Tools & Equipment
The 7 Best Portable Workbenches of 2020
A workbench is a working surface that can be used for woodworking, metalworking, and other kinds of workshop related tasks. A portable workbench is movable and this allows you to carry it along when working on remote projects.
This type of workbench should be strong enough to carry a heavy load but also lightweight enough for comfortable carrying. Since there is a wide variety of these tools in the market, we have listed the 7 best portable workbenches that you should consider buying.
7 Best Portable Workbenches – Review
1. Keter 197283 (Best Overall)
2. Performance Tool W54025 (Best Budget)
3. Worx WX051 (Best Convertible)
4. Keter 217679 (Best Height-Adjustable)
5. Black & Decker BDST11000 (Easy-to-Use)
6. Black & Decker WM225-A (With Adjustable Jaws)
7. Kreg KWS1000 (With Storage Compartments)
1. Keter 197283
2. Performance Tool W54025
3. Worx WX051
4. Keter 217679
5. Black & Decker BDST11000
6. Black & Decker WM225-A
(With Adjustable Jaws)
7. Kreg KWS1000
(With Storage Compartments)
Keter 197283 – Best Overall Portable Workbench
- Weight Capacity: 1000 lbs.
- Dimensions: 33.46 x 21.65 x 29.75 in.
- Material: Polypropylene, Resin, Aluminum
Keter’s 197283 takes the overall best spot because it has the highest weight capacity of 1000 lbs. This is made possible by a heavy-duty resin and polypropylene construction on the bench top with sturdy aluminum legs. As a result, you can work on very heavy wooden boards and blocks.
This table surface is also very wide. It measures 33.46 inches in length and 21.65 inches in width, which is wide enough to hold wide stock.
Polypropylene makes the top surface weather-resistant, which helps to prevent rusting, peeling, and fading. It is also hard enough to avoid denting and is easy to clean.
Below the table surface is a shelf that is made using the same material and it can be used to store various tools, accessories, and even tool cases within close reach.
The workbench is designed to have a quick opening system that can be set up in as little as 30 seconds. After you, you can neatly fold it into a compact briefcase-like rectangular shape while a carrying handle makes it easy to transport.
Two 12-inch clamps are included as accessories to help you firmly hold different workpieces as you work on them. On the downside, the bench is relatively heavy because it weighs 29.95 lbs.
2. Performance Tool W54025 – Best Budget Portable Workbench
- Weight Capacity: 200 lbs.
- Dimensions: 23.88 x 25 x 31 in.
- Material: Wood, Steel
If you are a bit short on cash, Performance Tool’s W54025 is the best portable workbench to buy because it is very affordable. Despite this, it has a very practical design that contains a printed tabletop with a grid, ruler, and protractor for convenience.
The tool also has two warp-resistant jaws that can be closed to give one continuous working surface, opened to expand the working surface, or angled to hold uniquely shaped workpieces. Each jaw is easily and independently adjustable using a single-hand clamp system.
Also included is a tool storage rail, which allows you to store small tools such as screwdrivers within close reach.
This workbench is quite compact because it measures 23.88 x 25 x 31 inches and it can be folded to a more compact size for transportation or storage.
Another benefit you get is that the product is very lightweight. It weighs only 8.85 lbs. and this makes it very easily portable.
On the downside, the bench can only hold a maximum of 200 lbs. and the tabletop is made using wood, which is not weatherproof.
3. Worx WX051 – Best Convertible Portable Workbench
- Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
- Dimensions: 31 x 25 x 32 in.
- Material: ABS, Steel
Worx’s WX051 is characterized by a convertible design that makes it very versatile. It can be easily converted to a sawhorse by collapsing the sides of the bench. As a bench, it can support a maximum load of 300 lbs. while as a sawhorse, it can comfortably hold up to 1000 lbs.
To hold this weight, the bench’s legs are made of steel and they lock for additional security. On the other hand, the top is made using molded ABS, which is weatherproof and makes the unit very durable.
This tabletop is fitted with two quick clamps plus four clamp dogs, which help to firmly secure different types of materials in different shapes as you work on them.
During storage or transportation, the bench can be collapsed to have a thickness of only 5 inches, which is quite thin.
Other features include a built-in measuring guide next to the rails, a storage shelf for keeping tools and supplies right underneath the bench, and a wide tabletop that measures 31 x 25 inches. However, the unit is quite heavy because it weighs 30 pounds.
4. Keter 217679 – Best Height Adjustable Portable Workbench
- Weight Capacity: 700 lbs.
- Dimensions: 33.46 x 21.65 x 29.75 in.
- Material: Resin, Aluminum
This portable workbench has an ergonomic height-adjustable design that allows people with different heights to work on the tabletop comfortably. It has aluminum legs that can be adjusted to raise the height from 29.75” to 33.75” with a middle setting at 31.75”.
In total, this gives you 4” of adjustment and can be comfortably used by short, medium-height, and tall woodworkers.
Other than that, the bench has a tough, weatherproof resin tabletop that can hold up to 700 lbs. This allows you to place and work on very heavy workpieces. The tabletop is fitted with 2 adjustable holding clamps, which are ideal for high precision work.
More features include a quick opening system that can be set up in as little as 30 seconds and a storage shelf under the table for keeping tools within close reach. The only problem is that the tool can not be converted into a sawhorse.
5. Black & Decker BDST11000 – Easy-to-Use Portable Workbench
- Weight Capacity: 550 lbs.
- Dimensions: 23.7 x 7.8 x 41 in.
- Material: Bamboo, Steel
Black & Decker’s BDST11000 has a couple of features that make it very easy to use. For starters, it has a one-hand quick folding design that makes setting up a breeze. After use, the bench folds up to a compact freestanding design that can be easily transported.
The tool also has a one-handed clamp system that allows for quick and easy adjustments. This clamp adjusts the smaller jaw to tighten or loosen it from the larger jaw.
These jaws contain various markings such as protractor angle line markings, which enables you to conveniently measure the cutting angles without using any other tool.
Other features include a sturdy heavy-gauge steel frame that can hold up to 550 lbs. and 4 adjustable swivel pegs that can be inserted into the different slots on the working surface to clamp irregularly shaped objects.
On the downside, the top is made on bamboo, which is not weatherproof, and there is no bench or rail to keep tools within close reach.
6. Black & Decker WM225-A – Portable Workbench with Adjustable Jaws
- Weight Capacity: 450 lbs.
- Dimensions: 30.2 x 6.8 x 24.1 in.
- Material: Wood, Steel
Black & Decker’s WM225-A is characterized by adjustable wooden jaws that can be independently moved using 2 clamps to hold regular or irregular shaped objects.
They can also be closed or opened to form a single piece or a wide working surface while 4 adjustable swivel pegs make it possible to easily clamp workpieces. The entire structure is held in place by a sturdy steel frame, which can hold up to 450 lbs.
You also get adjustable legs that give you dual height settings. The lower height is more stable and is ideal for working on heavier objects while the raised position gives you a more comfortable working position.
The tabletop is fitted with measurement markings for convenience but being made of wood, it is not weatherproof.
7. Kreg KWS1000 – Portable Workbench with Storage Compartments
- Weight Capacity: 350 lbs.
- Dimensions: 31.5 x 27.8 x 31.5 in.
- Material: Plastic, Steel
Last on the list is Kreg’s KWS1000 and this is equipped with a large built-in storage tray underneath the bench top for keeping tools and accessories within close reach. Additionally, a rail is built around the top, which can be used to hang containers with nails at proximity.
That said, the unit has quite a large tabletop surface that measures 31.5 x 27.8 inches. This whole surface has hole patterns that fit in accessories such as swivel pegs for tighter clamping of differently-shaped workpieces.
Heavy gauge steel legs support the workbench and give it an overall weight capacity of 350 lbs. This steel frame and the top surface can be folded using quick-release tabs, which make the process very easy.
Other features include weatherproof ABS plastic top that can be folded to convert the bench to a sawhorse and the inclusion of an auto-adjust bench clamp plus 4 bench dogs as accessories. On the downside, the bench is very costly.
How to Buy the Best Portable Workbench
There are two ways to look at the size. A small workbench with a smaller working surface might not be sufficient to work on large workpieces but it is usually very lightweight and easy to carry.
On the other hand, large workbenches provide a wider surface that is ideal for working on large workpieces. However, such units can be very heavy and this makes them a bit difficult to carry.
Therefore, if you are working on a large project that requires wide boards, a bigger workbench with a wide working surface is recommended. A good example is the Keter 197283, which has a wide 33.46 x 21.65 in. tabletop.
Otherwise, a compact workbench such as Performance Tool’s W54025 is recommended.
Another important factor to consider is weight and there are two kinds of weight. First is the weight of the unit and the lighter it is, the better.
Second and most important, you need to check the bench’s weight capacity. Ultimately, the higher the weight capacity, the better because this allows you to work on weighty workpieces, be they wood, plastic, or metal.
For this, be sure to check out Keter’s 197283, which can hold up to 1000 lbs.
However, there is a catch. To support such a heavyweight, the bench’s frame must be made using heavy-duty metal, which makes the product weigh more.
Therefore, if you don’t usually work on heavy workpieces (for instance if making picture frames), it would be wise to buy a workbench with a lower weight capacity.
Apart from being a workbench, the tool should be versatile enough to be used in other ways. For instance, it should be convertible to as sawhorse, which can then hold heavier objects such as beams or be used in pairs to hold long boards and blocks.
Other than that, it should be convertible into a clamping station, and for this, the surface should have holes for supporting bench dogs/ pegs. Clamps should also be included for tight holding as you make cuts that require high precision, such as miter cuts.
This kind of versatility can be found in Worx’s WX051.
A workbench’s height is usually overlooked but it is important to consider. Ideally, the tabletop should be at a comfortable level to suit your body height so that you don’t bend a lot. To suit different kinds of people, height-adjustability is recommended.
For instance, Keter’s 217679 has a height adjustment range of 4” with the option of setting to 3 different height levels. This gives it an ergonomic design because it can be comfortably used by different kinds of people.
Note: For stability and safe use of height-adjustable portable workbenches, always set them to the lowest level when placing very heavy objects on top.
5. Ease of Use
Ease of use brings about convenience. Certain features such as a one-hand quick-folding design make the tool very easy and convenient to set up.
If it has two jaws, a built-in clamping system for adjusting them is recommended because it allows you to expand or contract the working surface, or close the jaws into a workpiece in between.
Another feature to look for includes angle or length markings on the surface for convenient measurement.
Accessories are always an added plus. Most portable workbenches come with clamps and the more they are, the better. Bench dogs are also very useful and you should check if they are included in the pack.
Lastly, the brand also plays a crucial role in determining the best portable workbench. Even though well-known brands such as Black & Decker, Worx, and Keter might be somewhat expensive, they are better off because the quality of their products can be trusted.
All in all, weight capacity makes Keter’s 197283 the overall best portable workbench because it can hold up to 1000 lbs. It also has a wide working surface that is weatherproof while a tool shelf and a quick-opening design make it very practical.
However, if you want a convertible workbench that can be folded into a sawhorse, we highly recommend Worx’s WX051. If you are on a tight budget though, be sure to check out Performance Tool’s W54025, which is very affordable.
- 7 Best Portable Workbenches – Review
- 1. Keter 197283 – Best Overall Portable Workbench
- 2. Performance Tool W54025 – Best Budget Portable Workbench
- 3. Worx WX051 – Best Convertible Portable Workbench
- 4. Keter 217679 – Best Height Adjustable Portable Workbench
- 5. Black & Decker BDST11000 – Easy-to-Use Portable Workbench
- 6. Black & Decker WM225-A – Portable Workbench with Adjustable Jaws
- 7. Kreg KWS1000 – Portable Workbench with Storage Compartments
- How to Buy the Best Portable Workbench