Product Evaluation: By the staff of Dirt Wheels —
When the scissor jack is completely lowered, it is very compact. It extends to just over 15 inches tall.
We have a bag of tools and spares that we put in every UTV we drive. It contains the usual suspects: tire plugs, a small compressor, some spare hardware, tape, zip-ties and enough hand tools to handle most basic repairs. Specifically, we make sure that we have enough tools to change a belt and a spare, hopefully broken-in, CVT belt. One thing our bag has been missing is a compact jack for those times we carry a spare wheel. We came across Harbor Freight’s 1.5-ton-capacity (3000 pounds) scissor jack for $19.99. That is plenty of capacity for a UTV, and it sounded like the perfect price for something that gets bounced around in a tool bag!
A small jack like this is perfect for changing a tire on a UTV. It features a tough steel construction, and there aren’t any parts to rattle loose. When the jack is dropped down, the total height is just under 3.5 inches. It raises to a total height of a touch over 15 inches. There is no hydraulic fluid to worry about, either. The jack utilizes a threaded rod to pull the sides of the jack together, and that raises it up. Two small parts come with the jack. One is linked to the end of the threaded rod, and the other is a crank to attach to rotate the threaded rod.
It isn’t super fast to use but not tiring, either. We ended up needing the jack to help another machine handle suspension repairs on our first day out with it in the kit. We were in the dunes, so we carried an 8×8-inch block of wood for the jack to rest on.
In the course of using the jack, we loaded the threads with sand. We’re sure that isn’t recommended, but it didn’t seem to affect the operation at all. Sticky mud might be a problem, though. The body of the jack is powdercoated for rust resistance.
As we discovered on our day in the dunes, this little manual jack is not as handy as a nice floor jack, but it is compact, weighs only 5.8 pounds and is pretty bulletproof. We won’t hesitate to keep it as part of our go-to tool kit for UTVs. You can order one online if you don’t have a nearby Harbor Freight store: www.harborfreight.com, (800) 423-2567.