What are scissor lifts?

The definition of a scissor lift is a vehicle characterised by a railed platform that can then be raised up vertically by crisscrossing metal supports. A scissor lift is used for working on high-up or elevated areas, or for moving unit loads from high up to a lower area. Scissor lifts typically can be powered by gas or electric, depending on the type and model of scissor lift that you go for.

The objective of a scissor lift is to be able to reach or gain access to an otherwise too high area, and successfully complete the required work without having to strain or balance on a ladder. Scissor lifts are used in a wide variety of industries, such as the material handling industry where they are used for reaching and working more easily with storage racks and tops.

You can find scissor lifts in a range of sizes, making them an incredibly versatile addition to a range of businesses and industries. The smallest scissor lifts usually come at around four feet wide, and these are particularly useful for navigating the tight spaces and narrow aisles of a warehouse. Whereas large scissor lifts may be better suited to outdoor use on telephone lines or for working on ceilings of large indoor spaces.

Once a worker is in position on the scissor lift and it has been raised to the most convenient height for them to complete their work, the scissor lift must then not be moved. They should always be moved once at their fully lowered position.

How could scissor lifts be useful to your business?

Have you considered investing in a scissor lift for your business before? Or maybe you are curious as to the potential advantages it might offer to your business. Scissor lifts come with a variety of unique advantages, making them possibly even more advantageous than you had previously thought. Here are all of the ways that a scissor life could help make your day-to-day operations more efficient and safe.

• Reach higher heights

With a scissor lift, your workers will be able to reach heights of around 32 feet, depending on the size and model of scissor lift you choose. Many areas of this height will be inaccessible without the additional help of a scissor lift. Once you have a scissor lift you will be able to complete maintenance jobs in much higher places and finally be able to get hands-on those areas that were out of reach before.

• Jobs become easier and faster to complete

Scissor lifts can save on time, effort and human resources, streamlining your business as you complete each job efficiently. Scissor lifts usually only require a single operator, and they have been specially designed for ease-of-use meaning there is not much training necessary before your workers can get to work with the lift.

• Add precision to your operations

Scissor lifts are available in a range of compact sizes, meaning they can be used in areas with little space to perform a highly precise and efficient service.

• A range of options to suit the unique aspects of your business

There are so many types of scissor lifts available, each offering different functions and features that will suit the specific requirements of different types of business. Maybe your business will require a tilt platform, a turntable, or a specific base or height size. There will be a scissor lift to suit the needs of your business and enhance your daily operations.

• Save on capital and resources

Scissor lifts offer your business with a variety of areas to make potential savings. Scissor lifts are incredibly versatile and can be used for a wide variety of tasks, ensuring that you can save on renting several different machines for different tasks. Scissor lifts can also help you save on your business’ utility bills, as most models are designed for complete energy efficiency.

• They take up very little space

Scissor lifts feature an exceptionally compact design, making it incredibly easy to store without taking up too much floor space.

• Reach a variety of locations with ease

Scissor lifts are designed with mobility in mind. You will be able to quickly and easily transport your scissor lift around your worksite, allowing you to complete tasks in a variety of locations easily and efficiently.

• One of the safest methods for reaching heights

Ladders offer a variety of health and safety risks for your business, and no doubt impact insurance rates. A scissor lift provides an incredibly stable, steady and strong platform for standing on whilst completing tasks, making it a much safer option than balancing on a ladder.

Industries that could benefit from scissor lifts?

There are many jobs in a variety of locations that could benefit from the use of a scissor lift. If you work at one of these places below, you may want to consider how a scissor lift could improve the safety and efficiency of your work.


Scissor lifts can be incredibly useful for a variety of construction projects, especially projects with environments that are changing frequently. Those working in construction, such as general contractors and renovation contractors may find a scissor lift especially helpful.

Building maintenance:

There are several aspects in building maintenance that require work high up, whether it be bricklaying, adding signs, changing lightbulbs and so on. Scissor lifts can be used inside and outside buildings to ensure each of these tasks is completed safely, whether it be in schools, churches, hospitals and more.


In warehousing, it is very common that every inch of space will have to be used in the most efficient manner. A scissor lift will allow you to reach spaces higher up, moving and lowering items as safely as possible, but also helping to speed up the process and boost productivity.

Delivery hubs

Shipping hubs are busy places that require a lot of heavy lifting and reaching high up areas. A scissor lift encompasses many of the tasks that take place in a shipping hub, adding a further element of safety and efficiency to operations.


Scissor lifts have proven to be very useful to the daily operations of retail stores, from big chains to smaller independents. Warehouses full of stock will usually have items stacked up to rather tall heights, ensuring the maximum amount of stock fits in there as possible. A scissor lift is almost an essential part of reaching the stock that sits high up in the warehouse, and will also be necessary for replenishing stocks.

What to look for when choosing scissor lifts

So, you have decided that a scissor lift could make a large enough difference to the productivity, efficiency and safety of your business that it is worth the investment. Whichever scissor lift you choose, it is almost always a good choice as they have all been designed to dramatically improve the daily operations of your business. However, there are different types of scissor lift and finding the right one for your business can make an even bigger difference.

Electric scissor lifts or diesel scissor lifts?

This is one of the key decisions to make when deciding on a scissor lift, and both have a few key differences. Electric scissor lifts are designed for maximum efficiency, as well as coming with high-speed capabilities. Electric scissor lifts are mainly used for indoor uses, such as in warehouses, wholesale supermarkets and shopping centres, and they are also commonly used for reaching ceilings to make electrical repairs. Electric scissor lifts also typically have a smaller width, making them the ideal choice for weaving around the narrow aisles of warehouses. You can also expect an electric scissor lift to be completely silent while in use, causing little, if any, disturbances. For heightened productivity and the best energy efficiency, electric scissor lifts are the right choice for you.

Diesel scissor lifts are run using gas, so will produce more noise and more fumes than an electric model. However, diesel scissor lifts are better suited to real heavy-lifting. There are diesel scissor lift models that can take up top 680kg in weight, while also reaching heights of up to 18 metres. You will most commonly find diesel scissor lifts being used for outdoor work.

Low level scissor lifts or high level scissor lifts?

Low level and high-level scissor lifts are both best suited to different environments, making the right choice between them will allow you to get the most out of your investment. Generally, low-level scissor lifts are better suited for indoor workspaces, including warehouses, garages and hangers. Low-level scissor lifts are usually capable of heights up to 20 or 25 feet. High-level scissor lifts can reach higher heights of up to 28 metres, making them ideal for reaching previously inaccessible spaces. High-level scissor lifts come in both electric or diesel power.

Skyjack scissor lifts

Skyjack is a recognised industry leader in electric scissor lifts, offering a wide variety of models designed to suit a range of applications and workspaces. The proven control system used in Skyjack’s industry-renowned SJ12 and SJ16 vertical masts has been recreated in their range of DC scissor lifts, allowing for further efficiency and high performance in the workplace. The DC range of scissor lifts have been designed for maximum accuracy and precision in indoor settings while catering an incredibly versatile array of uses. If you have decided that a highly energy-efficient and compact electric scissor lift is the right choice for your business, you might now be wondering about the different types available. Skyjack scissor lifts each offer slightly different features designed for optimal functionality:

SJIII 3215

This electric scissor lift model can reach a working height of 6.57 metres, and has an overall width of 0.81 metres. This is a compact machine ideal for the aisles in a warehouse where reaching up to shelves is necessary. The SJIII 3219 offers a very similar function but is capable of reaching a slightly higher working height of 7.79 metres, with the same narrow overall width of the 3215.

SJIII 3220

This electric scissor lift model again offers the exceptionally compact overall width of 0.81 metres, ideal for warehouses where space is a luxury. However, this model offers a taller working height of 7.92 metres, while the SJIII 3226

boasts an even higher height for the same overall width, reaching a working height of 9.75 metres. The 3226 is also capable of a drive speed of 2.4 mph, while the 3220 is 2 mph.

SJIII 4626

This model comes with a slightly larger overall width than the previous models, allowing it to steadily support higher height capabilities. The overall width measures in at 1.17 metres, and this electric scissor lift can reach a working height of 9.75 metres. The SJIII 4632 model also has the same 1.17-metre overall width but is capable of reaching slightly higher at 11.58 metres. Which goes above and beyond the 10 metres that are often considered to be the limit for electric scissor lifts. Both of these models also offer drive speeds of up to 2 mph.

Whichever scissor lifts you decide will be best for your business, it is an incredibly versatile addition that can boost productivity, energy efficiency and make your workplace far safer.

Contact us now to chat about what you need for your business and how we can help.

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