If you’re an avid lover of DIY and looking for the best workbench for all your crafts, this guide on how to choose a workbench is your go-to!
Do you spend most of your working time looking for the right tool? Are you sanding, painting or assembling on your kitchen table? Without a dedicated and organized workspace, your DIY project could include more time wasted than time doing what you love.
And when your mess starts invading your home life, your projects may start doing more harm than good.
If you are a professional and you are spending time searching for supplies, you are throwing your hard earned money away. With an organized workbench, you can remove the stress of your mess and make sure each project is done efficiently.
Follow these tips to find out how to choose the best workbench for every project.
Claim Your Space
Where do you do your work?
It could be a huge shop, the corner of a garage or back of your basement, but there are some universal needs for working safely and efficiently.
1. Power Up
When picking out where to put your workbench you will certainly need to have access to electricity. It’s always a good idea to have at least two GFI outlets within reach and ideally on either side of your bench.
When cords are stretched over your work area they are not only annoying but can be incredibly dangerous. The construction industry accounts for 52% of all electrical fatalities.
So, being able to plug in from different directions allows you to safely approach your project with saws, sanders, and drills without risking electric shock.
2. See the Light
In addition to accessing outlets, your workspace should have good lighting.
In addition to bright overhead light, a light with a swingable arm cannot only make your bench safer but will help make your detailed work easier as well.
3. Air it out
The final necessity with projects that require paint, glue, or emit small dust particles is ventilation.
If your space doesn’t have windows, there should be some way to vent it to the outside properly. No project is worth risking your health over.
In addition to ventilation, access to a shop-vac or a permanent vacuum system will keep your tools and space as clean as possible.
What’s on Top
Historically, the table of a workbench was a 6-inch inch slab of hardwood. If you are banging away at a piece of metal, an overbuilt workbench with a thick slab and huge legs definitely makes sense.
If you are painting birdhouses, you could probably get away with a basic kitchen countertop. Your workload will determine your needs.
Being able to clean your workspace properly might be essential and would potentially require a stainless steel top.
Rough woodworking can be done on any piece of hardwood over 2 inches. Even an old solid door could make due. For your safety, make sure that your bench top is secure and robust enough to handle the paces you put it through.
Having your workbench at the right height is incredibly essential. Most workbenches are between 33 and 36 inches tall. That is a good setup for people of the average height of 5’9″-6’0″.
If you are above or below that range, an extra inch in either direction can completely change the aches and pains you will feel at the end of the day. If you work with power tools, you may want to add a little height.
With planers and other hand tools, a lower bench could add some extra leverage. A great rule of thumb is to measure to the inside crease of your wrist to find the best workbench height for you.
How Much Space do you Have
If you are building cabinets, doing large framing or other large jobs, a 4×8 foot table that you can walk around is ideal. But we all don’t have a large shop that would allow that. Chances are, you have 4-foot to 8-foot space along a wall for a 24-inch deep bench.
If that is the case, the only other consideration is whether you will be working from the front of the bench or if you may need to be able to access your work from the side.
You may not want to maximize the width of your space if you need to clamp onto the sides or work from multiple angles.
Great Organization Saves Time and Money
If you only have a few hours on the weekend and you spend 30 minutes looking for that specific tool or fastener your project probably isn’t getting completed. A well-organized workshop will allow you to fly through your work.
There are a few different ways to achieve managing your space, but the best solutions seem to be vertical storage and drawers below your bench.
In terms of vertical storage, shelves can be ok for power tools in their cases, but a deep shelf allows an easy place to lose sight a much-needed to or supply. Installing peg board along your wall is a great way to store hand tools and jars of screws and fasteners.
It may seem a bit childish to outline the spot for your hammer with a marker, but the truth is, it works.
As they say, a place for everything and everything in its place. Solid drawers built for tools are a great way to keep your tools safe, clean and accessible.
If you view this page, you can see a great example of a workbench with a ton of drawer space.
These drawers are built to handle the weight of heavy tools and will take a beating too. Organizing each drawer with simple categories like “things that pull” “things that hit” and “things that screw” will help keep your sanity as well. A little piece of painters tape with the contents written on the front will allow you to keep easy tabs on your stuff.
Roll With It
Depending on what you are building, you may be fine with a bench that stays put. Many types of workbenches these days have built-in or optional casters to add portability to your workflow.
Maybe you do some of your work inside, and some in the fresh air. A rolling workbench can save you a ton of time by not having to walk back and forth for your tools.
You can also have it stored against a wall, but able to sit in the middle of a room to access your project from all sides.
The proper caster for your workbench should not affect its strength or stability so if you see yourself working in multiple places, why not bring your bench with you?
The Best Workbench is Your Workbench
By following these tips, you should be able to find the best workbench to fit your needs. Make sure it’s set up for your height, your tools, and your space.
Whether you are a crafter, woodworker or rocking heavy metal, you are the one putting in the hours, so make your space work for you. Once you have your workbench up and running, contact us to take your DIY to the next level.