Welding can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Obviously, you want to ensure your personal safety as much as possible. Having a stable surface to work on is a big part of that. But apparently, a lot of you don’t have a stable welding table to work on yet, which is a little worrying!
Take Brad, for example, who recently asked us for something a bit more sturdy than the random furniture he’d been using (read more below). To help Brad on his quest for the perfect working surface, I took a dive into the world of welding tables to come up with the best tips and a list possible.
Hope you read this before you spend your money, Brad!
A Question From Brad
Firstly, anyone reading this; if you find you’re welding on random furniture, stop. Just stop. You’re an accident waiting to happen.
When you’re welding, you’re dealing with tools operating at incredible temperatures. There’s molten metal, there are sparks; basically, there are hazards. Lots of them.
Luckily, there are tables and workspaces designed specifically for welding. They’re sturdy, they’re robust, they can take a beating, and many of them have neat little features to help you with your work.
But, obviously, there are a lot of them. All sorts of shapes and sizes makes and models, brands, and materials. The list was enormous.
So in the interest of helping out, I spent about 20 hours researching the available welding tables out there to come up with a loss. Most stuff, as you might expect, was junk. Cheap, unreliable, or just really not selling me on the safety.
What I’ve ended up with instead is a list of the 5 Best Welding Tables, based on my research. After ditching a good 85% of my search results, this is the cream of the crop.
How Did I Pick These Products?
I have five criteria when selecting products:
BRAND: I like to go with a brand I recognize and trust. Known brands usually have higher quality assurance processes than off-brands. They typically use better materials and have better build standards.
You will often find off-brand versions of many of these. They may even come from the same factory. But they won’t have necessarily passed all the QC checks needed to ensure functionality and safety that the brand companies demand. That’s why I stick to reputable brands.
RELIABILITY: You’ll be doing a lot of work on these tables; they need to hold up to use and abuse pretty well. From the occasional hobbyist to the professional, I wanted something that would suit everyone’s needs.
PRICE: Brad said he didn’t want to break the bank, and I respected that. Like most products, you largely get what you pay for. Saving money often means cutting corners, which means you’re often risking a less-safe product. Nobody wants that. But that doesn’t mean you can’t often find good value for money if you know where to look.
PORTABILITY: Brad was looking for something he could fit into a small workshop. I figured, why not make it portable as well? It’s nice to have something set up at home, but a welding table you can take to a job site is just that much more useful.
EXTRA FEATURES: A welding table doesn’t need to just be a welding table. Any extra little features that make your life easier while working, I took into account when considering products.
So Which Welding Table did I pick as the Best One?
During my research, I’ve found 5 that are in my opinion worth taking a look at.
Strong Hand Tools Nomad Welding Table w/ MagSpring Clamp and Mini Magnet
Starting off with the most affordable option on the list. The Strong Hand Tools Nomad Welding Table ticks all of the boxes; a reputable brand, not too big, easily portable, and won’t break your bank.
The table itself is made of zinc-plated steel, while the frame is carbon steel. This welding table can be set up horizontally or at a 30-degree angle, allowing for some flexibility. Height adjusts from 26-32inches.
The TS3020FK model comes with clamps which can be positioned along with the table at any point. The clamps are designed to hold round, flat, or angled steel surfaces without the need for attachments. With 500lbs of clamp pressure, there’s not much they won’t hold on to.
One caveat I must make for this table in my quality checklist is that it may not be the most suitable for prolonged, professional use. Looking through review histories, it seems there was a batch around 2016 which did not seem to handle the heat — literally. While most reviews are positive, it’s possible the occasional dodgy model might still slip through the QA cracks.
The ArcStation Workbench is certainly not the cheapest welding table you’ll find. It doesn’t come with any real bells and whistles. But in terms of simplicity and functionality, it really can’t be beaten.
This thing is a workhorse. The load capacity is an impressive 500lbs. Its simple, no-nonsense blue steel frame is as sturdy as you could ever want from a welding table. It stands at 35” unfolded, and folds down to just 6” deep for easy storage.
One small issue I found is that the item is described as having a 3/8” thick working surface. This appears to be wrong, as it’s actually 3/16” thick. This can be important if you’re buying clamps and need a specific minimum thickness for them to work properly.
It’s a good thing, however, that the table is half as thick as described. While definitely portable, this thing is built solid — it is not light. A table twice as thick would make this table highly impractical to move around to a job site. For once, false advertising is a positive thing!
Strong Hand Tools FixturePoint Table (TBHK100 model)
Lightweight but built to last, the TBHK100 will take whatever you throw at it.
Designed as a great all-in-one first welding table, the FixturePoint comes bundled with a 28pc starter kit of frames and clamps. The tabletop itself has evenly spaced 16mm holes in a 2in.x2in. pattern. This makes setting up the fixture components a breeze.
Unlike most of the other models on this list, the FixturePoint table does not fold down for easy storage. However, that’s not to say it’s not still portable. The table comes with two sets of legs — one to make the structure free-standing, at 34” tall, and another to be able to place the table on an existing bench. This smaller, 6 1/4” stand makes it incredibly easy to take the Strong Hand Tools FixturePoint table wherever you need it.
It’s lightweight, easy to assemble, and very versatile. While it could be a bit more portable, it’s still perfect for those who need an unobtrusive surface in their workshop to work on.
The additional starter kit also makes this perfect for hobbyists looking to pick up their first table. Some of the others on this list don’t make it particularly easy to set up frames and other fixturing components. This table is specifically designed to not only make that as easy as possible but to give you the components you need to get started.
So not only will the table make life easier — it’ll help you expand your capabilities, all in one!
Eastwood Carbon Steel Welding Table
In the interest of providing quality options for all types of welding, I wanted to make sure I included something for the plasma cutters out there.
One of the biggest problems hobbyists who use plasma cutters have is what to put under their material as they cut. After all, the cutter is just as likely to go through the work surface itself as the metal you’re wanting to work on!
Enter the Eastwood Carbon Steel Welding Table. Rather than use a solid surface to cut on, the Eastwood Carbon Steel table features 23 carbon steel slats. With an impressive 250-pound carrying capacity, this table will deal with just about anything you want to cut on it.
The use of slats means you aren’t going to completely destroy your work surface the first time you use it. However, those slats are still going to get cut over time. The solution? Each of the 23 slats is easily removable and replaceable. When the slats get too damaged to be much use any more, just swap them out.
You also won’t need to worry about sparks and arcs from coming back to you, as they’ll simply go through the slats to the floor.
About the only downside to the whole thing is that it’s not portable at all — but it’s a small price to pay to a robust, sturdy work surface. And, of course, it’s perfectly usable for your welding needs, too.
Strong Hand Tools Nomad Welding Table (TS3020 model)
We’ll end where we began! This welding table is almost the same as the first we mentioned on the list. Same company, overall same design.
Unlike the TS3020FK model first listed, this one does not come with the super handy clamps. It’s the bare bones, stripped down version just for those who need a lightweight, portable welding table design.
Once folded down, this table has two useful wheels that make transporting it easier than any table on the list. There is some compromise in making it so lightweight and portable, however; the table does need the extra weight of whatever material you’re working with to “settle” and be fully stable.
The table top can be tilted to various degrees, and the maximum height is adjustable from 26” to 32”. For an affordable, lightweight, portable starter table, you really can’t go wrong with it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I look for in a welding table?
Basically you want to look for the same things I was in the search criteria above; stability, space, height, durability, etc. Portability is great, but not necessarily essential. Don’t buy the cheapest, even if you’re looking to be frugal with your purchase.
Always read reviews and research the products. Does it actually stand up to the heat? Many cheaper models don’t lock into place properly, which is neither safe nor sturdy. What extra features does it come with — and are they any good?
Why do you need a welding table?
Short answer, you don’t.
Long answer, you don’t, but…
Many welders, even professionals, work on the floor. It’s usually a concrete floored garage or workshop — no need to worry about cutting through the ground, or setting the concrete on fire, or melting the surface, etc. But working on the ground isn’t convenient, and over time certainly isn’t doing your health any favors. You’ll be fast on your way to developing some sort of chronic back injury working on the floor.
So get a welding table, bring the workspace up to you, and do your back a favor.
How do you ground a welding table?
After all it takes is one accident for everything to go horribly wrong.
There are two trains of thought when it comes to grounding a welding table:
Ground the table itself by attaching the grounding clamp to the table. When you’re welding smaller pieces of material, you should clamp the material directly to the table. This grounds the material, as well as holds the material nice and sturdy. There’s still the possibility of a shock if you lean on the table, so slap on some welding gloves to cover your elbows, too.
If the item is large enough to fit a clamp onto, clamp the object. You might want to still clamp the table as well, but if the object is large enough to be grounded that should be fine.
The chance of actual major damage or problems is slim. Many welders report working for decades without ever receiving a shock. But it is never advisable to work on a metal welding table without proper grounding.
How tall should a welding table be?
This will depend on two main factors:
How tall you are, and what you’re welding.
The conventional wisdom is the bench should be 6-10” below the elbow height of the operator. So measure how far your elbows are off the ground, then subtract 6-10”. Many people say that 10” can still be too high, so aim for around 6-8”. As an example, for a 6’2” person, you’ll want the table to be around 38-42”.
If you’re working on something that has some height to it, you want the working surface to be the comfortable height, not the table.
The 34-36” average of the tables listed above should suit most people.
How do I rust proof my welding table?
This is a trickier question to answer than you might think — not because it’s difficult, but because there are so many options!
A fine application of some sort of wax, oil, or liquid film is the usual standards. I would personally suggest a light layer of WD40 — not too much, just a quick spray and spread around with a cloth. While there are certainly many other options, I find most people already have WD40 in their possession, so it’s incredibly convenient.
If the table has already started rusting, a twisted wire brush and grinder usually do the trick to clear it off.
Of course, the best way to keep the table free of rust is to use it constantly — but this obviously isn’t always practical, much as we might want it to be!
A welding table makes welding life easier. They bring your work up to a comfortable height and do your back a world of favors. Choosing the right one can take a bit of digging, but hopefully, you’ll agree with my list. They’re all sturdy, affordable options sure to up your welding game. Give one a try — your work, and your back will thank me!