Stuart wrote about the new Husky 60″ mobile workbench with sliding pegboard back in April. Having a lack of review space at the time, he asked me to review this workbench.
I was a little hesitant, because I would need to rearrange my garage to find some space and I had just come off the Craftsman Pro Series Storage Combo Fiasco. But after a few trips to look at the original, non-pegboard Husky 60″ workbench at Home Depot, I was convinced it would be worth my time. (Stuart’s Note: And space. These mobile workbenches have quite the footprint.)
Home Depot was kind enough to send out a sample unit for me to review, and I received it in the middle of June. I’ve been using this workbench for a while now and am ready to share my impressions with you, but first lets go through some of the important details, such as how this workbench is similar to the original Husky 60″ Mobile Workbench.
Constructed from 19-gauge steel (plus an angle iron base), both units have 1.2″ thick solid wood tops and six 5″ x 2″ casters.
Both cabinets are 60″ wide, 38″ high, and 24″ deep, although the pegboard does add another 2″ to the depth and 22″ to the height, for a total storage area of 26,551 cu. in. and a total load capacity of 2200 lb.
Both units have drawer slides rated for 100 lbs each. They are soft-close which helps prevent the drawers from accidentally opening or from slamming shut. The top full-width drawer has an additional drawer slide in the middle at the bottom, to keep it from sagging. The two deep drawers on the bottom have two slides on each side to increase their weight capacity.
Here’s a list of all the drawers (and door) sizes:
- 1 top full-width drawer- 55.65″ L x 21.85″ W x 3.88″ H
- 2 right drawers- 12.54″ L x 21.85″ W x 3.88″ H
- 1 right drawer- 12.54″ L x 21.85″ W x 2.82″ H
- 1 right drawer- 12.54″ L x 21.85″ W x 8.13″ H
- 2 left drawers- 25.73″ L x 21.85″ W x 1.76″ H
- 1 left drawer- 25.73″ L x 21.85″ W x 2.82″ H
- 1 left drawer- 25.73″ L x 21.85″ W x 3.88″ H
- 1 left drawer- 25.73″ L x 21.85″ W x 8.13″ H
- 1 door storage area: 13.64″ L x 23″ W x 20.35″ H
Behind the storage door is an adjustable-height shelf that can handle up to 100 lbs, and on the door is a shelf for can storage. The cabinet has three barrel locks: one for the top drawer, one for the door storage area, and one for the rest of the drawers.
On the left side of the unit is a power strip with 6 outlets and 2 USB sockets. The USB sockets can output up to 2.4 A, but I’m not sure if that’s total or for each port.
This workbench has a few differences from the original Husky rolling workbench too.
The 22″ tall steel pegboard can be set at two different heights. Set in it’s highest position, it makes the bench about 60″ high.
The pegboard can hold up to 200 lbs. of stuff. Included is a 48″ shelf that can hold up to 40 lbs. It attaches to threaded inserts on the pegboard back and can be positioned either to the left, the right, or in the center.
Here’s the bench with the pegboard at the lower height. At this height you lose about 8.5″ of pegboard and it lowers the overall height of the bench to about 51″ tall.
Above you can see the height adjustment mechanism. Two spring-loaded balls pop into the two holes when the back is either at the upper or lower height. At this point you can put in the thumbscrew to hold the back securely while you put the screws in the angle bracket.
Compared to the original mobile workbench, the middle casters on this version can swivel, although I’ve actually seen the original non-pegboard workbench assembled in store with the fixed casters on one end instead of the middle.
Stuart’s Note: Hmm, I wonder if that’s an installation error, or for greater maneuverability. One thing I can say is that I wish I wish my 1st-gen Husky mobile workbench, as well as Milwaukee’s, had all swivel wheels, instead of 4 swivel wheels and 2 fixed ones. They don’t get moved around often, but when they do, getting their positions just right can be a real pain.
I can’t imagine being able to get this workbench against the wall in my shop where I’ve decided to put it without all six swiveling casters. I have a spot that is just wide enough for the workbench and I am able to roll it straight back into that spot. I don’t think I could fit it into such a tight spot with 4 swiveling casters and two fixed.
On the mobile workbench with pegboard, the hardwood work surface is mounted to the cabinet with 8 countersunk screws. They made it this way so you can flip the top over if you want a fresh side. The top on the original mobile workbench is screwed in from the bottom, so you’d have a much harder time flipping it over.
When I had the top off, I noticed the bottom side also had countersinks. I also noted that the screws have quite a bit of bite into the cabinet: I counted about 7 full turns of engagement for each screw.
In both cases I think that screwing down the top is a good idea. I’ve seen mobile workbenches in stores with warped tops, where there is a large gap between the bottom of the wood top and the top of the cabinet.
I’ve also see the screws standing proud of the surface when I’ve seen this unit at my local Home Depot. In fact, when I unboxed this cabinet there were some screws standing proud. I like having a smooth work surface where I can push stuff around on top of it without catching on anything. When I screwed the top back on, I made a point to tighten down the screws so they were flush or just under the surface.
To attach the casters, the manual wants you to tip the workbench on its back to get access to the bottom. After seeing Stuart struggle with this, I wanted to try a different way. My plan was jack up the workbench and put cribbing underneath so I could attach the casters.
Stuart’s Note: A Milwaukee mobile workbench was delivered on its back. I left it like that to install the casters, and it was a huge hassle to raise. Here’s a post about that. For the Husky 60″ cabinet test sample I received last year, I too jacked it up, placed 2×4 supports (think wood jack stands), and carefully installed the casters, slowly. When Milwaukee’s 52″ mobile workbench arrived, I attached the handle and leveraged the workbench onto its end. It wasn’t easy to raise, but definitely less difficult. It’s smart to be careful when lifting these large and heavy tool cabinets in any way, and more careful to do so with a buddy.
First, I decided to remove as much weight from the cabinet as possible. I removed the sliding pegboard back by unscrewing the several screws that held it in place on the back. Then I unscrewed and removed the hardwood top. Finally, I removed all the drawers from the front of the cabinet.
After lightening the cabinet, I jacked up one side of the cabinet and put 2×4 cribbing underneath it to hold the end up high enough to install the casters. I had originally intended to use a jack to lift the cabinet, but first I had to get the end high enough to use the jack. By that time I had already used the 2×4 lever and fulcrum. It had worked well, so I just continued using it rather than monkeying with the jack.
Once I had the locking casters on one side, I removed the cribbing and let the cabinet rest on the newly installed casters. Then, locking the casters so the cabinet wouldn’t roll, I jacked up the other side and piled the 2x4s underneath that end so I could install those casters. To install the middle casters, I just rearranged the cribbing so I had enough height in the middle to install the final casters.
While this method may have taken a little more time, at no time did I have to do any strenuous or possibly dangerous lifting. I’d definitely do it this way again.
Stuart’s Note: I like this method for larger and heavier cabinets. If you remove drawers, take care to reinstall them properly and gently so as to avoid damaging the tracks. Also take precautions to securely block up the cabinet to eliminate any chance it can fall on your hands or pinch you in any way.
Starting at the base, you can see that the bottom frame is made of angle iron. An additional piece of angle is welded to the frame at each end to provide support for the casters.
In the middle of the base, two pieces of angle iron are welded to the frame to provide support for the center casters.
Above I mentioned that the cabinet was made from 19 gauge steel. The steel is powder coated and you can see the entire inside of the carcass was powder coated along with the top under neath the wood.
Loading it up
I love being able to fit both regular and impact sockets, ratchets, and even impact wrenches all in the same drawer, with room to spare.
The top two middle drawers are a little shallower than I’d like; I wanted to keep my Snap-on screwdrivers with their plastic case in the topmost middle drawer, with the rest of my screwdrivers and nut drivers, but it is too shallow. It’s weird having to go down to the third drawer to access them. The shallow drawers are deep enough for most screwdrivers, and so I could always break out the kaizen foam if this bothers me too much.
I do like the shelf, it’s really a nice catch-all place for things like parts organizers, nitrile gloves, and bluetooth speakers. Having my personal safety gear hanging organized right in the open on the pegboard has made gearing up for a task go much faster.
My first big issue with the mobile workbench was with the pegboard itself. Even if you use the larger 1/4″ pegboard hooks, the pegs can move around quite a bit. This is because most pegs are designed to hold in a board with some thickness, whereas the metal pegboard has hardly any thickness.
I tried many different methods of trying to secure the pegboard hooks, but nothing did a very good job.
I ended up installing a sheet of 1/4″ pegboard on the back side of the pegboard to give it some thickness. This solution has the added benefit that I can now use Durahook pegboard pegs.
One little thing I noticed is that all the drawer liners were cut a little too big, so they bunch up in the drawers. This is easily fixable with a knife and straightedge.
Another thing I didn’t like was the orientation of the power strip. The switch is located on the back side, so you have to reach around all the cords to turn it off and on.
It was a simple fix though, I removed the 6 screws and the face plate to reveal the power strip held by a U-shaped carrier. I simply turned the power strip around and threaded the extra cord around the carrier inside the wall of the box. Then I put the faceplate back on.
Now the switch is in the front of the box where it should have been in the first place. The only problem was that I lost about 1-1/2 feet of cord, but I didn’t need it.
The last issue I noticed was that the small cabinet door’s magnetic closure is a little undersized. When I swing the door shut it bounces back, unless I hold onto the door until it makes contact.
Stuart’s Note: This is something I have experienced with Milwaukee and Husky designs. I can’t tell if the magnet is too small, too weak, positioned too far back, or all three. Loosening the screws and adjusting the magnet forward helps – barely. If it bugs me enough, I’ll replace it with one of my own design.
What I like: Well built, soft close drawers, nice deep storage drawers, six swiveling casters, the huge 55″ wide top drawer.
What I don’t: Wobbly pegs on the thin metal pegboard. That and I would opt for more or wider drawers instead of the storage area.
I really couldn’t find much to dislike about the mobile workbench cabinet. Right now it’s $698 at Home Depot, although if you read the original intro post some commenters said they saw it for $600.
Stuart’s Note: I see that the original non-pegboard mobile workbench has dropped in price to $598.
Is the pegboard, the reversible down top, and the 2 extra swiveling casters worth an extra $100? It probably depends on how much you really want the pegboard. Personally, if I was looking at purchasing this mobile workbench, I would either wait until the workbench goes on sale or purchase the non-pegboard version. If you could get this for within $50 of the original mobile workbench without pegboard, the extra swiveling casters are really nice, and having the reversible top can’t hurt.
I liked this mobile workbench so much that, it’s going to be hard to part with when I need the space for reviewing other tool storage. In the meantime, I’m going to slide the pegboard back down, remove the hardboard pegboard I mounted to the back of the metal pegboard, and mount it to the wall. I’d much rather have the back open to be able to use larger tools like my planer or miter saw on the top.
The original mobile workbench without pegboard is running about $600 right now.
Thank you to Husky and Home Depot for providing the test sample unconditionally.