Updated: November 2017
Folding Table Reviews and Buying Guide:Folding tables have been around for years and my family had several. We used to bring them out for backyard parties, indoor card games, and when we had garage sales. My mom used to call them "church tables" and those were the longer 10 person tables that held the most stuff. Today, my wife and I have a 24" X 96" folding table that works out perfectly when we hold outdoor parties with neighbors and friends. The melamine top is on a 5/8" high density particle board core and the 1/18" gauge steel pedestal legs keep the table stable. The mar-proof plastic foot caps and edge molding keep any damage to a minimum. It easily folds away into our garage when not in use and I can carry it myself (it is about 50 pounds) when it's time to bring it back out. Just lock the legs into position and stand the table up. The table we bought was marketed as a "light home duty or office" folding table and it has worked out well for only about $70. We purchased it online at Amazon.com.
Folding tables come in all sizes and shapes. The most popular are probably the rectangular shaped, but many people use the oval or round tables for card games and things like wedding receptions when you need to sit a lot of people. There are also square, half-round, quarter round and serpentine shapes to select from. In terms of materials, you will find tables made from ABS plastic, aluminum, blow-molded, Samsonite Samson, laminated particle board, and plywood. The aluminum and blow-molded folding tables are your best choice for outdoor use on a more permanent basis. I think the laminated tables look best when using them indoors, but with tablecloths you can pretty much hide any table if you want. Lightweight ABS folding tables, such as a nice banquet table, cost from $180 to $300 depending on the dimensions and size. Look for folding tables that are height adjustable so you can quickly slip the table up or down a few inches when needed. Most tables will be the standard 29" high, but those that adjust go from 22" to 32" and the short tables let you adjust from 16 inches to 26 inches in height. The plastic fold in half tables are really convenient and used quite often for things like camping, picnics, and even flea-markets. Just fold the table down and carry it like a suitcase. You can find the 30" x 72" models for under $100 on sites like Foldingtablewarehouse.com. Folding-tables-chairs.com is another excellent website with a nice inventory of folding tables (and chairs). Their Samsonite Samson Banquet Tables start at $155 and the adjustable height version is slightly more expensive. They are easy to fold with a one-hand folding mechanism and the stain-resistant top is easy to clean. The Samsonite Samson tables are more durable than the blow-molded tables their leg design allows for more people to sit at the table. Amazon carries a few styles of folding tables and includes reviews on a few models, but we found no other site with any customer feedback or comments to look at. Many of the cheaper folding tables can be bought for less than $50. If you plan on using the table at more than just casual summer get togethers in your yard or house, then consider going with the more solid tables for longevity and durability. Often, the legs and open/lock mechanisms on less expensive tables tend to fail first or the top surface is easily scratchable. Costco is a great place to start your search if you are a member, otherwise check out stores like Target, Home Depot, or Lowes. Lowes carries 4 foot, 6-foot, and 8' folding tables all under $100 and Target has a nice banquet folding table for under $50. You can browse the most popular folding tables online here.