What is a Hydraulic Jack & How Does it Work?

There are lots of handy pieces of equipment that every homeowner should have in their garage, including a hydraulic jack. A hydraulic jack is a great piece of equipment to have due to the fact that it can easily and safely lift heavy loads, allowing you to carry out work on a car or any other heavy item which would be hard to do otherwise.

How They Work

Essentially, hydraulic jacks use leverage to amplify an applied force to provide the ability to transport a heavy load. They use an incompressible liquid to achieve force multiplication to lift the load, which can provide more power than mechanical screw jacks and they can be easy to use too. This makes them a great addition to the garage, particularly if you like to work on your own car as they are a fast, easy and safe way for anyone to lift their car off the ground.


Typically, a hydraulic jack will either be a bottle jack or a floor jack. The former (also known as a hand jack) is shaped like a milk bottle and use a vertical shaft which supports a platform that bears the weight of an object lifted. Floor jacks have a horizontal shaft which pushes on a crank connected to a lifting pad, which then lifts vertically.

How to Use One

You can use a hydraulic jack to lift a car by finding the jacking point near the wheel that you are working on (this can be found in the owner’s manual) and then stacking plywood on the ground where you plan to use the jack. Loosen the wheel you plan to work on and then release the locking mechanism on the jack handle before using the lever to jack up the car to change a tyre or work on the underside.


Hydraulic jacks will mainly be used by people to lift their car, but this is not the only use. They can also be used for construction, house moving, cable tensioning and agriculture just to name a few uses. Essentially, if a heavy load needs to be lifted then this is a piece of equipment that will make this quick, easy and safe and for anyone that likes to work on their own car it is a great addition to the garage.

There are many handy pieces of equipment to have in the garage, but for anyone that wants to work on their car and carry out maintenance then you should certainly look into a hydraulic jack as these are easy to use and a safe way to lift your vehicle.

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