An engine hoist is one of the must-haves in a complete car care facility. If you work as a mechanic, or if you love cars and you want to have a useful repair tool in the garage, this is one thing that you need to have. The best engine hoist will make your life easier in more ways than one, specifically when it comes to lifting objects in cramped spaces.
While the market is filled with options for a top-rated engine hoist, there should be no excuse for you to be reckless when making decisions. If you need help in coming up with the right decision, keep on reading and learn from the valuable insights that I will be sharing below.
|OTC 2004||Best engine floor crane|
|Dragway Tools||Heavy duty engine crane|
|Torin Big Red (Editor’s Choice)||Best engine lift|
|Ironton Hydraulic Engine Hoist||Hydraulic Engine Hoist|
|OTC 1820||Best for motor lifting|
OTC 2004 – Best engine floor crane
If the garage or the repair facility is small, there is no need to worry. The compact body of the hoist is perhaps one of its best assets, making it excellent when it comes to space-efficiency. Even with limited floor space, you will be able to use the crane. It is also a good thing that it comes with a foldable design, which will make it easy to store when not used.
This model has a stated capacity of 4,000 pounds. This will be more than enough for most cars. On the other hand, if you intend to repair trucks or other vehicles with bigger engines, you might want to look for a hoist that can support a higher weight.
In terms of reach, you can have it customized from 25 to 46 inches, which makes it versatile enough to tackle a variety of hoisting applications.
Dragway Tools – Heavy duty engine crane
This folding engine hoist is one of the most trusted on the market. It’s a top seller at all of the most popular online market places for a reason—it offers great value.
This machine is extremely well-built and has a 4,000 lb capacity. It has a very reasonable price tag, especially considering its rock solid craftsmanship.It has four different weight settings that lock into place. It can be secured after folding with a pin. It’s made with 7.8mm thick steel.
The manual hydraulic pumping bar is kept tucked away on a special mount until you need it. The hydraulic cylinder itself is capable of supporting up to 8 tons. The handle does not move, but the unit can be maneuvered easily on its 6 fully rotating caster wheels.
The boom arm adjusts to accommodate four different weights from 1,000 to 4,000 lbs. This American made product is at the top of its class, and it also includes a full one-year warranty.
Torin Big Red Steel Engine Hoist – Best engine lift
Torin is a company with decades of experience in the global market, which can already provide you with the confidence that this product will deliver superior performance. Its maximum weight capacity is 2,000 pounds. Meanwhile, the lifting range is from 1 to 78.75 inches.
It is equipped with six wheels, which will be excellent in terms of mobility. It will be easy to have it moved around depending on where you intend to work. The wheels can also be locked to secure its position when you are ready to work, which is important for your safety.
The hydraulic jack that comes with the engine hoist is also exceptional, especially because it is able to support loads of up to 8 tons.
Lastly, this engine hoist from Torin is made of a sturdy frame that can resist common external elements. As long as you clean it regularly and follow the weight capacity that the manufacturer states, this is one product that can last for a long time.
Ironton Hydraulic Engine Hoist – Hydraulic Engine Hoist
For something with a lower capacity and a cheaper price tag, the Ironton 1 ton engine hoist offers the best value in its size range. Being that it’s smaller than the 2 ton models, it’s a more portable engine hoist that weighs less and is easier to store in a closet. It’s also foldable.
This unit is extremely solid and sturdy, and can easily handle its weight limit every time. It has an extending boom arm and rolls on 4 wheels with 360 degree rotation. The high quality hydraulic cylinder is rated for 6,000 lbs. Overall, if you need something a bit smaller than one of the units listed above, this is going to be your best option.
OTC 1820 4,400-pound Crane – Best for motor lifting
Wrapping up our list is another crane that will work well only for small engines since the maximum weight capacity is only 4,400 pounds. The engine will be attached to an 18-3/8-inch lifting chain, which is made using premium materials to make sure that it will not accidentally break.
Similar to the four products that have been mentioned above, this will not also be a disappointment when it comes to versatility, basically because of the options for customization that are available. There is a telescoping boom, which will allow you to expand your reach. The leg can also be adjusted as desired.
One more thing that you are guaranteed to love in this engine hoist is the two-speed hydraulic pump that can be operated by hand. Although it is pumped manually, you will be able to do this in a snap.
Getting the right engine hoist for your garage is extremely important. Any kind of accident or mishap that involves raising an entire engine up out of a vehicle incorrectly has the potential to be a total disaster. That’s why you need to be certain that you not only do the job correctly, but you also use durable, high grade equipment.
Different Types of Engine Hoists
One of the first things that you have to do is to learn about the types of engine hoists that are available. Here are the choices that you will have:
Hydraulic Engine Hoist: This makes use of a hydraulic cylinder to be able to move the engine. This is the most popular of the three types that are available. The hydraulic jack is the one that is responsible for doing the work. It is easy to operate and assemble, which is why it is popular with beginners.
Chain Engine Hoist: As the name implies, there is a chain at which the engine is attached when it is removed from the hood. It is operated manually, so take note that it will require physical effort on your end. It is slower than the two types and is also quite limited in terms of the maximum weight capacity that it can support, which is usually only up to 6 tons.
Electric Engine Hoist: It is almost the same as the chain engine hoist. The most significant difference is that it does not rely on manual effort to remove the engine. It is a common choice for industrial applications because of its powerful performance.
What Weight Capacity Should I Get?
Your tool should be able to withstand more than the weight that you plan to put it under, just to make sure that you’re always on the safe side. That’s not to say that if you buy something with a capacity that matches the weight you’ll be removing from your vehicle exactly that it will be a danger to use. On the contrary, it can most likely safely hold much more than its recommended capacity. But pushing the limits is never a good idea when it comes to jobs as big and dangerous as this. Getting something that has a greater capacity than you need also means it can be used for other, larger vehicles in the future.
Since you plan on owning your new tool for a very long time, it will probably outlast your current vehicle and several after that. At some point, you might get a much larger and heavier vehicle than what you already have. A larger capacity will also come in handy for when you’re helping your friends. And obviously if you’re working as a mechanic, the larger it is the more useful it will be.
Can I Just Build a Homemade Engine Hoist?
You can make a DIY engine hoist, but it will almost certainly be unsafe to use. The amount of risk involved in making one yourself makes it not worth the effort and not worth put yourself and those around you in danger. If you care about your safety or your engine (hopefully both), then don’t bother trying to build a contraption on your own.
What’s the Difference Between an Engine Crane and a Hoist?
For namesake, they are the same thing. Technically, a “crane” is a tool that can not only lift things up or lower them down but also maneuver them from side to side. A “hoist” is meant to be something that can only either lift or lower things. But with so many products on the market today, the two names can be used interchangeably when referring to this kind of automobile equipment.
Important Safety Precautions
There are certain things you should make sure to always do in order to operate your equipment safely. First of all, be sure to only use the proper lifting points. Virtually all engines come with some kind of a bracket for removing them vertically from the vehicle. Try to locate this bracket first before attempting to attach anything. You may also hook up to structural bolts, which should be at least ½” in diameter. You shouldn’t hook up to anything else. The exhaust manifold or any other sturdy looking component is not designed to support that much weight. And of course, don’t exceed the capacity of your machine.
The engine hoist is a tool that just about anyone who works on or under vehicles will truly appreciate. They save time as well as wear and tear on your body. It takes a bit of room and budget, but for those inclined to work on vehicles as a hobby or vocation, it is a great tool. They also offer some flexibility in storage options, and often can be used to double the effective floor space they cover. Considering all of the above it is easy to see why the automotive lift has become the must have dream tool for the equipped garage or shop.