I’m sure you’ll agree that a shop creeper
must be durable, allow for the right weight
capacity, and have great materials used in its
construction. That was our top criteria for selecting
the best shop creeper. If you want to get
under the hood right away, the Omega Foldable Z Creeper scored high marks in all categories and
is our top pick for working fluidly around
your shop and getting the job done.
Shop Creeper Comparison
ATD Tools 81045
|14.00 x 12.25||NA||NA||13.00 x 11.50||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||14.00 x 12.25|
|40.00 x 18.00 x 7.50||10.50 x 4.20 x 1.20||41.00 x 18.00 x 5.00||37.00 x 3.10 x 19.30||40.00 x 18.90 x 5.10||47.00 x 25.50 x 6.80||38.00 x 17.50 x 4.00||43.00 x 7.00 x 23.00||43.00 x 24.00 x 5.20||41.00 x 19.50 x 5.00|
|1 3/4||7/8||1 1/4||1 3/4||1 1/4||1 3/4||7/8||1 3/4||1 1/4||1 3/4|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||90 Days||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year|
Shop Creeper Buying Guide
What is a Shop Creeper?
It doesn’t matter if you are a professional automotive technician or just someone who works on cars as a hobby or out of necessity, a shop creeper is an excellent piece of equipment to have on hand.
Everyone has either seen or experienced getting the piece of cardboard out to lie on and try and scoot underneath the car to work on it. It’ dirty, it’s uncomfortable and it can even distract you from doing a thorough job if your mind is on how uncomfortable you are.
Shop creepers come in all shapes, styles and price points. There is definitely one that will fit every budget and it is a purchase you will never regret making once you see how it changes the way you feel when you work underneath your vehicle.
If you’ve decided on buying a shop creeper for your garage, you may be wondering a few things like how to find the right one for your needs, is the one you’re looking at a good one and so on. We will give you the answers you need to answer those questions and many more. You’ll be able to take this information and use it to choose the perfect shop creeper for yourself.
Portrait of a Great Shop Creeper
There are many things that you need to look at in regards to the right features for your shop creeper. There are features that will enhance performance and some that may not work for you.
Everyone has different preferences and needs, so having a choice is a good thing. With the knowledge this guide gives you, you will be able to be confident about your choice and enjoy using it (or seeing someone else use it if it was a gift) for years to come.
So what are the features of a great shop creeper?
- Does it Roll Easily – Even though all creepers have wheels, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it will roll well, especially on the ground as opposed to a concrete garage floor. There are three different styles of wheels used in the construction of shop creepers. If the creeper is an older model, it will still use steel wheels.
These are steel disks that have been bolted to the frame and have a small axle. They are very durable but are constantly getting stuck in every crevice and crack or on every pebble around. The newer designs of shop creepers use smaller wheels made of urethane that contain ball bearings. They are much more functional and close to being as durable as steel.
Although they still have a rough time over surfaces like asphalt or that contains larger pebbles. The best creepers from a rolling standpoint are those that contain larger wheels, usually around 4-5”. They will roll over anything in your way and will work on dirt and gravel as well.
- How durable is it? – Inexpensive and cheaply made shop creepers are not worth the money as they will not hold up under regular use for very long. Most of the cheaper varieties are made with a pressed cardboard backing. If it ever gets wet, that’s it; you’re going to be buying another one.
The next type of creeper is made with thin plywood backings and while they are stronger than the cardboard ones, they are still not very sturdy. Kneel on it in the wrong place and it could just snap it. The best choice for a sturdy, long lasting creeper is hard plastic or those that have at least ½” plywood as a backing. These later types will hold up well for the long haul.
- Will it take on stains? – Yes, things will get dirty and greasy in a garage, but using something that can be kept clean easily means it is going to look better, work better and last longer than something that has grease, oil, and dirt buildup bogging down the wheels. The hard plastic varieties are perfect because they can be washed with soap and water and rinsed off.
- Do shirts catch easily on the wheels? – This is a common problem with some designs of shop creepers. You lay down on it and are rolling back and forth and the next thing you know your shirt is caught in the wheel so tightly it will probably have to be cut out.
The best way around this is to get a shop creeper that has enclosed wheels which will protect your clothing from getting caught.
- How comfortable is it to lie on? – If you’re ordering online, which is a great way to get excellent deals on shop creepers, you will not be able to lay down on the creeper yourself at first before you purchase, but this is where reading the customer reviews can be really handy.
What are customers saying about the comfort level? The older, flat back design is not as comfortable to lie on as the newer, more ergonomically designed styles are but some prefer the flat surface. Even the hard plastic surfaces with no padding feel good to lie on when they are ergonomically designed.
You can also go with the foam covered, vinyl designs. Not everyone likes these due to the fact that the vinyl can tear and cause it to look terrible and be more uncomfortable, but it is personal preference as to which one you want.
- How low is your clearance? – The idea for a shop creeper is to be able to get underneath the vehicle you are working on easily and with less discomfort. Models that have recessed wheels will enable you to be closer to the ground and thus you will have more working room. Pay attention to the clearance that the creeper description states the model has.
The lower the better if all the other factors are in place as well. Some clearance levels are as high as 4” which can cause an issue for low sitting vehicles. One of the top rated shop creepers reviewed here has a low clearance of only 7/8”. That is the type of clearance that can work well for having plenty of room to move your arms and head as needed.
Additional Shop Creeper Features
Depending on the manufacturer and style, some creepers will have additional features like:
- Adjustable headrests
- Can double as a seat
- Padded headrests
- Locking wheels
- Tool holders.
Think about the clearance you have underneath a vehicle to decide if an adjustable headrest is practical. Most of the time there will not be room under the vehicle to adjust the headrest at all so this may be an added feature that you simply don’t need.
Shop Creepers come in a multitude of colors including black, red, black and grey and bright yellow. They are a must have for any garage whether professional or personal and if you know someone that works on their vehicles or other vehicles often, they will love getting this as a gift.
Important Shop Creeper Safety Tips
Safety should always be foremost in your mind and that is no different when using a shop creeper. Here are a few basic safety tips to keep in mind as you work in your garage.
- Make sure additional stands are in place in the event the jack falls or tips
- Wear any appropriate eye protection and/or head protection if needed
- Use a tool tray either beside you or on the creeper (some have tool holders) rather than laying them on your chest while you work
- Make sure your feet and legs are not in danger of being run over by another vehicle or stepped on
- When you’re not using the creeper, hang it on the wall safely in a wall rack and don’t leave it laying around for children to find. The creepers look remarkably like sleds with wheels to a child and they could use them as such if not properly put away.
If you know the underside of a vehicle inside and out, you already know that a shop creeper will make the process of working on vehicles much less uncomfortable and much more enjoyable. For the mechanic or hobby mechanic that has back or neck problems, a good quality shop creeper will feel like a godsend with how much strain it eliminates on the body.
If you’ve spent any number of times on a cold, damp floor or sliding around trying to get the cardboard just right, you know the frustrations that can bring as well as the discomfort, especially if working on automobiles is your career.
The whole purpose of a shop creeper is to reduce neck and shoulder strain and help you get under the vehicle much more smoothly and back out as well, which comes in handy when you have to scoot out to grab something. As you well know, going in and out underneath the car, especially if you’re working on it by yourself, is common practice and it’s much easier to slide out and slide back under when you’re on wheels.
The information in this guide and the top rated shop creeper reviews we’ve provided can combine to provide you with the tools needed to choose a shop creeper that will be perfect for you. Some designs are a little longer which work well for taller mechanics, and all of them seem to have a high weight rating of at least 400 pounds or more. Be sure to check on this if it is available.
- Omega 91000 Black 40″ Foldable Z Creeper – Omega 91000 Black 40″ Foldable Z Creeper
- Lisle 97102 Black Plastic Creeper – Lisle 97102 Black Plastic Creeper
- Torin TR6452 4 Position Headrest Shop Creeper – Torin TR6452 4 Position Headrest Shop Creeper