Top 4 Best Scissor Lift and Work Platforms for Painting

Painting a room can be one of the hardest – not to mention time-consuming – tasks. The worst part about painting is not being able to reach higher spots or ceilings, even with a roller. To overcome this problem that even the tallest of us suffer from, you’ll need to rely of a scissor lift.

These versatile devices can simply the most height-demanding tasks – painting, reaching the top shelf, scratching the head of a tall person, etc. If you’re in need of a scissor lift to perform the aforementioned tasks, then you should definitely take a look at our editors’ picks of the 4 best scissors lift and work platforms out there.

4 Best Scissors Lifts and Work Platforms for Painting
4 Genie GS-1930
The GS-1930 by Genie is an amazing self-propelled scissor lift used for both commercial and even large-scale residential projects. It has a maximum lift of 25 feet and weight capacity of 500 pounds. The 64 x 29-inch steel platform where you stand has slip-resistant patches and has a 36-inch extension to increase work space so you’ll always have extra cans of paint, brushes, and buckets of water when high off the ground.

This machine draws power from 24V DC batteries and comes with a built-in charger to ensure you’ll always have power to come back down. Maneuvering the GS-1930 is a breeze – the front wheels move the scissor lift back and forth while the rear wheels use disc brakes for added safety. Guaranteeing safety is what the Genie is all about. Equipped with several safety measures (tilt alarm, battery indicator, emergency stop, descent alarm, and control from either the ground and the platform) so riders will always feel secure when going up and down.

3 Metaltech I-CISC Baker-Style Scaffold
The I-CSIC is a more simplistic scaffold that will serve a million and one uses at home and at the jobsite. The I-CISC sits atop four casters with individual locks to prevent wobbling while someone is working on the platform. Adjusting the height of the platform is super-simple and easy – just remove the metal pins from all four corners and bring the platform up or down before sliding the pins back into place.

Additionally, support legs of the platform don’t need to be parallel. Users can adjust the height of the platform different on each support to accommodate work on uneven surfaces. This steel scaffold has an amazing 1,000-pound capacity – more than enough to bare the weight of a painter and his or her painting tools. The problem some customers have had with this contraption is damage during shipping. Though made of steel, the support brackets can warp when tossed around.

2 Telpro 1101-96 Tele-Tower
The 1101-96 from Telpro is unique in many regards. First, it’s one of the simpler scissor lift models out there, but instead of using lock pins to keep the platform in place, users simply need to turn a winch to raise the platform up to 18 feet of the ground. The work platform measures in at 8 x 1-1/2 inches, so movement while standing on the platform may be harder to move around for large painters, but its narrow profile allows the scissor lift to pass through doors with very little effort.

To move around, the 1101-96 uses 5-inch casters, and each comes with its own individual lock to prevent wobbling when extended to its max capacity. If you need to reach higher placed, you can another work platform on top of your 1101-96 (additional work platform sold separately) to give increase the max height to a whopping 24 feet. With outriggers that reach out up to 72-1/2 inches, maintaining the lift’s balance is not an issue with extensions. According to the manual, assembling this unit can be done by a single person in under 10 minutes.

1 CBM Rolling Scaffold
The multi-purpose rolling scaffold from CBM is another non-motorized unit. In this box, you’ll get two sets of the rolling scaffold, each with a maximum height capacity of 6 feet. Using the first platform without extensions, this unit can hold onto 1,000 pounds of people and equipment. The extension reduces the maximum weight capacity to 700 pounds (still more than enough for painting walls).

Instead of using single pins in the four corners like with the Metaltech, the CBM’s platform is locked into place and varying heights by using durable U-lock pins for increased stability. The CBM rolls around on 5-inch, 360° swivel casters that take you and your painting supplies wherever you need to go. The 29 x 72-inch platform is surrounded by handrails so you’ll always have somewhere to grab while painting overhead. However, some customers have raised issues about this product, mainly on its wobbling structure, even without installing the included extension. We’d recommend using the outriggers (extend up to 96 inches) for added stability.

Scissors Lift Buying Guide
Why do I need my own scissor lift?
Scissor lifts are extremely versatile tools that serve a billion and one purposes. Although this article mainly focuses on painting purposes, electricians, builders, and window cleaners can all make use out of a scissor lift. If there’s a high spot that needs to be taken care of, whether you’re adding a bit of paint or getting rid of cobwebs, a scissor lift will help you tremendously.

How easy is it to store a scissor lift?
Storing a scissor lift may be a problem for some people since they may not have the vertical clearance in their garage. However, this isn’t an issue for most models since they are made to be assembled and disassembled quickly. As long as your garage, shed, or other storage space has enough room to accommodate the maximum length of the platform, you should be good to go.

Important Features and Specs
Weight Capacity
Obviously, you never want to overbear any tool, especially scissor lifts, with more weight than it can hold. When it comes to scissor lifts, their steel frames may seem durable, but they have a limit of how much they can hold. From the list above, the weight capacity ranges from 500 to 1,000 pounds. This should be your first point of consideration before settling on a particular scissor lift model.

Height Capacity
It’s not just about how much the platform can hold but also how high it can go. The models mentioned above are made to reach anywhere from 6 feet all the way to 24 feet. Some models can use extensions to increase the height of the tool. This, however, can severely reduce the weight capacity and also the stability of the unit. Proceed with caution.

Platform Size
The dimensions of the platform will give you an idea of how easy it is to twist and turn your body. For obvious reasons, a wider platform will allow you to move more freely, but its width may make it impossible to pass through doors without disassembling the unit beforehand. The models listed above are all made to fit through the standard doorway.

Motorized or Manual
Motorized scissor lifts such as the Genie are costlier than manual ones, but they are extremely easy to use. They also come with a range of safety measures to ensure that the painter/electrician/whoever is safe and sound while doing their job. If you decide to go manual, you can save several hundreds (even thousands) of dollars, but they’re extremely limited in terms of height and stability.

Wheel-Locking System
Regardless of whether you decide to get a motorized or manual scissor lift, you need to be sure that the wheels will lock perfectly into place. The models on our list use reliable locking systems to keep their casters from rolling and swiveling around. However, the user should also be mindful of whether the casters were locked into place or not before proceeding to climb onto the platform.

Outriggers are telescoping legs that add extra support to the scissor lift. Not every model comes with outriggers, specifically those with limited height capacities or motorized models, so how high you want to go will determine whether you need outriggers or not. The length of the outriggers plays a role in how stable and how high you can safely work. Generally speaking, longer outriggers are preferable, and they can always be retracted slightly if there isn’t enough clearance.

1. Is it safe to stand on a ladder placed on a scissor lift’s platform?
What you do on your scissor lift is up to you, but you should always read the manual before using any tool. Most manufacturers go against using ladders since the brake or lock system can fail at any time. If you’re feeling risky, by all means, go ahead, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.

2. Is it possible to stack scissor lifts of different brands?
Some models with identical brackets and support columns are compatible with one another. You can take a look at the size of the steel used to construct the frame. If they’re identical, feel free to purchase off-brand extensions. However, there may be slight variances between two brands – materials, length, etc. – that can throw off the weight and height capacities. We recommend sticking to purchasing extensions made by the same brand.

3. Why are some scissor lifts made for indoor-use only?
The scissor lists mentioned on our list of the best scissor lifts for painting are made specifically for indoor use only. Their steel frames are indeed durable, but they are not weatherproof. If left outdoors for too long, the steel columns may corrode, thus making it completely unsafe to use. Furthermore, indoor scissor lifts are made for smooth surfaces. Their casters won’t stay in place when standing on soft soil, sand, gravel, or other bumpy surfaces. Automated scissor lifts such as the Genie aren’t terrain sensitive and can be used anywhere. Just store it indoors to prevent corrosion.

If you have an upcoming painting project that requires reaching high places, then a simple scissor lift can be an invaluable tool. They’re wide and durable enough to carry multiple people and all the supplies they need to never set foot on the ground until the job is completed. Check out our list of the four top scissor list and work platforms for painting. Also, our buying guide will give you all the information you need to know about purchasing a scissor lift.


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4 Genie GS-1930 Self-Propelled Electric Scissor Lift, 500 lbs Platform Load Capacity, 19′ Lift Height

3 Metaltech Multipurpose 6′. Baker-Style Scaffold – 1, 000-Lb. Capacity, Steel, Model# I-CISC

2 Telpro 1101-96 Tele-Tower Adjustable Work Platform Yellow

1 CBM Multipurpose Maxi Square Baker Style Scaffold Tower Package – 12 Feet, 1,000 Pound Capacity With Hatch Deck Guard Rail and Double U Lock


Best Scissor Lift and Work Platforms for Painting

4 Genie GS-1930 Self-Propelled Electric Scissor Lift

3 Metaltech Multipurpose 6

2 Telpro 1101-96 Tele-Tower Adjustable Work Platform Yellow

1 CBM Multipurpose Maxi Square Baker Style Scaffold Tower Package

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