Though it’s a markedly more laborious endeavor than purchasing a ready-made item, requiring practice, dedication, patience, and commitment, there’s an inherent satisfaction that comes with crafting an object with your own two hands. Being privy to everything that went into producing an item allows for a much greater level of appreciation and sentimentality. And, whether you’re churning out motorcycle parts, circuit boards, carpentry, jewelry, or sculptures, few products are as universally helpful to DIY activities as the classic workbench.
In use since the Bronze Age, workbenches lend themselves to an utterly enormous variety of trades, hobbies, passions, and pursuits, and because they’ve existed for so long, different companies have begun producing these work tables in all manner of shapes, sizes, and constructions—each designed to be conducive to a different type of project and application. To help you sort out which type of table is best for your individual wants and needs, we’ve constructed this guide to the best workbenches for DIY projects.
A Solid Project Foundation
What To Consider When Purchasing A DIY Workbench
Regardless of what size or style of workbench you’re interested in, there are a few common factors that apply to just about every model currently in production. Below, we’ll be examining some of the more universal traits and factors to consider when in the market for a DIY workbench.
Intended Usage: We’d argue this is the single most important factor to take into account, as it ultimately serves as your jumping-off point to answer questions such as “how big of a table do I need?” and “what type of material should I opt for?” Realistically consider the type of projects that you’ll be taking on and how frequently you plan on using the workbench and then use those answers to help guide the rest of your purchase. You can always start small with a foldable entry-level item and then work your way up.
Table Size: Modern workbenches come in all kinds of sizes. The main metrics to focus on in this area are the total surface area of the workbench and the table height, though it should be noted that some tables off adjustable heights. You should essentially be determining the appropriate size bench based on the types of projects that you’ll be doing, and how much space said projects require.
Storage: By definition, every workbench will provide a sturdy tabletop surface to wrench or craft on, though when it comes to storage, each bench can vary pretty widely. Integrated drawers, shelving, cork boards, and other onboard storage solutions give workbenches more utility while also allowing for more compact storage options compared to a standalone workbench and tool cabinet. In fact, quite a few modern workbenches can be described as hybrids between traditional work tables and full-on tool chests.
Mobility: Workbenches are offered in stationary and mobile versions (with the latter typically on caster wheels or the like). Both kinds have their own respective strengths and weaknesses, with mobile units being more versatile, easier to transport, and often lighter, while stationery items are usually stronger, more sturdy, less prone to wiggling or movement.
Durability: Depending on what type of projects you’ll be doing, it may be important to factor in how durable a bench is, though most of the more rugged items in this space will readily advertise areas like maximum weight load, and whether or not they can be utilized for welding. These types of features obviously come at a premium, but they also allow for a wider range of utility.
Construction: This factor plays an enormous role in the overall quality of a workbench, as this area largely boils down to the materials and construction techniques used in a bench’s production. Areas to keep an eye out for here include more premium metals, reinforced and braced elements, and rugged finishes such as anodizing or powder-coating. The manner in which a workbench is pieced together also plays a substantial role in how strong or rugged it is.
Additional Amenities: Integrated storage is pretty common practice with modern workbenches, though over the last decade it’s become increasingly standard to see additional built-in features such as surge protectors and power strips, built-in lighting. These types of amenities are nice to have right out of the box, though they can also very easily be installed onto existing workbenches.
Manufacturer’s Warranty: When splurging on any gear or equipment, it’s reassuring to know the products that you’re purchasing will stand up to years of regular use and wear and tear, and the best way to guarantee this is by opting for a workbench that’s protected by a factory warranty. These retail insurance policies can range from a year or two, all the way up to unconditional lifetime warrantees.
WORX Pegasus Multi-Function Work Table
For those lacking the space—or who aren’t interested and/or ready to invest in a more robust stationary workbench—we’d recommend going with the WORX Pegasus. Weighing just 30lbs, this incredibly versatile and adaptable table can convert into a sawhorse that supports up to 1,000lbs, and can neatly fold up into a compact form for easy storage. On top of boasting built-in measuring guides, this beginner-friendly table also sports an integrated clamping system with two pairs of dog clamps and a set of bar clamps that are capable of exerting some 300lbs of pressure, and good for accommodating materials of up to 18” in size (vertically or horizontally). Entirely pre-assembled right out of the box, this workbench can also be linked to other Pegasus and WORX tables.
Table Dimensions: 25” D x 31″ W
Table Height: 32″
Construction: Molded ABS with steel supports
Max Supporting Weight: 300lbs as table (1,000lbs as sawhorse)
Dewalt Adjustable Height Portable Steel Welding Table
Simple, ultra-rugged, and capable of lending itself to an incredibly wide range of applications and uses, this Dewalt workbench is comprised of an 828-square-inch table that stands at just 8”, allowing it to double as a stool, bench, or small platform, while a set of multi-adjustable steel legs with a double-locking system also afford it the ability to act as a standard workbench as tall as 36”. The hardwearing all-alloy construction also makes this item good for taking on welding duties—an area that’s furthered by this product’s inclusion of integrated cable organizers, and a dedicated grounding stud. There’s also a built-in handle that makes transporting the table a breeze, and when it’s not in use, it’s wildly easy to stow away as it takes on an 18” D x 46” W x 8” H form.
Table Dimensions: 18” D x 46” W
Table Height: 8” – 36”
Construction: Cast steel
Max Supporting Weight: 1,000lbs
Craftsman 45″ Workbench with Drawer
A fantastic freestanding, entry-level stationary workbench, this Craftsman item offers ample utility and a suite of practical and useful features, all while coming in at under $250. Good for supporting as much as 800lbs, the wooden tabletop boasts more than 1,000-square-inches of workspace, plus there’s a smooth, ball bearing-guided drawer providing plenty of storage space and offering a 100lb load capacity. There’s also an integrated power strip with a trio of outlets and a pair of USB ports, a supplementary overhead storage compartment, an integrated pegboard, and multiple side-hooks for hanging tools, cables, shop towels, and the like. Mount some lighting, stock it with tools, and you’re well on your way to having a proper work station.
Table Dimensions: 23” D x 45” W
Table Height: N/A (Roughly 32″)
Construction: Steel & wood
Max Supporting Weight: 800lbs
ULINE Industrial Packing Table
When it comes to a straight-forward, no-frills workbench, it doesn’t get much better than ULINE’s Industrial Packing Table. Despite its name, this product is conducive to just about any hobby or craft, with enough strength and structural integrity to handle just about any project you can throw at it. Capped off with a 1.5” thick composite wood top with rounded edges, a steel frame with 12 and 13 gauge legs allow the bench to be raised or lowered from approximately 30” to 37”, while an integrated sub-table shelf affords storage space for power tools, materials, or other large items. It’s also worth noting that ULINE sells this same table with the option of stainless steel, regular steel, walnut, maple, laminate, or ESD tops.
Table Dimensions: 30” D x 60” W
Table Height: 30” – 37”
Construction: Composite wood & steel
Max Supporting Weight: 500lbs
COSCO SmartFold Workbench
Buying a more travel-friendly workbench can offer much better value, as these tables are often capable of doubling as a myriad of other surfaces or workstations. And such is the case with this rolling and folding workbench from COSCO (not to be confused with Costco). Riding on a set of locking, heavy-duty caster wheels, this workbench can also double as a bar cart, kitchen prep or serving table, or any number of other applications. Able to vertically collapse in just seconds, this workbench is equipped with a medium-density fiberboard top that can handle up to 350lbs, while its lower steel shelf can accommodate an additional 250lbs of tools and materials. COSCO also offers a butcher-block top for this product. At around 50lbs, carrying and transporting this table is fairly easy, as well.
Table Dimensions: 23. 5″ D x 48″ W
Table Height: 34”
Construction: MDF & industrial-strength steel
Max Supporting Weight: 350lbs
Husky Heavy-Duty 72” Mobile Workbench
This professional-grade workbench is made for those that are serious about their crafts and projects. Weighing 570lbs, this product’s solid hardwood top offers up more than 1,700 square inches of workspace, while its 18 key-locked, reinforced, ball-bearing-equipped, and rubber-mat-lined sliding drawers afford a collectively 33,545 cubic inches of storage for tools and hardware. Backed by a five-year limited warranty, this workbench can support a whopping 3,000lbs in total. Other noteworthy elements include half-a-dozen caster wheels (four of which are locking) and an integrated power strip with six outlets and two USB ports. The heavy-duty 19-gauge steel that comprises this workbench’s main body is also offered by Husky in white, black, or blue, all of which are available in a matte or gloss finish.
Table Dimensions: 24.13” D x 72” W
Table Height: 38” – 48”
Construction: 19GA steel
Max Supporting Weight: 3,000lbs
Snap-On Heavy-Duty Workbench
When it comes to the world of tools and hardware, few if any names carry the same weight or level of respect as Snap-On. And while this workbench is from the Wisconsin outfit’s more affordable Blue-Point range of products, it’s still backed by the same level of quality, durability, dependability, and craftsmanship that have made Snap-On one of the most eminent brands in its space. A simplistic design bestowed with an incredibly robust and rugged construction, this workbench boasts nearly 2,400-square inches of real estate for working, four table height options (30”, 33”, 36”, 40”), six 2” swivel-lock caster wheels, Slots-N-Dots on the side panels, and a 1,300lb table capacity supplemented via a lower shelf that can handle another 700lbs. This workbench is also compatible with a host of optional add-on drawers and other Snap-On storage solutions.
Table Dimensions: 32” D x 74” W
Table Height: 30” – 40”
Construction: Heavy-duty steel
Max Supporting Weight: 2,000lbs
Knaack 4-Drawer Rolling Work Bench
When buying any type of gear, it never hurts to look to what the pros are using, and if you happen to poke around at your local carpenter or construction site, there’s a very decent likelihood that you’ll find a Knaack workbench or tool chest. By far the most secure item on our list, this classic rolling workbench design is outfitted with four sliding steel drawers—equipped with ball-bearings and rubber liners–that are rated to handle 80lbs of tools and equipment and are protected behind a Watchman IV lock system and a pair of locking outer doors. Delivered fully assembled, this Knaack offering can handle 800lbs of weight. It’s insanely-durable nature is owed to its heavy-duty 16-gauge steel construction, which is further fortified via a special, highly-corrosion-resistant powder-coated finish.
Table Dimensions: 25” D x 40.6” W
Table Height: 37.5”
Construction: 16GA steel
Max Supporting Weight: 800lbs
Gladiator GarageWorks 5-Piece Workbench Set
If you want to jumpstart your DIY setup, the 5-Piece Premier Workbench Set from Gladiator GarageWorks is a stellar option. The main item is an 8’ wide, height-adjustable hardwood workbench fixed atop a heavy-duty welded steel construction frame and legs that can together support up to half-a-ton. Underneath the worktable is a gearbox and chest of drawers, both riding on caster wheels and sporting locking tread plate doors and recessed handles. Rounding out the set is a padded, swivel shop stool, and an integrated power strip acting as a backrest. Gladiator GarageWorks—or rather Whirlpool, which GGW is a subsidiary of—also fully stands behind its product with a full lifetime warranty.
Table Dimensions: 25” D x 96” W
Table Height: 28” – 42″
Construction: Heavy-duty steel & hardwood
Max Supporting Weight: 1,000lbs
Global Industrial Modular Workbench
Though it might look somewhat unassuming, make no mistake about it, this is pound for pound one of the strongest and most robust workbenches currently on the market. Built around an ultra-heavy-duty, all-welded frame made from 14-gauge top-shelf steel, with 2” square legs, this item is made up of seven drawers, each of which is good for holding 200lbs, while the workbench itself can handle an enormous 2.5 tons. In fact, if distributed evenly, this workbench can support as much as 8,000lbs. The tabletop is made from an equally-hardwearing Birch butcher block, while the legs are fitted with floor glides that offer extra stability and allow for a well-planted and sturdy workspace, even on uneven ground.
Table Dimensions: 30” D x 72″ W
Table Height: 35.25”
Construction: Steel & wood
Max Supporting Weight: 8,000lbs
The 20 Best DIY Home Improvement Projects
Now that you’ve got a proper workbench to build on, why not check out a few possible jobs to tackle in our guide to the best DIY home improvement projects?
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