Owning the Best Portable Workbench Is Like Owning a Mobile Workshop
If you work construction, remodeling or another trade you most likely get very frustrated when you are at a jobsite that does not have an area that can be made into a workshop. That makes tasks such as sawing, clamping and sanding extremely tough to accomplish. That is why many contractors and even homeowners choose to purchase a portable workbench. Having the best portable workbench to take on the go with you gives you the ability to turn any jobsite location into a reliable mobile workshop.
Why use a portable workbench? It’s because any professional or do it yourself type person knows how important it is to have a workbench available when they need to do precision work. Such things as making saw cuts are done much easier and come out better when they are done on a portable workbench. It is much safer too as opposed to making saw cuts as you lay your wood across a stack of wobbly scrap wood.
Taking a Quick Look at Some of the Top Portable Workbench Models
Here are some of the very best portable workbench products you will find in the tool marketplace. More in-depth reviews on these products will follow the buying guide.
Tabletop Work Area
31” x 25”
Lightweight rigid plastic construction
Folds up small
Can support over 300 lbs.
Converts into sawhorse
34” x 22”
Heavy plastic construction
Carries like a suitcase
Large rectangular working surface
Supports over 1000 pounds
32” x 28”
Very versatile workbench
Heavy gauge steel legs
Built-in storage trays
Quick set up and take down
30” x 24”
Stores on a wall hook
sturdy steel legs
converts into a vise, sawhorse, and bench w/ tool stand
45” x 18”
Can be a workbench or used as scaffolding
Table top forms a non-skid surface
Adjustable aluminum legs
Large work surface
Portable Workbench Buying Guide
Here are the key factors to consider when you are shopping for a new portable workbench:
Of course the size of the work area you have on top of your portable workbench is very important. You really have to match the size of the portable workbench you need to the tasks you will be using it for. You can get away with a smaller size workbench if you are just using it for making some precision cuts or mounting a bice grip to it. On the other hand, if you are using it to put drawers together or fix large picture frames then you will need a bigger size portable workbench.
Many portable workbenches can be set up in different configurations. Some you are able to set up with a split in them so you can use them with your circular saw and others only have a flat tabletop. So once again you will have to match the tabletop configuration you desire with the type of work you will be using your workbench for.An example of how a portable workbench tabletop can be configured in different ways is shown in the photo below. Here the flat pieces that for the tabletop have been separated so the workbench can be used with a circular saw.
We are assuming if you are looking for a ‘portable’ workbench that it means one you can easily take on the go with you. That means it will have to fold up into a size that makes it easy to carry and fit in your vehicle for transport. That is why it is a good idea to find out what the folded size is on any portable workbench product you are thinking about buying.
Here is an example of just how portable these workbenches can be if they are designed right:
Any workbench you buy is not going to be portable if it’s too heavy to carry. This is true even if it folds up nice and small. Again this is a situation where you have to match the portable workbench weight to the job you are doing. You want any portable workbench you buy to be as light as possible but still sturdy enough to do the tasks you will use it for.
Portable work benches that are made out of plastic are lighter in weight but may not be able to handle some tougher jobs. A portable workbench that has more metals and wood pieces used in its construction will be very sturdy but will be heavier to haul around. So you definitely may need to compromise a little here in order to find a workbench weight that works right for you.
Some model portable workbenches can be put into different configurations so they can be used for other purposes. These can be very handy portable workbenches to own. A workbench that turns into such things as a saw horse, ladder or piece of scaffolding can come in extremely handy at times.
Here is a good example about how some portable work benches can be used for other purposes. This portable workbench in the photos below has been lowered and braced so it can be used as a small scaffold.
Durability/Stability when set up
We mentioned that different models of portable workbenches may use wood, metal alloys and heavy duty plastics in their construction. These tend to make them very durable products. There are some work benches that are cheaply made so be sure to note what any model portable workbench you are thinking about buying is made out of.
You also want your portable workbench to be very stable to work on when it’s set up. This will help make the tasks you use it for come out better and help keep you safer as you are working too. So look at the leg configurations and how well they are braced on any model portable workbench that you are thinking about buying.
No matter what type of product you are buying it is always nice to get a good warranty with it. Portable workbenches are no exception. So try and purchase one that has a very comprehensive and long lasting warranty that comes with it.
The Handy Ways You Can Use a Portable Workbench
If you are not familiar with some of the ways that a portable workbench can help you out on projects then take a look at this video. It will show you exactly how useful these take anyplace workbenches are.
Reviews of the Best Portable Workbench Models
We decided to gather some more information on some of the most highly rated portable workbenches in the tool marketplace. This is what we found:
Here is a very solid portable workbench model. It is designed to be easy to set up and take down and is very easy to take wherever you need to do your work. We really liked the job WORX did designing this portable workbench.
This product can be set up as a workbench or as a saw horse and it is very sturdy when doing so. It can support well over 300 pounds. It includes a folding storage shelf and 2 quick clamps with pegs.
This workbench folds up really compact so it’s easy to transport and store. It’s only 5 inches thick when folded. It weighs less than 28 pounds and it’s very balanced when you carry it. This product is backed up by a nice 3-year warranty from WORX too.
- Lightweight rigid plastic construction
- Folds up small
- Can support over 300 lbs.
- Converts into sawhorse
- Includes 2 quick clamps and pegs
- Folding storage shelf
- 3-year warranty
- The lip on its edges leaves very few clamping points
- A little bulky to carry for smaller stature people
- Included clamps are just OK
This is a very sturdy and budget friendly portable workbench. It is made by Keter that is known for designing some of the highest quality portable work benches you can find. It features a large rectangular working surface and is made using heavy duty plastic.
You can do a lot of different things on its spacious 34” x 22”. You can assemble products, lay out blueprints or use it as a saw base. There is very little wobble to this portable workbench as you use it and it will nicely support over 1000 pounds.
This unit folds up so it’s nice and thin too and everything stores right inside it. It weighs only 27 pounds and you can carry just like you would a big suitcase. It includes two quick ratcheting clamps and comes with a good 2-year warranty also.
- Heavy plastic construction
- Carries like a suitcase
- Large rectangular working surface
- Supports over 1000 pounds
- Includes 2 clamps
- Sets up in less than a minute
- Table is not sturdy enough to lean on when working
- Hinge quality is only OK
Kreg is another big name when it comes to portable workbench products. This workbench from them is so versatile they had to call it a mobile project center. Fancy name or not you would have to look very hard to find a better portable workbench.
This portable workbench can be used in a variety of different ways. It can become a sawhorse, assembly table or work surface. It was even designed so it can be combined with other KWS1000 workbenches to form a larger work surface.
It’s a portable workbench model that is as sturdy as you can get when set up. This is due to its heavy gauge steel legs that support it. This on the go workbench can also be set up and taken down in a matter of minutes.
This product also has very handy built-in storage trays and Kreg backs this product up with a full 3-year warranty too.
- Very versatile workbench
- Heavy gauge steel legs
- Built-in storage trays
- Quick set up and take down
- Includes clamps
- Made to be expandable when combined with other KWS1000 workbenches
- 3-year limited warranty
- At 40 pounds its heavy to move alone for some
- Leg height is not adjustable
Black & Decker is one of the most reputable tool makers in the entire world and products like this portable workbench are the reason why. It is super-portable and provides an extremely stable working platform when it’s set up.
This unit when set up on its sturdy steel base can support up to 450 pounds. It is a very versatile portable workbench too. In addition to a workbench it can be used as a saw horse, vise or tool stand.
It is a portable workbench model that only weighs 28 pounds despite how solidly built it is. It folds up so compact that it can even be hung on a wall peg in your work shop or garage. Black & Decker backs this workbench model up with a full 2-year warranty also.
- Extremely portable
- Stores on a wall hook
- sturdy steel legs
- converts into a vise, sawhorse, and bench w/ tool stand
- Rapid set up and take down
- 28 pound weight
- Instructions can use improvement
- Rear table does not fit great
- Supplied clamping mechanism is just so-so
Here is another very versatile portable workbench. This one is made by a company that is an up and coming player in the portable workbench market. You will be hearing more about HICO product quality in the near future and products like this model portable workbench are the reason why.
This item can be set up to be used as either a sturdy workbench or as a piece of scaffolding to get you some height for working on a project. It can support up to 330 pounds when used as scaffolding.
It has the largest work surface of any product we reviewed at a generous 45 x 18 inches. The sturdy aluminum legs on it are corrosion resistant and can be adjusted at two different heights. There are even outlets for power built into it that will work once an extension cord is brought to the workbench.
- Can be a workbench or used as scaffolding
- Table top forms a non-skid surface
- Adjustable aluminum legs
- Large work surface
- Built in power strip
- Heavy for some to move at over 44 pounds
- Tough to clamp items to the top of it
- Leg bracing could use improvement
Which Portable Workbench Model Is Our Favorite?
This was a difficult decision because of the diversity in the types of portable workbenches that made our top review list. That and the fact they all were designed and worked well. If we were forced to choose we would pick the Kreg KWS1000 Mobile Project Center.
Not only did we like the fancy name of this model portable workbench but we really liked its versatility too. It can be configured in so many different ways. This portable workbench can be used as a sawhorse, assembly table, clamping station and more. It was also very sturdy when set up thanks to its sturdy metal leg construction. It was by far the sturdiest workbench on our review list.
When you factor how easy it is to set up and take down and the fact it has built-in storage trays it is hard to beat. It also comes backed up with a 3-year limited warranty.
If you are looking for a tough and reliable portable workbench you should strongly consider this model. It is definitely one of the best portable workbench models you will find.