How High Does a Scissor Lift Go?

how high does a scissor lift go

A scissor lift is a type of aerial work platform used to elevate personnel, tools, and materials. Frequently preferred to scaffolding, scissor lifts offer greater safety but less reach than other aerial lifts. They are commonly used in construction, warehouses, and other industrial applications. But how high can a scissor lift go? 

That depends on the specific model of scissor lift. Some models have a maximum height of 20 feet, while others can reach heights of up to 40 feet. The largest models can even extend up to 60 feet in the air! So as you can see, there is quite a bit of variation when it comes to the height capabilities of scissor lifts.

The lift’s functional reach should take into account the roughly 6-foot tall worker standing on the platform. When evaluating scissor lift options, consider the range of different scissor lift heights:

19-ft. Scissor Lift

A 19-ft. scissor lift can be used by aerial lift operators who need to access ceilings and ductwork. It works well in tight spaces. However, a 19-ft. lift offers limited flexibility compared to larger scissor lift sizes.

26-ft. Scissor Lift

A 26-ft. scissor lift height offers a maximum reach of about 32 ft. It is often used by window washers and others who perform building or maintenance work at heights.

32-ft. Scissor Lift

A 32-ft. scissor lift size is a great choice for electricians who perform telephone and power line repairs or replacements. The lift has a maximum reach of approximately 38 ft.

45-ft. Scissor Lift

A 45-ft. scissor lift height is typically used by workers who need to perform maintenance work on skyscrapers or other tall buildings.

50-ft. Scissor Lift

A 50-ft. scissor lift is the best option for those who need maximum height. Aerial lift operators will use this scissor lift size to perform work up to the fifth story of a building.

Types of Scissor Lifts

Scissor lifts are commonly used for construction and facility maintenance applications. The ideal scissor lift size and type varies based on the workspace and the task at hand. Popular options include:

1. Electric

An electric scissor lift is 2×4 driven and can be used in a warehouse or other indoor work areas where space is limited. It can take from 6 to 16 hours to charge an electric scissor lift, but it has no emissions, works quietly, and tends to be more affordable than other types of scissor lifts. An electric lift is a great choice for working indoors. Electric scissor lift sizes range from 10’ to 40’.

2. Diesel or Dual-Fuel

A diesel or dual-fuel (gasoline and propane) scissor lift requires fuel to power its engine. Unlike an electric scissor lift, a diesel or dual-fuel lift is 4×4 driven and better suited to uneven terrain and heavier loads than an electric lift. A diesel lift emits toxic fumes and should not be used indoors. On average, diesel scissor lifts reach heights of 19’ to 53’.

3. Rough Terrain

A rough terrain scissor lift provides safe elevation for workers and machinery in outdoor areas with an uneven surface or even a slope. Diesel- or gasoline-powered with a 4-wheel drive and reinforced tires to prevent flats, RT scissor lifts reach heights ranging from 32’ to 70’.

4. Hydraulic

A hydraulic scissor lift uses a hand-powered or electric motor to pressurize hydraulics to move the platform up and down. These are typically small, lightweight units that move heavy objects or people in a factory or workshop. Generally, hydraulic scissor lifts reach heights from just 24” to 144”. Think that sounds “small”? Some hydraulic scissor lifts are capable of lifting 68,000 pound loads!

5. Pneumatic

A pneumatic scissor lift leverages air pressure to raise and lower the platform. It operates on shop air and does not need electric power. As a result, it’s cleaner than other models, with no emissions, and generally requires less maintenance than other options. Air-powered scissor lifts sizes range from lifting just 29” to 43” and are most often used in warehouses with even flooring.

Considerations Beyond Scissor Lift Sizes

When it comes to scissor lifts, size isn’t the only factor that you need to take into account – there are a few other important considerations that you’ll need to keep in mind as well. For both unique and everyday aerial lift tasks, how high the scissor lift can go scissor lift height is just one factor in judging the lift’s suitability for your needs. When evaluating scissor lifts, you need to look beyond the lift’s reach. Other factors to consider include:


Of course, one of the most important factors that you’ll need to consider is price. Scissor lifts can range in price from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, so it’s important to have a good understanding of your budget before you start shopping around. The average price of a scissor lift ranges from $10,000 to $75,000, depending upon the scissor lift size and type.


Another important consideration is your worksite. If you’re working in a tight space, you’ll need to make sure that you get a scissor lift that’s small enough to maneuver around easily. On the other hand, if you’re working outdoors or in a large space, you might be able to get away with a larger scissor lift. A “mini” scissor lift height can be ideal in a tight workspace. Some mini scissor lift models are only four feet wide. Meanwhile, large scissor lifts may be necessary for workers who need to trim trees, fix power lines, or perform other tasks at high elevations.


If you’re going to be using the scissor lift yourself, you’ll need to make sure that you’re properly trained on how to use it. Most manufacturers offer training courses that will teach you everything you need to know about operating the lift safely and effectively. Safety training is a must, regardless of what scissor lift size you choose. This training teaches workers how to operate a scissor lift safely.

Scissor Lift Choice and Safe Operation offers a safety training program for workers of all skill and experience levels and all scissor lift sizes. Our prices are more affordable than a single accident or fine resulting from improperly trained staff. With our program, anyone can quickly become an OSHA-compliant scissor lift operator within just 24 hours. Take charge of the safety and efficiency of your operations today. Please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.

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