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Our 10 Best Portable Workbenches in 2017
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We have analyzed thousands of consumer reviews, to give you the best products!
The portable workbench is an indispensable tool, which can be used as a tool stand, an accessible work surface and to clamp objects in position while they’re being worked on.
Materials that may be used with a workbench or work stand include different types of wood and metal, in a variety of (often awkward) shapes and sizes. Able to fit into tight spaces, the best portable workbench is often one that’s fold-able / collapsible and can be tucked away when not needed, making it a real space saver. Alternatively, some portable work benches come with plastic castor wheels, which can turn 360-degrees, enabling the workbench to be wheeled in and out of position.
When it is not possible to install a long workbench across the length of a garden shed or general work area, a portable workbench is the best solution to perform quick fixes or detailed work projects.
Here is our guide to finding the Best Portable Workbench with tips on what to look for, the best brands, and what other consumers say.
What to look for
Work benches come in two basic designs. The first is a more traditional split design with two workbench surfaces which can be manoeuvred into a usable position. The second workbench is usually a flat surface, with a set of sturdy legs and fixed positioning; sometimes a larger workbench will come fitted with plastic swivel castor wheels to enable the owner to roll the bench into position and move it away when it’s not needed.
In the case of the traditional split design portable workbench, this will typically have 2 one-handed rotating clamp handles to adjust the distance between the two work surfaces. The adjustment can act as a clamp when wishing to hold pieces of metal, wood or other materials in a fixed position while being worked on.
The jaws that come with a split design may come already treated to prevent them warping over time due to various weather elements, being stored in cold sheds during the winter months, etc.
What To Know
Any portable workbench needs to be sturdy enough to provide confidence in the materials used in its construction. A workbench with too much flex or one that’s unevenly built, complete with a slant or wobble, presents a problem for the user.
It is useful to look for a workbench that offers both parallel and diagonal clamping, including peg clamping options, for true flexibility.
The feet for any workbench are a more important aspect than one might imagine. A set of four rubber feet that do a poor job of preventing sliding during a heavy sawing session could lead to a serious accident for the person attempting to cut through a piece of wood. Therefore, quality feet are needed to ensure the workbench will stay in exactly the position regardless of the floor surface that the bench is situated on.
Many portable workbenches can be folded flat for storage purposes when the bench is not needed. This creates more space in the work area for other activities.
Every workbench has a different holding limit to the weight of objects that can be placed on it or clamped to it. The better work benches have limits between 350 to 550 pounds, with cheaper brands supporting lower weight limits in that range.
As with any work tool, the accessibility of replacement parts is an important consideration. One doesn’t want to buy a cheaper workbench from a company that may not be around next year. Particularly with a quality workbench, a reliable unit can be bought and enjoyed for many years, even decades, if well taken care of. This lowers the annual cost of ownership when choosing well.
- Black & Decker has been making power tools in Baltimore, Maryland since 1910. This multibillion-dollar company is a leader in functional equipment in the power tools, home improvement, and accessories market.
- The Wilmar Corporation has been providing power tools, wrenches, grease guns, and specialty tools since 1971. The company has a number of brands in the market, such as Performance Tech, AirTIGHT, and Project Pro.
- Seville Classics is an enduring brand that has been offering home improvement, home organization, and creative solutions for the garage, for over 35 years.
- SKIL Power Tools is part of Robert Bosch GmbH. The company has a range of power tools that are portable and aimed at the home improvement enthusiast. Quite often, SKIL products fill out the lower end of the market and are subsequently popular with budget conscious consumers.
What Consumers Say
Taking a look at consumers’ reviews, these are a few of the opinions most often voiced by buyers:
Sturdiness: The legs can have bracing near the bottom of their legs, which adds considerably to the stability of the metal frame. More expensive portable work benches often have this feature, which is worth investing in.
Metal vs. Wood Surface: The less expensive work benches use wooden work surfaces. The more expensive models often have steel work surfaces for increased durability. Furthermore, the carrying capacity is up to 550 pounds with the larger, professional models.
Assembly: Some light assembly is usually required for most portable workbench models. Nothing too strenuous, but patience and persistence will be needed. Most assemblies only take 10-15 minutes for small work benches. A set of your own tools to help with the assembly isn’t a bad idea either.
Legs: Some models have latches to lock the workbench legs in place, whereas cheaper models only have breakable, plastic thumb screws to lock the legs into position. The latches with larger work benches are more convenient.
Feet: Depending on the brand and model, the attached feet can pop off easily when being carried from one side of a work area to another. It is a good idea to use a silicon glue to secure the feet more firmly into position before using the workbench. Alternatively, drilling holes through both the feet and legs to affix bolts in place will be a more permanent solution for people who are confident enough to do this.