Garage Workbench Buyer’s Guide
If you are like us, you finally decided to make use of the valuable space in your garage, versus letting it be collecting space for all your unused stuff! And you have turned it into a garage workshop. So now that your garage is all cleaned out, one of the first decisions you need to make is finding the right garage workbench. It seems that once you have your first workbench (or workbenches) in place, everything else just falls into place. A place you can call your own, be productive in and be proud of.
Our garage workbench buyer’s guide below will walk you through all the considerations for finding the right workbench for you
and your space. While not rocket science, we admit it, it is good to go through a basic checklist before making your purchase. As far as workbenches go, we will cover the following:
- Methodology of Use
- Garage Workbench Types
- Workbench Sizes Best Suited For Your Garage
- Workbench Surfaces
- Accessories and Add-ons
A good starting point for determining which garage workbench is best for you is to try to determine all the necessary duties you need it to perform. Now this sounds obvious, it’s a workbench! But think about the potential uses as well as what you need it to do now. Is your workbench primarily for smaller, daily fix-it type projects? Or, are you anticipating larger scale woodworking, craft or hobby type projects?
By focusing on all the uses present and future, you can better determine both the type and more importantly the size of workbench you may want.
For example, if you anticipate cutting long pieces of 2×4 or other wood, you should probably opt for a longer workbench set up. This will give you more surface space to house your saw, saw guides, clamps, etc.
If space is limited in your garage, a good consideration for a workbench is a narrower workbench with a more upright style and pegboard type hutch. This gives you vertical space for storage and easy access to tools.
Now that you have considered all the uses for your new garage workbench, let’s take a look at the actuals types and styles of workbenches available.
Home & Garage Workbench Types
While in our simple view of things there are only two types of workbenches – metal and wood – the truth is the different types of benches are usually tied to the use. For example, here is a sampling of workbenches and their various uses:
Woodworking or project workbench
And so forth.
But let’s focus on our main type of workbench, the garage workbench. Great for all sorts of projects and repairs, a typical garage workbench can be wood or steel construction, usually has a wood or MDF board surface, and for the most part a pegboard back and perhaps a shop light. That’s a good start. However, let’s not forget a drawer or two, and perhaps electrical strip for power.
In most cases your garage workbench will be static; that is, it is stationary on four legs. However, some workbenches can be mobile via the use of locking casters. These workbenches are particularly useful when dealing with larger woodworking or building projects that require a 360 degree access. So this is a consideration when selecting the workbench for your garage. Do you need it to be mobile? Or can it be stationary against a wall?
When it comes to steel vs. wood, it’s all a matter of preference when it comes to workbenches. We’re old school, so we like wood. However, steel constructed garage workbenches are virtually indestructible and typically will last a lifetime.
Proper Workbench Size
The first step in determining the right size garage workbench is to map out the space in your garage, the so called footprint of your work area. Both length of the workbench, but also the depth. A good trick is to mark out your footprint in tape on the garage floor, essentially outlining where the workbench will go. Doing so gives you a great visual reference of just what size will work best.
Remember that depth is important – the distance from the front edge of the workbench to the wall, assuming you have tools and accessories hanging on pegboard or other hooks. You want to be able to reach your tools easily and comfortably without having to overreach.
Finally, you need to be aware of the height of your workbench. This is perhaps the most important size aspect of all. Depending on your height, and whether you are standing or seated for most of your projects, the height of the workbench affects everything. Some workbenches are adjustable in height, which is great, but you will pay a bit extra for this feature. Other workbenches are fixed in height but are usually a typical 30 – 36” in height.
Best Garage Workbenches
Ok, now that we know what we are looking for, let’s take a quick look at a few of the best, top rated workbenches based on customer ratings and reviews.
One of the best garage workbenches, around, the Grizzly is everything you envision. Oak top and drawers, steel adjustable legs, two drawers and two oak vices. The wood tabletop is sealed to prevent stains and to preserve the natural beauty of the wood. A top pick for us! Reminds us of our old shop class in high school!