If you’re an experienced home mechanic, it’s easy to spend thousands of dollars to build yourself a well-organized garage with practical storage and spacious work surfaces. But no matter how much money you invest in a workspace to make it easier to repair and maintain your vehicle, built-in cabinets and benches have one major drawback: you can’t rearrange them to suit each individual task.

That’s the advantage to having a smaller workbench you can move around: You’ll always have a work surface close at hand, no matter what vehicle repair or upgrade you’re making.

And if you’re on a budget and/or your garage is on the smaller side, a space-saving portable workbench is a great everyday solution because you can put it away when you’re done with it. With those criteria in mind, we’ve put together a list of the best workbenches you can buy to add functionality and flexibility to your garage.

For more information on the best workbenches, refer to our table of contents.

1. Editor’s Pick: BLACK+DECKER Workmate Workbench

 

Black and Decker Workmate WM425-A workbench

Our Editor’s Pick nod goes to this BLACK+DECKER workbench. It features a classic design that has been around since the 1970s, and it’s easy to see why. Like past versions of the Workmate, this model boasts BLACK+DECKER’s distinctive frame design, which provides a 550-pound weight capacity and lets you fold the workbench down for easy storage.

Though ostensibly designed for carpenters, as a home mechanic you’ll appreciate this bench’s solid construction and multi-purpose design. You can use its two-piece top as a vice or clamp to hold in place whatever you’re working on. Like other versions of this bench, BLACK+DECKER includes clamping pegs that fit into holes in the tabletop. In addition, you can flip one half of the top up at a 90-degree angle to provide a solid backstop for your project.

This recommendation has folding legs you can tuck away to lower the bench’s height when you’re working on a large item. Between that feature and the 550-pound capacity, you could use this bench to support a small car engine or transmission. While the Workmate doesn’t have wheels, it weighs a manageable 41.9 pounds.

2. Best for Small Garages: Plan Station Pro Portable Workbench

Plan Station Pro portable workbench

Here’s one of the most innovative products we found when looking for the best workbenches to profile in this article. This is the one we recommend if you only need a small work surface and your garage is quite snug.

Because it’s designed to hang, you can position the Plan Station Pro at any height you want. The desk surface measures 24 inches by 36 inches, and there are pockets for organizing notebooks and repair manuals, pens and pencils, and other small tools. You can route power wires for smartphones, tablets, and laptops through the back, and there’s even a cupholder to keep your beverage from tipping over.

The only caveat is that you need two pieces of 1/2-inch plywood (bought separately, each measuring 24 inches by 48 inches) to provide structural rigidity for the workbench’s fabric frame. The manufacturer calls this product “heavy duty” but doesn’t specify a weight capacity, so we’d recommend this option as a handy surface on which to place tools and project plans, and work on small, lightweight car components.

When you’re done with it, the Plan Station Pro folds up against the wall and out of the way. There’s also a built-in carrying handle.

3. Most Impressive Weight Rating: KETER Jobmade Portable Workbench

Most impressive weight rating: Keter Jobmade portable work bench

The KETER Jobmade is another portable workbench designed to be placed wherever you need it in your garage, and then folded away when you’re done with it. The company says it builds the Jobmade workbench for professional and home use, and we think you’ll have a hard time finding projects it can’t handle.

The Jobmade boasts a 1,000-lb weight rating, a surprising specification for what is essentially a plastic table with removable aluminum legs. You might be even more surprised when you see this bench’s affordable price tag. According to KETER, it will take you about 30 seconds to remove the legs from their storage compartments and insert them in the four corners of bottom the tabletop. Built-in stabilizers keep the table level on imperfect surfaces. When you’re done working, tuck the legs away again.

This option weighs less than 30 pounds and has a built-in carrying handle. Disassembled, the bench measures less than 3 feet by 2 feet and is 4.5-inches thick, so it’s easy to store in your garage or transport in the back of your vehicle. Also included are four clamps, a removable tool organizer you can clip into the table, and a built-in storage compartment to keep your tools organized.

4. Most Portable Workbench: WORX Sidekick

WORX Sidekick

The garage might be your favorite place to work on your vehicle, but sometimes it’s not the best place. If you find yourself helping friends work on vehicles at their homes, the WORX Sidekick is a portable, lightweight work surface that you can easily bring along.

At 24-inches square and with a 32-inch working height, this is a small workbench, so you won’t be able to use it for rebuilding a transmission. However, it’s a great spot to place your socket set or other tools for easy access, when you know you’ll need to frequently switch from one tool to another. Its legs look spindly, but WORX says the Sidekick can support up to 300 lbs despite weighing only 13 pounds itself.

The company is not kidding when they call this product portable. Lift the table top off the legs, fold the legs up into a compact bundle, and tuck them into the bottom of the tabletop, which itself then folds up like a clamshell. The Sidekick includes dog clamps that fit into holes in the table, and if you buy more than one table, you can link them together to form a larger workbench.

5. KASTFORCE Portable Welding Table

Kastforce KF3002 portable welding table

In the English language, the word “utilize” can be defined to mean using something to do a job for which it was not necessarily designed. In that sense, we can envision you utilizing this KASTFORCE workbench in a variety of ways.

Naturally, you can use it as a welding table, with its 10-gauge galvanized metal tabletop. But heavy-duty, 3-inch casters with four bearings and individual brakes make it easy for you to use this product as a multi-purpose workbench that’s easy to move around your garage or work area. The 1/8-inch thick tabletop is perforated with 5/8-inch holes, and there’s a bottom shelf with 23 inches of clearance below the tabletop for storing tools and gear for whatever job you need to do.

This recommendation stands 35-inches tall, has a work surface measuring 18 inches by 36 inches, and is rated to support up to 1,200 pounds. All of those dimensions make this table useful for working on medium to large vehicle components and assemblies. KASTFORCE says the KF3002 ships unassembled, and the package weighs about 55 pounds.

6. WORX Pegasus Multi-Function Workbench

WORX Pegasus multi-function workbench

Here’s another highly rated product from WORX, the Pegasus multi-function workbench. While it’s not as easily portable as WORX’s Sidekick, it’s arguably even more versatile. The Pegasus starts out as a small bench measuring 31 inches by 25 inches and standing 32-inches high. The weight capacity is 300 lbs when set up as a table, but that goes up to 1,000 lbs when you fold the sides down to turn the Pegasus into a sawhorse.

That convertibility is our main reason for recommending the WORX Pegasus: if you work on your vehicles and do carpentry or other jobs around the home, this bench is a great all-rounder. This option is made of molded ABS plastic with some steel fittings, and comes with two clamps and four dog clamps. And if you also have the WORX Sidekick, you can join it and the Pegasus together to form a larger work surface.

At the end of the workday, you can fold the tabletop down and the legs together for easy carrying, transportation, and storage. WORX says the Pegasus weighs about 30 lbs and comes fully assembled.

7. BLACK+DECKER Portable Workbench

Black and Decker WM125 portable workbench

The option from BLACK+DECKER is an entry-level version of the company’s popular Workmate line of workbenches. Right off the bat, let us say that if you’re looking for a bench you can use daily for car repair projects, you might want to spend more money for one with a longer list of features. However, this option is an affordable way to add a small, portable work surface to your garage.

With a compact size and a product weight of less than 18 lbs, you’ll have no issue moving this workbench to wherever you need in your garage, workshop, or driveway. Despite its tidy dimensions, this bench is rated to support up to 350 pounds, which matches or is better than some of the more robust-looking products in our list. BLACK+DECKER says this option’s work surface measures 33.3 inches by 10 inches with the two halves of the tabletop clamped together, and the table stands tall at 29-3/4 inches.

Your purchase includes the workbench and four clamping pegs that fit in pre-drilled holes in the tabletop.

8. ATD Tools Heavy-Duty Mobile Workbench

ATD Tools 7012 heavy-duty mobile workbench

Sometimes, all you need is a small work surface you can easily move around, and this mobile workbench from ATD Tools fits that description nicely. This wheeled table has a top tray that measures 29 inches by 20 inches, which is large enough to keep a selection of hand, air, and power tools close by as you work. You could also use this as a workbench for repairing small components most easily dealt with after you’ve removed them from your vehicle.

Whatever you might use this little bench for, it can’t be too heavy, as ATD claims a modest 220-pound weight capacity in the cecnter of the table. The table itself weights just under 44 pounds. You can tuck small items, like screws, nuts, bolts and sockets, away in a one-inch-deep drawer under the tray. Both the top tray and drawer are lined to keep items from clattering around.

This ATD Tools workbench is also height-adjustable to position the work surface anywhere between 34 and 48 inches from the floor.

9. Performance Tool Multi-Purpose Workbench

Performance Tool W54025

Here’s an entry-grade workbench that seems to take inspiration from the well-known BLACK+DECKER Workmate line, but with a few useful twists. Like the Workmate, this option from Performance Tool has a two-piece top that you can open to varying widths to use as a clamp, with two crank handles that let you secure irregularly shaped items. It also folds for easy storage and carrying.

Where Performance Tool’s product stands apart is in the details. You can use holes in the bottom rails of the frame to store and organize the hand tools you use most often. And the tabletop is printed with a ruler in inches and centimeters, and a protractor for measuring angles up to 180 degrees. If there’s a drawback, it is that, like the BLACK+DECKER option, the Performance Tool workbench offers a small work surface when the tabletop halves are drawn together. However, the bench is designed to support up to 200 pounds of weight.

This recommendation stands 31-inches tall, and the tabletop measures 23-7/8 inches by 25 inches when fully open. Included with each purchase are four dog clamps designed to fit the holes drilled into the tabletop.

Should you look for a workbench with a high weight capacity?

Photo credit: Boris Rabtsevich / Shutterstock.com

To answer this question, think about the kinds of vehicle repair jobs you’re likely to undertake. Do you want a surface on which you can place an engine cylinder head or a transmission to work on while it’s out of the car or truck? If so, then a generous weight rating should be a primary consideration when choosing a workbench.

But if all you envision using your workbench for is a flat surface to keep tools close at hand, any of the products we’ve listed here will be more than adequate.

Consider what else you can use the workbench for:

Most of the benches we’ve listed here are multi-purpose products that are well-suited to car repair work, but can also do double duty for carpentry and general home repair tasks. At first glance, a table with built-in clamps seems purpose-made for woodworking, but you’ll find clamps handy for tasks like rebuilding a brake caliper or assembling a suspension strut.

Even if you need a workbench that can support a lot of weight, consider the weight of the workbench itself:

Most portable workbenches don’t have wheels on them, so if you need one you can easily move around, choose one light enough that you can pick up easily. Car repairs often involve heavy lifting, so don’t make life harder with a bench you have to heave to move it to the other side of the garage or driveway.

There is little correlation between the weight of a workbench itself and how much it can hold. Consider the KETER Jobmade bench that we have on our list. It has aluminum legs and a plastic top that together weigh about 30 lbs, and yet the bench is rated to support 1,000 lbs.

Why choose a workbench that disassembles for storage rather than simply folding up?

The benches that come apart for storage typically collapse into a smaller size than those that only fold down. Also, of the workbenches in our list, the ones designed to be broken down into their component parts don’t take a lot of time to disassemble, and once you’ve taken them apart, they take up less space than the folding ones.

A folding bench is great if you primarily plan to use it at home. If you want something you can take with you to a friend’s house to help them work on their car, choose a bench that you can take apart so it’s easier to store, transport and carry.


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Photo credit: Vereshchagin Dmitry / Shutterstock.com