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Hydraulic vs. Electric Scissor Lifts: Which One Is Right For You?

Author: Hou

Sep. 13, 2023


Scissor lifts can help with hard-to-reach tasks, including construction, repair, or maintenance of elevated work areas. With the electric market snowballing, we see competitive pricing and performance on new lines of electric scissor lifts. In addition, innovation is changing the game regarding all kinds of work trucks, including aerial lifts. We can help you find the scissor lift that works best for you.

What is the Difference Between Hydraulic and Electric Scissor Lifts?

Electric Scissor Lifts

Electric scissor lifts are the best choice for anyone who needs an extended work day or needs to get their job done quickly and efficiently. The electric drive system and faster travel speeds mean you can maximize your uptimes, while improved gradeability means handling tasks with more confidence.

Electric scissor lifts are ideal for indoor environments with delicate floorings, such as hospitals and schools. They are also great for cold storage areas, where their electric drive can handle cooler temperatures better than their hydraulic counterparts.

Additional Highlights Include:

Easy to service

Energy efficient

Highly productive

Maximize uptime

Rechargeable, long-lasting battery

No exhaust fumes (important for indoor applications)

No fluids = less maintenance

Can work in cold conditions with ease


Hydraulic Scissor Lifts

The most cost-effective scissor lifts are hydraulic drive models. This durable aerial platform has practical features that make it more powerful and keep your crew on the job, regardless of how rugged or remote. Choose from our wide variety of models that can tackle general construction tasks or access overhead work during HVAC maintenance, painting jobs, and electrical service calls.

Hydraulic drive lifts offer power and performance in general construction or mechanical work applications, especially those requiring long operation hours each day. These lifts are also great for specialized trade, like drywalling (and more!).

Additional Highlights Include:

Most affordable option

Most durable option

Easy to service

Designed to work in rugged conditions

Great for outdoor applications

Powerful all day long

Industry-standard for decades

Consider the Overall Financial Investment

Hydraulic Scissor lifts offer the best affordability, and the lowest entry price point.

Electric scissor lifts offer the best bang for your buck over the life of the truck. Electric models can reduce your overall financial footprint due to low maintenance costs and long working life.

Hydraulic and Electric Scissor Lifts Work Differently

Hydraulic systems are typically less efficient than electric ones as they rely on hoses and valves that need regular servicing. They also have more connector points, which means increased oil leak risks or costly repairs depending on wear and tear. Fuel costs are an issue with these models too.

Electric lifts use motors for both drive and steer scissor lift functions, which reduces the number of potential hydraulic leak points, eliminates emissions, and enables smoother operation when combined with proportional controls. With jerky movements eliminated, workers can make small movements and creep at height, making them more productive over extended periods.

Which Type of Scissor Lift is Better For You?

The right scissor lift for your needs depends on what you need to accomplish. Electric-drive units are more suited to longer runs and cleaner environments, while hydraulic drives offer simplicity and durability.

Having the right scissor lift for your job site is essential. Consider your industry, and the work environment of your crew. These factors, plus cost and maintenance expectations, will all affect your final purchasing decision.





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