In this guide we’ll look at the best workbenches for the UK market.
I’ve compared size, portability, style and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Workbench?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
The best workbench on the market!
For the ideal mix of reliability, portability and clamping ability, you can’t beat the BLACK + DECKER WM536. It’s the original and best folding workbench- designed to clamp objects of almost any shape when you need it and fold away flat when you’re done. You won’t know how you got by without one.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Workbench Reviews
Black+Decker Workmate WM536 Review
The BLACK + DECKER Workmate is probably the best workbench because it’s simple, reliable and easy to set up wherever you need it. The Workmate is the all-time classic folding workbench and has been helping DIYers and tradespeople since they started selling them back in 1972.
The WM536 Workmate has a lightweight but rigid folding frame that can support up to 250 kg but easily be carried around too. The other handy thing about the frame on this model of workbench is that you can set it to two different heights- simply fold in the bottom legs and you’ve got a low sawhorse as well.
The worktop itself is made from sturdy bamboo and the clamping edges have a V-shaped groove which are handy when you need to clamp pipes or other round stock materials. The dual cranks have a smooth action and let you clamp objects of all sizes, and the four included pegs give you more capacity as well.
I think the BLACK + DECKER Workmate is the best folding workbench. It’s often copied but never bested and you won’t regret adding it to your collection.
Bosch PWB 600 Work Bench 4 Blade Clamps Max. Load Capacity: 200 kg Review
The Bosch PWB 600 Work Bench is one of the best workbenches on the market with its solid design and quick and easy folding mechanism.
This foldable workbench is made from a combination of aluminium and bamboo making it durable and weather resistant. The bench folds down easily in just a few seconds for easy storage and is just 9 cm thick when folded.
This DIY work bench is extremely versatile as it can accommodate both heavy and large work pieces. Its maximum load is 200 kg and it can handle pieces up to 525 mm wide and 34 mm deep. It can be used as a garage work bench, a shed workbench or as a workshop bench.
The folding workbench comes with four clamps to enable you to fix unwieldy and awkward pieces with ease. You can even secure round pieces firmly.
The DIY work bench also includes a handy on-board storage compartment to store small tools and accessories.
Overall this is one of the best versatile folding workbenches you can find.
Keter Master Pro Folding Work Table Review
Israel-based resin masters Keter have created what I think is the best plastic work bench on the market today. The 17182239 work table is ultra-portable and folds down completely flat-ideal for throwing into the back of the car or when space is at a premium in your workshop.
It’s a compact and folding workbench that can be easily carried in one hand using the handle on the top. What makes this one of the best folding worktables is the opening action- you hold it on both ends and press the release buttons with your thumbs and it folds down like a magician’s table, quick and easy to set up.
With a load rating of a massive 453 kg, you can hold up pretty much anything you want, and the clever clamping system that saves space also means you get two removable squeeze clamps to use where you want as well. It’s not as light as the Workmate, but it’s a capable bit of kit.
Arbor Garden Solutions Heavy Duty Work Table Review
Looking like the sort of workbench that belongs in a proper workshop, the Arbor Garden Solutions Pressure Treated Workbench is a rustic thing of beauty. Standing at 6 feet long and with seriously chunky legs and cross bracing, you could hammer away on this for years without it breaking down.
Definitely not designed with portability in mind, this is the best workbench for carpenters and DIYers when you want storage as well as a solid bench to work on. Constructed from pressure treated CLS timber, it’s just as comfortable out in the garden as it is in the garage- it’s not going to rot away on you any time soon.
If you’re looking for a solid, chunky workbench that you can attach a vice to and transform your shed into a workshop, this is your best option. It comes delivered as a flat pack that needs putting together, but it’s a simple process and the good people at Arbor have made the process easy with videos and detailed instructions.
Sealey Portable Folding Workbench FWB1000 Review
Making quality tools and accessories since 1978, Sealey are a British success story when it comes to the best folding workbench. Leaving gimmicks and gadgets to the other guys their take on the workbench is reliable, durable and pleasingly simple.
It might look like a wallpapering table, but it’s a heavy duty work table that can easily hold up to 100 kg across its rigid steel construction and thick MDF top. At 14 kg in weight, it’s still really portable though, with an ergonomic handle when you need to take it with you.
Even though it doesn’t come with any clamps or clever tilt features, the Sealey folding workbench gives you a printed protractor and measurements up to 960 mm along one straight edge, which is pretty handy. It’s a versatile folding table, what more could you need?
Hardcastle Black Steel 2 Tier Work Bench Review
You can never have enough storage space, so I like that Hardcastle’s two-tier bench gives you both a solid worktop and a massive shelf to stow your tools underneath at the same time. You can’t fold it up and take it with you, but it’s the best free-standing workbench that won’t put a big hole in your wallet.
The workbench frame is made from powder coated steel, and the MDF top is sturdy enough without being too heavy. I wouldn’t use it for heavy work, but you could always replace the top with something more heavy duty because the frame is as solid as a rock. It has nice rubber feet as well so it won’t slide around or damage your floor.
It’s not the easiest thing in the world to put together, you have to use your common sense, but if you want a free-standing storage solution and workbench combination, you can’t go far wrong with the Hardcastle.
Things to Know Before Buying a Workbench
Before you pull the trigger on a new workbench, you need to figure out what you need it for. Do you need a light, slimline workbench that you can throw in the back of your car and work on site, or are you planning to beat on it with heavy hammers?
A folding workbench is incredibly handy- you can take your work surface with you to the job and hide it away when you don’t need it anymore. But they’re not designed for heavy duty work, and don’t expect it to hold hundreds of kilograms of weight.
If space is limited, you can’t expect to install a full-size carpenter’s workbench, but if you’ve got a large garage or shed then make the most of the space and put in a full-size free-standing workbench. You’ll have more room for storage and a steadier base to work on. Think of it as a more permanent solution.
Timber is a trusted material when it comes to making the best workbench- it’s strong, sturdy and can take a pounding. But don’t forget that hard resinous plastics can be just as tough in some applications. A metal workbench might sound too heavy, but a clever mix of aluminium and steel construction can work well.
I think the best portable workbenches come with inbuilt vices to hold things steady. It’s just one more tool you don’t have to carry with you. The BLACK + DECKER Workmate is the classic version- you have one fixed jaw and another jaw that winds in and out with two cranks to grab hold of materials while you work on them.
You could always use the kitchen table, but after a while your DIY projects will need their own space and somewhere where you can bang around without worrying about scratching the surface or spilling a bit of paint. They’re great for clamping things down for sawing, drilling, planing or just about any other task you can think of.
It depends what you plan on doing- if you’re going to move around a lot, then get yourself the best portable workbench that you can throw in the back of your car. If you don’t have a lot of space, you need a workbench that can be stowed away flat when not in use. If you’ve got plenty of room, then a free-standing solution is much more appropriate.
Most workbenches are designed to be around one metre tall, to give you the best working position. Some workbenches, like the Wolf Craftsmans bench, are height adjustable which is great if you’re very tall or a little shorter than average. It’s important to get a workbench that suits you, to avoid discomfort in the long run.