As a woodworker, I am always trying to find tools that make things easy in my shop. Trying to find what works best is not always easy to do (my shop space is limited). When I am shopping, key features will always include how portable something is; that includes when I was shopping for the best portable workbench I could afford.
It didn’t take me long to discover that many of the portable workbench reviews out there failed to provide the information that I needed to make a well-informed purchase.
Some of the more popular brands like Keter, Workmate, and Worx offer woodworkers limited features for the money spent. A portable workbench review needs to highlight the good and the bad, along with the size and weight of a particular model.
If you are serious about getting something to improve your hobby, it has to start with a budget. You can waste days reading articles about a product that you will never buy. Focus on content that provides links to prices as well as those that show similar designs side-by-side, like a Worx Pegasus vs Keter article.
Once I trimmed down the potential list based on my shop budget, I concentrated on the features offered for the price. The most important considerations for me was the size. Manufacturers produce various tabletop dimensions that I had to balance with overall space requirements for my woodshop.
One thing that caught me off guard was bench assembly. It takes longer to set up the Worx Pegasus vs Keter, but the Pegasus can function as either a workbench or as a sawhorse. What offers the best portable workbench design for your hobby needs could depend upon how you plan to use it.
Your workbench provides a surface to work on and functions as part of a holding device. Portable designs like the Workmate use a split-top table to hold the wood in place as you work it. Other benches include clamps or vices, or at least provide holes and notches to house these items.
You would be surprised to find the little things that stick out to you during your research. For example, the carry handle design on the Keter portable workbench became a deciding feature that sold me on the model. Additional shelf room or slots to hold tools is another option that manufacturers like to include on popular models.
Are portable workbenches for everyone? I don’t think so. If you have a dedicated shop space that offers plenty of room, you should consider a full-sized woodworking bench.
Are these benches for woodshops alone? Not really. A tradesperson can take advantage of the portability and use the workbench on the job site. I have also used my Keter portable workbench as support for table space during summer barbeques and as make-shift support for scaffolding when I put shingles on my shed.
What it comes down to is a necessity. You will need a workbench to work from, especially as the size of your projects grows. There is no substitute for its ability to provide holding power as you saw, plane, or drill holes in lumber.
If you have a small shop, or your workspace serves multiple purposes, a good portable workbench will allow you to enjoy woodworking to its fullest.