There are a large number of different types of portable work benches designed to be used by both professionals and DIY enthusiasts. Portable work benches are ideally lightweight, able to fold-away so that they can be easily carried, then stored in garages or in closets. These are the most popular with weekend DIYers. For those planning a bigger job, or in the professional construction industry, larger portable work benches may be more suitable.
This is the most common form of DIY portable work benches, and are typically made by Black and Decker, although other companies, such as WORX, do make similar sorts of work benches. The Workmate style of portable work bench is fold-able, making it easy to carry, and also to store. It folds up in much the same way as an ironing board. Typically, they can be found with 2 wooden slats forming the top of the bench; they have a gap so that they can easily grip items, handles on the side allow the slats to be moved closer together or further apart.
These benches are lightweight, and usually come with a footrest which allows the DIYer to prevent the workmate from over balancing by pressing down on the rest with one foot. The workmate is the best kind of portable work benches for those who do not have much spare storage or work space.
Most DIYers should have a Workmate somewhere in the garage: it is the industry standard for practical, portable work benches, and most new models of workbenches are created using the template of the Workmate.
The Wheel-Mounted Bench
The second form of portable work benches which are commonly used by DIYers is the wheeled workbench. This is essentially, a cupboard-like trolley (with doors, moving worktops and hinged compartments) which is rolled into the desired position. The wheel-mounted variety of portable work benches cannot be folded away like the Workmate, but they are perhaps more convenient for large jobs where you need to move slowly along a level area. These work benches are usually heavy and difficult to maneuver, so they are, to be truthful, usually just left in one place while DIY tools gather on the workbench top.
Professional Portable Work Benches
The professional portable work bench is typified by the Triton Superjaws bench. It is an adaption from a clamp: 2 Superjaws, side by side, are used to hold a sheet of wood or metal in place. Once the purpose of the workbench is completed, the clamps can be loosened, and the whole work bench packed up and carried to the next location. Professionals also use the portable work cart, which usually provides storage for tools, but can be combined with a movable work surface to make a useful, portable work bench which also carries the tools.
Professional portable work benches tend to be composed of 2 sawhorses and a piece of wood. This is the most practical arrangement for a temporary work bench, and then the whole bench can be dismantled and transported to the next work site.