Types of Wood for Workbench: How to Choose?

No matter the type of work you do, hobby crafting, heavy-duty projects, or the standard home improvement task, you’ll need a workbench. It’s one of the tools that’ll simplify your processes and increase your productivity.

We’ve seen that among every other tool used in a workshop, the workbench takes more hits and a higher use frequency. You use it for sanding, scraping, and shaving.

Even when you are assembling, preparing, and the final finishing of your project, it gets done on your workbench. There is no denying that your workbench is the center of activity in your workshop. 

Ordinary DIYers may consider any MDF or plywood placed on wooden sawhorses as their workbench. However, if you are a consistent woodworker, you will be more particular about the type of wood for your workbench.

So, the smartest thing to do is to create a sturdy workbench that’ll stand the test of time no matter the rate of the usage. To achieve that, you'll need to use solid wood, and that's the essence of this article.

Let's see the available woods for a workbench.

Types of Wood for Workbench: A Comprehensive Guide

1. Maple Wood

maple wood

Maple woods generally originate from Asia. However, you can also get them in North America, North Africa, as well as Europe. The wood is quite sturdy, durable, and resists splitting. You can even use a damp cloth to wipe the surface clean.

Maple wood heartwood color is mostly a dark reddish-brown while its sapwood's colors range from almost white to off-white creamy color.

It can also have the color of a golden or reddish hue. Its density is moderately sturdy, but it is quite strong while its grain is closed as well as straight, although it can be wavy. Additionally, maple wood is suitable for every finish. 

2. Beech Wood

beech wood

You can get the beech trees in North America, Asia, and Europe due to their temperature. This particular tree is deciduous, highly durable, and resistant to shock and abrasion.

Due to the ability of beech steam to bend effortlessly, carpenters love to work with it. Moreover, it delivers a sophisticated and dated appearance to your workbench.

The color of the beechwood ranges from pinkish to red-brown heartwood while its sapwood ranges from creamy to pink. Its density is heavy and very hard, as well as the grain that ranges from fine to medium, which delivers uniform texture. Also, beechwood is suitable for every finish.

3. Oakwood

Oak trees originate from the northern hemisphere and come in many different species. You can get about 600 different species of Oakwood, and all of them are deciduous, as well as evergreen. This particular workbench wood is solid, durable, and heavy. Moreover, it can resist any form of fungal attack.

Oakwood colors range from blonde to pinkish-red, whereas the density is tough and sturdy. Its grain is openly porous and varied grain patterns. It can accept oil or natural finishing, although it may vary.

4. Birch Wood

You can get birch wood throughout the northern hemisphere. It is almost similar to Oakwood, although birch wood is much harder. Plywood that comes from birch wood is used widely due to its availability, affordability, stability, and hardness.

The color of birch wood sapwood is almost white with light red-brown heartwood. Its density is medium weight and hard with slightly wavy or straight grain with tiny pores. It is suitable for every kind of finishing.

5. Teak Wood

This particular wood is a tropical hardwood that originates from Thailand, Myanmar {Burma}, and Indian trees. Teak wood is among the most durable and hardest wood of the natural woods. Teak wood can resist snow, frost, rain, sunlight, and rotting.

Its color ranges from medium brown to golden for the heartwood, and it can darken as it ages. The density is strong and heavy, with a straight grain that is interlocked or wavy on occasions. The finishing that suits teak wood most is wood lacquer.

How to Choose the Best wood for Workbench

Before making your choice of a workbench, you need to examine your needs. Since woodworkers differ, their workbench choices are likely to be different. Thus, when you're making your choice, you'll base it on the type of work you do.

  1. Footprint

Although getting a workbench with a bigger footprint is better, but then, you should also consider the space in your workshop. Also, consider the sizes of the workpieces you will be working on daily. The range for commercial models is 1912” -30” width, 53”-90” in length.

  1. Ergonomics

There is no arguing the fact that woodworkers who are tall will likely prefer tall workbenches. Also, short woodworkers will prefer short benches. Although the majority of the available workbenches stand around 32" & 38" in height, the standard for getting the appropriate height for you is the measurement of your wrist from its crease to the floor.

It is crucial to establish the appropriate working height since you will be standing for long hours. It is risky to lean over a workbench that is too low.  That kind of working position can result in backache for you.

  1. Stationary VS Mobility

Some of the European-style workbenches weigh more than 700 pounds, which means that they are not supposed to be mobile but stationary.

However, if your workshop has a multiple uses space such as a garage, you will likely need a workbench you can move about. So, decide whether you prefer a stationary workbench or a mobile one before making your choice.

  1. Matching your Style with Usage

It is not everyone that loves working on a huge workbench. You should consider the work you do so that you can match your workbench accordingly.

For instance, if you make boxes, what will be suitable for you is a 5” long workbench. However, there are also available hobby workbenches that are affordable for beginners.

  1. Versatility

The standard workbench consists of the workbench top and the base. You may want your workbench to do more than one work. As a result, you can look for the workbench you can trick out to accommodate a storage unit, accessories, and a power strip.

  1. Budget

The final determining factor on how to choose your perfect workbench is the cost. The cost of workbenches differs from one another.

Their prices can range from $200 to $3000, including its shipping. The amount you will spend depends on your budget and the amount you are willing to part with, although there are ways you can save on the cost.

Wrapping Up!

Overall, there is a workbench for every woodworker, whether you are a commercial worker or a beginner. If you go for a well-appointed top, you will get good looks and service out of it.

However, if you go for the thicker top workbench, you will get rock-solid rigidity, additional weight, and it can absorb much pounding. So when making your choice, consider what you will be using it for and make a suitable choice.

However, it is advisable to choose the workbench wood that is quite sturdy, durable, serviceable, and offers versatility.

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