Best Portable Workbench | UK Guide | 2023
The best portable workbench will transform the way you carry out DIY tasks. They are an essential if you enjoy undertaking DIY projects at home, but do not have a designated workshop space. They are also a must for trade professionals who need to ensure they always have a work surface to utilise when visiting the premises of clients. A good workbench should be sturdy, spacious and lightweight enough that it can be easily transported. Our guide explores everything you should be looking for when choosing the best portable workbench for your needs.
Work Surface Area
This is something to consider if you plan on working with large pieces of material. The majority of standard workbenches will include a relatively small work surface that can be expanded with the use of crank handles. These surfaces are usually made up of two identical beams of wood, with the central area expanding to provide you with an anchoring point. Your work surface should ideally include peg holes for swivel pegs, which can be used to anchor smaller pieces of material in place. You may also find work surfaces with additional clamps already included. However, you can optimise your work surface by adding secondary clamps.
Lightweight & Sturdy Base Frames
If you plan on carrying out sawing and rigorous sanding work, you should ensure the base frame of your workbench is sturdy enough for such tasks. Although most frames are relatively streamlined in their design, they provide a balanced base for such work when properly extended.
A good frame should lock in place when fully extended, preventing it from retracting when pressure is applied to the work surface. Ideally, you should be looking for workbenches that come fully assembled upon delivery. Although workbenches that require manual assembly can be a good option, it is easy to improperly fasten nuts and bolts which can impair the integrity of your frame.
Good materials will ensure your workbench lasts for a long time. The surface material is arguably the most important thing to consider. A good quality metal or heavy-duty plastic are a good option as they are resistant to weathering and wear and tear. However, many users prefer the softer feel of a wooden work surface. If you do opt for a wooden work surface, make sure the wood is treated to repel water. Bamboo is a particularly good wooden material for work surfaces.
A decent workbench should provide you with some flexibility when it comes to adjusting your work surface. The surface itself should be able to be widened at will via side cranks. Not only will this allow you to widen or narrow the work surface to accommodate varying sizes of material, it also opens up the central space so you can use it as a vice for clamping down on other material pieces. Swivel pegs will also come in handy if you need to lock small pieces of material in place. These pegs are particularly useful if you plan on carrying out sanding or polishing work.
If you only need to use your workbench for short periods at a time, integrated storage is not really a pivotal feature. However, professionals will definitely benefit from a workbench that provides you with some built-in storage for your tools and hardware essentials. In the majority of cases, storage will be provided in the form of a shelf beneath the work surface itself. However, more stripped-back base frames will include a bar that can be used for hooking tools in place as you work. Basically, you want to ensure any storage allows your tools to be within easy reach from your working position.
Product Reviews – The Best Portable Workbenches
Need a new workbench? We have picked out some of the very best portable workbenches to make your DIY tasks, decorating jobs and other maintenance work as easy as possible.
The Keter Master Pro work table should fit everyday DIY needs, while the heavy-duty nature of its construction makes it ideal for more intensive requirements. This workbench is one of the most robust in this list, with a very generous work surface and a load-bearing capacity of 453 kilograms.
The larger work surface makes it easier to carry out on jobs on larger pieces of material without having to make too many adjustments, while the impressive weight capacity means you can lay bulky pieces of wood and other material on it without the worry of the frame buckling beneath. This workbench also includes two clamps that can be installed vertically or horizontally, providing you with plenty of options when it comes to carrying out DIY work.
Despite this workbench being a fairly heavy-duty one, it is still a portable option for those who need to carry their table to and from a job site. Installation is easy, with no assembly required. When you need to use this workbench, it can be folded out and ready to use in as little as 30 seconds. The quick-release opening mechanism is also very safe, meaning you do not need to worry about pinched digits.
This table is also light enough that it can be carried around, with a built-in handle making transportation particularly easy. This workbench is somewhat pricier than other options we have included in this list, but if you want something reliable and built to withstand substantial loads, you will find few better options than the Keter Master Pro.
If you are looking for a DIY workbench that also doubles up as a reliable sawhorse, the WORX WX051 Pegasus is a good choice. This versatile table provides you the full functionality of both surfaces, adjusting between the two configurations in moments. It also requires no assembly, meaning it can be used immediately. You also have some integrated storage provided here, with the generous shelf underneath the work surface allowing you to keep all your essential tools within easy reach.
Despite its versatility and multifunctionality, this workbench is fairly compact and can be folded away for convenient storage and transportation. The lightweight construction makes carrying it around effortless, while the narrow folded depth means you will have no trouble storing it in the tightest of spaces.
When used as a conventional workbench, this table supports weights of approximately 136 kilograms. This is above the standard when compared to average workbenches and should prove more than sufficient for most DIY jobs. If you are planning on making cuts to large pieces of wood pieces, you will be glad to know that this table supports loads of up to 453 kilograms when used as a sawhorse.
Reliable locking legs also ensure this table remains sturdy when sawing, making it a very safe option. A selection of clamps and clamp pegs are included so you can carry out work on a variety of work pieces of assorted sizes and shapes. The generous tabletop dimensions also mean you are not restricted with the kind of materials you can work with.
BLACK+DECKER Workmate, Work Bench Tool Stand Saw Horse , Dual Height with Heavy Duty Steel Frame, WM536
If you are keen on keeping to a tight budget, the BLACK+DECKER Workmate is something you should consider. Although affordable, this workbench does not skimp on user-friendly design and sturdy construction. This workbench boasts a steel frame base that makes it incredibly durable, with the table able to support maximum weights of approximately 160 kilograms. When you are not using it, this workbench folds flat to compact dimensions, making it easy to transport and store in tight spots.
You will also find two clamping cranks included, providing you with maximum stability and security when working. Swivel pegs are also included for more bespoke adjustments, while jaw retention grooves make it easier to ensure your work pieces are properly clamped to the table before carrying out cuts and other tasks.
Rubber feet provide you with an additional layer of stability, making this workbench suitable for use in all environments. The working height is also sufficient enough for most users, while the wide scope for jaw opening adjustments means you can use this workbench for a variety of applications. In addition to being able to make cuts to large pieces of wood and other material, you can also use the workbench to anchor bicycles and other items to carry out essential maintenance.
One thing to consider about this workbench is that the table is made from wood, rather than a more robust plastic or metal material. Those who are less careful when sawing and cutting may find these table sections become easily damaged over time, but they are easy enough to repair or replace to extend the lifespan of your workbench.
The Silverline TB01 is another very affordable option for those looking to spend less on a reliable workbench. This workbench might look fairly basic, but it offers all the key functionality you need from a reliable table to carry out DIY jobs and basic repairs. The lightweight metal frame provides you with a sturdy enough base on which to work, while also ensuring the table remains easy enough to transport and store.
The worktop section is made up of two wooden pieces, measuring 56cm by 11cm apiece. This provides you with a generous overall working area, while also allowing you to securely clamp work pieces between the two worktop panels. Two crank handles are included so you can make tailored adjustments to worktop tightness, while four pegs are also included so you can ensure work pieces of varying shapes and sizes are securely held in place as you carry out work.
All in all, this workbench can accommodate loads of approximately 100 kilograms. This is less than some tables on the market, but should prove more than enough for everyday needs. Unlike other workbenches we have explored in this list, the Silverline TB01 requires you to carry out some assembly prior to using it.
As there are few individual elements, installation should not prove too taxing, but you will want to ensure assembly has been carried out correctly to ensure your workbench performs well for as long as possible. If you want to be able to work with larger and heavier work pieces, you should probably invest in a more advanced workbench model. Additionally, if you want the benefits of integrated storage, you should think about spending a little bit more on a more advanced model.
BLACK+DECKER Workmate, Work Bench Tool Stand Saw Horse , Dual Height with Heavy Duty Steel Frame, WM536
If you want a fairly compact workbench that provides you with some flexibility, this dual height BLACK+DECKER Workmate table is a good investment. Unlike many other workbenches out there, this one provides you with two different working heights to accommodate different applications. You can use it as a conventional workbench for everyday tasks, or make use of the sawhorse function for more demanding cutting jobs.
You also have vice functionality, while the integrated tool stand means your DIY essentials can always be within easy reach. This workbench is also a sturdy option. The steel frame construction makes it particularly durable, even when holding heavy pieces of material. This workbench will also cope with much heavier loads, with maximum weights of up to 250 kilograms easily handled by the Workmate. Anti-slip feet are also included to ensure your table remains firmly in place as you carry out sawing tasks.
When your DIY jobs are complete, this workbench folds flat for easy storage and convenient transportation. Dual clamping cranks are also included, allowing you to add more clamping force to your materials whenever required. Swivel pegs are also included and can be quickly adjusted, allowing you to work with a variety of material sizes and shapes. Jaw retention grooves also add to the overall stability of this workbench.
Although this workbench offers you a lot of features and functionality, it is designed with convenience in mind. It is one of the lightest options out there, weighing just under 11 kilograms, making it easy to carry to and from work sites. Setting this workbench up at the start of the day is also straightforward, while the work surface can be quickly cleaned of sawdust and other debris once your DIY tasks have been completed.
The Bosch PWB 600 workbench comes with a higher price than other options out there, but you do get a lot for your money. This is a workbench designed for those who need reliable performance on a regular basis. Not only does the bench feature a water-repellent bamboo work surface, it also includes integrated storage so you can keep your tools close to hand. The two-piece surface means you can clamp materials into the centre of the workbench itself, making it ideal for standing work.
The clamps are also sloped, allowing you to get very close to your work materials with little obstruction. The two integrated cranks can be adjusted independently, providing you with maximum flexibility when it comes to working with a variety of material types and work piece shapes. Swivel pegs are also included, meaning even the most awkward of work pieces can be clamped firmly in place as you work.
When you are finished using the Bosch PWB 600, the workbench can be folded away easily. The reliable folding mechanism means you can collapse or erect this workbench in just a few seconds, with no need for additional tools. This workbench is also suitable for those who need something that can cope with heavier loads. Provided you have fully extended the workbench and it is placed on an even surface, it can cope with loads of up to 200 kilograms.
This makes it suitable for masonry pieces and heavier materials, without the worry of the frame buckling beneath. Although a robust option, this workbench is very lightweight and easy to transport. Coming in at just 11.6 kilograms, you can carry this workbench under one arm when it is folded down for transportation.
The Sealey FWB1000 workbench is a more stripped-back alternative to some of the other DIY essentials in this list. At first glance, you would be forgiven for mistaking this workbench as a conventional piece of furniture. However, it is actually a durable DIY essential that provides you with many of the same features normally associated with everyday workbenches.
This workbench has a steel frame with a powder-coated finish, while the MDF tabletop provides you with plenty of space to work. A handy storage bar connects the table legs, providing you with a place to store tools as you work. An integrated handle also provides you with an effortless way to get this table from A to B.
This workbench is admittedly heavier than other options in this shortlist, coming in at around 14 kilograms. However, when you consider the integrated handle, this additional weight should not cause you any issues. The sturdy build of this workbench also makes it suitable for most DIY jobs, with a load-bearing capacity of 100 kilograms. One downside of this workbench is that it does not include a conventional vice grip or swivel pegs. This will limit your use of it somewhat, but you can always use G-clamps and other clamping devices to hold materials in place atop the work surface.AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
Selecting the Right Workbench for You
As you can see, there are quite a few options to consider when selecting a workbench for DIY tasks. Although there are some stripped-back alternatives out there, you will be better served by one with a two-piece work surface. Not only will this provide you with some flexibility when it comes to working with materials of varying size and shape, it also means you can clamp items in the centre to carry out additional tasks like sanding.
When choosing this type of workbench, make sure it includes dual crank handles that can be adjusted independently. You will also want to ensure that the two-piece work surface includes a variety of swivel pegs so you can keep awkwardly shaped work pieces locked in place. The overall build of your workbench is also important. The metal frame should definitely be made from steel to ensure maximum stability. A powder-coated finish will ensure the frame holds up well for a long time.
The work surface itself will most likely be made from wood. Go for bamboo or water-repellent wood materials whenever possible as this will last for longer. Finally, you should think about whether or not you would prefer a workbench with integrated storage. If you like to work at a decent pace, having instant access to your tools and DIY equipment is crucial.