Updated: May 23, 2015

Workbench Reviews and Buying Guide:

Workbenches are a big part of productivity for all kinds of businesses. I was first introduced to industrial workbenches when I worked for a mortgage servicing company that had to staple, sign, sort, and collate 1000's of documents each day. The work stations, or benches, were the ideal production line for all the paperwork. There are a variety of workbenches available depending on the type of work you will be doing. For employees that do more paperwork processsing than actually computer work, large workbenches are a great office resource to have around. Workbenches are ideal for workplaces that have production lines or packaging of goods that are done by hand and not machine. A good workbench will allow you and your employees to stay organized on function at full capacity. Beyond workbenches in industrial environments, you will find them in peoples homes in hobby rooms and in garages for those do it yourselfers (DIY) or woodworking enthusiasts.
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My wife recently purchased a nice workbench that fits in our garage and she will use it for gardening purposes (preparing pots, planting, etc.). I was thinking about adding a vise to it so I could then use other tools for household projects and woodworking. European woodworking benches are what most experts recommend on sites the Gardenweb.com Forum and Workbenchdesign.net. For $2000 you can get a high quality workbench made in Germany that will do just about anything you need it to. Unless you are an experienced woodworker who does it for a living, we say go with the cheaper workbenches that are anywhere from $100 to $1000. Although industrial workbenches are made with metal, many are adjustable in terms of shelving and drawers to fit your needs. Pricing on industrial workbenches was about $150-$750 for a quality constructed workbench. In all the research we did online for woodworking workbenches, we came to realize that any quality woodworker would probably end up making their own workbench to their exact liking. The 2nd most popular search term associated with "workbench" is "plan" which tells us that many people go that route and create their own workbench (see down below for details). No matter what the use, professional or personal, workbenches are designed to help keep you organized and keep productivity flowing. Stores like HomeDepot and Lowes do sell workbenches as well as department stores like Sears. You can also do plenty of window shopping online to get pricing, measurements, photos, and head to head comparisons. The best online source are the workbench forums where you can ask questions and have experts in the field give you qualified answers to any concerns you may have. You can browse theup-to-date list of best-selling work benches here.

Top Industrial Workbench:

Many small businesses use industrial workbenches each day as they package up products are organize papers. There are stackbin workstations, workbench desks, computer workstations, electrical workbenches, drafting workbenches, and custom workbenches. The one website that consistently showed up was Work-benches.com. They provide industrial workbench solutions for companies like Dell, HP, Ford, Delta, the US Army, and several leading universities. Their workbenches are heavy-duty, adjustable, multi-functional, and come in a variety of sizes for all production needs. Their Lab Station workbench is great for universities and they offer chemical resistant laminates and static dissipative materials. The Excel Workbench holds over 1000 lbs and offers a large amount of workspace at an affordable price. The workbench with wheels allows for mobility which can be crucial on some work environments. They make custom workbenches for business, government and education purposes that get the job done. You may also want to pop into Amazon.com -- they list a number of popular industrial workbenches from $100-$400.

Garage Work Bench:

For those more serious about their woodworking benches, it seems that European made benches are the top sellers. Diefenbach benches made in Germany were praised and recommended in several woodworking forums and workbench design forums we searched. The main website is at Workbenches.com and they offer an wide variety of styles and designs that should fit anyones needs. The most popular one is the Ultimate American Workbench ($2500) - you can go with either the design with drawers or without. We choose to look at the model with drawers since that is what most professionals want. The Ultimate American is made of red beechwood and all visible surfaces are oiled (the cabinets and drawers are varnished & the fronts are stained dark). The front vise has steel screw and a parallel guide bar and an adjustable stop/spacer. You get a tool trough on the benchtop for quick access and the top measures almost 90 inches long by 25" wide. The top is roughly 36" high. If you visit their website you will see that they carry specialty benches, hobbyist workbenches, European workbenches, and traditional German workbenches. We also found excellent customer reviews for the WaldMann workbenches as sold on Amazon.com and Sjoberg workbenches on Woodcraft.com.

Mobile/Portable Workbench:

Not all projects we do are confined to one area and often many of the DIY projects that homeowners take on are focused on one room in their house. Owning a portable workbench is a big time saver and will make any project move that much faster if you don't have to haul wood or materials back and forth to the workbench when you can just place the workbench in the room you need it in and get down to business. The Black & Decker WM425 Workmate 425 Portable Project Work Stand has been a best seller for years and it's no wonder why. It's an excellent portable project center that can hold up to 550 lbs and easily folds down when you need to store it. Black and Decker has created the ultimate portable workbench and vise with a one-handed clamp system. It's made of steel and has rubber feet so you don't scuff up hardwoods or tile. Certainly the Workmate is not meant for avid woodworkers because it does have soem limitations, but it does come highly recommended from the periodic home project do it yourselfers. We did read some negative reviews on the product, but mostly from people who tried using it daily for heavier projects and it just can't hold up. For $70, this is a great deal, but for serious projects are more consistent use, go with a top name European workbench brand as listed above.


Workbench Plans:

As we mentioned above, many woodworking enthusiasts prefer to build all their own tables, dressers, and even workbenches. The best site for workbench plans that we could find was at http://www.freeww.com/workbenches.html. They offer a complete selection of "how to build a workbench" links with PDF files and complete step by step instructions that will guide you through the process. Making a workbench is not that complicated as we found out, although the simple workbench plans are definitely best for beginners.