Not every project or repair job or construction plan offers the convenience of a workshop. Even still, in the workshop, there might not be allowable space. Many times we just need a portable workbench to see the project or job through. Portable work benches or tables offers the flexibility of a workshop bench while being portable enough to take to the project.
They are great for supporting object to facilitate better access, able to offer a sturdy vise area and are great for offering support for cutting and grinding applications. What ever the exact need or purpose, a portable workbench is more than just a handy tool, it can make the difference between a good job and a bad job.
History of the Portable Work Bench
The concept of a portable work bench has been around for some times in various incarnations. Barrels, buckets, cinder blocks, tail gates and more have all be used as “portable” work benches. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that a specifically designed bench was created.
Designed by Ron Hickman, the portable work bench concept was sold to Black and Decker who released the “Black and Decker Workmate”. It has elements that allowed it to be used as a vise, a stool, places for retaining tools and more. It could be folded down and easily carried by one person. In addition, it has various measurements etched onto the main platform to make it easy to conduct a range of applications and jobs.
Overall, the “Workmate” became so popular that over 30 million were sold to date. It didn’t take long for other companies to join the fray and today there are different versions of the work bench on the market. Many of different designs but the concept remains the same and many are quite affordable being in the sub $100 market. Below are five great work benches that will provide years of good service.
Five Great Portable Work Benches
Best Portable Work Bench
Part of the Workmate family and brand, this small, compact tool bench is light weight yet sturdy. The Black & Decker Model #WM125 Work Bench will hold up to 350 pounds and the vise jaws are resistant to warping. The threaded rods and the tight design are great for retaining unusually shaped objects.
It folds flat for easy storage and portability and weighs less than 20 pounds. This is a great, no nonsense, portable workbench and would be great for both residential and commercial use.
Best Multipurpose Workbench
Designed to be multipurpose, this portable work bench – Wilmar Model #W54025 Work Bench has a protractor, ruler and grid painted on the top surface for easy reading. It will support up to 200 pounds an itself is lightweight, weighing less than 16 pounds.
It has a locked in height of 31 inches and it has two blocks for extra holding capacity. It folds flat, with only a six inch height. This is a great bench for use around the house or in the garage.
Best Portable Clamping Workbench
Called a portable, clamping, bench, this specific tool – Grizzly Model #G8586 Work Bench weighs in at a little under 20 pounds. It has two handle, threaded rods for locking in the vise mechanism and plastic blocks for extra holding capacity. The vise has a 4.5 inch width and the table doubles as a great saw horse.
It has a height of 35 inches. It also folds down flat and is very portable in terms of both weight and size. Overall, a great little bench for around the house or in the workshop.
Top Rated Portable Work Bench
This versatile work bench – Black & Decker Mdoel #WM225-A Work Bench can be a bench, a horse or a tool bench, all in one go. It is heavier duty than the M125 model and is a part of the “WorkMate” family. It can hold up to 450 pounds and has 4 vise attachments.
It weighs in 28 pounds and has a height of 30 inches. It can fold down flat for easy storage and would be excellent for cutting, planing, sanding and more. Perfect for residential or commercial use.
Best Portable Work Bench under $100
Designed to be used at home or on a construction site, this table – Keter Model #217679 Work Bench is versatile in terms of being able to handle a range of applications including mitering. This bench weighs around 31 pounds and can be set up in less than 30 seconds. It has two holding clamps that function as bar clamps as well.
As with any tool, always read and follow the operator’s instructions and in the case of a work bench the set up instructions. Proper set up and reading the safety instructions can help prevent injury. Any time you are working around or with tools, make sure to wear the appropriate safety
gear and as always be aware of your surroundings for your safety and that of others.