Harbor Freight Jack Stands Re-Called

Important news if you or a friend have a Harbor Freight jack stand. Harbor Freight has issued a massive recall of 3-ton and 6-ton jack stands because they can suddenly DROP due to aging components. We’ve seen all of the Snap-On vs Harbor Freight memes on the internet but we assure you this is no laughing matter. We also urge everyone to not solely rely on floor jacks!

1.75 million units were covered in the recall, which applies to item numbers 56371, 61196, and 61197. A copy of Harbor Freight’s recall notice, shown below, explains where to find the item number on each one.

What’s wrong is that “there is 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.” Not all of the jack stands that Harbor Freight sells under the Pittsburgh brand are covered, as it uses several suppliers and states that it had reports of defect in those made by other manufacturers. Harbor Freight’s safety recall report, filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), explains that it believes the problem only affects the most recent five percent produced, but because failure could happen without any warning, every stand with these part numbers will be recalled:

It was determined that product quality was inconsistent due to aging of the tooling and inconsistent location indexing of the pawl armature hole. All jack stands imported from this manufacturer as part number 61196 and 56371 are included in the recall population. Although we believe this issue arose in more recent production batches, because we are not able to confirm that earlier production units do not have this issue, out of an abundance of caution we are recalling all units prior to the recall date.

Find the two reports HERE, and HERE

6 Comments on Harbor Freight Jack Stands Re-Called

  1. Hello,
    On jack stands: I cannot fathom where these jack stands could break. I guess if a tooth broke off.
    Advice: Once the jack stand is as high as necessary and the weight is stable. Put a block of wood or steel, with a quarter inch clearance between stem & block. This way, if something did go wrong, the weight would drop 1/4 inch. At this point the tech would head for his floor jack and lift the weight, for inspection of the jack

    • I think you are right on with your comment, I was involved with an earlier recall and refused as the knife was a good sharp, well made tool and it’s a knife you are supposed to be careful as with all tools.

    • The issue is the chinese manufacturer didn’t maintain their tooling, which resulted in the pivot hole in the pawl being improperly located.
      This causes the pawl to not be fully locked in the tang, and if the load shifts, the pawl can pop out of position and drop the stand. Nothing actually breaks, it simply disengages.
      Of course, if one stand drops it could dislodge the others and drop the whole vehicle.

  2. How long have these stands bee sold by Harbor Freight?
    I have a set of similar 6 ton stands that my motorhome is stored on, to keep constant weight off the tires, airbags, and hydraulic jacks.
    I’ve had them 15 or 20 years, and I have no idea if I could even read the part number off what’s left of the label.

  3. I am building a race car right now that is sitting on 2 , 3 ton jacks now. I am glad that I saw this but what am I to do when I have a car with no front suspension on it sitting on two of these stand RIGHT NOW !!!

  4. It is the typical Harbor Freight cheap product. I bought two stands and have not used them. Will return for a refund. Just like their other tools you buy two one breaks and then you finish the job with the second tool. Buyer beware when shopping at Harbor Freight

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