For more than 33 hours consumed for the product evaluation, we believe that the Dragway Tools 2 Ton Folding Hydraulic Engine Hoist Cherry Picker Shop Crane Hoist Lift is the best engine crane. The product can offer a reliable tool that can hoist two tons of weight with the support of an 8-ton capable hydraulic pump. You can exploit these weight capacities alongside its lifting height at 102 inches giving you more are for movement and checking of the engine.
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How do they work?
From its name, an engine crane (also known as engine hoist) is a tool used in lifting a vehicle’s engine while the mechanic performs repairs. It allows you to examine and work on the different areas of the engine especially the lower and back area.
There are different types of engine cranes, and in this review, we focus on hydraulic engine cranes. Its defining element is the hydraulic jack, which is responsible for the lifting of the crane. It uses pump plungers to move the oil on the two cylinders creating pressure to lift and drop the engine.
This tool also has attached legs with caster wheels for smooth movement. On top of the crane is a boom that may be adjusted to fit the weight of the lifted object.
Who can use?
Mechanics mainly uses an engine crane for engine repairs for hoisting and/or transferring engine from place to place. Thus, this tool is made or suited for the mechanics.
However, because the end of the crane uses a hook, it can carry or lift anything, provided its safe. It also has wheels that can help with transferring loads. So, this might also have some use in homes or for business other than engine repair and maintenance.
Advantages and Benefits
One of the most important advantages of the engine crane is its ability to lift heavy objects with ease. It is relatively safer than doing manual lifting as the strength is consistent throughout.
Another benefit of the engine crane, specifically the hydraulic engine crane is the ease of use. You just have to clamp load then pump the jack to lift the engine up.
This tool also has wheels for you to move the load to your desired workplace. It is also easier to store it because you don’t have to carry it around. Not to mention, most of these tools are foldable.
Safety and care
No matter how simple the tool is and regardless of the safety measures provided by the manufacturers, it is still vital to exert more care. Here are some defensive ways to keep you, the tool and the engine safe
#1 Lifting and hydraulic ram capacity
Each engine crane have different lifting and hydraulic capacity. Most of the tools can lift two tons of weight, and its hydraulic jack can cater from six to eight tons of weight. These capacities are reasonably decent considering that vehicle engines do not weigh this much. However, if you have heavier loads, it is essential to take into account these capacities.
#2 Lifting height
Lifting height determines the how high can the crane lift the engine. Every user has different preference on how high they need or want the load lifted. Hence, you should also know your requirements and compare it with those of the products.
The engine crane will not only be used for lifting, but this also to support the engine while suspended in the air for some time. It is important that the tool is stable enough to prevent falling and accidents.
How We Assessed & Evaluated These Engine Cranes
Although we know the basic usage of an engine crane, we don’t have enough knowledge to make a wise selection. We initially have around 11 engine cranes listed all of which have promising descriptions.
To help us out, we first conducted online research from online stores, communities, and forums such as The Garage Journal and IH8MUD.com to begin our search. These sources have helped us gather information about which brands are the best, what to look for when choosing engine cranes, safety procedures and important parts of the tool.
Now, we have a clearer picture of the overall function of the engine tool. We wanted to have a more detailed idea of the tool; hence, we approached local sellers and mechanics. We talked to them asking how to choose the right engine crane and recommend some brands and how best to test their capacities.
Once we have a stronger background in the product, we narrowed our 11 engine cranes to five. We scored them to determine their ranks and chose the top five high ranking tools.
We then had a group of testers, all of whom have experience with engine cranes. This is the challenging part of the evaluation because we had difficulty in looking for a suitable venue. We found a mechanic shop that helped with the testing allowing the testers to check the capacities of the five engine cranes.
Top 5 Engine Crane Product Reviews:
1. Dragway Tools 2 Ton Folding Hydraulic Engine Hoist -Editor's Choice
For the first product, we have the Dragway Tools 2 Ton Folding Hydraulic Engine Hoist Cherry Picker Shop Crane Hoist Lift.
Its main features include a two (2) ton weight capacity supported by an eight (8) ton hydraulic pump. These weight capacities can be considered strong enough to carry a car engine that varies from 170 kilograms to about 700 kilograms.
In the hands-on testing, these weight capacities lived up to the promise as it has hold-up car engines without wobbling or tipping over.
The hydraulic jack pumps smoothly raising the engine to the desired height.
Another feature of the tool is the adjustable height capacity from 48 inches to 102 inches. Our testers deemed that this height range is enough to work on the different parts of the engine efficiently and conveniently. Thus, along with the weight capacity and this height, they said that this tool could be a valuable to a mechanic for general engine repair and maintenance.
Our testers also noted that the stability of the tool might also be due to the heavy-duty material of the parts from its legs to the crane. It gave them the confidence that the engine will not slide or fall off.
The challenge with using the tool is the installation. The instructions were not very specific, although you can make do and follow through with it. According to the testers, this might be a problem with first-time users.
There were reports that the nuts and bolts did not fit causing instability. The testers deemed that it might be because these were placed incorrectly. Thus, when assembling the tool, make sure that the screws, nuts, and bolts are secured.
What We Liked
What We Didn't Like
2. Strongway Hydraulic Engine Hoist Lift Range - First Runner Up
The Strongway Hydraulic Engine Hoist with Load Leveler - 2-Ton Capacity, 1in.-82 5/8in. Lift Range come in a range of products created for both professionals and do-it-yourself enthusiasts.
From a brand boasting of quality products, flexibility, and valuable features, this tool has a two (2) ton weight capacity and a backbone of six (6) tons hydraulic pump. In contrast to other products in the review, this the hydraulic pump weight is lower.
However, during the hands-on testing, it can still tackle the sample car engines with no problem. There were no issues with it falling off nor tipping over.
Our testers also like that the frame of the tool from its legs to its boom is also made from high-grade steel. It seems to be sturdy and robust as it lifts and carries our sample engines from the testing.
The hydraulic pump, which our testers have observed to be bigger, works well during the testing. There were no incidents of weakness or dropping.
One apparent difference that this tool has is the use of engine lever instead of the hook to attach the crane to the engine. For the first time users, it may seem dangerous because it does not lock like the hook-type.
But, this tool holds the engine securely. The testers believe that the key here is to ensure that the lever (or hook) is attached securely and properly.
There is a significant difference as to the lifting height of this product to the others on review. This tool can only lift up to 82 and ⅝ inches, which is comparatively lower.
Our testers think that the height is okay and with which users can still do work. However, they also noted that this might be a drawback for other users who want to have more ground space.
What We Liked
What We Didn't Like
3. Vestil EHN-20-C Heavy Duty Steel Shop – Second Runner Up
The Vestil EHN-20-C Heavy Duty Steel Shop Crane Engine Hoist with Folding Legs 2000 lbs Capacity is distinct from all other engine cranes in the review because of its lower height and hydraulic jack capacity which is at one (1) ton each.
Indeed, these weight capacities have their disadvantage, in which it might not be able to carry heavier loads. Hence, we tried it on some lighter ones.
In the testing, this tool has demonstrated excellent stability with our lighter sample engines. The testers think that compared with other products in the review it might have lower capacities. But, working within its limits, the tool can still perform well.
Our testers have also observed that the material of the frame is comparatively of good quality. It has a robust build that is capable of supporting its weight capacity. Some of the testers even think that it may withstand time (with proper care).
Also, the testers were amazed by its lifting height that can reach about 102 inches. This height is on par with that of the Dragway Tools 2 Ton Folding Hydraulic Engine Hoist Cherry Picker Shop Crane Hoist Lift, which has bigger weight capacities. The users will be able to work on higher levels to for hard-to-reach areas of the engine.
Another feature that our testers like with the Vestil EHN-20-C Heavy Duty Steel Shop Crane Engine Hoist with Folding Legs 2000 lbs Capacity are its hydraulic pump. It works fast and easy making the lifting more convenient and speedy. It also did not fall while the load is suspended.
What We Liked
What We Didn't Like
Torin is another brand known for its automotive tools most specifically on jacks. The Torin Big Red Steel Engine Hoist / Shop Crane with Foldable Frame, 2 Ton (4,000 lb) Capacity is part of its broad product portfolio.
Looking through is features, the tool is quite similar with Dragway Tools 2 Ton Folding Hydraulic Engine Hoist Cherry Picker Shop Crane Hoist Lift and Performance Tool W41029 2-Ton Folding Engine Crane as to its weight and hydraulic jack capacity. It can lift load up to two (2) tons with an eight (8) ton hydraulic pump as support.
In the testing, this tool also shows its strength and stability. It was able to lift our sample engines up to its maximum and down to its minimum height capacity. The Torin Big Red Steel Engine Hoist / Shop Crane with Foldable Frame did not tip over or become wobbly when it hoisted the engines.
Its height capacity though is lower than the other engine crane in the review. It can lift up to 78.75 inches at its maximum height. This height is relatively lower, which means that our testers deemed it to be shorter for those users who would and a 360-degree view or work on the engine.
Our testers, on the other hand, love that the steel making up the body of the tool seems to be sturdy and well constructed. Its parts are thick and feel sturdy. The testers think that this tool’s stability is also due to the heavy-duty material.
There were reports of bolts and other small materials missing from the box, and some of these does not fit into the tool. Our testers also have the same dilemma. A few bolts were missing, but these were easily replaceable.
What We Liked
What We Didn't Like
5. Performance Tool W41029 2-Ton - Folding Engine Crane
Fifth in the list is the Performance Tool W41029 2-Ton Folding Engine Crane. This tool is very similar to the Dragway Tools 2 Ton Folding Hydraulic Engine Hoist Cherry Picker Shop Crane Hoist Lift and Torin Big Red Steel Engine Hoist / Shop Crane with Foldable Frame, which also offer two (2) of lifting weight and eight (8) tons of hydraulic pump power.
Our testers expected that this tool will also have a relatively good performance considering that those with the same capacities did fairly well during the testing. However, our testers deemed that the tool is not as strong.
When they lift the sample engines, there were visible instability that is not quite normal with engine cranes. The testers need to position it well and re-lift, but the cylinder still is not very stable. Hence, they think that it might be suitable for lighter loads.
What our testers love about this product is its height capacity. It can lift up to 95 ¾ inches for one (1) ton. Upon testing, it was able to lift the sample engine to a good height. You, however, have to careful of its stability.
Another thing that the testers like with the Performance Tool W41029 2-Ton Folding Engine Crane is body or frames. The material looks and feel secure and durable in itself, which is deemed to last longer.
Its pumps also worked good, where it continued to provide support without it falling off. That is, it did not release its hold despite some slight shaking.
What We Liked
What We Didn't Like
First Runner Up: Strongway Hydraulic Engine Hoist with Load Leveler - 2-Ton Capacity
The First Runner-Up is the Strongway Hydraulic Engine Hoist with Load Leveler - 2-Ton Capacity, 1in.-82 5/8in. Lift Range. Even with its lower lifting height at 82 ⅝ inches and the hydraulic capacity at six (6) tons, this tool is also compelling.
It can hoist the load steadily even while the engine is still dangling in the air. Like the Editor’s Choice, the frame is made from durable steel providing added support.
Second Runner Up: Vestil EHN-20-C Heavy Duty Steel Shop Crane Engine Hoist
Our Second Runner-Up is the exceptional from the batch. The Vestil EHN-20-C Heavy Duty Steel Shop Crane Engine Hoist with Folding Legs 2000 lbs Capacity has a lower height and hydraulic pump capacity at one (1) ton. However, it still did well in the testing, where is shows good stability, capability to carry its suited load and sturdiness of its body. All these features made it a good competitor and a valuable tool for those with light load requirements.