Did you know that the wood product manufacturing in the U.S. is a $7-billion industry? Or that there are 11,799 businesses within this industry?
But that’s not all. Woodworking in the U.S. is much bigger, employing around 937,500 people in 2017!
That should tell you how huge the role of woodworking is to the U.S. economy. And the sooner you start your woodworking shop, the sooner you can tap into this lucrative market.
But for your business to be a success, you need the right equipment, and in this case, the best workbench. It’s the key to maximizing the speed, productivity, and product flow of your workshop.
In fact, workbenches aren’t only for woodworkers. Metalworkers, gardeners, arts and crafts makers, jewelers, and watchmakers all need this table.
That said, regardless of the projects you need a workbench for, the method for picking the best one is the same. Keep reading to learn all about what to look for in this must-have table!
Adequate Work Surface Length
There’s no such thing as a too-long indoor workbench, so long as your workshop can accommodate it. It’s best, however, to get the actual measurements of the area where you’ll set the bench on. This way, you can maximize the space and work area by getting a workbench with the appropriate length.
Speaking of bench location, consider any obstruction, such as walls, posts, or doors. If you’ll place the bench right beside a door that swings into the room, it may be best to get a bench with a shorter surface. This way, the door won’t keep banging onto the bench and possibly ruining your project.
Appropriate Work Surface Width
As for the work surface width, stick to a bench that’s not more than three feet wide.
Think about it. If you rest the bench against a wall, you’ll have a hard time reaching the area past the third foot. Since it’s inconvenient, the space that’s too hard to reach will pretty much go to waste.
It’s even worse if you plan to have tools hanging on the wall behind the workbench. You’ll have to stretch really far to reach that spot behind the bench. Keep doing this, and you’ll be at risk of strains and sprains.
Keep in mind that overexertion accounts for over a third of U.S. workplace injuries. The last thing you want is a workbench that raises your risk for such injuries.
Bench Height Appropriate to Your Own Height
Be sure that the garage workbench height is at least level to or reaches your thigh area. Anything lower than this will force you to slouch or hunker down. This can put serious stress on your neck, shoulder, and back.
So you know, back pain is the leading cause of disability not only in the U.S. but all over the globe. In the U.S. alone, low back pain affects 31 million adults at any given time. That should be enough of a reminder for you to pay attention to your workbench height.
This doesn’t mean that you should opt for a bench that’s too tall. A too-high work surface area can also stress and cramp your arms.
To ensure proper bench height, take your measuring tape. Then, stand straight but relax your arms at your sides. Measure the distance from the floor to your palm area, which is likely level to your thigh.
The number that you get corresponds to the bench height that’s appropriate for you. Be sure the workbench you’ll invest in has the same or is at least close to this height range. This will keep your arms comfortable even after all those hours you spend on your projects.
Thick Work Surface Material
Regardless of the types of projects, you’ll work on, you want to invest in a heavy duty bench. Stainless steel tops are among the best garage workbench materials. This metal is super tough that it can withstand constant serious beatings.
Stainless steel also boasts high corrosion and temperature resistance. Moreover, it features hygienic properties that make it easy to clean and maintain.
Make sure, however, that the surface itself is flat, and has little to no seams or divisions. In fact, it’s best to go for a completely straight-surfaced bench.
For starters, because the slightest indentation can already cause leveling issues. Second, an indentation can make it harder to draw or cut long straight lines.
Also, the work surface itself should be thick enough to handle heavy loads and pounding. It shouldn’t move, sag, or sway when, say, hammering a nail. Otherwise, you’ll end up frustrated since it’ll be hard to drive nails when you do it by hand.
Sturdy Frame and Durable Legs
Speaking of swaying, this can also happen if a workbench has a flimsy frame and weak legs. That’s why you should choose a bench that comes with a rigid frame as well as sturdy, stable legs.
Don’t fancy a legged-bench and want a rolling workbench with storage instead? If so, it’s a good idea to get one equipped with wheels made of steel ball-bearing rail slides.
This way, you can rest assure the wheels can withstand the weight of the bench and easily move it around. This is even more important if you plan to pack the shelves with tools, parts, and equipment.
Don’t forget to factor in storage features when comparing your workbench options! This is especially true if your studio or workshop has limited storage areas.
That said, consider getting a high-quality garage workbench with drawers. This lets you organize all your tools and supplies in multiple compartments. At the same time, it helps you maximize your shop’s space since its shelves are already part of the bench itself.
Invest Only in the Best Workbench for Your Needs
There you have it, all the critical qualities to look for in the best workbench for your shop. Be sure to keep all of these in mind, to not end up with the wrong size or height.
After all, the last thing you want is to spend thousands of dollars on an incorrectly-sized table. And of course, there’s the matter of preventing work injuries.
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