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Get Any Project Done With The Best Workbenches

Every workshop needs a workbench, or two, or three. I actually have three in mine, four if you count the portable one. While some people like to build their own, it’s a lot faster and easier to buy one or buy a kit. That also ensures that you’ll have a workbench that’s going to hold up under heavy duty use.

The workbench is the center of the workshop, providing a place to work on projects, set your parts when you’re not working with them, store tools, and whatever else needs to be done. Without a workbench, you’re stuck with trying to find somewhere else to work and often that somewhere is someplace that’s going to get your girlfriend or wife upset at you!

Picking a workbench can be tricky, especially for those of us engaged in a variety of different tasks. Check out our list of the best workbench in 2021 and the buyer's guide below for some things to look for in your ideal workbench, before making a selection.

Here are the best workbenches of 2021

best wood workbench

Rockler Beech Wood Workbench

This Beech topped workbench is 72-1/2” long by 19-5/8 inches wide, with a 1-3/16-inch thick top. The end vice runs almost full width, providing plenty of clamping area. Bench dog holes run the full length of the workbench, along with the front legs for use as a workpiece support. A large tool tray is mounted under the workbench, leaving the top clear for working. It comes with four steel-cored bench dogs.

best Garrett Wade Folding Workbench

Garrett Wade Folding Workbench

This unique workbench from Garrett Wade is the only true folding woodworking bench I’ve ever seen. It folds into its cabinet for storage against the wall, for those who have to share their workshop space with cars and other things. Yet it still has both front and end vices, along with a row of holes in the benchtop for the bench dogs. A drawer in the cabinet provide storage for small tools. The top, which measures 28-by-43-1/2 inches and legs are solid red beech.

Sam’s Club Rolling Workbench

I was truly impressed when I first saw this workbench. I dont think I've ever seen a workbench with as much storage in it. The 12 steel drawers each hold 30 pounds of tools and parts plus have rubber padded pads to keep things in place and from getting scratched up. It also has a lockable cabinet to store larger tools, such as power tools. The hardwood top is nice and thick for mounting things to or just working on. Not only that, but the whole thing is movable, mounted on 5-inch heavy duty casters. I cant think of much where this workbench wouldn't be useful.

2x4basics Workbench

Okay, this is just a kit, not a complete workbench. Youll have to buy the lumber yourself and assemble it. Nevertheless, you can make an eight foot long, 4-foot wide workbench, along with two shelves underneath and two riser shelves above. That provides lots of space for storing anything you need. Its easy to build, as the kit comes with the legs and shelf risers. All you have to do is cut the lumber and assemble it. Another nice detail about this kit is that you can customize the workbenchs size to meet your personal needs. That can give you the biggest possible workbench for your space availability, without wasting any space.

best Aero Manufacturing 72” x 30” Stainless and Galvanized Steel Workbench

Aero Manufacturing 72” x 30” Stainless and Galvanized Steel Workbench

This workbench has a heavy-duty 14 gauge stainless steel top with galvanized steel shelves. That makes it perfect for automotive repair and other tasks where oil and other chemicals might damage a regular wood-topped workbench. The upper and lower shelves provide ample room for storage of parts and tools, while a single drawer gives a good place for small tools. The workbench is 72 inches long by 30 inches deep.

Buyer's Guide

Anyone who does any amount of work with tools ends up needing a workbench. I went for years without one when I was younger and always had a problem finding somewhere to work. It wasn't just finding someplace that was available, but also someplace where I could work without damaging the surface I was actually working on. After all, tools and finishes tend to be a bit hard of most surfaces.

While most types of work can be done on pretty much any workbench, some types of work have specific requirements. Jewelry makers have their own special workbenches as well as welders and woodworkers. These specialty workbenches have evolved over the years to provide for the exact needs of that trade. Welding requires a heavy-duty metal workbench that can ground the part being welded and won’t be damaged by the high temperatures. Likewise, auto mechanics usually use a steel-topped workbench so that oil and grease can be cleaned off easily. So, always make sure the workbench you choose is appropriate for the work you're going to do.

Workbenches come in all shapes and sizes. For most do-it-yourselfers, the deciding factor for their selection ends up being a combination of available space and price. However, the configuration of the workbench itself is actually a much more important consideration. A properly made workbench can actually help you do the work much better than a simple tabletop can.

What Kind of Workbench do You Need?

Woodworking Workbench

This is a workbench with a hardwood top normally made of laminated maple. It's extremely flat as the bench needs to be able to help align the pieces being put together and ensure they're flat. It also has a sophisticated clamping system which allows for the clamping of large projects such as table tops and doors which can't be clamped effectively any other way.

General-Purpose Workbench

For those that don't do large complex woodworking projects, a simple workbench might do the trick. You still need a flat surface which is essential for aligning parts when gluing and clamping. But a simple workbench won't have the clamping system that a true woodworking bench will.

A general-purpose workbench is usually made with a wood top and metal legs. This provides a good combination of strength along with a smooth work surface. The better ones will have a hardwood top while lower priced ones will have plywood or particle board. Workbenches for woodworking will always have a laminated hardwood top which is extremely flat and smooth.

Portable Workbench

Another type of workbench to consider is a portable workbench. Even if you have a regular workbench in your shop, having a portable gives you more work area and flexibility. A portable unit can be used for quick repairs and tasks when your main workbench is filled with a project. Or, it can be taken to a remote location to provide you with a workspace when you need it.

Portable workbenches were originally developed for use on construction job site. However, they are just as useful in the garage workshop, especially for those who don't have a lot of room. Having something that you can set up to do the work and then fold or roll away when you are done helps maintain the functionality of your garage space.

The major difference between most portable workbenches and sawhorses is that these benches usually have some sort of clamping system built in so that you can use them to hold whatever you're working on.

To start, you want to make sure that the workbench you choose is actually going to help you do the type of work that you are planning on doing on it. If you do lots of different types of work, you may want to consider having more than one workbench with each one set up for a different type of task. You might also want to consider something like a standard workbench, with a portable for working on larger projects.

What to Look for in a Workbench

Strength

The strength of a workbench is of utmost importance. You’ll subject it to pounding, clamping, pushing, and stacking heavy materials on top of it. If the workbench isn’t strong enough, it will start wobbling and eventually break after a while.

A sturdy top is also critical for most types of work. Most manufacturers provide a plywood, particle board, or MDF work surface. Of these, the MDF is the smoothest but plywood is stronger. You need to consider if you are going to be pounding on the top and if so, you want to make sure you buy one that will offer soldi support without the top breaking.

Clamping

Woodworkers need to think of clamping capability more than anything else. Does the workbench have clamping built into it? Is it possible to use standard clamps with it? Is the top flat enough to ensure proper alignment of the workpieces when gluing them together?

Storage Space

For those who are doing other types of work on their workbench, storage space is often an important criterion. Being able to store your tools on or in the bench itself can be a great convenience as well as a space saver.

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