Whenever someone talks to me about a good jack to buy for occasional use, I look at two different factors. The first is the weight of the vehicle that they are lifting. If it’s a standard passenger car or a small light duty truck, typically a 1.5 ton hydraulic jack with a large flat lifting surface. Typically these will offer acceptable lifting heights and capacity for everyday use. If you are lifting a larger vehicle or require additional lifting height, I often suggest a 3 ton jack. If you need additional lift height often your only choice is a 4.5 or large jack. Never put a block of wood or anything else between the lifting surface of the jack and the frame of the vehicle you are lifting. That is very dangerous and should be avoided.
If you are working on a car that has been lowered, you may have to purchase a separate bottle jack to lift the car initially, and then use a standard floor jack once it is high enough. When it comes to bottle jacks, it’s very important to use them at the exact place that the manufacturer of your vehicle suggests you use for the scissor jack they include. This is because of the bottle jack’s smaller lifting point, it becomes much easier to accidentally damage your cars floor pan or worse.