Update: Distributors are no longer carrying this product, and we have received many complaints from customers who report that they ordered the Benchmark portable work table directly from the company only to receive no product and no refund.
New Warning: Do NOT Buy a Benchmark Work Table
Hagar Tools just released the Benchmark portable work table, and a couple of accessories to go along with it. The table’s frame is constructed from extruded aluminum and steel, and those green supports you see are made from ABS, a tough but lightweight plastic. ABS is usually easily machined as well, so you can probably mod the cut paths if possible.
The Benchmark looks to be a completely different than the other portable work tables on the market today. An array of gaps and channels on the table surface allow for saw blade clearance wherever you need it. Benchmark says that all surfaces are available for clamping. This looks to mean that you can clamp workpieces to either the top or sides of the crossbeams. That could come in handy!
Accessory-wise, there are adapter plates to which you can attach plywood boards and various types of stationary tools or jigs. Riser pegs allow you to support workpieces above the table surface. Tool trays and a power tool cord whip are included with the Pro model, and are optional add-ons for the standard model.
The standard model is currently priced at $350, and the Pro model $450. Both work tables have an 80″ x 37.5″ footprint and 64-1/4″ x 37-1/2″ work surface (~5×3 ft). When folded the unit is 6-1/2″ tall, and when unfolded the tabletop surface is 32-3/4″ off the ground.
I have to say, the crossbeam and surface configuration looks very appealing to me. The only thing I’m not in love with is the unit’s price, but I don’t think I could put together a comparable aluminum and ABS DIY cut station for substantially less using off-the-shelf parts. Thumbs up to Benchmark/Hagar for a great design!
Most of the time when I’m preparing to cut a large sheet of plywood down to size, I lay spare 2x4s or 1x4s on the floor and place the plywood on top. This ensures that the plywood is properly supported and won’t pinch or bind the blade. It looks like Benchmark took this common practice to the next level.
With limited shop space, I am always on the lookout for feature-rich and effective portable work support products. In regard to cutting plywood sheets down to size, Workmates are tool small, Skil’s X-Bench is no longer made, the Vika TwoFold offers no clearance for saw blades, and the Festool Multifunction Table seems to lose much of its versatility when used with non-Festool tools.
Saw horses, even modernized and more flexible ones such as Dewalt’s work stands, also typically require extra support when cutting larger wood boards or plywood sheets. More recently, I have been testing out the new Rockwell Jawhorse Sheetmaster, which also works quite well for the job.
Bottom-line, the Benchmark is unlike any portable work table, support, or clamping system that I’ve seen thus far. Pricing is a bit steep, but if you break down a lot of sheet goods and could use a versatile cutting support station, the efficiency of these tables will be an easy sell.