problems. Use it daily. Have only 10' height. Love it.

  9. Michael

    ‬ Is it a good idea to use a two-post lift for storage? I understand the four-post is better but I like the ease of working on suspension/brakes of the two-post.

  10. John Serenko

    Need info on low & mid rise lifts.