In my opinion, a woodworking workbench is the most fundamental and most important tool in any workshop, let alone a traditional hand tool woodworking workshop. It’s difficult to build furniture by hand without a good sturdy woodworking bench to build on.
Whether you’re planning to make your first traditional wooden workbench or planning to buy a workbench, it’s important to do a little research beforehand and get the features that will help you enjoy working with woodworking hand tools. Some woodworking bench features should be pretty important to everyone, and some features are more a matter of preference.
What to look for in a workbench
Because no two woodworkers are alike, your bench choice will be unique, based on these factors.
The Best Workbenches For Woodworking 2021:
This sleek-looking red bench from Craftsman weighs a solid 95 pounds and strikes the right balance of being attractive, sturdy, and fairly affordable. It measures six feet wide and 41.25 inches high, and the tabletop height is not adjustable. Although it doesn’t come with storage, you can opt to add two of Craftsman’s matching rolling cabinets underneath. The top is made from a one-inch–thick butcher block, and there’s a backsplash to help contain sawdust and prevent tools from sliding off. The weight capacity is 1,450 pounds, so it’s perfect for basic hobby projects, and there are leveling feet at the bottom that you can adjust if your flooring is uneven, which can happen in garages and sheds.
This bench is on the smaller side, it can handle projects both small and large. With a 1.25-inch–thick butcher block tabletop measuring 40 x 14 inches, there’s plenty of room to add extras such as a wood lathe, scroll saw, or sander. The bench itself weighs only 41 pounds, so it’s easy to move around your workspace, and the maximum capacity is 700 pounds. But don’t let the low weight fool you: The A-frame profile has flared legs and arched cross braces that provide serious stability, and the rubber feet can be adjusted to match an uneven surface.
This model workbench does have a heavy duty birch top which has excellent features that will make it much easier for you to work. In addition, this unit is equipped with 2 sets of 3⁄4 inches bench dogs which will allow you to steadily clamp the workpiece.
The glass filled nylon which is used in the making of bench dogs helps you to work on various types of projects. In the additional holes that are available on the worksurface, you can connect other job accessories.
To avoid damage to your designs, the jaws of each vise are cushioned. Besides, to get an improved grip, you can mount the tool clamp to either of the vises. To avoid unwanted movement, the nonslip jaw will make sure that perhaps the materials which you have been dealing with are strongly secured.
Kreg’s woodworking bench is designed with an inbuilt storage tray that can hold your instruments while you are working. It has a broad work surface of 27.5 inches by 31.5 inches that accommodate broad workpieces.
In addition, by combining it with a second unit, you can double the work area’s capacity. Depending on the project specifications, this type of woodworking bench has several modes that you can move to. It provides you with a solid surface when in sawhorse mode, which enables you to cut lengthy boards.
It has a bench clamp that allows you to keep the workpiece in various positions with an auto adjustment function. When working, the shelves under the table will clear your hands by offering you enough room to hold the extra tools.
Don’t fancy an all-wood bench, or prefer something heavier? This woodworking bench features a steel frame with height-adjustable legs, front vise, tail vise, bench dogs, and two tool drawers.
The laminated tabletop, vise and everything else is oak, finished with clear lacquer. Weighs a solid 164 pounds. You can adjust the heigh to a maximum of 39″, perfect for taller people.
For light-duty garage tasks, this (rather redundantly named) BenchPro workbench is ideal. No, there’s nothing fancy here and the top work surface is made of 1-inch-thick particle board, but the whole shebang is able to support a load capacity of up to 1,000 pounds, an impressive amount. The garage workbench legs are formed of sturdy steel and the working surface measures 2-feet-by-4-feet, a decent size. The height can be adjusted between 30 and 36 inches for various applications.
Keeping things simple, you should be able to assemble this stationary workbench in about 10 minutes. Beyond all that, after more than 195 customer reviews, this BenchPro workbench has an excellent 4.7-star rating out of a possible five. This product is also made in the USA and is backed by a 10-year “unconditional warranty.”
For tight spaces, consider this folding workbench from Husky. At 6-feet long and 2-feet wide, it offers plenty of working space on the butcher block top, one that can support up to 800 pounds of weight. This workbench is also height-adjustable, transitioning between 28 and 42 inches for various applications. Increasing its versatility, that top drops down and the legs turn in so the whole shebang folds almost flat against a wall.
This makes it super useful in tight spaces, like a single-car garage. Built for the long haul, this Husky 6-foot-long folding workbench is made of sturdy 24-gauge steel and comes with a lifetime warranty. No, it isn’t cheap, but this DIY workbench is highly regarded by customers and is more than worthy of your consideration.
WORX Pegasus Multi-Function work table is ideal for all purposes. The table can be used easily without much difficulty in assembling. The table is compact and can be folded. This makes it easy for the user to carry the work table anywhere to use. This also adds up an advantage in storing the table.
When folded the table takes up very little space. The sturdy nature of this table supports 300 lbs with ease. The sawhorse attachment supports up to 1,000 lbs. easily. There is also a built-in shelf that makes sure all the tools that you want, stays within your reach. The clamps attached to the work table helps you pin down your working material, to work with utmost comfort and safety.
Rockwell Portable Jawhorse is the best alternative to your regular workbench, sawhorse and clamps. The support station weighs 43 lbs and can support up to 600 lbs load with ease. Unlike the regular workbenches, this support station has a tripod base for better stability. All you need to do is lock a play wood to the clamps to create a perfect workbench.
The support station is foldable and occupies very less space when folded and stored. Folding and setting up your workstation does not require any extensive tools. The foot pedal lever in this device is an added advantage, creating a hands-free work station. You can now work safely with the one-metric ton clamping force offered by the support station.
This bench option makes it into one of the best for its own reasons. If you take a look, you notice the bench doesn’t have vises or holes or even a storage shelf. It does have a smooth, reliable surface, storage drawers, and wheels. These are things that separate this Seville Classics option from its competitors.
The drawers are handy for storing small tools and accessories. The work top is designed so that you can use grips, clamps, and vises. They are just not part of the overall package. This workbench measures 48W x 24.7D x 37.4H and it can handle up to 500 pounds of weight, which will be sufficient for most tools and work usage.
How high should a woodworking bench be?
The average height of a woodworking bench is between 33 to 36 inches. Be sure to adjust accordingly based on your own height and work postures. A woodworking bench that is too high or low can lead to aches and pains.
Why do woodworking benches have holes?
The holes on a woodworking bench are called “dog holes.” While different woodworkers have varying preferences about how big they should be and how far apart they are spaced, these holes work in concert with wood, metal, or plastic “bench dogs” to help woodworkers securely clamp pieces to the workbench when performing tasks such as sanding, cutting, and planing.
How do you mount a woodworking bench vise?
A vise is a vital piece of equipment for holding in place the material you are cutting, planing, sanding, or otherwise working on. There are different types of woodworking bench vises depending on their location on the bench. A face vise is mounted on the front end or face of the bench; an end or tail vise is mounted on the end.