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Wise Buys: Portable Workbenches

Why buy? In the shop, a portable workbench can serve as a temporary worksurface, tool stand, or as a large clamp holding your workpiece. Its light weight and compact size let you bring a worksurface to fix-it jobs around the house. After use, it folds up for easy storage. We tested eight workbenches looking at clamping capacity, durability, stability, and value. These four each offer a twist on the traditional split-table vise design.

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Skil Xbench 3115

Skil Xbench 3115

Max. table size (jaws open): 19-1/226"
Max. jaw opening: 6-3/4"
Table height: 31-7/8"
Weight: 27 lbs

Although I like the clamping speed of the quick-release rear jaw, this bench took some getting used to. Instead of spinning the handles repeatedly to open and close the table, the rear jaw slides up to the workpiece. Then you tighten the jaws with just a twist of the handles.

The long edges of the MDF jaws are clad in durable aluminum with an integral T-track. The plastic dogs have a screw mechanism that locks them into the T-track anywhere along its length--much more versatile than dog holes. Smaller T-track on the jaw's inside faces accept four plastic pads with notches for gripping round stock vertically or horizontally. Two metal arms rotate from under the front jaw to support a workpiece in the opening while you position and secure it.

The stand is lightweight, but sturdy, and easy to carry. It sets up and folds easily with just a tug or push on the benchtop.
--Tested by Jeff Mertz, Design Editor

To learn more:

Continued on page 2:  Craftsman 65796


Comments (9)
sm_perry wrote:

I have a work mate that has 79-001 on it , maybe the first run, and it still functional without all the bells and whistles

2/12/2016 06:27:24 PM Report Abuse
biglar wrote:

I've had a WM for a LONG time. Wouldn't trade it for any of the others.

2/21/2014 05:25:30 PM Report Abuse
michael.rhum wrote:

Rockwell has a new model Jawhorse and doesn't list this table top as an available accessory. Too bad, it looks handy.

2/20/2014 10:07:40 AM Report Abuse
MagicRonn wrote:

Love my jawhorse, but have never seen this split-table accessory. Does it exist?

4/22/2013 12:10:49 PM Report Abuse
2gun wrote:

I have an old WM 300 that I bought back in the 80's. My son sat on it and broke one of the top's. I screwed some 3/4" plywood onto the bottom. Made it good as new.

2/20/2011 10:53:58 AM Report Abuse
bobgnar2057967 wrote:

correction : It does collapse but has no "one hand" feature

2/14/2011 05:54:40 PM Report Abuse
bobgnar2057967 wrote:

I have an old WM no fold up and no tip up. Top got wet now I must mill another from old pattern. It is strong and convenient. new price?

2/14/2011 05:53:08 PM Report Abuse
jmiser2 wrote:

You have which one?

2/13/2011 09:07:51 AM Report Abuse
benttool wrote:

I have one... good, solid device.

2/10/2011 01:57:57 PM Report Abuse

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