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If you're shopping for a new bench for your woodworking projects, the options range from portable, inexpensive pieces to sturdy (and pricey!) options inspired by the ones favored by Scandanavian craftspeople.
If you're ready to take on your next project, here are our favorite woodworking benches.
Best Overall: Craftsman 2000 Series Workbench
This sleek-looking red bench from Craftsman weighs a solid 95 pounds and strikes the right balance of being attractive, sturdy, and fairly affordable. It measures six feet wide and 41.25 inches high, and the tabletop height is not adjustable. Although it doesn't come with storage, you can opt to add two of Craftsman's matching rolling cabinets underneath. The top is made from a one-inch–thick butcher block, and there's a backsplash to help contain sawdust and prevent tools from sliding off. The weight capacity is 1,450 pounds, so it's perfect for basic hobby projects, and there are leveling feet at the bottom that you can adjust if your flooring is uneven, which can happen in garages and sheds.
Best Budget: Woodstock Tool Table
This bench is on the smaller side, it can handle projects both small and large. With a 1.25-inch–thick butcher block tabletop measuring 40 x 14 inches, there's plenty of room to add extras such as a wood lathe, scroll saw, or sander. The bench itself weighs only 41 pounds, so it's easy to move around your workspace, and the maximum capacity is 700 pounds. But don't let the low weight fool you: The A-frame profile has flared legs and arched cross braces that provide serious stability, and the rubber feet can be adjusted to match an uneven surface.
Best Adjustable Height: Gladiator Adjustable Hardwood Workbench
If you're going to have woodworkers of multiple heights sharing a workbench, it makes sense to choose one with a tabletop that can move up and down. The height on this ADA-compliant option adjusts from 27.5 to 40.8 inches and comes with either white or granite legs made from welded steel. It measures six feet across and has a maximum weight capacity of 3,000 pounds. The top is made from hardwood that measures nearly two inches thick, and the wood has been treated with a sealant to help protect it from chemical stains. It also has leveling legs at the bottom that allow it to be adjusted up to 1.25 inches, so you won't have to worry about wobbles.
Best Splurge: Sjöbergs Scandi Plus
Sjöbergs workbenches are handcrafted in Sweden and suitable for both professional builders and weekend hobbyists. This one has a top made from European beechwood that measures 1.5 inches thick; the cabinets and shelves at the bottom are made from birchwood. Both the surface and the trestle legs are dotted ¾-inch dog holes for projects that require clamping, and four glass-filled nylon bench dogs with side springs are also included. The bench can be set up for both right-handed and left-handed woodworkers and measures 35 x 52 inches (that's the worktop, the total piece is slightly larger). Sjöbergs benches come with 10-year warranties.
Best Portable: WORX Pegasus Plastic Workbench
This plastic-and-steel workbench weighs just 30 pounds and can fold flat when it's not being used—you can even tuck it under a bed if you're tight on space. It uses the WORX integrated clamping system, and you can attach other products (like a second matching tabletop, if you want more room) to it as well. The worktop measures 31 x 25 inches, and it's 33 inches tall. There are also built-in channels for clamps as well as slots for bench dogs, and the tabletop has a 300-pound capacity. It can also double as a sawhorse, and when set up that way, the maximum load is 1,000 pounds. Those who tend to be klutzy will appreciate the slow-folding safety mechanism, which is designed to protect fingers from unexpected pinches.
Best Design: Bora Tool Centipede Workstand
This piece might look like a modern art sculpture, but it's actually a handy, versatile item for your workshop that sets up in seconds and requires no assembly. It comes in four different sizes, and this one allows you to create a work stand that is 30 inches high and measures four feet by eight feet when open. It weighs 31 pounds and can support up to 6,000 pounds without any flexion in the legs. (There are also risers, which are sold separately, that can elevate it to 36 inches.) The P-tops are coated with a polymer substance, so they won't scratch your projects. The centipede comes with its own storage bag, as well as clamps and X-cups that attach to the P-tops, which can hold lumber either vertically or horizontally.
Best with Storage: Husky 46 in. W 9-Drawer Deep Tool Chest Mobile Workbench
This streamlined chest is so attractive and useful that some fans like to showcase it inside their homes, to hold items like kitchen tools and craft supplies. The top is made from solid wood and measures 46 inches wide and 24.5 inches deep, and the powder-coated finish will resist rust. As a workbench, it can support up to 1,200 pounds, and each of the nine drawers can support up to 100 pounds each. The drawers have ball bearings to help them open and close smoothly, as well as thick liner mats to protect the finish from scratches. There's a key lock that secures all the drawers simultaneously, which is ideal if you need to keep young children away from sharp objects or household chemicals. Other useful perks include a power strip, USB port, cord holder, and handle to help you guide it easily around your space.
Best Hybrid: Ramia Finish-It-Yourself 1500 Workbench
If you love the idea of a DIY workbench, but can't quite bring yourself to tackle the whole project, this beechwood bench from Ramia, a family-owned Czech company, strikes a nice balance. Once you put it together, all you'll need to do is set up the vise jaws, sand down some edges, and, if you choose, add an optional clear stain. You can arrange the vises for either left- or right-handed orientation, and the bench comes with four steel dogs. A shelf at the bottom provides plenty of storage, too. It measures 61 inches long by 25 inches wide, which gives you a generously sized work area, and at 97 pounds, it's solid enough that it won't wobble.
The Craftsman 2000 Series Workbench (view on Amazon) got points for being well-made and lovely to look at, with enough space to add optional storage if you need it. If you can't see dropping a ton of money on a workbench just yet, the Woodstock Tool Table (view on Amazon), our budget pick, is a perfectly serviceable piece with a stable A-frame, 700-pound weight capacity, and the ability to add accessories like a saw or sander.
What to Look for in a Woodworking Bench
If your workshop also doubles as your garage or basement, you may need a bench with a small footprint that can be easily moved around. Keep in mind, though, that lighter benches may wobble more—ones with adjustable leveling feet may provide a more steady surface on an uneven cement floor.
Some benches measure 34 inches high, which is the standard height for tables. But if you're planning to spend hours hunched over, you'll want to take ergonomics into consideration. One suggestion is the "rule of thumb" guideline: With your arms relaxed at your sides, have someone measure the distance between the floor and your first thumb knuckle. This is the ideal workbench height. If you do a lot of work sitting down, consider getting an adjustable stool and even a footrest to help you find the right position. Remember that it's easier to lift a lower bench onto risers, rather than deal with one that's too tall.
Many benches are not only equipped with vises, clamps, and dog holes—which some woodworkers consider essential—but extra bells and whistles like power strips, pegboards, and even lighting. Some also have built-in storage, and when you keep items inside your bench, their weight provides added stability. When looking for the right bench, consider the projects you'll be taking on and which features you might need the most.
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Lexi Dwyer is a professional lifestyle writer who has written about everything from recycling bins, window boxes, and patio tables to inflatable hot tubs for The Spruce. You can find more of her work on Fatherly, What To Expect, and Today.com.