Best Workbenches of 2023
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Getting your garage in order should be priority number one when you move into a new place. But more often than not, it’s priority number 6,427. Ask either myself or Hank O’Hop how we know this…
You can, however, quickly turn that priority spiral around with the right garage workbench. These absolutely necessary additions to any garage can help you rebuild your project car’s engine, do normal maintenance and repairs, or work on a thousand other projects that you’d otherwise try to accomplish on the cold, hard garage floor. Trust us, you don’t want to continue to do that.
But given there are so many options, where do you start? Right here, with The Drive, and our patented buying guide that takes out the BS marketing so you can make the best decision. Let’s get after it.
Levrack Mobile Workstation
U.S. General 44 in. x 22 in. Double Bank Roller Cabinet
I’ve been working in shops, on cars, and in my own garages since I was old enough to turn a wrench. I started helping my neighbor rebuild a 1968 Ford Mustang GT drag car back before the days they were too expensive to touch. As such, I’ve used bespoke workbenches, off-the-shelf options, and even custom-built a few myself, including the one I’ll talk about in the last spot on this list. I’ve seen what works, what doesn’t, and what you absolutely need out of a workbench, and I’ve included those criteria here.
Solid steel construction
Rolls wherever you need them
Lack of main system integration
I have Levrack’s full storage system. It’s a burly thing. It’s made of solid steel and if presented with the opportunity, I think it could survive a nuke. And I have a version of this mobile workstation, only mine isn’t mobile.
Levrack’s mobile workstation comes in two versions, a 4-foot and 8-foot table, both of which are constructed of the same materials as my full cabinets. You also can have them in 30, 36, and 48-inch widths to give you all the workspace you need, and custom fit them to your needs. Each workstation is also 42 inches tall, which makes it great for both shorter and taller folks, like myself. The workbench rolls wherever thanks to four caster-style wheels that roll easily, despite the workbench’s size and heft.
As for price, well, there’s no getting around it. Whether you pick the 4-foot table or 8-foot, you’re looking at over $1,000. That’s a lot of change, but for the construction you’re getting, as well as the portability, you can’t beat it. Plus, the bottom shelf works perfectly for storing gear, tools, and more so you don’t have to worry about it taking up a ton of garage space.
The only thing I wish you could do, and this is a suggestion for Levrack, would be to have some sort of integration with the main unit, i.e. the ability to attach and lock it to your main cabinets so it’s all one piece when you want it.
Cabinets are hugely useful
Rollers could be better
Harbor Freight has long been for us a respite for the weariness that can come from going to big box hardware stores. Why? Because Harbor Freight isn’t showy, it doesn’t BS you, you know what you’re getting and it isn’t just rebadged stamped steel that if you pull off the sticker says four other makes. And that’s why we selected this U.S. General double bank roller cabinet as our best value, as you get everything you need, without the markup of a name badge.
While this specific entry is actually a tool cabinet, its top workbench makes it a perfect addition as it offers up further capabilities compared to other just standard workbenches. And I’m a sucker for anything being a Jack-of-all-Trades. The roller cabinet features a 44-in L x 22-in W workbench, a large central drawer, and two banks of six drawers below it. One side is slightly wider than the other, but that just aids in its ability to swallow whatever tools you have or use more regularly. There’s also a lock, which makes securing your tools straightforward and the whole unit is 40 inches high to make using it easy on your back.
The U.S. General cabinet also comes in six colors, including green, yellow, red, orange, blue, and black, and has a working load limit of 2,600 pounds. Our only issues, if you can call them that, are that the rollers aren’t as stout as we’d like, the non-slip workstation insert isn’t some sort of hardened wood or metal, and the warranty is sorta short. But those are limitations that we can live with, and so can you, especially with a time-of-writing price of $580.
Incredible payload capacity
Lightest construction on this list
Somewhat a pain to move around when extended
Work height isn’t great for taller people
When I was first introduced to the Bora Centipede, my initial reaction was “Damn!” in the vein of Friday. That exclamation was because a colleague had stacked five cast-iron engine blocks, along with himself, atop the Bora and the damn thing didn’t flex a single centimeter. And from something that’s basically just a foldable lawn chair design, that’s incredibly impressive.
Now, the lawn chair remark is perhaps unwarranted given this setup’s capabilities, but the Bora’s operation is no different than that of any folding lawn chair that Jason Momoa sends out in a single arm thrust. But the Bora is way stouter than any chair, as it’s constructed of heavy-duty steel and can support up to 6,000 pounds of whatever weight you want to stack. This specific version also comes with a workbench and workbench clamps, which makes it perfect for whatever job you need to do.
This model measures a whopping 4 feet by 8 feet when fully expanded, but there are a host of other measurements that help you tailor it to your needs. So what are the cons, you might ask? Well, it weighs 30 pounds, which might sound like a lot, but when it’s fully extended, it can be a pain to move. Further, the 30-inch working height is low, and for someone like me with a back he’s messed up through years of riding motorcycles and working on cars, well…
At the time of writing, the Bora Centipede doesn’t cost all that much, setting you back just $304. And for all that capability, that’s a steal.
Best Adjustable Height
Heavy duty construction
Multi-drawer for easy tool grabbing
Tabletop could be powered for easier use
I use Husky tools on a daily, if not hourly, basis. That’s not because I’m the sort of wrench who is constantly tinkering or anything, it’s because most of my projects need constant love. Including our house which was “upgraded” by idiots. What that means is I need something that’ll work every time I go out into the garage and grab a tool, and Husky’s been that for me. That same quality is shared by the company’s workbenches, including this rad adjustable height heavy-duty rolling tool chest.
This puppy is a beast, measuring a whopping 72-in L x 24-in W x 38-in H, has 20 drawers each with a 100-pound payload, all of which are lockable. However, this bench’s party piece is the adjustable workbench height. Operated via a crank alongside the right corner of the workbench, the entire tabletop rises from the cabinet to a fully extended height of 48 inches, perfect for sasquatches like myself who don’t want to bend.
This workbench also features a 3,000-pound payload when the top is secured to the cabinet, while a 300-pound one when extended. It also has integrated power options, which make using any sort of powered tool or device all the more easy. As for price, it’s not inexpensive, but for what you’re getting, it isn’t bad as the price at the time of writing is $1,117.
That’s a chunk of change for sure, but for an adjustable height workbench, all of us tall folks thank you, Husky.
Fits perfectly for your space
Requires you knowing how to work a table saw
Assembly absolutely required
Listen, I know building a bench from scratch can be intimidating. While that’s true, I did it in the space of a short afternoon after needing something to work on in the garage using scraps I had left over after building my kids a rock wall. So if I can do it, you can too.
What it entails, however, is measuring your space, selecting the lumber you’re going to use—if you already don’t have it in your garage or shed—planning the entire thing out, and then assembling it. But because this is a custom workbench, you can take it anywhere from mild to wild. I kept mine pretty simple, with the only flourish being a vise attached to the side of the workbench.
The overall design, however, is simple, with just a frame for the tabletop, a frame for the legs, and that’s about it. 2x4s and a sheet of three-quarter-inch plywood were all I needed, plus hardware. All in all, it cost me nothing as I had the lumber, but even if you’re buying it new, you’ll spend less than $150 max. And that’s a helluva deal considering you’re getting a truly custom workbench for your garage.
And even though I’ve upgraded to the Levrack system, my workbench is still alongside the garage wall and still used for other projects.
When it comes to garage workbenches, there are a ton of options available to you and most are ready for action, but when you want the best, you can’t go wrong with the Levrack mobile workstation. But if that’s out of your price range, any of our other options will slot perfectly into your garage, though the DIY option will take a bit of skill to put together.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Listen, you can’t just throw an engine onto any old workbench. These things have payload capacities, which refer to the total weight you can throw atop them before things start failing. They’re just like cars.
Do you want drawers for your tools or not? Workbenches come in a few shapes and load-outs, and drawers could make or break how you work in your garage.
Most folks will get a workbench and then just leave it alongside a wall in their garage, never to be moved again. But a good number of people may want the capability of moving it around to where they need to work, i.e. alongside their project car. So you’ll have to ask yourself whether or not you want it to move or just be a stationary thing.
Depending on the features you want, you’re looking between $150 for a basic, DIY solution, all the way up to a couple grand for something spectacular like the Levrack or Husky.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
That’ll depend on how tall you are and how low or high you like to sit or stand. As you’ll be using it to work on your cars, motorcycles, house, and more, you want to be comfortable picking things up from it and working on parts on it.
However much space you have to give, but most workbenches are between 24 and 30 inches in depth.
I’d have something even sturdier, though my three-quarter-inch plywood has held up remarkably well. Steel and/or sealed wood would be my first picks.Summary ListOur MethodologyReviews & RecommendationsOur VerdictWhat to Consider When Choosing A WorkbenchFAQs