Last updated: August 16, 2021

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This is the place where you will always find the best information on all kinds of products to make the best purchasing decision. We are sure you will find what you need to decide to buy the best workbench.

When it comes to using a workspace any flat surface can work, but having a good workbench can make a big difference to the way you organise your work. Some workbenches are so complex that they could be considered tools in their own right.

One of the advantages of workbenches is that they are designed to store your tools in an organised way and are portable. Some workbenches can be adjusted to the height you want and you can be sure that you will always have a stable and personalised workspace.




The most important facts

  • This type of product is ideal for adapting to any space and for building or fixing all kinds of household jobs. Their use became popular in the second half of the 20th century thanks to a growing interest of people to do their work at home, instead of requiring professional services.
  • Workbenches can be fixed or folding and offer you a customised workspace according to your needs. Folding workbenches are ideal for those who need to take their workspace with them wherever they go, while stationary workbenches are perfect for large workshops.
  • There are several purchasing factors to consider before deciding on a workbench. You should pay attention to the materials it is made of, the stability it offers, the ease of assembly in case it is foldable, among other factors.

The Best Workbenches: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about workbenches

When it comes to such a specialised product, it's difficult to know which model you need. That's why here's a complete guide to help you get all the tools you need to make the best buying decision - read on to the end!

The easiest way to take your workspace anywhere is with a workbench. (Photo: Carlos Santos / 123rf.com)

What is a workbench and what are its advantages?

Workbenches vary greatly depending on their use; they can range from small drawers for jewellers to huge tables for carpenters and blacksmiths. They are generally rectangular in design and offer a lot of stability, as well as drawers for storing tools.

The main reason why many users prefer to invest in a workbench is because there are portable models and it is possible to take your workspace anywhere. Many of these benches give you the same stability as a huge wooden table, for a fraction of the weight and dimensions.

Did you know that the workbench became popular during the second half of the 20th century thanks to the growing need to take the workplace to different locations? Today they have become an almost indispensable item for any home repair enthusiast

The introduction of these workbenches allowed ordinary people to have a perfect space to do their work without having to turn their home into a workshop. This is how it became the basis of the DIY (do-it-yourself) movement, also known as do-it-yourselfers.

In general, workbenches have excellent stability, but it is best to rely on reputable brands like the ones mentioned at the beginning of the article to be on the safe side. Wooden workbenches are preferred by users, but there are also some made of very good quality plastic.

Advantages
  • Stability
  • They can withstand a lot of weight
  • Many include clamps or fasteners
  • Folding benches are easy to store and transport
  • Slots for storing tools
Disadvantages
  • They are not very aesthetic
  • Small work surface
  • They can be complicated to assemble
  • Not all allow for height adjustment
  • Fixed benches are heavy and difficult to move

Fixed or folding workbench - what should you look out for?

You are probably wondering what are the main differences between a fixed and a folding workbench, apart from their ability to be easily transported or not. At first glance it may not be obvious, but it is important to take a good look at the features that each type of bench offers.

In reality, either option is a good choice. However, depending on your needs, you will end up leaning more towards one of these categories. Below we detail the characteristics of each one.

Fixed workbench. Generally, these workbenches offer a much larger surface area than the folding ones. They also have more space for storing materials and tools.

Folding workbench. This type of workbench is ideal for those who do not have much space to work with, as well as for those who need to work in different places. Although they are lighter, they offer the same stability as the fixed ones.

Fixed Foldable
Easy to transport No Yes
Size Up to 2 metres or more Less than one metre
Weight Between 50 and 100 kg Between 5 and 25 kg
Stability Suitable Adequate

Working in an orderly manner with the help of a workbench has many advantages. (Photo: Iakov Filimonov / 123rf.com)

Purchasing criteria

Workbenches are very varied and offer very particular characteristics that you should consider in order to make the best purchasing decision. Here are the most important criteria to keep in mind when purchasing your ideal workbench.

Materials

This is a fundamental aspect to consider when choosing a good workbench. The quality of the materials will make or break your projects as much as the materials of your tools. Workbench materials are:

Wood. A traditional heavy wooden workbench will generally give you the best stability. However, if you are looking for a folding bench, you should make sure that the leg material is high quality stainless steel.

You should also be sure to check that the wood has been specially treated against wear and tear from heavy use or the weather, and that it is waterproof. If it is not solid wood, at least make sure it is high quality MDF.

Plastic. If the surface of your workbench is plastic, make sure it's top-grade polypropylene. Similarly, the legs should be stainless steel to ensure maximum stability and strength.

In either case, it is important to make sure that the material that makes contact with the floor is truly slip resistant. Custom-made silicone rubber will usually suffice, although fixed wooden benches do not need these accessories as they are very heavy.

Be sure to check all these features in the product descriptions before making your purchase. Remember that if a product appears noticeably cheaper than average it is probably not made from the best materials.

Storage

When it comes to fixed workbenches, storage is critical. Since the bench is going to stay in the same space for a long time, you need to be able to arrange all your tools and materials so that you have them at hand. At the very least it should have some hooks, a couple of drawers and some shelving.

In the case of folding workbenches, make sure it has at least one shelf at the bottom to store the tools you are working with at the moment. Remember that there is always the possibility of purchasing a separate small cupboard to store all your tools.

Ease of assembly

In the case of folding benches, it is important to consider the ease with which you can move it from one place to another. In some cases it won't take more than a few seconds to disassemble and reassemble your bench, but there are more complex models that can take much longer to assemble, especially the first few times.

Generally you will not need any extra tools to assemble or disassemble your workbench. Some models have hand-adjustable screws made with ergonomic elements. Many workbenches allow height adjustment by means of metal rods that fit into custom-made holes in the legs.

There are also more sophisticated models on the market that are surprisingly simple to assemble. These are usually models made of plastic and have very sophisticated engineering that allows you to assemble your workbench literally in 2 seconds, by means of levers or buttons that unfold the structure.

"So when she wasn't sleeping, or listening to the storm, or playing on her workbench, she was flying." - Greg Rucka, Star Wars: Before Awakening

Work surface

When it comes to the surface of the workbench, the most important thing is to be clear about what you are going to use it for. Some portable workbenches offer a considerable space of up to two square metres, giving you more than enough work space for a variety of tasks.

However, some workbench surfaces are so small that they are basically just for holding your tool or the object you are going to work on. Either size of workbench is fine, but we recommend that you consider which size is best for you.

For example, if your interests are carpentry or plumbing, you may not need more space than your tool takes up, and you can have an additional table for all the extra space you need. But if you need to work with larger materials, it is advisable to get a bench with a larger surface area.

Stability

As mentioned above, the most important thing about any workbench is its stability. Regardless of its size, your workbench must be a 100% reliable tool to place heavy objects safely and exert force without fear of having an accident.

The best way to recognise if a workbench is stable is to make sure that the leg structure is made of stainless steel and that it has silicone rubbers on the ends. In addition, the assembly mechanism must fix the parts perfectly. If the bench is made of wood, the heavier it is, the more stable it will be.

Remember that when working with heavy machinery, safety is the most important thing. Be sure to check the description of the article to see what the maximum weight of the product you are interested in is. If you can't find the information there, you can always contact the manufacturer to solve all your doubts.

Safety first. It is worth investing in a table that you can rely on 100% (Photo: Maxim Blinkov / 123rf.com)

(Featured image source: Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/ 123rf.com)

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