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Selecting Scissor Lift Size and Weight Capacity

Parts & Services

Selecting Scissor Lift Size and Weight Capacity

Scissor Lift Size and Weight Capacity overview. Scissor lifts are platforms designed to move people and/or goods vertically. Though the basic design and functionality are the same, scissor lifts are widely used in many industrial and commercial applications due to their versatility and safety features. Scissor lift sizes and weights and scissor lift max height vary depending on the industry sector, project type, and customization needs of the client. There are two main categories that scissor lifts fall into;

  • Electric scissor lifts: designed for small spaces, indoor use, and narrow spaces
  • Rough terrain scissor lifts: designed for outdoor use, can handle uneven surfaces and can accommodate multiple workers.

The power source choices for Scissor lifts can be hydraulic, diesel, electric, or pneumatic.

  • hydraulic scissor lift is elevated using engine-driven or hand-operated hydraulic systems.
  • Diesel scissor lifts are commonly used for outdoor work to allow for ventilation due to the fumes released from the diesel engines.
  • Pneumatic scissor lifts utilize air pressure to power their lifting mechanism.
  • Electric scissor lifts utilize electricity or batteries and are the preferred choice for indoor work.

With the continual innovation in materials and design, the tallest scissor lifts can now elevate to heights of more than 120 feet with load-carrying capacities of over 1,000 lbs. Even though scissor lifts can reach such heights, this is not the normal operating range of most scissor lift applications. If you need something more specialized, it’s advisable to find a company that can custom design and manufacture a scissor lift to meet your scissors lift weight and scissor lift sizes operating requirements.

Safety is another crucial factor in selecting your desired scissor lift. In Canada, specific regulations govern aerial lift safety. We have created a simplified scissor lift safety guide to help you navigate the scissor lift safety landscape.

Thanks to advanced engineering, you don’t have to choose between a lightweight scissor lift and a high scissor lift; both combinations are possible without sacrificing safety. We cover all the scissor lift tips you need to purchase the right equipment for your company below.

Standard scissor lifts extend to a height range of 20 to 60 ft. The tallest scissor lifts can rise to more than 120 feet. Restricted weight scissor lifts can elevate higher because they are generally customized for a particular operation to carry workers and materials to elevated heights. Handling Specialty has created multi stage scissor lifts that can carry over 100,000 lbs.


Scissor lift sizes range from small, indoor models to large warehouse storage and assembly high scissor lifts. In general, these are the scissor lift ranges available:

This lightweight scissor lift model can safely lift two workers, which is suitable for industrial maintenance, construction work, and warehouse operations on smooth surfaces. It features a large platform with a capacity of up to 700 lbs.

This type of scissor lift is ideal for small, narrow spaces with little turning radius flexibility and is best suited for indoor work. The 19 ft scissor lift can extend to 25 ft and has a lifting capacity of between 500 to 1,000 lbs. The extension deck can accommodate up to 250 lbs.

The 26 ft scissor lift can accommodate multiple operators and is ideal for indoor or outdoor use due to its platform size. It can also extend to 32 ft and has a broad platform that comfortably fits both workers and work tools. 

This high scissor lift model is ideal for any other type of work on high levels. It can accommodate workers and tools. It’s extendable to 38 ft with lifting capacities of 1,000+ lbs. 

This electric lift allows workers to reduce the number of ground trips thanks to its lifting capacity of more than 1,600 lbs.

This model is suitable for rough and sloping surfaces and can extend to 66 ft. With a carrying capacity of 2,000 + lbs.

The table below summarizes the different minimum lifting capacities for electric and diesel scissor lifts. It’s important to note that lighter capacity scissor lifts tend to be electric models designed for indoor activities and medium-duty work, but with proper customization, any workload can be lifted through electro-mechanical means. Additionally, many heavy-duty scissor lifts are diesel-powered to allow for extensive outdoor work on uneven and rough terrain.

Scissor lift height

Electric scissor lift

Diesel scissor lift

19 ft scissor lift

500 lbs


26 ft narrow scissor lift

507 lbs

551 lbs

26 ft scissor lift

992 lbs

1250 lbs

32 ft scissor lift

705 lbs

992 lbs

40-45 ft scissor lift

771 lbs

800 lbs

50 ft scissor lift


1500 lbs

The standard range of scissor lifts can extend up to 60 ft at the upper end, which is plenty for most applications. However, if you need to operate at a greater height, specialized high scissor lifts can be designed that can operate at heights over 100ft.

Scissor lifts can handle more weight than most aerial lifts despite standard scissor lifts having lower vertical elevation than some aerial lifts.  The maximum load that can be elevated will also depend on the power source and lifting mechanism specified. Lightweight scissor lifts range from 2-ton scissor lift to 4-ton scissor lift, while medium-duty scissor lifts range from 5-ton scissor lift to 10-ton scissor lift. Heavy-duty scissor lifts come in 20 + tons scissor lift capacities.

Larger scissor lifts that carry more oversized loads are generally customized to accommodate the higher restricted weight. Rough terrain scissor lifts can hold more than 50 tons of material, making them a powerful choice of scissor lifts in the construction and industrial sector. 

Parts & Services

Handling manufactures custom scissor lifts in aerospace and defence, automotive, entertainment, rail/transportation, energy, process, and advanced manufacturing industries. You can see our full range of Specialty Solutions on our website.

Below are some of our custom engineered scissor lift solutions categorized into hydraulic scissor lifts and mechanical scissor lifts.

Hydraulic scissor lifts operate through a power source or motor with pressurized hydraulics. They are cost-effective, simple in design, and durable. Hydraulic lifts can be customized to the specific industry or job type. These are some of the hydraulic lift models we have designed: 

This customizable scissor lift rises to a height of 49ft and has a carrying capacity of 12,000 lbs.

Customized for turbine assembly work, this multi-stage scissor lift has a carrying capacity of 3,000 lbs and rises to 35 ft. This scissor lift can safely hold workers and equipment even as turbine assembly goes on.

Stamping line lifts are custom engineered for the metal forming sector and destacking activities—the feed positioning tables designed for prepress automation, stack and transfer steel sheets precisely with controlled movement.

Handling custom-designed a lifting solution to remove and reinstall electronics from the underside of transit vehicles. This model has a lift equipped with a top wobble plate for additional flexibility on all four positions for perfect alignment.

Underwater lifts allow cruise ship enthusiasts to enjoy aqua theatre activities while onboard the ship. Underwater lifts can hold a capacity of 90,000 lbs, with a 176 ft vertical travel and accommodate an average of 10 kPa horizontal “sloshing load.” This type of scissor lift is popular within the entertainment industry because they allow for flexible movement without compromising entertainment quality.

This 20,000 lb scissor lift model can carry and unload paper rolls weighing more than 5,000 lbs.

The scissor lift is equipped with cross-stabilizing scissors to provide additional strength, has dual opposing hydraulic cylinders, anti-friction wheel bearings, and self-aligning axle bearings.

Mechanical scissor lifts allow operators to reach higher heights with their multi-stage capabilities. They come with single or multi-stage lifting capacities to safely lift large weights and lower enormous loads without toppling. Scissor lifts under this category include:

Designed for beginning and end-of-line assembly, these mechanical scissor lifts elevate vehicle bodies at the beginning of the final assembly process to lower them to a conveyor. Next, vehicles go through the assembly process, and then they’re lifted again and reduced for the wheel mounting operation. This particular model has a carrying capacity of 3000 lb with 73 ft vertical travel. 

Used in the automotive production line, towline carts move horizontally by towline and vertically using electro-mechanical lifts. The cart utilizes screw-actuated lifts powered by a non-contact power distribution system. During an emergency, lifts can be lowered with an emergency override button.

Skillet scissor lifts are popular within the auto industry because of their simplified lifting and lowering mechanism for vehicles. This model comes with screw actuated lifts and an electro-mechanical ballscrew drive that moves the scissor lift at maximum speeds using low power. The ballscrew scissor lift has a carrying capacity of 3,200 lbs.

This scissor lift model provides safe lifting for employees working in the automotive industry, especially for drivetrain and chassis marriage line work. In addition, the personnel lift features additional safety features like stable guard rails and bellows enclosures to protect workers during work operations.

Employees use foot pedals to power it, making it an easy to use and simple scissor lift for indoor activities. The maximum capacity is 750 lbs to accommodate personnel.

Designed for the Atlanta Olympics opening ceremony, this triple stage, a custom scissor lift, can elevate 2,500 lb loads to a height of 144 feet.

Another specialty for the entertainment stage lift equipment industry, this multi-stage lift was designed for a theme park and elevates to a height of 168 feet and has a carrying capacity of 20,000 lbs.

The examples of the different scissor lifts Handling Specialty has designed for its clients provides you with an idea of the flexibility and versatility of scissor lifts. Our team of designers and engineering experts work with our clients to design and manufacture scissor lift solutions that address their unique requirements. You can see the full range of our custom lifting products for your specific lifting and traversing challenge here.

We also provide after-sales support for equipment installations, repairs, planned maintenance, and equipment inspection to ensure you extend the operating life of your handling solution.

We also provide on-site training for your staff and contractors, as well as equipment maintenance training. Contact us today to discuss your scissor lift requirements.

Parts & Services

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“We build big things to help our customers build big things.”

Handling Specialty’s reputation is one of a competent problem-solver because we have built a reputation for providing unique, custom-engineered material handling or industrial automation solutions that stand the test of time.

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Office location

219 South Service Road West,
Grimsby, Ontario, L3M 1Y6

© 2024 All rights reserved. Handling Specialty

“We build big things to help our customers build big things.”

Handling Specialty’s reputation is one of a competent problem-solver because we have built a reputation on providing unique, custom-engineered material handling or industrial automation solutions that stand the test of time
Call us


Write to us


Office location

219 South Service Road West,

Grimsby, Ontario, L3M 1Y6

© 2024 All rights reserved. Handling Specialty