Scissor Lifts vs. Boom Lifts

Category: Equipment and Solutions

Boom lift vs Scissor Lift

Aerial lifts offer workers extra reach and maneuverability on the job site. It’s important to choose the right one for the project at hand, though. Scissor lifts and boom lifts come with distinct advantages for a range of applications. Providing your workers with the ideal type of equipment for their job can optimize their workflow, increase efficiency and enhance safety practices on-site.

What’s the Difference Between Scissor Lifts and Boom Lifts?

The right aerial lift for your workers will depend on the specific needs and applications of your project. The terrain, height of the required task, necessary platform size and other environmental factors are important considerations when deciding between a scissor lift and a boom lift.

Take a look at the key characteristics of both types of lifts below. With this foundational knowledge, you can make an informed decision and create a safer, more efficient environment for your operators.

Scissor Lifts

Scissor lifts offer a few key benefits:

  • Large platform: One of the main advantages of a scissor lift is its expansive platform size. Multiple workers can comfortably use the lift simultaneously as long as they adhere to the equipment’s weight limits.
  • Budget-friendly price: If you have a tight budget for your project, scissor lifts are a great way to minimize your spending since they are more cost-effective than boom lifts.

Depending on your project, you should also consider the limitations of scissor lifts:

  • Height: These lifts have significantly less reach compared to boom lifts. They can only elevate workers around 20 to 50 feet in the air.
  • Maneuverability: Scissor lifts have limited maneuverability, as they can only move up and down rather than side to side. A different lift may be a better choice if your job site has obstacles workers will need to avoid in the air.

Boom Lifts

Boom lifts offer their own advantages. There are two main types of boom lifts — articulating and telescopic. Consider the following characteristics:

  • Exceptional maneuverability: An articulating boom lift has a hydraulic arm that can bend. As a result, these lifts can easily move around obstacles.
  • Maximum height: Some boom lifts can reach up to 130 feet, helping your team accomplish jobs at great heights.

Some of the potential drawbacks of a boom lift include:

  • Smaller platform size: Compared to scissor lifts, boom lifts have a limited platform size. They can typically only accommodate one worker at a time and fewer materials.
  • Increased expense: The unique hydraulic arm makes articulating boom lifts more expensive than other aerial lift options. To rent or buy a boom lift, you’ll most likely need a higher budget for your project.

Should I Rent a Scissor Lift or Boom Lift?

Because there are key differences between scissor lifts and boom lifts, they each have different applications that align with their abilities. It’s important to consider a variety of factors when deciding to rent a scissor lift or a boom lift, including the:

  • Required movement of your workers.
  • Terrain of your job site.
  • Number of workers present.
  • Overall project budget.

For applications that require enhanced elevation, an articulating or telescopic boom lift would be most beneficial to your work site. If your workers need more maneuverability to complete their objectives, an articulating boom lift will check that box as well. Electrical or piping repairs often require workers to access hard-to-reach areas. Boom lifts offer those capabilities.

On the other hand, if your project requires multiple workers to be lifted at once, you’ll need to rent a scissor lift due to its sizeable platform. The large platform also makes these lifts ideal for projects that require a lot of tools. Scissor lifts are best for jobs where workers only need to move straight up and down, such as siding installation, cleaning and repairs.

It’s also important to keep your project budget in mind. Scissor lifts are more cost-effective, but only if they meet your needs. When in doubt, it’s best to ask a professional before renting material handling equipment.

Browse Our Aerial Lifts to Find the Right Fit for Your Job

If you need an aerial lift but you’re unsure which option is the right choice for your current project, RAKA can help. We carry a wide range of aerial lifts from top manufacturers to cater to all project needs and requirements. Our team can also walk you through every step of our buying or rental process, so you can feel confident knowing that you made the right choice. Contact us today to get started.


Sign Up For Promotions & Specials