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Boom Lifts vs. Scissor Lifts: Which Type of Lift Should I Rent?

November 19, 2021

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When you need a new lift for your job site or upcoming project, you must consider several factors. Choosing the right type of aerial lift for your job requires some contemplation about the job you're doing and what jobs your lift will need to do for you. Two of the most popular aerial lifts are boom lifts and scissor lifts.

Do you need to rent a boom lift or a scissor lift? Today, we'll explore each of their strengths so you can make the right decision for your upcoming endeavors.

What Is a Boom Lift?

Otherwise known as man lifts or cherry pickers, a boom lift uses a hydraulic arm to move a platform both horizontally and vertically to get where it needs to be. The arm is able to maneuver the platform to access hard-to-reach areas and avoid any obstacles that may get in the way. It also has the farthest reach of all aerial lifts.

There are two types of boom lifts:

  • Telescopic boom lifts: These are a basic kind of boom lift, featuring one hinge that helps extend and lower the platform wherever it's going.
  • Articulating boom lifts: These are sometimes called "knuckle booms" because the arm has many joints that allow it to move more freely.

What Is a Scissor Lift?

These lifts move up and down on a series of folding support beams. A scissor lift is crossed in an X-like pattern when folded, and as it rises, it expands and takes on the appearance of scissor blades. Some people liken their appearance to that of an accordion. Unlike boom lifts, scissor lifts can't move in more than one direction, but they tend to be larger and able to hold more weight in exchange.

What Is a Scissor Lift?

When you rent your scissor lift from Blanchard Rental Services, you'll receive a high-quality lift capable of doing everything you need, including maintaining mobility even while in the extended position. This ability can save you time and keep your workers safe by negating the need to constantly raise and lower their platform whenever you change positions.

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Scissor Lift vs. Boom Lift

What type of aerial lift do you need? Take a minute to consider all of your needs before deciding if you should rent a boom lift or a scissor lift. Here are five points we suggest thinking about when thinking about how to choose an aerial lift:

1. Direction

Because scissor lifts have more basic movement features, they're great for jobs where you'll only need to move up and down. These lifts work well for projects like window cleaning and siding installation. If you need more accessible movement to get into harder-to-reach areas or need to move left and right and up and down, a boom lift will likely be your best choice.

2. Height

In general, boom lifts can extend higher up than scissor lifts. That's why scissor lifts may find more use inside buildings or small warehouses, while boom lifts are more helpful for reaching roofs and billboards. The rental scissor lifts at Blanchard Rental Services can extend up to 43 feet. Meanwhile, our articulating boom lift rentals can reach up to 80 feet high, and telescopic book lift rentals rise to 135 feet.

3. Capacity

Though boom lifts are more maneuverable and able to rise higher, they have smaller platforms with a lower weight limit. If you're completing a project that requires multiple people to be on your machine at a time along with all of their supplies, you may need to rent a scissor lift. Blanchard Rental Services boom lifts have a median unrestricted capacity of about 500 pounds, while scissor lifts can double or even triple that.

4. Budget

Since they expand to higher levels and tend to be more complex machines, boom lifts are usually more expensive than scissor lifts. If you're on a budget and completing a small project, you can probably get away with renting a scissor lift. However, if you're going to use your lift for a significant undertaking that requires your workers to get up high in challenging locations, it's best for your safety and productivity to invest in a boom lift.

5. Location

For indoor projects like in warehouses and factories, scissor lifts are generally the better choice. Because boom lifts are usually bigger and have a much wider range of motion, they're more helpful and safer outdoors.

Furthermore, if you're working at an indoor location, you'll need to look at the building itself. Are the doors big enough for your scissor lift to enter? Are there any weight or height restrictions to consider? Asking yourself similar questions now can save you time and money later.

Benefits of Renting an Aerial Lift

If you're new to lifts, you may find yourself wondering whether you need to buy one. The answer is absolutely not! There are several reasons why renting is often the better option, like:

  • Affordability: Perhaps the main reason companies choose to rent an aerial lift is because it's more economical than buying one outright, especially if you do not plan to use it very often.
  • Maintenance: When you buy an aerial lift, the upkeep is your responsibility, meaning you have to pay for all maintenance going forward. At Blanchard Rental Services, we'll take care of problems that arise so you can stay focused on the work you're already doing.
  • Storage: These lifts are big pieces of machinery, and some businesses don't always have the space to keep a boom or scissor lift on hand. Plus, storing it in an improper location can lead to premature rust and technical issues that can make it unsafe to use.

Benefits of Renting an Aerial Lift

Find Your Lift at Blanchard Machinery Company

Whichever aerial lift works best for your needs, you can find the one you need at Blanchard Machinery Company. Blanchard Machinery Company has an array of aerial lift rentals so you always have a trusted partner to rely on for top-grade equipment. Additionally, our flexible rental plans make it easy for you to have the tools you need when you need them without the hassle of storing them when you don't.

To learn more about our equipment, contact us online or give us a call at 844.252.6242. When you request your rental quote, you'll get a quick response from our team to ensure you don't experience any hiccups during the rental process. Find a location in South Carolina near you so you can expand into new opportunities today.

Find Your Lift at Blanchard Machinery Company

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