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8 Best Workbenches (2021 Review)

Workbenches can be classed into either folding or non-folding. The best workbenches should be built to last many years and you definitely pay for what you get in terms of build quality. As far as folding versions are concerned the best workbenches should be robust enough to support weights of well over 100kg yet versatile enough fold down into a profile small enough for easy portability and transportation. Typical dimensions for a folding workbench would be in the 800 x 600 x 100mm range and those workbenches should weigh between 10 and 15kg. Non-folding workbenches should be able to support a load of at least 200kg.

Some folding workbenches come with folding jaws, a very handy feature for supporting large workpieces or items difficult to clamp, although all folding workbenches should feature holes and grooves for clamping. Some models come with clamp pegs and quick clamps included as well.

I’ve spent a long time researching and compiling a list of the best workbenches available right now. Read on to see what I discovered…

What is the Best Workbench For You?

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Comparing the Best Workbenches

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • Folding / Non-Folding
  • Table Material
  • Table Dimensions
  • Folded Size (WxHxD)
  • Load Capacity
  • Table Jaws?
  • Holes and Grooves for Clamping
  • Weight
  • Cost
  • Our score
  •  
    • Best workbench for versatility and value
    • Folding / Non-FoldingFolding
    • Table MaterialParticle Board
    • Table Dimensions610x248mm
    • Folded Size (WxHxD)610x740x195mm
    • Load Capacity250kg
    • Table Jaws?Yes
    • Holes and Grooves for ClampingYes
    • Weight10.7kg
    • 4.5
    • CHECK PRICE →
    • Best workbench and sawhorse combination
    • Folding / Non-FoldingFolding
    • Table MaterialMoulded ABS
    • Table Dimensions787x635mm
    • Folded Size (WxHxD)890x635x125mm
    • Load Capacity136kg
    • Table Jaws?No
    • Holes and Grooves for ClampingYes
    • Weight13.6kg
    • 4.25
    • CHECK PRICE →
    • Best folding workbench with jaws
    • Folding / Non-FoldingFolding
    • Table MaterialCompressed Bamboo
    • Table Dimensions680x550mm
    • Folded Size (WxHxD)640x840x90mm
    • Load Capacity200kg
    • Table Jaws?Yes
    • Holes and Grooves for ClampingYes
    • Weight11.6kg
    • 4.25
    • CHECK PRICE →
    • Best plastic workbench
    • Folding / Non-FoldingFolding
    • Table MaterialMoulded ABS
    • Table Dimensions960x630
    • Folded Size (WxHxD)850x550x150
    • Load Capacity453kg
    • Table Jaws?No
    • Holes and Grooves for ClampingYes
    • Weight12.2kg
    • 3.75
    • CHECK PRICE →
    • Best floor standing workbench
    • Folding / Non-FoldingNon-Folding
    • Table MaterialPremium red hardwood
    • Table Dimensions1800x640mm
    • Folded Size (WxHxD)n/a
    • Load Capacity950kg
    • Table Jaws?No
    • Holes and Grooves for ClampingNo
    • WeightUnknown
    • 3.5
    • CHECK PRICE →
    • Best basic folding workbench
    • Folding / Non-FoldingFolding
    • Table MaterialMDF
    • Table Dimensions1,000x600mm
    • Folded Size (WxHxD)1,000x600x100mm
    • Load Capacity100kg
    • Table Jaws?No
    • Holes and Grooves for ClampingNo
    • Weight14.0kg
    • 3.25
    • CHECK PRICE →
    • Best budget free-standing workbench
    • Folding / Non-FoldingNon-Folding
    • Table MaterialMDF
    • Table Dimensions1500x600mm
    • Folded Size (WxHxD)n/a
    • Load Capacity200kg
    • Table Jaws?No
    • Holes and Grooves for ClampingNo
    • WeightUnknown
    • 3.25
    • CHECK PRICE →
    • Best light weight folding workbench
    • Folding / Non-FoldingFolding
    • Table MaterialMoulded ABS
    • Table Dimensions1010x600mm
    • Folded Size (WxHxD)850x600x110mm
    • Load Capacity455kg
    • Table Jaws?No
    • Holes and Grooves for ClampingYes
    • Weight10.4kg
    • 4
    • CHECK PRICE →

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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Workbenches

Black+Decker Workmate WM536Black+Decker Workmate WM536

Best workbench for versatility and value

Build Quality
Versatility
Ease of use
Value for Money
Overall
4.5
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Black+Decker Workmate WM536 review

Specifications

  • Folding / Non-Folding: Folding
  • Table Material: Particle Board
  • Table Dimensions: 610x248mm
  • Folded Size (WxHxD): 610x740x195mm
  • Load Capacity: 250kg
  • Table Jaws?: Yes
  • Holes and Grooves for Clamping: Yes
  • Weight: 10.7kg

The BLACK + DECKER Workmate WM536 is probably the best workbench because it’s simple, reliable and easy to set up. 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. It can support up to 250 kg but can easily be carried around too. The other handy thing about the frame on this 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. They come in 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. They include four pegs to give you more clamping 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.

Pros

  • I’m a big fan of the two different working heights. Folding the legs away lets the workbench sit on another set of plastic feet. It’s great for large items or when you need a sawhorse.
  • The worktop is seriously tough. It’s made to withstand rough handling without being too heavy. It’s not a single piece of timber, so it won’t warp either.
  • It’s a serious workbench for the money. It features lots of clever design without costing too much for even the casual DIYer.
  • Weighing just 10.4kg, this is a genuinely portable workbench. It doesn’t take up much room when folded flat either.

Cons

  • Users have commented on how bad the instructions are. You need to do a bit of assembling, but the included guide might be more confusing than anything else.
  • There’s a lot more plastic in the construction of this workbench than on the old BLACK + DECKER Workmates. The plastic seems sturdy, but it can’t match steel for sturdiness.
  • This is a workbench designed for light DIY applications. It’s not made from a heavy duty frame and wouldn’t last for long on a building site.

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WORX WX051 Pegasus Multi-Function Work Table and SawhorseWORX WX051 Pegasus Multi-Function Work Table and Sawhorse

Best workbench and sawhorse combination

Build Quality
Versatility
Ease of use
Value for Money
Overall
4.25
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WORX WX051 Pegasus Multi-Function Work Table and Sawhorse review

Specifications

  • Folding / Non-Folding: Folding
  • Table Material: Moulded ABS
  • Table Dimensions: 787x635mm
  • Folded Size (WxHxD): 890x635x125mm
  • Load Capacity: 136kg
  • Table Jaws?: No
  • Holes and Grooves for Clamping: Yes
  • Weight: 13.6kg

Worx are one of those decent budget brands that come up with some ingenious products. The WX051 Pegasus work table is definitely one of those successes. It’s a sturdy folding table that is packed with clever little features.

The first thing I like about the Pegasus is that it’s a 2-in-1 system. You can use it as either a flat top workbench or as a folding sawhorse for large stock materials. It doesn’t take much effort to fold the workbench out, and everything snaps nicely into place, making it feel rock solid.

It comes complete with two handy squeeze clamps that fit into channels on the surface of the workbench. There are also four plastic pegs that fit through the dog bench holes for clamping oddly shape objects.

Pros

  • Folding the sawhorse out is simple, you pull the legs apart until the middle brace locks. Then simply pull up the worktop on both sides and you have a workbench. It couldn’t be simpler.
  • I like the little storage pockets built into the surface. It’s always handy to have somewhere to keep screws and other bits when you’re working on a project.
  • The clamping support slots are made from aluminium, making them reliably sturdy. The clamps slide easily along the channels as well.
  • The leg construction means this is a solid and sturdy workbench. Compared with the STANLEY FatMax Express, there’s hardly any wobble at all.

Cons

  • This isn’t the strongest workbench on my list. The maximum load capacity is just 136kg when unfolded. I wouldn’t want to use this workbench for anything but light work.
  • Users have reported issues with faulty clamps. They can slip inside the support slots, or break under strain.
  • At more than 13kg, this is a heavy workbench compared with the lightweight STANLEY FatMax Express.
  • It’s not the most affordable workbench on my list. Compared to the bargain Workmate WM536, this is an expensive bit of kit.

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Bosch PWB 600 Work BenchBosch PWB 600 Work Bench

Best folding workbench with jaws

Build Quality
Versatility
Ease of use
Value for Money
Overall
4.25
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Bosch PWB 600 Work Bench review

Specifications

  • Folding / Non-Folding: Folding
  • Table Material: Compressed Bamboo
  • Table Dimensions: 680x550mm
  • Folded Size (WxHxD): 640x840x90mm
  • Load Capacity: 200kg
  • Table Jaws?: Yes
  • Holes and Grooves for Clamping: Yes
  • Weight: 11.6kg

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 200kg, and it can handle pieces up to 525mm wide and 34mm 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, and they’re stowed away on the bench when not in use.

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.

Pros

  • The build quality is what you’d expect from a brand like Bosch. Everything feels sturdy and well built. You get what you pay for, this bench feels like it’ll last a lifetime.
  • I’m a big fan of the bamboo worktop. It’s as tough as old boots, has a brilliant strength to weight ratio, and won’t warp with time.
  • Thanks to the multiple support stretchers in the frame, there’s hardly any wobble compared with the Workmate WM536. It’s mighty as well as light weight.
  • There’s a handy drawer that slides out from underneath the worktop. It’s useful for storing little bits and pieces you need on the job.
  • You can open and close this workbench in seconds. The action is smooth and doesn’t take lots of fiddling with butterfly screws or hinges.

Cons

  • For a little folding workbench, it’s awfully expensive. Compared with the Workmate WM536, it’s not affordable for a lot of casual DIYers. Unless you use it all the time it’s hard to justify.
  • The workbench doesn’t overhang the frame all the way around. This can cause issues if you try to clamp something large to the worktop. There’s not enough clearance for squeeze clamps on the front of the table.
  • The jaw clamping capacity is just 85mm. You could use the blade clamps, but for a portable workbench I was expecting a bit more.
  • Several users have reported mould growing on the worktop after being stored in garages.

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Keter Master Pro Folding Work TableKeter Master Pro Folding Work Table

Best plastic workbench

Build Quality
Versatility
Ease of use
Value for Money
Overall
3.75
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Keter Master Pro Folding Work Table review

Specifications

  • Folding / Non-Folding: Folding
  • Table Material: Moulded ABS
  • Table Dimensions: 960x630
  • Folded Size (WxHxD): 850x550x150
  • Load Capacity: 453kg
  • Table Jaws?: No
  • Holes and Grooves for Clamping: Yes
  • Weight: 12.2kg

Israel-based resin masters Keter have created what I think is the best plastic work bench on the market today. Their work table is ultra-portable and folds down completely flat. It’s 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. It then folds down like a magician’s table, it’s quick and easy to set up.

With a load rating of a massive 453 kg, you can hold up pretty much anything you want. The clever clamping system 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.

Pros

  • With a massive load capacity of 453kg, it’s the strongest folding workbench I’ve tested out. That’s four times the load capacity compared with the Sealey FWB1000.
  • Seeing as it’s made entirely from plastic and metal, there’s no chance of mould compared with the Bosch PWB 600.
  • You can never have enough clamps in a workshop. If you get this workbench, you can add two to your collection. I think that’s brilliant.
  • The way that Keter have moulded the plastic makes this an incredibly strong and rigid workbench. The cell structure adds strength in all directions, stopping it from bending or twisting.
  • I like the “locked” tab that appears when you click the central support into place. It doesn’t leave any room for doubt, you know it’s ready to work.

Cons

  • Keter want you to open the workbench by placing it on the floor and lifting it up. Lifting 12kg in this way is not a particularly back friendly motion. And it might not be possible if you have mobility issues.
  • The included clamps are good quality, but it takes a while to get used to the clamping system Keter have designed. It’s not as intuitive or easy to use as the Workmate WM536.
  • When the table is folded up, the legs wobble around. It gets annoying when you’re transporting the table, I’d prefer it if they were held by clips.
  • Several users have complained that the edges of the worktable can get chipped and broken over time.
  • You’re quite limited in what you can clamp down to the table. Compared with the Bosch PWB 600’s opening jaws, you only get two clamps in set channels.

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Arbor Garden Solutions Heavy Duty Work TableArbor Garden Solutions Heavy Duty Work Table

Best floor standing workbench

Build Quality
Versatility
Ease of use
Value for Money
Overall
3.5
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Arbor Garden Solutions Heavy Duty Work Table review

Specifications

  • Folding / Non-Folding: Non-Folding
  • Table Material: Premium red hardwood
  • Table Dimensions: 1800x640mm
  • Folded Size (WxHxD): n/a
  • Load Capacity: 950kg
  • Table Jaws?: No
  • Holes and Grooves for Clamping: No
  • Weight: Unknown

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. It’s ideal for 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, this is it. If you want to attach a vice to transform your shed into a workshop, this is your best option. It comes delivered as a flat pack that needs putting together. It’s a simple process and the good people at Arbor have made the process easy with videos and detailed instructions.

Pros

  • This is as close as it gets to a “proper” woodworker’s bench on my list. It’s the sort of permanent structure that turns a shed into a workshop.
  • The unbeatable 950kg weight capacity is totally unbeatable. It can take more than double the weight compared with the Keter Master Pro, it’s nearest rival.
  • If you’re prepared to put a little work into finishing the timber, this could be a seriously handsome bit of workshop furniture.
  • Putting the bench together is a simple process and can be achieved without special tools. You could assemble it with just a screwdriver if you need to.

Cons

  • It’s delivered in a pretty rough and ready state. Don’t expect beautifully finished surfaces or a waxed worktop. You need to put some effort in to make it look good.
  • Compared with the Workmate WM536, this is hardly a portable bit of kit. However, if you put it on castors, it would be more versatile than a fixed bench.
  • You should check the height carefully before making a purchase. 900mm is ideal if you’re quite tall but might be a bit much for anyone else.

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Sealey FWB1000 Portable Folding Workbench  Sealey FWB1000 Portable Folding Workbench

Best basic folding workbench

Build Quality
Versatility
Ease of use
Value for Money
Overall
3.25
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Sealey FWB1000 Portable Folding Workbench review

Specifications

  • Folding / Non-Folding: Folding
  • Table Material: MDF
  • Table Dimensions: 1,000x600mm
  • Folded Size (WxHxD): 1,000x600x100mm
  • Load Capacity: 100kg
  • Table Jaws?: No
  • Holes and Grooves for Clamping: No
  • Weight: 14.0kg

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. It can easily hold up to 100kg across its rigid steel construction and thick MDF top. At 14kg in weight, it’s still portable though, with an ergonomic handle when you need to take it with you.

It doesn’t come with any clamps or clever tilt features. However, the Sealey folding workbench gives you a printed protractor and measurements up to 960mm along one straight edge. It’s a versatile folding table, what more could you need?

Pros

  • I like the simplicity of this workbench. Compared to the Keter Master Pro, it might not have clever features, but it can double up as a regular table.
  • It comes with a drop-in crossbar for extra rigidity. It sits between the sets of legs and stops them from buckling inwards.
  • You can fold the table away completely flat. It has a much bigger surface area than the Workmate WM536 when unfolded as well.
  • I’m a big fan of the printed ruler and protractor on the worktable. You can never have too many ways to measure things!

Cons

  • Some users have found the corners of the worktop are damaged on arrival. Always make sure you check the condition of the worktable on delivery.
  • Quite a few tables have been delivered with loose nuts and bolts. You should go around the table with a spanner and make sure everything’s tight before using it.
  • MDF isn’t a material famous for its weather resistance. The surface of the worktable is coated, but if it gets damaged it might not last for a long time.

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Hardcastle Black Steel 2 Tier Work BenchHardcastle Black Steel 2 Tier Work Bench

Best budget free-standing workbench

Build Quality
Versatility
Ease of use
Value for Money
Overall
3.25
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Hardcastle Black Steel 2 Tier Work Bench review

Specifications

  • Folding / Non-Folding: Non-Folding
  • Table Material: MDF
  • Table Dimensions: 1500x600mm
  • Folded Size (WxHxD): n/a
  • Load Capacity: 200kg
  • Table Jaws?: No
  • Holes and Grooves for Clamping: No
  • Weight: Unknown

You can never have enough storage space. I like that Hardcastle’s two-tier bench gives you both a solid worktop and a massive shelf to stow your tools underneath. You can’t fold it up and take it with you. However, 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. The frame is as solid as a rock and can take a beating. 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 though. You need 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.

Pros

  • Decent storage is often hard to come by. These simple but sturdy racks are just the right thing for a garage, workshop, or studio.
  • The shelf height is completely adjustable. There are 25 keyhole cut-outs to choose from along the length of the legs, making this a wonderfully versatile system.
  • If you’re looking for an affordable workbench and storage system, this is it. Compared with the Bosch PWB 600 it’s within the budget of even casual DIYers.

Cons

  • Be prepared to fiddle around when you’re putting this workbench together. The tabs that hold up the shelves are temperamental. Once you’ve got the knack it’s OK though.
  • The MDF top isn’t the strongest surface for a workbench. It’s fine for storage but don’t start beating on it. You can replace it with a more substantial top if you plan on heavy work.
  • Be aware if you store this workbench in a damp shed. Moisture can warp the MDF parts out of shape.

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STANLEY FatMax Express Folding WorkbenchSTANLEY FatMax Express Folding Workbench

Best light weight folding workbench

Build Quality
Versatility
Ease of use
Value for Money
Overall
4
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STANLEY FatMax Express Folding Workbench review

Specifications

  • Folding / Non-Folding: Folding
  • Table Material: Moulded ABS
  • Table Dimensions: 1010x600mm
  • Folded Size (WxHxD): 850x600x110mm
  • Load Capacity: 455kg
  • Table Jaws?: No
  • Holes and Grooves for Clamping: Yes
  • Weight: 10.4kg

One of the biggest names in DIY, STANLEY know a thing or two about making the best folding workbench. The solid plastic construction and wealth of clamping holes makes this a seriously handy and portable bit of kit.

Weighing in at just over 10kg, you won’t have any problems picking it up and taking it with you. The extendable handle on one end gives you plenty of grip too. It has a good size worktop for a folding workbench, and there’s an X shaped set of holes cut out for accurate clamping.

The construction of the worktop is rigid cellular plastic that feels solid and shouldn’t be prone to warping or mould. There are plenty of dog bench holes machined into the work surface. They give you almost unlimited clamping options for bits of timber in almost any shape.

The folding action is quick and easy too. Simply press the button and the legs swing out and lock into place. Then when you’re done, press the button again to unlock the legs and pack it away. It all folds down nice and flat for storage too.

Pros

  • The sturdy plastic worktop isn’t going to warp or go mouldy. Compared with the thin MDF top on the Hardcastle, this is much more suitable for woodworking.
  • If you want a light and portable workbench, compared to the Sealey folding table this is the best choice. Just over 10kg is light enough for most people to move it around.
  • It folds down to a small size for storage. It’s narrow enough at just 110mm to slide under a piece of furniture if space is tight.
  • You can clamp the workpiece down horizontally or vertically to the workbench. Use the dog bench holes with pegs or G clamps and you can hold down just about anything.

Cons

  • It’s not the most stable workbench for sawing. Compared with the rock solid Bosch PWB 600, the bracing is high up on the legs.
  • Compared with the Workmate WM536, this workbench lacks a horizontal footplate. You can’t keep the workbench steady with your foot during use.
  • The cellular plastic construction means the underside of the bench isn’t flat. This makes it a pain when you’re using narrow clamps.

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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?

Folding or Free-Standing

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, Plastic and Metal Workbenches

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.

Hold Steady with a Vice

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.

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Workbench FAQs

Why do I need a workbench?

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.

Do I need a folding workbench?

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.

What’s the correct height for a workbench?

Most workbenches are designed to be around one metre tall, to give you the best working position. Some workbenches 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.

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