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What are Bottle Jacks?

Bottle jacks are compact hydraulic devices designed for lifting heavy loads with ease. Resembling a bottle in shape, these jacks are a go-to tool for mechanics and DIY enthusiasts alike, offering high lifting capacity in a small footprint. Perfect for tight spaces, they're a garage essential. Wondering how a bottle jack can elevate your next project? Let's examine their mechanics and uses.
Shannon Kietzman
Shannon Kietzman

Bottle jacks are hydraulic jacks that are placed in a horizontal position. These jacks push against a lever, which lifts the main lift arm. They have a longer handle than most hydraulic jacks, however, and it is possible to get more lift per stroke with the increased leverage they provide when compared to regular models of jacks. Mechanics and construction workers building or repairing home foundations often use this type of jack.

These jacks are versatile because their horizontal position makes it possible to place them in tight spots and provides good leverage. In recent years, they have proven useful in search and rescue missions following earthquake damage. As a result, they are standard equipment in firehouses and for search and rescue teams.


Bottle jacks are also used for lifting, spreading, bending, pushing, pressing, or straightening requirements. Newer versions have undergone some slight design changes, including chromed pump pistons and rams to provide for added rust resistance. The base and cylinders of bottle jacks are electrically welded for strength, and all models are capable of working in upright, angled, or horizontal positions. It is important to note, however, that the pump of the jack when used in the horizontal position must still remain upright.

Standard bottle jacks have an attached gauge that allows them to read the amount of pressure they use. Bottle jacks come in 12, 20, 30, and 50 ton models (10,886, 18,144, 27,216, and 45,359 kg). The standard 30 and 50 ton versions have a port tapped into them in order to make them interchangeable. In this way, the user can select the tonnage needed and adjust accordingly. Other versions are geared only towards the tonnage they are made for.

Bottle jacks also have a common release stem and valve assembly. The stem releases are created for easy access and easy release in case of emergency.

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Discussion Comments


What are the advantages of a mechanical bottle jack?


The Omega Omni jack can be used in any position (vertically, horizontally, diagonally). It comes in various capacities.


I am in need of a 3 ton pushing capacity bottle jack. It is important that the bottle jack works in a horizontal position.


I am using a 20 ton bottle jack with 1/4 NPT gauge opening. I am wanting to put a liquid filled 15000lb pressure gauge on it. i can find gauges, but I was wondering if there was a gauge with some sort of movable pointer on the face so I can set it as a guide for different pressures. I do not need it to function for anything more than just a visual guide for me. Any help or web links would be greatly appreciated.

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