Q:

How do you find the right workbench for your shop?

A:

Quick Answer

Finding the right workbench involves considering the top material, frame and dimensions that are most suitable for your needs. An anti-static plastic top workbench may be required when working with electronics because the material prevents static electricity build-up.

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Full Answer

Common top material options for workbenches include wood, steel, plastic laminate and hardboard. Solid wood is durable and can withstand impacts, heat exposure and marring. Steel is the most enduring material and is ideal for heavy use. Underside reinforcements and strong welds may be required for increased weight capacities.

Particleboard tops are ideal for medium and light use and may have a melamine or laminate covering for easy cleaning. Hardboard is a good alternative to particleboard because it is harder and denser, making it better able to withstand punctures, splits and cracks.

The most common frames for workbenches are wood and steel. These options are durable, although solid wood bases tend to be heavier than their metal counterparts. Angle-iron frames offer the same endurance and strength as steel but are less common. Resin frames are resistant to breakage and are lightweight, making them ideal for mobile workbenches.

Measuring the length and width of the workspace enables you to choose the right size workbench. Workbenches are also available in adjustable and fixed heights. Adjustable-height furniture is ideal if people of different physical abilities, ages and sizes are using the workbench. Fixed-height benches tend to be less expensive, and heights typically vary between 32 and 36 inches.

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