This is an ingeniously designed, compact workbench that our DIY expert personally recommends.
A one-handed clamping system, foot rest, and vertical clamping option make this tiny workbench highly functional. While it isn't very long, the heavyweight steel design makes it capable of supporting up to 550 pounds.
A few individuals noted that the instructions could have been a little easier to follow.
While this portable workbench is designed to be best for a miter saw, it can accommodate a wide variety of tasks.
When folded, this workbench is only 4.4 inches thick and the built-in handles make it easy to transport. The versatility of the workspace allows you to perform everything from sawing to glueing. It is capable of supporting up to 1,000 pounds.
You must be careful when setting this up as it's easy to accidentally pinch your finger.
Works like a dream for those who need to quickly set up and break down; our expert likes the built-in track with clamping tool.
Converts quickly between work table and sawhorse. Supports up to 300 pounds in work table mode and 1,000 pounds in sawhorse mode, thanks to steel supports and fittings. Can be joined with other Worx products. Clamps hold materials up to 18 inches wide. Folds to compact size and is fairly light (28 pounds).
At 32 inches in height, it is a little too low to work on comfortably.
Our expert notes that this inexpensive model is worth the money for a novice DIYer.
Very lightweight, at under 15 pounds, and compact, folding nearly flat, yet this little workbench is mighty tough, supporting up to 350 pounds. A flat surface and perfectly aligned peg holes help ensure accuracy when cutting. Clamps hold tight and accept pressure without twisting the item being secured.
The rubber foot caps tend to slip off, and table may sway under heavier loads without some kind of bracing.
This basic model is lightweight, portable, and adjustable, earning it our expert's approval.
This model only weighs 13 pounds, but it can support up to 300 pounds. It can be set up in seconds and folds down to a large briefcase size. If one isn't large enough, you can combine multiple tables to create a larger work space.
As with other folding workbenches, it can be easy (and painful) to pinch your finger if you're not careful.
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Whether you’re a weekend DIY hobbyist or a seasoned home improvement pro, you know the importance of a sturdy and strong work surface. One that will also allow you to quickly set up shop in the basement, attic, garage, or even off-site is a big plus. A portable workbench can provide you with a safe work surface in a movable format so you can tackle a variety of tasks in pretty much any location.
When setting out to purchase a portable workbench, you have a wide variety to choose from.
When considering the build of a portable workbench, there are three primary areas to focus on: work surface, support structure, and hardware. The failure of any one part can lead to the failure of the whole, so it’s important to verify that all three are durable and long-lasting.
Worksurface: This is usually made of plastic or some form of polypropylene resin, although some are crafted from wood or even steel. A lower-quality plastic will be lighter in weight but less durable. Wood is generally stronger than plastic, and it has the advantage of offering a completely flat surface on both the top and bottom, so clamps can easily be used on it. For the strongest work surface, choose a portable workbench with a surface made of steel.
Support structure: This comprises the legs and support struts of the portable workbench. While some support structures are made of aluminum, stick to the more common steel, which will provide more support and last longer.
Hardware: Any locking mechanisms, hinges, or other hardware should be crafted from metal. Some workbenches have hardware elements made of plastic, which can break far more easily than those made of metal.
Worksurface: The size of the work surface is a primary consideration when choosing a portable workbench. A larger surface provides more area for your projects and tends to be more stable than a smaller surface. If you plan to work on large projects, such as furniture, a larger work area is a must. Also consider the space in which you’ll be using the workbench, because a large portable workbench can quickly overwhelm a limited space.
Height: Your comfort when using a portable workbench is affected by the height of the work surface. A workbench that’s too low for you forces you to bend over and could result in back pain. The height varies from one model to the next, so be sure you know a bench is the right height for you before buying it. While not standard, some portable workbenches are adjustable, which is helpful if several people plan to use the workbench.
Weight: The weight of portable workbenches can vary widely from under 5 pounds to more than 50 pounds. A lighter workbench is easier to carry around but offers less stability and support, particularly for large projects. Lighter workbenches are also less durable. If you have your heart set on a light portable workbench, go with one constructed from plastic and aluminum.
Weight capacity: While most portable workbenches can hold up to 300 or 400 pounds, some are rated for up to 1,000 pounds. The higher the weight rating, the more you can do with your workbench. A bench with a higher weight capacity will probably cost more, so carefully consider how you’ll be using the workbench before buying.
As noted, the work surface can be made from various materials, but that isn’t the only factor that sets one apart from another. The work surface often has holes for accessories, such as bench dogs. Some also have a built-in ruler or various mounting areas for clamps or power tools. Some portable workbenches also fold down for use as a sawhorse.
When working on a project, you don’t want it moving around, so you’re going to need clamps. Some portable workbenches don’t come with clamps, but this is rare. Most include some form of clamping system, which varies depending on the workbench you buy. Know what type of clamps ship with a portable workbench (quick clamps, swivel peg clamps, or bench dogs, for example) in addition to how wide they open. The quality of the included clamps is a common complaint, so check the online comments section for the workbench to discover any problems in this area.
Look for reinforced legs with support struts. These are more stable and can generally hold more weight. The legs should also have robust locking mechanisms, so the workbench doesn’t buckle under the weight of your project. It’s also helpful to have legs with durable rubber feet to keep the workbench from moving around when in use.
While not standard, some portable workbenches include a drawer or other onboard storage option, which can be handy for keeping track of tools, accessories, or hardware for projects you’re working on.
Portable workbenches range in price from less than $40 to more than $300, with the average in the $80 to $90 range.
At the low end, you can find workbenches of lower quality, often made of aluminum and plastic. These tend to include few or no accessories. These are perfect for anyone who needs a compact work surface for lightweight projects.
Around the $80 to $90 mark, the build quality improves considerably. These workbenches tend to be more durable and stable and include a larger work surface. You receive more accessories like clamps with these workbenches, but pay attention to their quality, which can vary considerably.
Serious DIYers will want a high-quality portable workbench. These have better build quality, better accessories, and a weight capacity of up to 1,000 pounds. Some workbenches in this range are also designed to hold power tools such as saws or routers.
A. Yes, although you should avoid leaving it outside in bad weather. While some portable workbenches are advertised as weather-resistant, others will fade in the sun or rust in the rain. Take particular care with a workbench with a woodwork surface, because moisture can warp the wood.
A. While the overwhelming majority of them do fold up for transport or storage, some portable workbenches include wheels or casters. These allow you to easily roll the workbench around and are more suitable for transporting a workbench over a short, flat distance. Any wheels or casters should include some form of locking mechanism to keep the workbench from rolling while you work.
Workbenches that fold — no wheels — are much more common. When purchasing a workbench, note how it folds. Some fold flat for storage. A folding workbench should also have some form of lock or fastener to keep it from folding or unfolding unexpectedly. If you will be transporting the workbench frequently, be sure it includes some type of comfortable carrying handle, too.
A. Start by considering what you want to use the workbench for. If it’s an easy way to cut the occasional board, as opposed to building large furniture, a small, light workbench should do. Also, will you be using the workbench primarily at home, or will you be frequently taking it on the road? A lighter workbench is much easier to transport.
Finally, create a list of all the features you want in a portable workbench. Take these factors into consideration as you compare workbenches, eliminating those that don’t meet all your needs. Your final selection from the list of remaining workbenches depends largely on how strongly each workbench aligns with the features that are most important to you. Also, factor in price, if that’s a primary consideration.