Last updated on August 10th, 2021
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How To Choose The Best Portable Workbench
Do you have to share your project work surface with your kids’ crafts, all your DIY bits and pieces or even someone eating their dinner? You need your own portable workbench. Imagine having your own work surface, a bench that you can unfold whenever you want to work on your own projects and take to wherever there’s a convenient corner to work in. If you’re lucky enough to have your own workshop, you can even leave your portable workbench up, or take it over to your mate’s for joint work sessions.
Our review of the Best Workbenches shows you all the best choices you have for your portable workbench. All are lightweight, to an extent, and easy to assemble, take down and transport. We list the pros and cons of each model and point out their best features. Our Buyer’s Guide guides you in what to look for in making your purchasing decisions.
Read my full review of the Bosch PWB 600 Work Bench which I have been using for over 6 months.
Looking for a more substantial garage workbench? – Check out my top recommended garage workbenches to consider here
The 7 best workbenches which we have reviewed in this guide are:
- Bosch PWB 600 Workbench – BEST PICK AFTER 6 MONTHS OF TESTING
- WORX WX051 Pegasus Multifunction Work Table – RUNNER-UP
- Keter 17182239 Master Pro DIY Folding Work Table
- Lumberjack LWM826 Folding Metal Work Bench Mate Stand
- Kreg KWS1000 Mobile Project Center
- Black and Decker WM536 Dual Height Workmate
- Black + Decker WM626-XJ Dual Height Tough Workbench
Top 7 Best Workbench reviews
1. Bosch PWB 600 Workbench
Watch my video review of the Bosch PWB 600 Workbench below
Over the years, I have had a few different portable workbenches but when it comes to the Bosch PWB 600 Work Bench, which I have now had the pleasure of using for over 6 months, it really is an amazing piece of kit so first off, I do highly recommend it.
To be honest, Black + Decker have a long way to go to reach the quality and design that this Bosch PWB 600 has, I can honestly say its German Heritage really does show. So the first thing you notice is the weight, at around 12kg, think it actually ways 11.6kg, it heavy enough so it doesn’t bounce around while working on it but not too heavy that it becomes cumbersome to move around and transport.
Next is the design, It made from Aluminium which is how they have made it fairly lightweight while still being very strong and super stable, aluminium is also rustproof so this is another bonus although I don’t use mine in the rain.
So before I purchased this model, I read some reviews that commented on it being difficult to open. I’m not sure where they were going wrong but it takes me around 3 seconds (yes I timed it) to open it. This is where the design shines, simply put your foot on the bar, there a sticker saying foot here, lift the bench up until you hear a loud click, fold out the side and it all clicks into place. I demonstrate this in my video review too if you want to see it in action.
Its worktop is 680mm wide by 550mm long and is made from 15mm thick bamboo, I was concerned about this at first but over the last 6 months its become clear the bamboo is very strong, its also waterproof too.
The workbench also has four clamping jaws that fit onto the working surface to hold down round and awkwardly shaped objects. The picture below shows it clamping a large piece of timber I used when making my raised beds but I sometimes use it for clamping circular pieces of wood when making garden furniture like wooden planters I like to make now and again.
A feature I do like is the storage tray which is useful for storing small items under the worktop such as screws. There is one small issue this has caused me though (told you this is an honest review), it’s difficult to fix a G-Clamp from the front of the workbench, there just not enough room but I usually just work around this by claiming somewhere else. I think I just need to learn to position my workpieces towards the back and sides of the table when clamping it down.
The worktop is in two parts; the front part is roughly 24cm and moves by means of the two screw handles to provide a gap of up to 8.5cm between the two halves.
Let’s just talk a little about dimensions as it’s sometimes I think is important when discussing work benches. It’s around 83cm tall by around 68cm wide and 9cm deep when folded down so its super compact for storing and maybe more importantly for some people, easy to transport too.
Height wise when open, its around 83cm tall, not bad, I think even taller people will find this a nice working height. When the vice is closed, you have a total workspace measuring 68cm wide by 55cm long, with the vice fully open, it gives you an extra 9cm for a total length of 64cm (68cm x 64cm when compared to 68cm x 55cm when closed).
As briefly mentioned, this Bosch workbench comes with four plastic bench stops also known as clamping blades, I actually call them climbing dogs although I’m not sure this is the right name. Basically, you insert them into the holes in the worktop to clamp larger items or irregularly shaped objects.
When they are not in use, the 4 clamps sit conveniently out of the way in the holes in a cross member as shown in the picture above. I find this keeps them within arms reach but out of the way when not in use.
- Simple to erect and use safely so you can start your project quickly (takes me 3 seconds to open).
- Large work surface compared to many alternative models.
- Strong aluminium frame with bamboo worktop which is very strong and waterproof.
- Easy to carry with one hand so anyone can use this workbench.
- Does not take up an excessive amount of storage space, even in the smallest workspace.
- Sturdy and versatile workbench so you can feel confident that it holds your projects safely.
- Height of work bench: 834 mm
- Length of work bench: 680 mm
- Dimensions (when folded up): 640x840x90 mm
- Max. clamping width (with clamp): 525 mm
- Max. clamping width (between bamboo boards): 85 mm
- Clamping depth: 34 mm
- Table dimensions: 680×550 mm
- Weight: 11.6 kg
- Max. load-bearing capacity: 200 kg
As mentioned, I have now used this work bench for over 6 months and it’s never missed a beat, it still works as well as the day it was delivered. I like that although it offers a fairly large workspace which is what I wanted, it’s also super compact when folded down.
I like that it takes only 3 seconds to open and about the same to close too. In terms of quality, it really is way ahead of most of the other models in terms of design and build quality. The only issue is the price, its expensive, twice the price of my previous Black + Decker model but its also twice the workbench. Overall, I would honestly recommend this model before any other but it really comes down to price. I would rather invest more knowing I ‘v got quality tools that will last for years. It also comes with a 3-year warranty if you register online too.
You can also read my other review of the Bosch PWB 600 Work Bench in my review here, it goes into a little more detail about why I recommend it.
2. WORX WX051 Pegasus Multifunction Work Table
The WORX WX051 Pegasus Multifunction Work Table is an exceptionally versatile work table as its title suggests, due to its innovative and efficient design. First and foremost, you get a working surface measuring 78cm by 63cm. It’s not the portable largest work bench on the market, but it holds up massive loads pretty well.
However, the most impressive thing about this table is that you can enlarge the work surface. All you have to do is attach another WORX Pegasus table to double up the working surface. The ground height to the top of this workbench is 81cm. This is a very workable height as it’s not too low that you have to hunch or too high for you to struggle to reach it.
The four legs of the WX051 Pegasus do a wonderful job by evenly sharing the weight of the working platform. They even lock in place so that there’s no movement or wobbling whilst you create your masterpieces. You can use this workbench anywhere, though the ideal floor surface should be flat. In addition, this table has an integrated bottom shelf for your essentials such as a toolbox, power tools, screws, drivers and more.
An impressive thing about this Work Pegasus is that it functions both as a workbench and saw table, and converts from the former to the latter in a matter of seconds. It features two bar clamps that open to 47cm that let you do all the sawing, cutting, drilling and nailing safely on anything clamped down. A measuring scale is engraved on this workbench to eliminate the need for measuring with a manual tape.
Another thing buyers have praised this table for is being lightweight at just 13kg. Better still, the table is pretty compact as it can be folded into a flat body, perfect for transporting and storage. However, online reviewers report that this table doesn’t lock in its folded position. You need to be careful when carrying it or devise your own locking system, such as bungee cords.
Despite its medium size, this workbench holds 136kg of load and up to a staggering 453kg in sawhorse mode. Now that’s something!
- Versatile table that works as workbench and sawhorse.
- Lightweight and foldable so it’s easy to carry and store.
- Made from robust aluminium-reinforced heavy-duty plastic for strength and durability.
- Integrated shelf lets you store your tools in plain sight for easy access.
- Can connect with other WORX tables to offer extra working surface.
- Supports an incredible amount of weight for your heaviest DIY projects.
- Ready to use out of the box.
- Three-year warranty backs up this durable and strong workbench.
- Tech specs:
- Working height – 81cm
- Load capacity – 136kg, 453kg in sawhorse mode
- Net weight – 13kg
- Tabletop – 78cm by 63cm
- Maximum material width – 47cm
- Doesn’t lock in its fold position.
- No designated carry handle.
The WORX WX051 Pegasus Multifunction Work Table is made to the highest standards and is reasonably priced too. It’s an obvious conclusion that this workbench is suitable for anyone seeking a portable workbench that can double up as a sawhorse. The supplied clamps plus the lower storage shelf add to the convenience of this workbench, and it easily connects with other WORX tables to offer increased working surface. But what’s of great interest is the heavy workload that this workbench can hold.
The WORX WX051 Pegasus Multifunction Work Table is our Runner-up selection in this review. This is the model to seriously consider if you’re looking for an affordable versatile workbench for your heavy-duty projects.
3. Keter 17182239 Master Pro DIY Folding Work Table
The Keter 17182239 Master Pro DIY Folding Work Table is advertised as a portable workbench for professionals on the go. This portable workbench is beyond easy to open, just fold down the legs, lift up the top level and raise the supporting vertical divider. That’s it.
This table features sturdy legs and is both lightweight and heavy-duty. The workbench unfolds to a wide workspace area. The length is 550mm and the width is 850mm to accommodate all your work materials and tools. The table can handle a weight of up to 453Kg for your heaviest projects. The Keter 17182239 Master Pro has two 30cm clamps for more practicality to keep your project pieces securely in place as you work on them.
The work table has wide-angled stands which offer a lot of stability and compartments to hold tools such as your hammer, screwdrivers and nails. It has a very nice portable form factor and takes up average space making it suitable for small workshops with limited space.
- Plastic and aluminium construction for light weight, strength and durability.
- Compartments to hold your small tools and accessories so you know exactly where they are during your project.
- Extremely easy to assemble and then fold down when not in use.
- Workspace holds up to a 453kg load for your heaviest project pieces.
- One-year guarantee should ease your mind about the quality.
- Tech specs:
- Height – 755 mm.
- Length – 550 mm.
- Width – 850 mm.
- Item Weight – 12Kg.
- The work area can be a little restrictive.
The Keter 17182239 Master Pro DIY Folding Work Table is a good basic portable workbench that has all the features that you need for your DIY or professional project. Its construction of aluminium and plastic is standard and makes it easy to look after, yet it’s still strong and durable. Its ability to hold loads of up to 453kg of materials and power tools lets you indulge in the large projects you’ve been dreaming about.
The Keter 17182239 Master Pro DIY Folding Work Table is a solid choice of a work bench if you regularly work with heavy materials and many power tools.
4. Lumberjack LWM826 Folding Metal Work Bench Mate Stand
The Lumberjack LWM826 Folding Metal Work Bench Mate Stand is an all-metal portable work bench. Made of both aluminium and steel, the LWM826 also comes with a few features not found in any of the other models in our workbench review. It’s also relatively lightweight and easy to fold and transport.
First up is the ability to tilt the work surface. You no longer have to work on a completely horizontal surface. You have the choice of four positions from 0° (level) to 80° (almost vertical). This is such a bonus if you’re sanding on an angle, need to cut into a tricky corner or want to drill at a slant.
Secondly, is a choice of seven, yes seven, heights to place the work surface at. The Black and Decker workbenches in our review are proud to offer a choice of two heights, but you have many more here. Suit the height of the work surface to the task you’re working on, your own height and/or the angle of the work surface.
These two features together can save you from muscle strain and body stress.
Yet another useful feature is that the clamp system extends all the way across the work bench through a sliding system. You can clamp your work piece wherever you want to for extra security. And your purchase includes four small and four large clamps so you’re ready to start work once you unpack the work bench. Add in the adequate size work surface, the non-skid rubber feet and the 100kg load capacity, and you have a portable workbench that more than meets most DIYer’s dream requirements.
- Steel and aluminium tough work surface so you don’t have to worry about straining or clipping the surface.
- Four tilting positions for the surface between 0 and 80 degrees so you can work at a comfortable angle for any task.
- Seven height levels to choose from for your ultimate work comfort.
- Sliding clamp system for all-out versatility of securing your work pieces.
- 100kg load capacity
- 12.5kg weight
- Dimentions: 600mm x 570mm by 760mm
The Lumberjack LWM826 Folding Metal Work Bench Mate Stand has useful features that most other portable workbenches just don’t have. From its tiltable surface to its seven height options, this is an all-metal workbench that ticks many boxes you didn’t know that you had. It’s not the largest nor the strongest workbench in our review, but if your projects take you beyond sawing or drilling on the level, this workbench provides the options for your outside-the-box plans.
The Lumberjack LWM826 Folding Metal Work Bench Mate Stand is for you if your workbench needs and your projects are a little out of the ordinary.
5. Kreg KWS1000 Mobile Project Center
The Kreg KWS1000 Mobile Project Center is another portable workbench that offers multiple uses in the form of a workbench, sawhorse, clamping station and assembly table. The whole thing is easy to set up/take down and store away and offers a solid platform for all kinds of tasks.
In addition, it comes with a bonus of clamping accessories, making it ready to use right out of the box. In sawhorse mode, the table supports long boards as you cut. Flip it into its mother position and you have a stationary workbench to hold work pieces while you work on them using other tools.
When it comes to construction, this Kreg workbench has a heavy-gauge steel A-frame base and a sizable top with an in-built Kreg Clamp Trak as well as dog holes. The working surface is an impressive 70cm by 80cm, capable of supporting up to 160kg. There’s even a bottom shelf that can accommodate up to 11kg of your tools and accessories.
However, all this sturdiness and durability does come at a price. This workbench weighs a solid 18kg, which is heavier than many other portable workbenches.
Keyhole slots on the side let you use the track clamps vertically similar to a vice. They hold the material against the side of the workbench or work with bench dogs for low-profile clamping. In addition, you can attach two KWS1000 tables together with special connection keys for double the work area. This allows you to place 2 x 4s in the supplied brackets before cutting them.
To set up this workbench, simply spread the legs, flip one or both worktops into position and you’re ready to go. The tables automatically lock into place too. When you’re done, the tables fold down by pulling two release tabs. You can then bring the legs together and use a carrying handle that’s built into the bottom shelf to transport the unit.
- Portable workbench with a heavy-gauge steel A-frame base for extra stability, strength and durability.
- Multiple work modes including a workbench, sawhorse, assembly table and clamping table.
- Folds down in seconds for work on the road and easy storage.
- Hole patterns for bench dogs and other accessories.
- Integrated storage tray to keep hardware within reach.
- Tech specs:
- Working surface – 80cm by 70cm
- Maximum load support – 160kg
- Weight – 18kg
- Heavier than many other workbenches.
The Kreg KWS1000 Mobile Project Center is an amazing choice for anyone who needs a durable, portable working table that can take a beating over time. It’s one of the heavier potable workbenches due to its heavy-gauge steel A-frame base which makes it strong and durable. But it’s also easy to set-up and take down and it’s versatile – it’s a sawhorse, clamping station and an extra table as well as a workbench.
The Kreg KWS1000 Mobile Project Center is a great workbench to take a long look at if you’re looking for a multi-purpose work bench that’s really strong and sturdy, and don’t mind that it carries a bit of extra weight.
6. Black + Decker WM536 Dual Height Workmate
BEST BUDGET MODEL
The Black + Decker WM536 Dual Height Workmate comes from an American company well-known for its high quality home improvement products and power tools. This Workmate is just that – a DIY friend that acts as a bench tool stand, workbench, vice, and sawhorse.
This workbench is set on a durable steel frame that folds flat for easy transportation and storage. You have a choice of two working heights of 775mm and 595 mm, to suit your own height or whether you work sitting down or standing up. You can have stuff weighing a total of up to 250kg on this workbench safely, so bring out the metal and heavy lumber projects.
Several options let you fasten your work pieces securely to this workbench. Choose from adjustable swivel pegs made of plastic, jaw retention grooves or dual clamping cranks. You also have the option of vertical clamping for the odd-shaped or taller pieces you work on. And giving you more security when you work, the anti-slip rubber feet on the legs of the stand hold firmly to the surface of the floor.
- Versatile workbench useful in its own right and as a bench tool stand, sawhorse and vice.
- Heavy-duty frame construction lets you work on materials up to 250kg in weight.
- Relatively lightweight makes it easy to move out of the way if you need to get your car into your garage.
- Unique two-height selection fits the appropriate function you’re using the workbench for.
- Working Heights – 775 / 595 mm
- Folded Size (W x H x D) – 610 x 740 x 195 mm
- Vice Jaw Opening – 0-136 mm
- Vice Jaw Length – 610 mm
- Maximum Table Width – 384 mm
- Maximum Load – 250 Kg
- Item Weight – 11 Kg
- Low profile for tall people.
The Black + Decker WM536 Dual Height Workmate is a portable workbench whose many features makes you do a double take when you see its affordable price. This workbench has a sturdy and stable steel frame yet is still relatively lightweight. It’s useful as a saw horse, a vice and an extra table as well as a regular work surface. You get a choice of two work heights, so pick the one most suitable for the task you’re doing. And it’s by a firm well-known for its quality tools and DIY products.
The Black + Decker WM536 Dual Height Workmate is a good choice for a work bench for home DIY projects, whether you’re on a budget or not.
7. Black + Decker WM626-XJ Dual Height Tough Workbench
The Black + Decker WM626-XJ Dual Height Tough Workbench is the larger sibling to our Best Budget Selection, the Black + Decker WM536 Dual Height Workmate. This WM626-XJ workbench has many of the same features but they’re just larger.
Both workbench models are built on similar heavy-duty gauge steel frames, though the size of the WM626-XJ models is slightly larger as shown by the larger folded dimensions. However, the selection of the two work heights is identical at 775mm and 595mm. This makes sense as both models provide the facilities for the same selection of tasks – saw horse, bench tool stand and vice. In both models, the maximum table width is 384mm.
The clamping system is similar in both models. It’s set up to so that you have both hands free when working on your pieces. This versatility is afforded by the adjustable swivel pegs and the dual clamping cranks.
The second major difference between the two models is the length of the vice jaw. this model, the Black + Decker WM626-XJ, lets you put material in the vice up to a length of 740mm, compared to 610mm in the WM536.
- Versatile as a workbench and as a vice, bench tool stand and as a saw horse.
- Steel frame lets you put materials and tools weighing up to a total of 250kg on the work surface.
- Not very heavy so can move out of the way to a corner of your work space when not needed.
- Select from two work heights according to the project and task needs.
- Working Heights – 775 / 595 mm
- Folded Size – 742 X 740 X 200 mm (W x H x D)
- Vice Jaw Opening – 0-136 mm
- Vice Jaw Length – 740 mm
- Max Table Width – 384 mm
- Item Weight – 13Kg
- Doesn’t really hold up large pieces vertically, for instance, a door.
The Black + Decker WM626-XJ Dual Height Tough Workbench is the larger option to our Budget Selection, the the Black + Decker WM536 Dual Height Workmate. It’s very similar except for its larger size, it’s slightly heavier weight and the ability to put longer pieces in the vice. It’s also a little more expensive. It’s an alternative choice if your projects tend to be a little on the bulkier side.
The Black + Decker WM626-XJ Dual Height Tough Workbench is a good choice is you’re looking for a multi-function portable workbench from a well-considered manufacturer for medium-sized projects.
A portable workbench is not something you change every other year, so there’s a lot to put into consideration before spending your money on a single tool. If portability, versatility and high weight loads are what you’re looking for in a workbench, this review is for you. Our Buyer’s Guide discusses what to look for in the best portable workbenches.
Probably the core factor of a workbench, stability is determined by the construction and the material used to make the workbench. The materials are usually either from steel, aluminium or plastic, or some combination of these. Workbenches made from steel are the sturdiest and offers more stability compared to the other materials. On the downside, a steel workbench will be heavier and less portable than maybe a plastic one. If weight and portability matters to you that much, then aluminium will be the best bet – it’s lightweight and durable whilst offering great stability.
The structure of the frame and the arrangement of the legs contribute greatly to the stability of the workbench although it is a factor that’s usually ignored. They hold the bench firmly on the ground without wobbling. Go for legs with anti-skid rubber feet to avoid frustrations. A-frame of splayed legs give the stability that you need.
Ideally, you want a workbench that not only offers a workspace but also accommodates your other such as a wood router or smaller power tools. Look for a workbench that also functions as a clamp or a vice. Pay attention to the swivel pegs and how they are operated, whether by hands or with your leg.
Work surface area
This is where you are going to do most of the tasks. Choose a model that offers enough space for your materials and other tools. In the event that space is a bit small, then look for extra compartments or pockets. One of the models in our review, the Lumberjack LWM826 Folding Metal Work Bench Mate Stand, has a work surface that tilts from 0° to 80°, giving you options on how to position your material and your tool.
A workbench should be just appropriate for your height, so pay attention to the workbench height and stand height. Several of the workbenches we look at also offer you a selection of heights at which to place the work surface. This lets you adjust the surface to the correct height for the task you’re carrying out or to your own comfortable height to work at.
An important question is, how much weight can the workbench hold? This is where the strength and stability of the workbench come in. A weak workbench might force the legs apart and break over time. Generally, pick a workbench that will comfortably hold the tools and materials you’ll be working with. A load weight of 200kg is on the high end of what workbenches can deal with.
Measurements and markings
Top quality workbenches have measurements and markings imprinted on the bench top. Make sure they are laser engraved rather than painted on.
Brand and warranty
The construction quality of the workbench dictates the strength and durability of the product. The reputation of the manufacturer’s brand and the length of the warranty also indicate how much faith the manufacturer has in the service-life of the product. While it’s often tempting to go for the cheapest alternative, investing in an established name-brand may work out better in the long run
Our Final Conclusion
The pride and productivity associated with a workbench that’s just yours cannot be overestimated. Especially a workbench that you can fold down and take to a quiet work space, away from all distractions. And if you add in other tasks, such as a saw horse, a clamping platform and somewhere to use all your power tools, you end up with a portable many-purpose work surface. The workbenches in our review provide some or all of this freedom for you and your DIY or professional projects.
Our Best Pick is the Bosch PWB 600 Work Bench. The aluminium frame is both lightweight and long-lasting and the bamboo work surface is scratch resistant and waterproof. This is a great choice for projects that most DIYers and even professionals have.
The WORX WX051 Pegasus Multifunction Work Table is our Runner-up choice. This workbench supports a variety of tasks including sawing and drilling and has a lower storage shelf to hold whatever you need for your current project.
If you’re on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice either quality or features, check out our Budget Pick, the Black + Decker WM536 Dual Height Workmate. This affordable workbench even has a feature many other benches don’t have – an adjustable work height.
Last update on 2022-01-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API