When shopping for anything on the internet pictures can be deceiving and descriptions can stretch the truth, but when it comes to your work bench you probably don’t want to fool for any of these common traps.
1) Slotted metal frames
It may seem tempting to go for a bench with a slotted frame which bay connectors can be added to at a later date because of the generally quite low prices of these benches or the lengthy sales spiel about how durable they are kindly spread all over the description box by the manufacturer, but these benches are a big no go.
Usually, within the first few seconds of use on a concrete workshop floor, you notice how much they rattle and move around, after the first two to three weeks the legs will begin to start flexing.
In short slotted frames are great for racking and shelving units but I wouldn’t want to trust them as anything more than a storage solution.
2) The “no nuts or bolts required”
The web seems to be littered with these low-end benches usually accompanied by something along the lines of “can be built in 15 minutes or less”, sadly like most things that look too good to be true it probably is and that 15 minute assembly time tends to be 5 minutes longer then it is guaranteed to last, it’s more than advisable to steer clear of these benches.
3) The phantom description
A favorite tactic mainly in the political world, if facts don’t look great just simply miss them out. A shockingly large amount of online retailers love to do this and will happily sit back as you spend hours digging through google trying a find a review or even a forum post from someone else that has brought one.
It’s generally best to stick to the benches with most in detailed descriptions, you don’t want to wait two weeks for it to turn up only to find your bench is 10 inches tall and has a top made of plywood.
4) Air dried wood
Your will probably have to do a bit of digging to find out how your top was dyed, but is definitely worth the extra legwork as some breeds of wood such as British beech are prone to cracking almost as soon as they are put into action and no one wants to spend the rest of their day working out how they are going to return their bench to eastern Europe where the vast majority of these troublesome benches are made.
5) The unbranded folding work bench
Last but definitely not least is the unbranded folding bench, when searching the web for you next bench it is almost a given that you will come across one of these monstrosities, the vast majority of these steel in some cases even plastic bundles of fun surprisingly come from big brand high street retailers such as Homebase and B & Q and generally start from around £10 to £15.
As attractive as the pictures of these benches are normally made out to be, the reviews are usually anything but with some of my favorites being: