General Purpose Tools

Hi-Lift Jack


Moving up

When trying to move Very Large Objects don’t forget the Hi-Lift Jack, able to lift 7000 lbs 4 feet or more. After a flood moved a 60 ft. barn where I lived, I moved it right back where it belonged with that jack, and a few pulls on a come-along. The Hi-Lift is great for extracting fence posts, too. While living on a nature preserve, I jacked out several miles of steel fence posts and dozens of big gate posts complete with concrete wad still stuck on using a Hi-Lift Jack. Also levelled our house, which was 6 inches out of level, one click per day, without breaking any windows. No problems. It’s a big bad beast, but a good-‘un. It can also serve as a high labor, low frequency log splitter (good upper body exercise)! You can buy wheels for it (but they’ll only work on smooth hard surfaces) and a neat “sheath” for stowing it theft-resistantly in or on your vehicle. However, as someone once told me: “Never let go of the handle while lowering the load or you’ll EAT TEETH!” — a worthwhile reminder for users of this pre-OSHA device.

The Hi-Lift comes in a number of lengths in either cast or steel. I like the cast model best, as it seems to be more durable in heavy use. The 60-incher is not rated to take a full load to 60 inches, and it is heavy enough to be damned awkward to carry around. The 48″ is perfectly fine — though no lightweight — and the one I use.

-- J. Baldwin 02/19/18

(Northern Tool and Harbor Freight both carry a Chinese-made version, called a Farm Jack for $50. Available from Northern Tool & Equipment. -- KK This is a Cool Tools Favorite from 2006 — editors)