Your guide to buying a scissor lift table

Your guide to buying a scissor lift table

Your guide to buying a scissor lift table

When it comes to lifting heavy and bulky items one tool stands out: the scissor lift table. It can increase your business’s production rate while significantly reducing the risk of strain injuries to your workers.

But how do you know which scissor lift table is right for you? There are many different variations and types available, so follow this guide to find the perfect match for your needs.

Lift capacity

The first thing that you need to consider when purchasing a scissor lift table is the lift capacity.. What types of products are you going to be lifting on it and how much do they roughly weigh? You’ll also need to establish if your load will be consistent or if you need to accommodate multiple types of products when using the lift.

Most scissor trolleys will have a lifting capacity between 150kg and 1500kg when the weight is distributed evenly. It is important to make sure it always is, as placing a significant amount of weight on any one side or end of the lift table could lead to disastrous consequences.

Lift height

This is another important factor that you’ll need to consider before investing in a scissor lift table. You will need to look at the fully lowered height and the maximum raised height of the scissor lift table and decide whether it’s right for your application or not.

Table size and material

The platform or table is where products can be lifted. You can find the table in a wide variety of sizes and materials, each of which is suited for a certain application.

Common materials for scissor lift tables include stainless steel and wood. Stainless steel lift tables are corrosion-resistant and best suited for use in medical companies, pharmaceutical processors and the food and drink industry, as they can be cleaned and disinfected easily.

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A wooden table is sturdy, which makes it ideal for carrying large and hefty loads. It’s best suited for industrial and commercial environments such as warehouses, where items need to be constantly moved from one place to another and from one shelf to a higher one.

When it comes to size, there are two general options available in terms of scissor lift table platform sizes: standard or oversized. Standard sizes usually range between 50cm and 91cm while the oversized ones can be much larger. The size you choose will ultimately depend on what products you will be lifting, just keep in mind that the bigger the table size, the less lifting capacity it will have.


Safety needs to be the main concern when dealing with lifting heavy loads, that’s why it is important to choose a scissor lift with the correct specifications. A quality scissor lift should be checked for:

  • Bearings – ball-bearings or roller bearings should be sealed or else have lubrication points.
  • Material thickness – thinner materials reduce the durability of the lift table.
  • Hydraulic cylinder seals – lifts with low-quality cylinders tend to have many oil leaks.
  • Motor size – a higher lift can be achieved with a hydraulic power pack that features a higher horsepower.

Safety features

Depending on what you’re handling on a day-to-day basis, you may need to add extra safety features. For example:

Detents: a catch that prevents further motion until it is released.

Anti-skid finish: to minimise the risk of the table slipping on greasy or oily surfaces.

Alarm or flashing light: to provide an audible or visible alert when the lift is in motion.

Guard rails: to prevent falls from the scissor lift table when in use.

Good quality scissor lift tables from well respected manufacturers come packed with professional features for safe operation. Keep an eye out for CE safety markings and BS EN1570 compliance – that is the British Standard for safety regarding lifting tables. Other features to be aware of are electrical-overload protection, pressure relief fail safes / dead man’s switches and automatic stoppage for if an obstruction is detected.

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If you will need to move your scissor-lift table around, then make sure to get a model that is mounted on wheels or castors. These devices are often very heavy so moving a scissor lift table safely is therefore quite difficult if it is a ‘static’ model. Get a mobile scissor lift trolley if you will need to use your scissor lift in different locations.

Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge.