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.