By on June 12, 2020

Earlier this year, media outlets, us included, put out a warning about Harbor Freight jack stands that could collapse under the weight of vehicles they’re designed to suspend with ease. The company issued an urgent recall (see above) for two popular models, claiming that owners could exchange the stands at their point of purchase for a new set.

One Harbor Freight customer did just that, only to have a new 3-ton stand meet its match in the form of a Volkswagen Golf.

That story comes by way of The Drive, which contacted Mike Galli after he posted photos to’s Facebook page. A vertical weld on the base of one of the stands split apart as soon as the Golf’s not-so-hefty bulk was lowered onto it, Galli claims.

“Not too sure how a three-ton jack stand can’t handle the weight of a Volkswagen Golf,” he told The Drive “It was the first time using them as well after having swapped the previous recalled ones out.”

Given the loud noise emitted when the stand split, Galli noticed the problem immediately and the drama ended there. He’s not aware of anyone else having this problem. Indeed, neither is Harbor Freight, a once-reputable name in the world of jack stands, among many other items made for the do-it-yourselfer.

The earlier recall concerned 3- and 6-ton jack stands (item numbers 56371, 61196, and 6119) built from 2012 and 2013 onwards, respectively, and sold under the Pittsburgh name. Harbor Freight said the problem concerned “a potential, while under load and with a shift in weight, for the pawl to disengage from the extension lifting post, allowing the stand to drop suddenly.”

That’s not what happened with this replacement stand, begging the question — how widespread is this particular issue?

Harbor Freight claims it has contacted Galli for info and plans to investigate the issue “in depth.”

In the meantime, you might want to think twice about using Harbor Freight’s jacks, even if they’re brand new replacements for the recalled lot. The always helpful Bozi has some suggestions:

[Image: Harbor Freight]

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20 Comments on “PSA: Harbor Freight Can’t Bear the Weight?...”

  • avatar

    Bad design + Chinese quality = high fail potential.

    Hire the Cochran Firm (1-800-THE-FIRM) for your lawsuit: “if the stand’s too weak, it’ll crush your cheek”

    • 0 avatar

      I challenge you to find me a jack stand that isn’t made in China.

      • 0 avatar

        USA made jack stands are every where, they’re just not shiny clean with new paint .

        I have both pin typ and ratcheting types that were made decades ago, so far so good .

        Because I’ve been there when jacks / lifts / hoists / cinder blocks fail, I usually slide a spare tire & wheel underneath, if the paramedics ever show up when the next earth quake comes, maybe I’ll still be alive if trapped underneath…



      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Mine are “Hecho en Mexico”

  • avatar

    “You Ain’t got no legs, Lt. Dan!” memes are rampant on the internet right now!

  • avatar

    AvE also covered this:
    Those Habor Freight jackstands we all use despite knowing they’re sketchy?

  • avatar

    Like HF floor jacks many of these are sold under various brand names but are the exact same product just with different colors / logos. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see those other companies having to recall theirs as well.

    I’ve got the blue aluminum HF stands so far no problems or recalls. If I need to be completely under the car I tend to use ramps.

    Best jack stands I’ve seen to date:

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    That’s a cold weld, due to dirty/oily metal, too much speed, or improper welder settings. No QC at the Harbor Freight factory!

  • avatar

    I never trust jack stands. I always also put the floor jack under the area I’m working on as a backup if I’m going to crawl under the car. As someone said, most are cheap Chinese crap. That’s an assumption you can pretty much safely make with respect to China Freight’s products.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Yeah, jack stands are okay if you’re just working on brakes or suspension where you’re not really under the vehicle for any length of time. I ended up making a batch of stackable 1′ square platforms out of plywood and 1x3s for serious under-body work.

  • avatar

    I never used jack stand. In Russia every garage has an oil change pit which allow easy access under the car. Why it is not allowed in US while looting is legal is beyond me.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Umm, I’m not sure who told you it is not allowed, people do it. When I first started looking at homes in Alabama I kept seeing covered pits in the garage and asked the agent why so many builders installed car pits in the garage. “You mean the tornado shelter?” was her reply.

  • avatar

    I had 4 of the 6 ton model and used them many a time for my ’15 Wrangler. Took them back a couple of weeks ago and got an $85 store gift card. Hmmm… what danger can I purchase next? Stay tuned..

  • avatar

    I had a pair of cheap USA made ones I bought at Sears or Penney’s about 1977 until recently. I guess I should have held onto them instead of selling them to a neighbor for $7. I don’t mind most of the Chinese stuff, some of it’s not bad actually, but jack stands I’ll pass on.

  • avatar

    There’s no guarantees with anything. Always give the vehicle a hard shove, before getting under.

  • avatar

    Consumers buy bottom-feeder Communist Crap from a retailer infamous for selling bottom-feeder Communist Crap, and they’re surprised when they wind up with faulty dreck.

    One word: “Duh”.

    NOBODY sources from Communist China to improve quality. They go to China to improve profit margins; and they don’t give a damn about anything else until the threat of legal action grabs their attention. The Commies are perfectly capable of building decent product…but that cuts into the lucrative profit margin that Chinese junk–powered by lack of ethics–is so famous for. ‘Course, there’s plenty of guilt from the Communist Collaborators in this and other countries. Without corrupt Big Business, and treasonous Politicians, this would never have been a problem.

    China has killed ~100,000 of us in this country alone, damaged the world’s economy, and they’re not done yet. What’s a few more DIYs crushed by faulty safety equipment to them? The blood on their hands is thick ‘n’ heavy.

    • 0 avatar

      China hasn’t been “Communist” in a while (if they ever truly were); nowadays they’re more a Fascist state.

    • 0 avatar

      Almost predictably, the junk jack stands that REPLACED the previously-recalled jack stands…have safety issues.

      Why would you need to have proper welds in safety-critical equipment? Hire new boy to do oil change.

      Hazzard Fraught = Communist Crap, bottom-feeder garbage.

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