BenchPro Economy Workbenches

BenchPro understands that people can’t always get the best model of workstation available, whether it’s because of budget, or intended use, there is always someone searching for the most affordable table for their application, not the most appropriate.

The unfortunate part of choosing a bench solely on price is that quality suffers. Buyers making decisions on price alone are more likely to end up buying an inferior bench that was probably produced in China, and will find the bench needs to be replaced much sooner than if a higher quality bench was purchased in the first place.

These low quality benches may be cheap, but still come with a price – damaged product, lower quality, complicated assemblies, ect.

In September 2009, our friends at BenchPro ordered one of these imported benches for themselves to see first-hand the quality. Below are the comments and photos of what they received:

1. Shipping Damage: The images below are of the condition of the bench parts as they were received. in 2006 BenchPro ordered these benches and they arrived damaged, at the time they requested replacement parts, which also arrived damaged. Below are images of the bench they ordered in 2009 immediately upon unpacking.

Note the damage to the laminate, both scraped and nicked.

Small chips and a bent-out piece of laminate. Real laminate does not bend, it snaps. This is a soft laminate from China which will stain easily.

Another damaged edge.

Another damaged corner.

Inadequate packing and thin paint, plus the use of UPS* contributed to the legs having their paint rubbed off in some spots. The parallel line seen in the photo are where the box did not rub the paint through, but started to. There is a dent visible too. There were a few more small dents, and three of the pieces of tubing were bent.

An impact on the end of the open tube during shipping forced it to bend against the other tube. You can also see some “box rub” down the side of the leg.

2. Quality:

This is something BenchPro had never seen before. Apparently they welded two scraps of tubing together  to create a leg. It is bent at the welded seam.

3. Conductivity and Continuity:

BenchPro checked the static control top of this bench for conductivity and continuity. Initially, the conductivity of this static control top was well within nationally accepted standards when measured from the top, sides, and the bottom. Their design provided continuity from the top to the frame, but did not include wrist strap jack receptors, grounding wires, or grounding lugs. BenchPro did two tests at the test lab at their plant to determine whether the top would maintain its dissipative qualities and its continuity.
  • Continuity between top and frame was lost by washing the underside of the top.
  • The surface resistance of the top, while still remaining within nationally acceptable standards, became approximately four times less dissipative after being washed and dried twice with Windex™ on successive days.
  • Further tests found that their Chinese laminate did not have a conductive carbon layer. It used a plasticizer to maintain conductivity. Washing removes plasticizer oils. This system to make materials dissipative depends on the plasticizer coming to the surface to achieve a proper level of dissipation. Over time, the oils deplete, leaving the plastic no longer dissipative.
  • BenchPro further determined that their plastic covered tops are not covered in plastic laminates, as all other brands are (the word laminate represents a product which is made up of sheets laminated together under pressure and high temperature). They use what appears to be ABS plastic which is an extruded product. ABS plastic melts at a much lower temperature, wears poorly, and stains easily.

4. Assembly:

There are four glides on the left side of the picture. BenchPro’s glides are already installed in the legs. This image shows how many fasteners are needed for a simple  bench with drawer.

There are three tubes with holes in the foreground. Those are three of the adjustable legs. BenchPro’s adjustable legs are ready to use, and are already installed inside of the legs.

There are some drawer brackets in the background, benchPro’s are already assembled to the bench top.

To assemble these, and most other brand benches, you must assemble all these parts together to make a frame, then assemble the frame to the top with wood screws. BenchPro assembles the frame by welding, then assembles it to the top.

Long thin wood screws in the middle of the image are for attaching the frame to the correct position under the top. BenchPro’s frame comes all welded and attached to the top.

BenchPro’s leg and top assembly bolts are concealed to reduce personal injury, theirs are on the outside of the steel tubes.

5. Defects:

These two photos show two of the four adjustable leg inserts with their bolts screwed in slightly. If you look closely, some of the bolts are so crooked that they will not easily pass through the holes.

These bolts are intended to pass through the outer leg, through the side of the inner leg and fasten on the far side of the inner leg. BenchPro installs these bolts so you don’t have to.

It appears as though customers may not be able to get some of the screws in without straightening in the internal fasteners.

6. Shipping Method:

This cheap workbench company sent BenchPro’s (single) bench by UPS* in 5-6 shipments. Legs here, a top there, drawers in another box, and another box with the long pieces. The shipment came in over a span of 5-6 days, as the components arrived from their various warehouses.

* Nothing here should imply that UPS is in anyway at fault. You either pack fragile things better or send them another way.

If you are looking for an affordable bench, but still want a quality product, look to BenchPro’s new Truman Series Workbenches!

BenchPro is offering their most affordable workbench in the T-Series Economy Workbenches. These benches are made just like the R-Series with minor changes to make them the least expensive of BenchPro’s options. Those minor changes are a thinner laminate (.020″), less size options, no glides on the legs, and no color options (all benches are gray frame/white laminate). These benches are still made of high quality materials, and can hold up to 1,000 lbs. of evenly distributed weight.

BenchPro treats and packs their economy benches the same way they do all of their other benches, the tops are pre-fastened to the frame, the legs attach quickly and easily with a bolt, and your bench will arrive in one box with everything needed to assemble.

The Truman Series Economy Workbenches use the same accessories as the BenchPro Value Line Series of Workbenches making finding and selecting accessories simple and quick. BenchPro believes that you shouldn’t have to choose between saving money or having a quality product, they are offering their customers both.

You can find BenchPro’s Truman Series Benches at Production Automation along with all of BenchPro’s other great workbench lines and accessories. Contact us at 888-903-0333 or at [email protected] if you have any questions about BenchPro, or what workstation would work best for your application. Our knowledgeable staff is always on hand to answer questions or guide the selecting process. We also offer a simple quote form if you would like for us to send you a formal BenchPro quote. Find the links to BenchPro products below.

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