Last Updated: February 07, 2023

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Scissor Lifts Overview

Scissor lifts are one of several types of aerial lifts used to elevate workers to high areas. They’re commonly used in manufacturing and industrial settings, where workers need to be lifted to hard-to-reach places.

Scissor lifts are supported by criss-crossing braces the extend upward. Most are designed to move only straight up and down, but some are capable of shifting a few feet horizontally. One of the greatest advantages to scissor lifts is that they feature large platforms that can fit several people at once, along with materials.

Scissor Lifts Cost

Standard-sized scissor lifts usually cost about $10,000 to $15,000, although larger models can cost as much as $50,000. If you’re on a tight budget, you can save a significant amount of money by purchasing a used machine. Standard-sized scissor lifts might sell for $4,000 to $5,000 used.

Scissor Lifts Pros

  • Larger platform - Scissor lifts are great for jobs that require multiple workers to move about the platform comfortably. The size of the platform tends to be much larger than with other types of aerial lifts.
  • Less expensive - Scissor lifts are significantly less expensive than boom lifts.

Average Scissor Lift Prices

Scissor Lifts Cons

  • Lower lift heights - Most scissor lifts can only reach heights of 20 to 50 feet - far less than most boom lifts.
  • Limited maneuverability - Because most scissor lifts only move vertically, not horizontally, there’s no way to maneuver them up and around obstacles.

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Boom Lift Overview

A boom lift is also a type of aerial lift, but it provides greater flexibility than a scissor lift because it is supported by a hydraulic arm that is capable of maneuvering around obstructions. Boom lifts also extend to higher elevations.

There are two basic types of boom lifts. Articulating boom lifts have arms that bend, making it easier to move the bucket around obstructions. Telescopic boom lifts, on the other hand, have straight arms. Telescopic lifts usually have higher weight capacities, but they are more difficult to maneuver.

Boom Lifts Cost

Boom lifts are more expensive, ranging in price from about $25,000 to $75,000 for a standard 30- to 40-foot model. Very large boom lifts that extend to more than 100 feet usually cost $100,000 to $200,000. Used 30- to 40-foot boom lifts tend to sell for $20,000 to $40,000.

Generally, telescopic boom lifts are less expensive than articulating boom lifts.

Boom Lifts Pros

  • Better maneuverability - A boom lift is the better choice if you need to maneuver around objects and obstructions. The long arms can be angled in various directions to access hard-to-reach places.
  • Higher lift heights - Boom lifts typically extend much higher than scissor lifts. Lift heights can top 130 feet, as opposed to a maximum of about 50 feet with a scissor lift.

Boom Lifts Cons

  • Smaller platform - Boom lifts tend to have smaller platforms, meaning they hold fewer workers and materials at once.
  • More expensive - Boom lifts usually cost significantly more than scissor lifts.

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