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Lightweight, stable, strong, easy to transport and store, folding workbenches are a great help to the do-it-yourselfer. But are they all really practical to use? That's what we wanted to check.

reviews of 6 folding stands

By holding a workpiece or a stationary machine in place, the folding workbench allows you to work safely and comfortably. It consists of a metal base and a platform, most of the time in medium, bamboo or metal (Fartools), a thickness of 16 to 25 mm which allows the whole to support loads ranging from 100 to 250 kg depending on the model.

Choice criteria for folding workbenches

  • One of the main criteria of choice is the work surface, therefore the size of the tray. Silverline and Fartools have the smallest. Bosch and Black + Decker offer the largest area.
  • Each manufacturer strives to offer the easiest bench to deploy and retreat. The Bosch and Black + Decker install in seconds by unlocking latches. The Fartools and the two Wolfcraft ask to set up the tray before folding or unfolding the base.
  • Transport should not be a problem. The biggest, Bosch and Black + Decker, are not the most difficult to carry. Once folded, they are compact and balanced. Both Wolfcraft and Fartools are a little heavy for long-distance transport.
  • The Fartools, Wolfcraft and Black + Decker have a variable plateau height. The Fartools offers the greatest height with 1 m, the Master 600 is at 970 cm, the Master 700 at 945 cm and the Black + Decker at 775 cm.

A platter cut in half

The tray is composed of two parts: a fixed and a mobile to turn the workbench into a vice. On some models of our selection, the tray can be adjustable in height and tilt, for a better comfort of work and to facilitate the storage of the workbench. The trays are bigger or smaller. They generally have a base that offers a large surface of support to the ground, which brings a good stability when cutting long pieces for example. But flip side, these workbenches are a little more bulky for storage.

Crank tightening

The pieces are tight on the workbench thanks to two independent cranks, placed on the front of the plate and mounted on a worm, which allow the translation of the movable half-plate. They can be manipulated separately for asymmetric clamping, for machining beveled parts for example. Shims, provided by the manufacturers (usually four), take place in the various anchor points of the half-trays in order to quickly and firmly tighten the boards, tubes, pipes and even in some cases a piece of furniture or a piece of furniture. stationary machine. Once put in place, these wedges can rotate on themselves in order to press too, without too much problems, circular or scalloped parts.

The workbench is not everything
Even if a folding workbench supports heavy loads, it can not be used as a step or stepladder. It is also not designed to handle large and repeated shocks: its base of small section may deform.

Set up and adjustments of folding workbenches

Folding workbench

  • The Wolfcraft, Silverline and Fartools workbenches are delivered as a kit and their assembly lasts about half an hour.
  • On the Black + Decker, only the tray is to be installed: the base is already assembled.

Bosch Folding Workbench

  • The Bosch is delivered assembled and is put in place quickly.
  • Simply unfold the tray and lower the telescopic leg.

Wolfcraft Master 700 folding stand

  • However, for the folding foot of the Wolfcraft Master 700, the drawbar is hard to unlock.

Adjust the height of the Fartools Folding Workbench

  • To vary the height of the Fartools tray, simply operate a pedal that unlocks the safety latches before lifting the table.

Move the back part of the folding bench

  • On the Fartools and Black + Decker, the back of the board can move.
  • On rack for the Fartools with a setting cm by cm. In notches every 8 cm for Black + Decker.

Tilt the folding bench

  • Wolfcraft and Fartools can tilt their tray up to 65°.
  • On both Wolfcraft, the operation is very simple to perform.

Tightening parts

Tighten the pieces in the folding bench

  • Some manufacturers offer variants for tightening parts.
  • On the Silverline, the two half-platters rotate 90° vis-à-vis to take in large wood panel vices.

Vertical clamping

  • Black + Decker allows vertical clamping by rotating the moving part on the fixed part.
  • Attention, in this position, the clamping lack of power.

Clamps

  • The shims are usually fixed in holes on the tray.
  • Those of the Fartools slide in grooves.

Notice on Folding Workbenches

Silverline Bench Cranks

  • The Silverline cranks are quite flexible and the chocks wide enough to clamp the hoses.
  • They make it easy to tighten parts.

Black and Decker Folding Workbench

  • With a wide base and a large platform, the Black + Decker is rather comfortable with long panels.
  • His foot is a plus, even if the knee "tap" in the bench.

Fartools Folding Workbench

  • Thanks to its aluminum plate, the Fartools is the best resistant to splashes of hot metal.

Bosch Folding Workbench

  • The Bosch, with a good support surface, easily accommodates a radial saw while remaining stable on its feet.

Storage on folding workbenches

Tool storage on folding workbenches

  • Being able to keep some tools at hand is always nice.
  • The Black + Decker offers storage at the step.
  • On the base of the Silverline and the two Wolfcraft, holes on the front crossbar to store the screwdrivers.

Tool storage on Bosch workbench

  • On the Bosch, it is a compartment at the level of the movable plate which accommodates the 13 small tools.

Store the shims

  • It is possible to store the clamps on one of the cross of the foot (and thus avoid losing them!).

Evaluation Criteria for Folding Workbenches

  • Installation and storage must be fast and convenient. The workbench must have the least resistance possible. The storage also takes into account the ease of transport, compactness and balance of the folded workbench.
  • Clamping capacity is not to be neglected. Workbenches are more or less effective depending on the shape of the parts. The working surface and the opening capacity of the trays are also taken into account.
  • Stability is an important point for the safety of the user. The workbench must be stable laterally and longitudinally.
  • Ergonomics and comfort. These two points concern the shape of the trays, the setting up and the efficiency of the holds and the manufacturing quality of the workbenches. The comfort is checked during the various adjustments (tightening, inclination of the tray...).

Test procedure *

The tests began with the assembly, set-up, folding, transportation and storage of workbenches. Then, the resistance, the stability and the clamping capacity were checked in a traditional situation of use by a handyman: wide, long, round, light or heavy parts were clamped horizontally and vertically. Power tools were then used for grinding, sawing, drilling and sanding operations to test the strength of the trays.
* System D test benches are made under real conditions of use by our journalists. The results may therefore differ from those displayed by the manufacturers, whose tests are performed by laboratories according to standardized protocols.

What to remember from the test?

All the establishments fulfill their role. The differences appear on the practical details.

  • Arrived first, the Wolfcraft Master 700, a new addition to the market, offers a robust platform and frame, a 10-year warranty, and is designed for heavy duty work.
  • In second place, the Black + Decker is already well known. With its large work surface and ease of operation, it still has serious assets.
  • In third place, the Bosch is convenient and simple to use. It may lack a height-adjustable tray to be perfect.
  • Fourth, the Wolfcraft Master 600 is a little heavy and bulky to carry.
  • Fifth, the Fartools lack of rigidity and cranks are hard to maneuver.
  • The Silverline close the march. It does not allow to install a stationary machine in all serenity, but it is definitely the cheapest!

Bosch Folding Workbench, System D's favorite

Bosch folding stand

There are tools we like to work with and this workbench is one of them. Admittedly, it is not the cheapest, but its quality of manufacture and ease of use justify its price. It is manageable and can be moved even unfolded without problem thanks to its weight and its rigidity. Its ease of deployment allows it to be used on any occasion without hesitation. Although invariable, its working height of 83.4 cm is comfortable and largely sufficient for a user of medium size (1.75 to 1.80 m). Its large table allows it to install stationary machines (scroll saw or radial saw, drill press...).

Comparative table of folding workbenches

Comparative of folding workbenches


Click on the table to enlarge

Bosch Folding Workbench

Bosch Folding Workbench

Model: pwb 600
Price: 150 €
Min / max board dimensions: 680 x 550 to 637 mm
Opening: max. Jaw 87 mm
Working height: 834 mm
Material / thickness bamboo tray: 16 mm
Max load: 120 kg
Weight: 11.6 kg
Warranty: 3 years

  • Installation and storage: 7,6
    Ready to use right out of the box. Despite its size, it is not bulky when folded.
  • Clamping capacity: 6,5
    The tightening is powerful but the opening of the jaws is limited. The holds have a good size and a good grip.
  • Stability: 7,4
    The aluminum base gives it lightness. Although stable, avoid long, heavy parts cantilevered.
  • Ergonomics and comfort: 7,5
    The bamboo tray is shock resistant. On the other hand, he fears the sparks of metal. Once folded, it is balanced and pleasant to carry.
Test result: 7.2

Black + Decker Folding Workbench

Black + Decker Folding Workbench

Model: workmate plus wm825
Price: 130 €
Min / max board dimensions: 740 x 340 to 650 mm
Opening: max. Jaw 310 mm
Working heights: 605 and 780 mm
Material / thickness bamboo tray: 16 mm
Max load: 250 kg
Weight: 12.4 kg
2 years warranty

  • Installation and storage: 7,2
    The feet and frame unfold and fold in seconds. Folded, it can hang easily.
  • Clamping capacity: 7,2
    The two cranks, connected by a belt, can be disengaged for asymmetrical tightening.
  • Stability: 7,7
    Thanks to its wide base and footboard, it stays in place even with long, heavy parts.
  • Ergonomics and comfort: 7,5
    The latches for folding the frame are soft and pleasant. The fixed half-plate can move to increase the clamping surface.
Test result: 7.4

The Fartools Folding Workbench

The Fartools Folding Workbench

Model: WB 600
Price: 109 €
Min / max tray dimensions: 600 x 300 to 500 mm
Opening: max. Jaw 200 mm
Working heights: 780 to 1025 mm
Material / thickness aluminum tray: 30 mm
Max load: 100 kg
Weight: 12,5 kg
2 years warranty

  • Installation and storage: 6,6
    Its editing is fast enough thanks to a clear notice. Folded, it is compact, but unstable.
  • Clamping capacity: 6,8
    Clamps placed in grooves leave a good range of adjustment and are quite practical.
  • Stability: 6,8
    The base, a little narrow and not rigid enough, lacks stability with the tray positioned at maximum height.
  • Ergonomics and comfort : 7,0
    The cranks need to be lapped. They are hard to handle. The tilt tray is difficult to unlock. On the other hand, it is resistant.
Test result: 6.8

The Silverline Folding Workbench

The Silverline Folding Workbench

Model: TB05
Price: 44 €
Min / max tray dimensions: 610 x 240 to 340 mm
Opening: max. Jaws 100 mm
Working height: 800 mm
Material / thickness MDF top (medium): 18 mm
Max load: 150 kg
Weight: 6 kg
2 years warranty

  • Installation and storage: 6,8
    Supplied as a kit, its installation instructions are succinct but clear enough. Once folded, it takes up little space.
  • Clamping capacity: 6,8
    Clamps, large enough, adapt to thick parts. The two half-plates rotate at 45 and 90°.
  • Stability : 6,5
    The front and rear stability is correct, but in the side it is mediocre. Non-slip pads fulfill their role.
  • Ergonomics and comfort : 6,5
    The cranks rotate well and are quite wide. Clamping is effortless. The tray, small, does not allow to install a stationary machine.
Test result: 6.6

Wolfcraft Folding Workbench (Master 600)

Wolfcraft Folding Workbench (Master 600)

Model: Master 600
Price: 100 €
Min / max tray dimensions: 650 x 420 to 530 mm
Opening: max. Jaws 110 mm
Working heights: 780 to 950 mm
Material / thickness MDF top (medium): 20 mm
Max load: 120 kg
Weight: 15 kg
Warranty: 10 years

  • Installation and storage: 6,5
    Its assembly takes time but the base unfolds in a few seconds.
  • Clamping capacity: 7,0
    The holds are a bit small but the clamping is powerful. This is the only model to offer a removable extension.
  • Stability: 7,0
    This workbench loses stability when the tray is at its maximum height. Avoid too long pieces.
  • Ergonomics and comfort: 7,5
    On the front and rear edge of the tray, notches allow to take it well in hand during transport. Too bad it is so heavy to move..
Test result: 7.0

Wolfcraft Folding Workbench (Master 700)

Wolfcraft Folding Workbench (Master 700)

Model: master 700
Price: 149 €
Min / max tray dimensions: 680 x 390 to 525 mm
Opening: max. Jaws 135 mm
Working heights: 780 to 950 mm
Material / thickness MDF top (medium): 20 mm
Max load: 150 kg
Weight: 14,5 kg
Warranty: 10 years

  • Installation and storage: 6,8
    Its implementation takes time, but folded it is quite compact and it can be suspended
  • Clamping capacity: 8,5
    He squeezes very hard. Parts stay perfectly in place regardless of the effort exerted on it
  • Stability: 7,7
    This workbench is well placed on the floor. On the retractable foot, two knobs allow to stall the bench: it is rather effective
  • Ergonomics and comfort: 8,0
    The platform offers a good support surface and adapts to receive stationary machines. The set is rigid and robust
Test result: 7.7


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