The Best Engine Cradles

When swapping out your engine or removing it for maintenance an engine cradle is the most convenient and secure way to store your engine. Most engine cradles have been constructed to accommodate specific engine sizes and manufacturer designs, but there are also some great universal engine cradles and stands that can hold virtually any engine.

We reviewed dozens of engine cradles and engine stands and have identified the best for your professional and home garages. Some engine cradles are better suited for personal project cars with a specific engine type, while others are better suited for professionals who work on a variety of engines. We considered factors such as engine cradle stability, mobility, and versatility in choosing our topic picks, and then we put together a detailed rundown of many other great engine cradles and stands to help you find the right one for your engine needs.

Best Engine Cradle Overall
Performance Tool Engine Stand
With an adjustable design that fits most engines, the Performance Tool Engine Stand is the most practical and versatile engine cradle on the market.

Once our research was complete we chose the Performance Tool Engine Stand as our overall top pick. It’s an adjustable engine cradle that’ll work with nearly any engine out there under 750 pounds and it’s as durable as they come.

The 5 Top-Rated Engine Cradles

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Engine Cradle OverallPerformance Tool Engine Stand4.5
Best Engine Cradle StandSunex Foldable Engine Stand4.7
Best Budget Engine CradleJEGS Engine Cradle4.6
Best LS Engine CradleChevy LSx Engine Storage Stand4.2
Best Ford Engine CradleAllstar Performance Heavy Duty Engine Cradle3.8

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Engine Cradle Overall: Performance Tool Engine Stand

Finding an engine cradle that properly fits your engine can be a daunting task, but the Performance Tool Engine Stand has made your search much easier. While most engine cradles have been engineered to work with specific types of engines, this Performance Tool Engine Stand was made to fit all engine types. The support arms are adjustable, allowing you to dial in the right width and depth to match your engine for a perfect fit. No other standard engine cradle on our list that has this capability.

The 750 pound weight capacity is the only true limiting factor of this engine cradle, though it should be more than strong enough to support most car and some smaller truck engines. The heavy-gauge steel construction provides solid, reliable support that comes backed by a lifetime warranty. A yellow powder coat has been applied to the entire cradle frame to prevent rust and corrosion. Steel nuts, bolts, and washers have been supplied to lock the adjustable arms in place, and it can all be disassembled for compact storage.

All of this sits atop four three-inch caster wheels that provide 360-degree rotation. Adjustable cam buckle straps have been included to help you lock down your engine tight. The main highlight of this product is its adjustable arms, but the rest of its construction is just as impressive. Whether you work with multiple engines and want one stand that can support them all, or you’re not interested in searching for an engine cradle that was made to your engine’s exact specifications, this Performance Tool Engine Stand is the right choice for you.

Performance Tool Engine Stand Key Features:

  • Universal engine fit
  • Adjustable width and depth
  • 750 pound weight capacity
  • Lifetime warranty

Best Engine Cradle Stand: Sunex Foldable Engine Stand

Best Engine Cradle Stand
Sunex Foldable Engine Stand
Universal engine fit, a rotating adjustable mounting head, and a foldable design make the Sunex Foldable Engine Stand a knockout pick.

High-quality construction and an easy to use design are the hallmarks of the Sunex Foldable Engine Stand. This engine stand features a fully adjustable and rotating mounting head that can fit nearly any engine. That rotating design allows you to turn the mounted engine to any angle of your choice, making maintenance and inspection a breeze. The rotating mechanism is powered by a crank handle that is effortless to use thanks to the inbuilt and efficient 63-to-1 ratio worm drive gearbox that is fixed behind the engine mounting head.

The engineering may be a bit complex, but it all works toward making this engine stand simple to operate and it’s definitely not as complicated as the engine you’ll be working on. All four adjustable fingers on the mounting head can be repositioned by rotating and sliding them around their pin bolts to find the perfect fit for your engine. Two fixed caster wheels have been fitted to the front of the stand, and two lockable swivel caster wheels are on the back to give you the mobility you need to move your engine around your workspace.

The foldable design of this engine stand makes storage more convenient. Unlike other engine stands that cannot be folded or dismantled, this Sunex Foldable Engine Stand can be stored underneath shelving or turned on its side and propped against the wall of your garage. It’s a well rounded and versatile tool that’s capable enough for a mechanic’s workshop, yet conveniently compact for a home garage. This product comes backed by a one-year warranty.

Sunex Foldable Engine Stand Key Features:

  • Universal engine fit
  • 1000 pound weight capacity
  • 360-degree rotating adjustable mounting head
  • Foldable storage design

Best Budget Engine Cradle: JEGS Engine Cradle

Best Budget Engine Cradle
JEGS Engine Cradle
Compact and capable, the JEGS Engine Cradle is a great Chevy engine cradle for coin-conscious consumers.

The JEGS Engine Cradle has been specifically designed for small block and big block Chevrolet engines excluding LS engines. Its all-steel construction is capable of holding up to 750 pounds and it has been powder coated to prevent rust and corrosion. Weighing in at a lightweight 18 pounds, and standing 18-inches tall, this cradle is easy to maneuver and store. The four heavy-duty metal swivel caster wheels rotate 360-degrees and are easy to steer.

Users have found this to be a lightweight and stable engine cradle, even under the heavy loads of their big block engines. The entire frame is made of durable one-inch steel tubing. Eight mounting bolts are included with the cradle and they each have an individual storage slot within the cradle’s primary crossbar.

While there are more robust engine cradles on the market, the 750 pound weight capacity is enough for most Chevrolet car engines. You can save big bucks by keeping it simple with this JEGS Engine Cradle so long as your Chevy engine is under the weight limit.

JEGS Engine Cradle Key Features:

  • Fits small block and big block Chevrolet engines (no LS)
  • 750 pound weight capacity
  • Black powder coated
  • Crossbar doubles as storage for bolts

Best LS Engine Cradle: Chevy LSx Engine Storage Stand

Best LS Engine Cradle
Chevy LSx Engine Storage Stand
The Chevy LSx Engine Storage Stand is a lightweight, stable, and compact LS engine cradle.

Chevrolet LS engines are perhaps the most popular engine choice for modern car enthusiasts who have project cars they tinker with. The Chevy LSx Engine Storage Stand is the best choice for LS swap projects because it is an inexpensive, lightweight, easy to use, and stable engine cradle that has been designed to perfectly fit every LS series engine from the LS1 to the LS9 and everything in between.

The unique two-piece design works well with the shape of LS engines. The LS series is known for its power to size ratio. It’s a relatively small engine, and so the slim two-piece Chevy LSx Engine Storage Stand is all that is needed to support it. That’s not to say that the cradle is lacking in strength, far from it in fact. Both sections of the cradle are formed from one-inch by two-inch 14-gauge steel tubing that is actually tougher and thicker than tubing used to create most other engine cradles on the market.

That slim two-piece design is excellent for storage, though. While in use, the slim design provides a stable base for the engine with over nine inches of ground clearance without extending beyond the engine’s own length and width. When dismantled for storage, the cradle can be conveniently put away almost anywhere, even inside some large toolbox drawers. Mounting holes for caster wheels have been provided if you want to add your own wheels to save a few dollars, but a more expensive wheeled version of this cradle is available as well.

Chevy LSx Engine Storage Stand Key Features:

  • Fits all LS series engines and their transmissions
  • One-inch by two-inch 14-gauge steel tubing
  • 9.25-inch clearance for deep oil pans
  • Compact two-piece design

Best Ford Engine Cradle: Allstar Performance Heavy Duty Engine Cradle

Best Ford Engine Cradle
Allstar Performance Heavy Duty Engine Cradle
The Allstar Performance Heavy Duty Engine Cradle was built to securely hold a big block Ford truck engine.

There’s no better engine cradle to choose for big block Ford engines than the Allstar Performance Heavy Duty Engine Cradle. Heavy-gauge steel tubing has been welded together to make this cradle’s frame and it has been fitted with thick steel mounting plates to support the entire range of Ford’s monstrous big block engines. All of the tubing and plating has been powder coated to prevent rust and corrosion.

While the cradle legs have been welded together along with the mounting plates, the crossbar can be removed as it is attached with steel bolts. By removing the crossbar this cradle can be dismantled into three one-inch tall pieces that can be easily stored away. That crossbar also acts as a storage space for the bolts that are included with the cradle. Mounting holes have been put in place for wheel kits with 1/2″ studs if you wish to add caster wheels at any point.

In addition to this cradle’s ability to hold all of Ford’s big block engines, there are also versions of this mount by Allstar Performance that were designed to fit Ford’s small block and modular small block engines. You can find all of these different models by following the product links we provided for the Allstar Performance Heavy Duty Engine Cradle.

Allstar Performance Heavy Duty Engine Cradle Key Features:

  • Fits big block Ford Engines
  • Black powder coated
  • One-inch steel tubing
  • Small block and modular options available

Who Should Buy an Engine Cradle

Professional and DIY at-home mechanics should buy an engine cradle for when they are removing an engine from a vehicle and need a place to securely store it. An engine cradle supports the engine using the proper mounts and pressure points to keep the engine safe from damage. There’s no better way to store an out-of-vehicle engine.

Engine cradles are best used when you are removing an engine from its vehicle to repair it, dismantle it, or swap it out for a new engine. The best way to remove a heavy engine from a vehicle is with a proper engine crane.

Best Engine Cradle Overall
Performance Tool Engine Stand
With an adjustable design that fits most engines, the Performance Tool Engine Stand is the most practical and versatile engine cradle on the market.

Important Features to Consider

There are a few important considerations to think through before purchasing an engine cradle.

  • Standard vs rolling. The only difference between these two types of cradles is that rolling engine cradles have been fitted with caster wheels for mobility. While this can be a convenient addon, some people prefer immobile engine cradles for their stability and storage potential. Many standard engine cradles can be fitted with caster wheels at a later date if you so choose, but you would need to purchase the wheels separately.
  • Engine manufacturer and size. This is the key information you must know about your engine and the requirements of the engine cradle you are going to purchase. The engine manufacturer and engine size must align with the specification of the engine cradle to ensure proper fit and support.
  • Weight capacity. This is a key piece of information as well, though if you have already correctly paired your engine with a cradle that supports its size and manufacturer, then the weight will likely be fine as well. Be aware that the weight of your engine block provided by the manufacturer will be for a bare engine block with no fluids or attachments. If you plan to store a wet engine with additional components attached it will weigh more.
  • Engine stands. Engine stands are the right option for people who work on a variety of engine types. Their adjustable, rotating heads enable you to attach virtually any engine to the mount so long as you stay under the maximum weight capacity. These engine stands tend to be heavier and larger, though, so they are not the friendliest for small home garages.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an engine cradle and how does it work?

An engine cradle is a device used during automotive work to temporarily store an engine outside of a vehicle. Engine cradles are made from durable heavy-gauge steel and they have been designed to support specific types of engines using supportive steel tubing, brackets, and bolts that align with different engine designs.

How much is an engine cradle?

Engine cradles and stands can range in overall price from as low as $20 to upwards of $500. Prices vary based upon the type of engine cradle, how much weight it was designed to hold, and what specific types of engines it has been designed to accommodate. There are standard engine cradles, rolling engine cradles, and universal engine stands, and each has its own price range.

  • Standard, non-mobile engine cradles are the most cost-effective type of engine cradle. These standard engine cradles range in price from approximately $40 to $90.
  • Rolling engine cradles cost a little bit more, ranging from about $50 to $100. These are standard engine cradles that have rolling caster wheels.
  • Engine stands are the most expensive type of engine cradle. They have fully-adjustable arms that allow them to universally fit all types of engines, and they have rolling wheels too. These engine stands run about $80 to $500 depending upon their weight capacity and build quality.

What type of engine cradle do I need?

While engine stands are the most expensive type of engine cradle, they will universally fit almost any engine. If you want to spend less money by purchasing a standard or rolling cradle, you need to be sure that the cradle can support the weight of your engine and that it has been designed to fit your specific engine. Each cradle has been engineered to perfectly hold specific engines from certain vehicle types, such as big block Ford engines or Chevy v8s. You need to correctly match your engine to the cradle, or purchase a universal engine stand.

How do I know if an engine cradle will hold my engine?

First, you must gather some basic information about your engine such as its weight, size, and manufacturer. You can find this information in your vehicle’s manual, online, or by contacting your vehicle’s manufacturer. Second, you will need to purchase an engine cradle that was designed for your engine size and manufacturer, and you must double-check to see that it can hold that engine’s weight as well. If you need support, we recommend using Amazon to contact the engine cradle seller to verify that the cradle you are considering will work with your engine.

All of this can be made easier by purchasing a universal engine stand instead. Engine stands can be used with nearly any engine so long as you stay under the maximum weight capacity.

Other Engine Cradles We Reviewed

Best Engine Cradle Overall
Performance Tool Engine Stand
With an adjustable design that fits most engines, the Performance Tool Engine Stand is the most practical and versatile engine cradle on the market.

We looked at 20 other engine cradles. Even though they didn’t make our five best engine cradle list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your garage. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Engine Cradles

Allstar Performance Chevy BBC and SBC Cradle

Allstar Performance Chevy BBC and SBS Cradle

The Allstar Performance Chevy BBC and SBC Cradle is a sturdy mount for your small and large Chevy engines. It’s comprised of one-inch tubing and grade 5 fasteners that can be disassembled when not in use.

Key Features:

  • Small block Chevy and big block Chevy engines
  • Black powder coat
  • One-inch square tubing

Cost: $80

Allstar Performance HD Pontiac Engine Cradle

Allstar Performance HD Pontiac Engine Cradle

A heavy-duty mount, the Allstar Performance HD Pontiac Engine Cradle is made of one-inch square tubing and accepts wheel kits with 1/2″ studs. Black powder coating protects the steel from rust and corrosion.

Key Features:

  • Pontiac engines
  • Black powder coat
  • One-inch square tubing

Cost: $80

Allstar Performance Heavy Duty GM LS Cradle

Allstar Performance Heavy Duty GM LS Cradle

This Allstar Performance Heavy Duty GM LS Cradle accepts wheel kits with 1/2″ studs, and there is also a standard duty version available that accepts wheel kits with 3/8″ studs. This is a great cradle to use for your upcoming LS swap.

Key Features:

  • GM/Chevy LS engines
  • Black powder coat
  • HS and SD versions available

Cost: $85

Allstar Performance Heavy Duty Oldsmobile Cradle

Allstar Performance Heavy Duty Oldsmobile Cradle

Yet another Allstar Performance Heavy Duty Cradle, but this one is specifically designed for burly Oldsmobile v8 engines. Sturdy construction and a protective powder coat make this a great utility cradle.

Key Features:

  • Oldsmobile V8 engines
  • One-inch square tubing
  • Black powder coat

Cost: $85

Allstar Performance Hemi Engine Cradle

Allstar Performance Hemi Engine Cradle

Fitting the notorious and unique line of HEMI engines, the Allstar Performance Hemi Engine Cradle stands tall at 30 inches and weighs about 14 pounds. Grade 5 fasteners are included and the cradle can be disassembled when not in use.

Key Features:

  • HEMI engines
  • 30 inches tall
  • Black powder coat

Cost: $80

JEGS GM LS Engine Cradle

JEGS GM LS Engine Cradle

Another fantastic option for LS swaps, the JEGS GM LS Engine Cradle has a 1000 pound weight capacity and has a powder coat to protect its all-steel construction. The crossbar doubles as convenient storage for the included bolts.

Key Features:

  • GM/Chevy LS engines
  • 1000 pound weight capacity
  • Yellow powder coat

Cost: $75

JEGS Oldsmobile Engine Cradle

JEGS Oldsmobile Engine Cradle

The JEGS Oldsmobile Engine Cradle retains the stats and features of the previously mentioned version, but this one has been designed to hold Oldsmobile engines. It stands 18 inches tall and weighs 15 pounds.

Key Features:

  • Oldsmobile engines
  • 1000 pound weight capacity
  • Yellow powder coat

Cost: $70

Rolling Engine Cradles

Balance World Ford Engine Cradle

Balance World Ford Engine Cradle

Rest your Ford v8 engine on the Balance World Ford Engine Cradle and move it around your shop as needed with its 360-degree rotating caster wheels. This cradle has a 1000 pound weight capacity and has a protective blue powder coat.

Key Features:

  • Ford v8 small block or light truck engines
  • Has four three-inch caster wheels
  • 1000 pound weight capacity

Cost: $60

MOTOOS Chevy Engine Cradle

MOTOOS Chevy Engine Cradle

Built to hold non-LS Chevy engines, the MOTOOS Chevy Engine Cradle can support up to 1000 pounds on its four metal caster wheels. It has been powder coated and its crossbar provides storage for the included bolts.

Key Features:

  • Chevrolet engines (no LS)
  • 1000 pound weight capacity
  • Has four metal three-inch caster wheels

Cost: $60

Speedway Motors Rolling Chevy Engine Cradle

Speedway Motors Rolling Chevy Engine Cradle

A heavy-duty engine cradle with all-steel construction included its metal caster wheels, the Speedway Motors Rolling Chevy Engine Cradle was built to last and built to support both small block and big block Chevrolet engines.

Key Features:

  • Chevrolet engines (no LS)
  • Weighs 21 pounds
  • Crossbar bolt storage

Cost: $60

Speedway Motors Rolling GM LS Engine Stand

Speedway Motors Rolling GM LS Engine Stand

Split into two supportive pieces, the Speedway Motors Rolling GM LS Engine Stand provides excellent support for your engine with its extra-thick steel tubing, yet its design gives it a compact presence when in use and in storage. It’s the same model as our top LS pick but with wheels added at a premium price.

Key Features:

  • GM/Chevy LSx engines
  • One-inch by two-inch steel tubing
  • Compact, slim design

Cost: $95

Engine Cradle Stands

BestEquip Engine Stand

BestEquip Engine Stand

A universal engine mount that can hold up to 1500 pounds, the BestEquip Engine Stand is a top buy for those who work on a variety of engines. This stand has an adjustable mounting head that can hold virtually any engine, and it can also be rotated 360-degrees so that you can work on your engine at any angle.

Key Features:

  • 1500 pound weight capacity
  • 360-degree rotating adjustable mounting head
  • Detachable frame

Cost: $100

BIG RED Rotating Engine Stand

BIG RED Rotating Engine Stand

We like the BIG RED Rotating Engine Stand not only for its capability but also because it can be folded away for easy storage. This burly stand can hold nearly engine up to 1500 pounds in weight. The quick-folding mechanism turns this versatile engine stand into a compact three-wheeled cart that takes up less than half of its unfolded floor space.

Key Features:

  • 1500 pound weight capacity
  • Foldable design
  • 360-degree rotating adjustable mounting head

Cost: $110

OEM Tools Engine Stand

OEM Tools Engine Stand

Taking conveniences one step further than the competition, the OEM Tools Engine Stand features a removable drip tray to catch any oil spills before they stain your garage floor. This universal engine stand is fully rotating and can hold up to 1250 pounds.

Key Features:

  • 1250 pound weight capacity
  • Lock pin locks the engine in place
  • 360-degree rotating adjustable mounting head

Cost: $180

OTC Engine Stand

OTC Engine Stand

The OTC Engine Stand is a heavy-duty engine stand that can hold up to 1000 pounds, but customers say that this stand is constructed of higher-grade materials and thicker steel than competitor products they have tried. It has an extra-long rotation lever that makes spinning your engine all that much easier.

Key Features:

  • 1000 pound weight capacity
  • Extra-long rotation lever
  • Weighs 96 pounds

Cost: $450

Budget Engine Cradles

BLPextrm Chevy Engine Cradle

BLPextrm Chevy Engine Cradle

The BLPextrm Chevy Engine Cradle is simply the least expensive rolling chevy engine cradle. It’s just as capable as similar products with its 1000 pound weight capacity, steel tubing, and metal caster wheels, but it’s listed at a budget-friendly price.

Key Features:

  • Chevrolet engines (no LS)
  • 1000 pound weight capacity
  • Red powder coat finish

Cost: $50

JEGS Red Engine Stand

JEGS Red Engine Stand

JEGS has been featured on our list several times with an assortment of high-quality products, and their inexpensive Red Engine Stand is no different. This is the best bang for your buck you will get out of an engine stand. It has an adjustable head and can hold up to 1250 pounds.

Key Features:

  • 1250 pound weight capacity
  • Extra-long rotating lever
  • 360-degree rotating adjustable mounting head

Cost: $80

Parts-DIYer Chevy Engine Cradle

Parts DIYer Chevy Engine Cradle

The Parts-DIYer Chevy Engine Cradle is an awesome value rolling engine cradle for Chevrolet engines. It has all the features you’d expect from a well-made rolling engine stand, and it’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg.

Key Features:

  • Chevrolet engines (no LS)
  • 1000 pound weight capacity
  • Red powder coat finish

Cost: $45

Speedway Motors Small Block Chevy Engine Cradle

Speedway Motors Small Block Chevy Engine Cradle

When all you need is a basic engine cradle for your small block Chevy engine, this model from Speedway Motors is as reliable and affordable as it gets. It is extremely lightweight at 15 pounds, and all of its arms can be unbolted and removed for compact storage that can fit inside of a toolbox drawer.

Key Features:

  • Small block Chevy engine cradle
  • 750 pound capacity
  • Lightweight and compact design

Cost: $45

TRIL GEAR Chevy V8 Cradle

TRIL GEAR Chevy V8 Cradle

You’ve seen this design many times by now. The TRIL GEAR Chevy V8 Cradle doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does provide a sold cradle frame for Chevrolet engines up to 1000 pounds at bargain-bin pricing. This cradle features four caster wheels and a crossbar that doubles as bolt storage.

Key Features:

  • Chevy v8 engines
  • 1000 pound weight capacity
  • Has four three-inch caster wheels

Cost: $40

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