Engine Hoist Reviews – Top 10 Guide
Those who work on their projects in the garage may have traditional tastes when it comes to buying products that will make their lives easier. Sometimes, it’s a thing of pride – heck, it’s mostly a matter of pride. Whether you like them or not, an engine hoist for even the casual car hobbyist is extremely helpful. You may be wondering what an engine hoist is, and if there is anything else to know besides the basics. The answer is yes, so continue reading to find out!
What is an Engine Hoist?
Also known as an engine crane, an engine hoist is used during repair shops or garages to lift and remove or lift and install an engine in a vehicle. It’s a simple concept that helps out tremendously whether you buy it as a professional or a casual car repairer. There different types of engine hoists that have specific purposes including:
Hydraulic Hoist - This hoist is one that uses hydraulic cylinders and fluid to help lift the motor. You may be familiar with this through your car breaks, as it uses the same type of hydraulic method.
Electric Hoist – An electric hoist is a fully automatic hoist that lifts more than engines, and is commonly seen in factories, shops, and even sawmills.
Chain Hoist – A chain hoist is a traditional host that is used to lift heavy loads, but manually. These hoists are more commonly found in stores to help lift merchandise, workshops, and factories. This one is a simple pulley mechanism but uses manual hoisting, unlike the others.
When and Why to Use an Engine Hoist
This section might be self-explanatory, but it’s important to know exactly when if you’re a newcomer to the world of car repairs and hoisting. We’ll go over this briefly before leading you into our reviews.
- Use an engine hoist to lift heavy items in your store (chain host is a great recommendation).
- Use an engine hoist to help lift and separate inventory during merch count.
- List and remove an engine from a vehicle, or install a new one.
Before you run off attempting to move things around with your newly purchased engine hoist, you should make a note of safety rules, as it can be a very dangerous tool of the trade.
Safety Guidelines for Using an Engine Hoist
Before starting, we’ll preface this by stating you should always read instructions from the actual manufacturer. It’s also important to do research beforehand on what you should avoid before operating an engine hoist. For safety guidelines, we’ll try to cover as much as possible, but don’t let us be your only source of safety information.
- Only use the hoist for intended activities as marked in the manufacturer's instruction booklet or .PDF
- You must be a trained and experienced professional to use. If not, you may not have a case on your hands if something goes wrong.
- Make note of the following during an engine hoist inspection: load limit, maximum and minimum lifting heights, length of adjustable boom.
- Never attempt to lift anything larger than what the maximum weight on the manufacturer’s note recommends.
- Never, EVER use an engine hoist under the influence of any intoxicating substance.
- Hoists with adjustable booms have different max load limits depending on the position it’s placed in. Always refer to the guide when setting up in a new position with a different weight.
- Do not wear jewelry or loose clothes around the engine hoist.
- You should always have another person present with you while operating an engine hoist.
- Dynamic load and static load can put two very different loads on the hoist. Always make sure that you count in and measure the additional weight.
Is Weight Capacity Important?
Weight capacity is certainly important when using an engine hoist. Depending on the position that the hoist is in, if you don’t properly take care of the weight bearing on it, you may get hurt, break your hoist, or damage your engine (or other products). Paying attention to weight and position.
Foldable vs. Non-foldable
There is one more thing you should know before looking at reviews and purchasing an engine hoist. This tidbit of information is foldable vs. non-foldable. Making this choice really only comes with the choice of choosing a hydraulic engine hoist, but it’s an important decision, to say the least. Foldable has become popular with tiny homes and downsizing, as you can fold it away and leave it be. If you’re a DIY kind of guy (or girl) who loves space saving techniques, foldable is the way to go. Non-foldable is self-explanatory and takes up more space.
If you’re in search of a handy hoist to help you around the shop, factory, or garage, continue reading to see the top 10 chosen, as well as our top recommendation.
TORIN T32001 ENGINE HOIST
This engine hoist is a foldable, hydraulic system, which you are so newly familiar with. It has a few key features that are eye catching including:
- Six wheels for optimal mobility
- A lifting range of 1 inch to 78.75 inches
- 4-hole position boom
- Heavy duty 8-ton long ram
- 2-ton hoist
These features are important for the flexibility of the engine hoist and give a bit of manual space saving technology. While this hoist could be packaged better, there’s not much bad to say about it as it does its job. Although, there’s one con that may be a deal breaker for others. While this engine hoist is perfect for lifting cars, it shouldn’t be used for full sized pickup trucks time and time again, as it doesn’t have the structure to withstand the weight.
The boom of the engine hoist is the long arm on the top. The four holes indicate that it goes four separate lengths, but some have noticed they need an extension. For most, this has worked perfectly fine.
If you’re someone who solely works on cars, the Torin T320001 will hold well to your needs. You may also need an extension for the boom. For what it’s worth, the engine hoist works well. For car lovers that want to utilize a hoist safely, the Torin T32001 is the better option, especially for the monetary value. Unfortunately, there is only a warranty on some parts.
DRAGWAY TOOLS - 2 TON FOLDABLE ENGINE HOIST
Similar to our last choice, there are only slight differences. The design in itself is slightly different, allowing for minimal differences in features and measurements. Advantages of this product include:
- Six fully rotating 3” caster wheels
- Boom range of 102.”
- 12” forged steel chain
- Foldable, easily packs away
- 4000lb. closed boom capacity
- 1000lb. extension capacity
Unlike our last product, this engine hoist can roll well on gravel, thanks to its six fully rotating caster wheels. They’re durable and can withstand movement and weight at the same time. The boom range is also a bit longer, so you may not need an extension, and the forged chain is a thick, and heavy duty. This means that your engine won’t be “off the chain” anytime soon. In a trendy way, it’s not good, but for safety, it’s everything.
The only qualm that we’ve researched on this product is the fact that it’s been stated the wrong bolts and parts have come multiple times.
The operational factor in itself is great, and the warranty is a full 1-year guarantee. Since this one can move easily on gravel, I highly recommend this one over the last. Even though the previous does its job, this one can actually function well on pavement – a pretty common engine hoist platform.
GOPLUS 2-TON ENGINE HOIST
You may be wondering if this article features the same engine hoists over and over again – the answer is NO, but these are all pretty similar. How well they function and their specific features are pretty different, though. Features of the Goplus 2-ton engine hoist include:
- Four adjustable positions for a range of weights
- 360-degree rotating wheels
- 4000lb closed boom capacity; 1000lb extended boom capacity
- 8-ton ram hydraulic cylinder
- Max lifting height of 88 & 4/5” with minimum boom extension
- Max lifting height of 105” with the max boom extension
The adjustable positions for the boom include 0.5 tons, 1.0 tons, 1.5 tons, and 2.0 tons for optimal control. Unlike many you’re going to see today, the wheels included have a full 360-degree rotating feature, allowing ease of use when moving. The max height is also worth the purchase alone in comparison with the others mentioned and the others we will mention.
Like the Dragway Tools, it’s common for the manufacturer to leave out specific parts or bolts that are necessary for lifting the weight up. The Goplus 2 has a 1 year warranty and excellent customer service representatives.
STRONGWAY HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST
Now we see a tiny bit of diversity in the design of these engine hoists! This engine hoist actually has a load leveler included, one of the many advantages of purchasing. Other noteworthy features include:
- Paint is not only oil resistant, but grease and dirt resistant
- Large diameter hydraulic steel cylinder
- Four boom holes
- 4000lb capacity
- Lift range of 82.”
While some of the features on here seem pretty standard, the quality in which they are mean everything regarding the operation. With four boom holes, you can extend as much as you need to, with the option of purchasing an extension. As for the large diameter hydraulic steel cylinder, this is ideal for a lower amount of oil pressure needed. In return, your unit will last much longer without the added pressure.
The only issue that you may find with this is the lift range. While it’s a decent amount of range, many engine hoists offer more range. However, if this fits within your lifting range, this is the perfect hoist for you; especially with the load leveler! Oh, and did we mention that this product has not one, but TWO years worth of product protection?
ORION MOTOR TECH ENGINE HOIST
Another cherry picker colored engine hoist – we know, but we think you may enjoy this one much more than the previous based on its lifting capabilities alone. Features include:
- Six heavy-duty wheels
- Rated capacity of 4400 lbs.
- Premium larger hydraulic cylinder unit, lower oil pressure
Let’s dive in head first with the rated capacity of 4400lbs! This weight is 400 more than any other on the list so far, all while exceeding standards with their other features. Much like the Strongway Hydrolic, the large diameter hydraulic steel cylinder requires lower oil pressure to make the load mobile. In return, you won’t have to replace this engine hoist as quickly as others that don’t utilize this system. The heavy-duty wheels are a bonus!
The only issue with this piece is that it is non-foldable, which means it takes up more space within your garage or workspace. This may be a deal breaker for some, but the hoist itself is fully operational and can handle more weight than the aforementioned hoists. Depending on where it’s ordered from, you can receive a lifetime warranty – that’s how confident Orion Motor Tech is of their products! 10/10, a solid purchase.
BEST CHOICE PRODUCTS ENGINE HOIST
You heard the brand name – it’s the "best choice!" A practical piece for any garage or work area, this engine hoist features:
- 8-ton ram hydraulic cylinder
- 4000lb. closed boom capacity; 1000lb extended boom capacity
- 360 rotating wheels
The first three features are pretty standard from the higher end engine hoists we’ve discussed, but this one may be better for you as it has a foldable option. Some others on this list weren’t foldable, which may have posed a disadvantage for those who are very keen on saving space. Use this on gravel, or your garage floor easily with the 360 rotating, heavy-duty wheels with casters.
One of the main cons is that this one is too much like the others. It doesn’t have any operational dysfunctions, but it’s nothing that stands out. However, the operation IS fantastic and is recommended if the features meet your desired needs.
XTREMEPOWERUS ENGINE HOIST
Next on our list is the XtremePowerUs Engine Hoist. Its operation is slightly different, and it isn’t your average “set up shop in a garage” hoist. In fact, this hoist latches on to the back of your standard pickup truck to hoist a plethora of things under 500lbs. This includes jet skis and more. Features of this hoist include:
- 360 swiveling boom
- Powered by a 3-ton hydraulic long ram Jack
- Lifting range is up to 11.4.”
- Boom extends between 36.2” and 56.7.”
Convenient for lake lovers who want to drop their equipment in, the XtremePowerUs engine hoist has a 360 swivel feature for the boom, allowing directional issues to become resolved with ease. For what it hoists, the lifting ranges are excellent, but the weight capacity is much different than any we’ve mentioned. At a staggering 3500 less than most at least, this is only meant for smaller hoisting. Regardless, it still works extremely well, and it’s recommended for those who need more diminutive hoisting! The warranty is limited and site specific.
BLACK BULL 7700312 FOLDABLE ENGINE HOIST
A non-cherry colored hoist for once! This alone is an advantage over the rest, as it can blend seamlessly when you fold and put it away. In fact, it’s folding size is one of the many features. Features include:
- 23-inch compaction for optimal storage
- Four boom positions
- Welded steel with a 1-ton capacity
- Double ball-bearing swivel casters
Let’s talk about why these features set apart the Black Bull from the rest. For starters, the foldable aspect of this design was created as a selling point, being one of the most compact in the industry. While most have four boom positions, this hoist has the 1-ton capacity. Even though this is half of what some on our list can handle, for most DIY projects, a 2-ton isn’t entirely necessary – it’s also made out of welded steel! Another great selling point. Let’s not forget the double-ball bearing swivel casters allowing smooth movement across most surfaces.
The only qualm we can pinpoint with this magnificently compact hoist is that it doesn’t have a 2-ton capacity. For those with larger projects who want something as compact, you may have to look elsewhere. For everyone else, this is a fantastic investment with a limited warranty. Depending on where purchased, the warranty is between 60-90 days.
DRAGWAY TOOLS - PICKUP TRUCK HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST
Much like one of our previous engine hoists, this one snaps onto the back of a pickup truck and even has a removable base. While this is a selling point within itself, there are other features including:
- A rotation ranges of 360 degrees
- Powered by 3-ton hydraulic ram
- Mounts directly to truck or trailer
- Lift capacity 1000-2000lbs.
We recommend this truck clasping hoist over our previous simply because it has a better range for acceptable weight. Instead of only being able to pick up 500lbs, you can pick up to one ton (2000lbs) for nearly the same amount. Purchasing this allows you to get a bit more range for your money.
If you need something stronger, unfortunately, this cannot handle any more than 2000lbs. The weight of the mechanism itself is quite heavy at an incredible 108 pounds, but since there is no broad base, the weight anchors the thin base. While this may not work for some, it does work for the intended uses. The Pickup Truck Hydraulic Engine Hoist is under a 1-year warranty upon purchasing.
IRONTON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST
Last but not least, the Ironton hydraulic engine hoist is a foldable and very compact engine hoist with great features and a decent weight capacity. Under a one-year limited warranty, this hoist isn’t nearly as bulky as other hydraulic hoists we’ve mentioned, being an essential feature besides it’s fantastic and smooth operation. Other features include:
- Oil, grease, and dirt resistant paint
- Treated piston-ram
- Large diameter hydraulic cylinder
- High-grade steel frame
A great hoist is nothing without a great frame. A solid and durable frame is what keeps the weight capacity standing. Without, the engine hoist would fail. Ironton put a lot of thought into the structural integrity of the hoist, allowing the hydraulic workings not to have to work as hard because of the frame durability.
It’s worth mentioning that the large diameter hydraulic cylinder also operates without a high amount of oil pressure. This allows the hoist to have a longer lifespan. The only problem that potential buyers may see with this hoist is that the capacity isn’t the standard 4000lb capacity that we’ve seen with other models, it’s only 2000lbs. maximum. Although this isn’t ideal for some, for many DIY hoisters, this is just enough. At 157 pounds, we recommend this as an inexpensive stand-in for those who need something compact that works incredibly.
You may be feeling slightly overwhelmed with all of the new terms and information you’ve seen on engine hoists today. While totally okay, we’ll give a recommendation based on our past experiences and uses. In our eyes, the clear winner on this list would be the Orion Motor Tech engine hoist. This hoist has a better capacity than any other on the list, has a long projected lifespan due to the lack of high-pressure oil, and fully rotating heavy-duty wheels. For what it’s worth, this is up for a total bargain.