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I’m fairy handy when it comes to DIY, I’ve renovated two houses over the last few years and I mean back to bare brick walls but I also like to doing DIY projects for the garden and around the house, I’m currently building a garden bridge as I write this review.
I decided it was time I invested a little money and get myself a decent portable workbench. I previously had a Black + Decker Workmate I had purchased after borrowing my dads but the quality is not what I would call, designed to last. I believe years ago, they were the best in the business, they may have even come up with the idea of a portable workbench but sadly that seems to now not the case.
After a lot of research, check out my other review of the best work benches, it was a tie between the Bosch PWB 600 and the Keter Master Pro, now the Bosch model seemed to be the better of the two made from aluminium and after using it for over 6 months, I can confirm that I was correct, what an amazing portable workbench. Let me just say you can tell it has the German heritage of excellent engineering, Black + Decker don’t even come close.
In this review, I’m going to talk about the pros, what I like about it and the cons, what is don’t like, to be fair, there’s not really anything I don’t like but there is one small issue I did come across when using it which I talk about towards the end of the review.
Rather watch the video, check out my video review below
First off let’s talk about the build quality, as mentioned, Black + Decker don’t even come close. The thing is, for double the price it has to be better, well I can confirm that I think it’s one of the best currently available. First off its made from Aluminium, its lightweight, just under 12kg I think. Seems about right, not to light that it bounces about when trying to saw or sand something down but not too heavy that its a nightmare to move around and unfold.
I was very impressed with the quality of the bamboo worktop
Now most of the work surfaces on other workbenches I have used are usually made from MDF, now this does the job but the worktop surface on the Bosch PWB 600 is made from bamboo, apparently is stronger and that’s why Bosch opted to use this material. After using it, I can honestly say that it is very strong, at first I thought it looked a little thin but it has stood up to everything I ‘v threw at it and it still looks as good as new.
Love the lightweight aluminium frame
Now the frame is made from aluminium, most other models use steel which often makes them heavy as well as prone to rust. Overall, the aluminium frame on the Bosch PWB 600 is absolutely solid, in facts the workbench has a total weight capacity of around 200kg too.
3 seconds to open the workbench, even less time to close
What really impressed me though, was how easy it is to open and fold down. Before I purchased this I read reviews about people complaining about how hard it was to open, I don’t know what they were doing but it opens in seconds and it couldn’t be simpler.
All you need to do is put your foot on the bottom bar, there even a sticker saying foot here, lift the workbench up until it clicks (its a loud click) and the telescopic legs open and fix into position, next simply pull the two bamboo worktop pieces up to form the worktop.
Finally, toward the back of the workbench just under the table, there are two bars, just make sure they have also clicked into position as they help support the weight. It takes literally takes 3 seconds.
To close you just lift the ‘closed’ bracket which is sunk into the worktop (you can’t miss it, its marked close’ and it folds back into two sections, then just click the two button on the telescopic legs so they close back down. That’s it.
So let’s talk dimensions, firstly when folded up its about 83cm tall by around 68cm wide and 9cm deep so it’s super compact, easy to store and even easy to transport although I don’t need to do this myself as I only use it in one location.
Once you have taken the 3 seconds it takes to open it, it stands at around 83cm tall, now I’m around 5.8″ and it’s about just right for me. The total work surface size, when closed, is 68cm wide by 55cm long which is one of the largest of any of the workbenches I have used or seen. If you open the vice by turning the handles anti-clockwise, the total width is then extended to 64cm giving you even more space. This also then creates a clamping gap of 8.5cm by a clamping depth of 3.4cm for securing objects to work on.
How easy is it to you
So this workbench comes with 4 blade clamps, these are stored behind the green Bosch plastic section just under the handles which is a nice design, there out the way but always at arm’s length when needed. They work well to secure objects to the work surface and there are many positions on the work table that they can be fixed. This has made it super easy to secure objects that may of otherwise not been easy to secure to a workbench surface.
While I’m talking about securing an object to the table, I highly recommend getting a pair of Wolfcraft Pro Clamps, the ends come off so you can insert them through the holes in the bench. It’s made my life so much easier, wish I had ordered them sooner.
So a feature I do like with the Workbench is that there is a small tray at the front of the workbench for keeping your screws, this is one of those featured I didn’t know I needed until I had it, no screws rolling off the edge of the worktop anymore.
So what didn’t I like
Firstly the price, it’s expensive but you get what you pay for and with this model, you’re paying for a quality product that will last for years. It’s far more sturdy and better designed than most other models I have tried. The price made me think twice but I’m super pumped I decided on this model over the other models I also considered.
There is just one last niggle, the design is amazing but sometimes the screw tray at the front of the worktop just seems to be in the way a little. It’s not really been a problem but sometimes when trying to attach a G clamp, the tray just happens to be where I wanted to attach the clamp.
Now this has only happened a couple of times and I’ve always worked around it, but it’s just something to be aware of.
- Height of workbench: 834 mm
- Length of workbench: 680 mm
- Dimensions (when folded up): 640 x 840 x 90 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
My final conclusion
Despite the price, I think its an amazing workbench, its lightweight, I love how easy it is to open and close, the build quality is excellent and it has a large work surface which many of the other alternatives I have used didn’t. If you’re looking for a new workbench, I wouldn’t think twice about ordering the Bosch PWB 600, I think it’s worth every penny and it comes with 3 years warranty when you register online. The only reason I gave it 4.5 stars instead of 5 is that it’s expensive so it might be out of budget for what some people are willing to spend on a workbench. For me though, I think I made the right choice and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good sturdy work bench.
Last update on 2021-03-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API