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The best workbench

Some workbenches are equipped with leveling feet, which come in handy if they’re installed in garages or sheds with uneven floors.
Some workbenches are equipped with leveling feet, which come in handy if they’re installed in garages or sheds with uneven floors. (BestReviews)

No matter the size of the project, having a workspace to accommodate it is of the utmost importance. You want to have enough room to spread out tools and supplies without feeling pressed for space. Workbenches emerge as the right workstations for professionals as well as DIYers, hobbyists, crafters, and tinkerers.

While workbenches share the same basic features, including sprawling tabletops, they're available in countless designs. This makes it something of a challenge to narrow your choices, especially if you're looking for a workbench that offers storage or portability.

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To help get you started, our buying guide covers everything you need to know about workbenches, plus we're sharing a few of our favorites at the end. Our top choice, Seville Classics' Workbench on Wheels, remains a customer favorite for its space-saving design and spacious drawer for tools.

Considerations when choosing workbenches

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Types of workbenches

Table: Classic workbenches are stable, sprawling tables with solid construction. Given their durability, most medium- and heavy-duty workbenches fall into this category. Some designs can support as much as 3,000 pounds, and the weight limit is usually listed with the product information.

Wall-mounted: Wall-mounted workbenches are secured to the wall and free up valuable floor space. Some of them are L-shaped and jut out from the wall, while others fold up when they're not in use. While they're space-savers, wall-mounted workbenches can be somewhat limiting because they don't support heavy materials.

Portable: Portable workbenches are set on wheels, making them handy options for those who need versatility in their location. The wheels often have locking mechanisms to keep them stable during use. It's common for portable designs to serve as secondary workbenches.

Storage: Storage workbenches are multipurpose solutions to keep essential tools and supplies within reach. They may have drawers, shelves, cubbies, compartments, or pegboards. Certain workbenches in this category have modular designs in which storage layouts can be fully customized.

Features

Materials

Plastic workbenches are lightweight, affordable, and easy to clean. Unfortunately, they're far less durable than wood or metal designs. Well-made wooden workbenches are recommended for medium- to heavy-duty tasks, depending on the quality of their construction. Metal workbenches generally hold up well to heavy use and tend to last the longest if maintained.

Tabletop thickness

There's no standard thickness for workbench tabletops. This is partially due to differences in materials and construction. It should be noted that thicker tabletops aren't necessarily better quality -- some 1.5-inch tabletops are dense and incredibly durable, while some 3.5-inch tabletops aren't as solid and might feel flimsy.

Electrical access

If power tools or lights are used on a regular basis, it's best to choose a workbench with electrical access. Some designs feature holes or notches for power cords, while others have built-in power strips or light sources.

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Price

Light-duty workbenches cost $200 and below. Classic workbenches, including those with storage features, run between $250 and $600. Heavy-duty workbenches used by professionals and tradesmen range between $1,000 and $3,000.

FAQ

Q. Do workbenches come with stools or chairs?

A. Some do, though quality is hit or miss, because seating isn't the primary concern. For that reason, many people choose seating separately to find the most comfortable options. Some people forego seating all together and use anti-fatigue mats if they prefer working on their feet.

Q. Do workbenches arrive assembled?

A. Some smaller and portable workbenches are fully assembled. Mid-size and larger workbenches often arrive in pieces to facilitate shipping, so it's not unusual to get a few packages separating the tabletop, frame, and components.

Workbenches we recommend

Our take: Earns high marks for portability. Popular among professionals and hobbyists.

What we like: Has durable casters and lockable wheels. Convenient drawer holds quite a few tools.

What we dislike: Tabletop lacks the stability and durability of heavy-duty workbenches.

Our take: Useful option if you're looking for a multipurpose design to maximize limited space.

What we like: Customizable configurations with deep shelves. Assembly is fairly straightforward compared to other workbenches.

What we dislike: Occasional reports that some pieces aren't very well cut.

Our take: Simple and solid from a reputable brand, this traditional workbench remains a customer favorite.

What we like: Supports up to 3,000 pounds. Extra-long working surface. Steel frame is sturdy and wobble-free.

What we dislike: With a large footprint, it's not for those with smaller garages or work areas.

Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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