The Best Welding Tables: Stationary, Portable, or Ergonomic?
A welding table will speed up your work. If you are getting paid by the piece, then a strong table will give you the foundation for you to get increase your revenue.
Ergonomic welding tables let you work day after day with fewer missed sick days from back pain.
If you visit any fabrication shop, you’ll notice that their staff have been provided with top-quality welding tables for doing their work.
It’s okay to crawl around on the concrete if you only use your welder once a year.
But the proper welding bench will let you clamp the project, use jigs, and get a better end-product in less time.
Here are the top ones to consider.
- The Best Welding Tables: Stationary, Portable, or Ergonomic?
- The 6 Best Welding Tables For The Money
- Miller Welding Table 60SX
- Miller Portable ArcStation 29×29 Welding Table
- Nomad Portable Welding Table
- Hobart Folding Welding Table
- Champ’s Welding Table
- Rhino Cart Welding Table
- Welding Table Buyer’s Guide
- Weight Bearing Capacity
- Table Size
- What Is The Best Height For A Welding Table?
- Use Type
- Welding Screens
- Caster Wheels
- Brand Name
- Frequently Asked Questions:
The 6 Best Welding Tables For The Money
Miller Welding Table 60SX
I like the Miller brand as much as the next guy, but if you’ve read in of our reviews, you know that we aren’t the type who frequently fawns over them.
This table does the Miller brand name justice and deserves a place near the top of our list for the serious welder.
There are a few great features that make this table better than most of the ones that you can buy.
The first thing that jumps out is the excellent, reinforced, coaster system. This table sits on six adjustable legs. This lets you dial it into any shop floor, even if your floor isn’t even. If you need to move it, you can engage the coaster wheels and move it to its new place. It’s not portable per se, but it can easily move around the shop.
This wheel system is necessary because it weighs over 300 pounds. This weight is needed to get a strong tabletop that won’t warp under heat. The top welding surface is made of 3/8 inch thick steel, which helps protect it against accidental nicks from the grinding wheel and provides added protection when plasma cutting (although they make a plasma cutting table if you are doing a lot of that work.).
Measuring at 60″ by 30″, the Miller 60SX Arcstation workbench has the largest work surface of just about any workbench that you can buy.
This station gives you everything you need. You have drawers for organizing your tools, a gun holder on the side for your hand tools for setting your torch for easy access. There is even a spot to mount your vise.
Assembling this table is a little bit of a project. You get about a dozen boxes, and you’ll want to take a moment to open all of the boxes and gather the fasteners so you can make sure to put the correct one into the correct spot.
The welding shield is the final, professional touch as it lets others watch you work while providing some flash protection.
Miller Portable ArcStation 29×29 Welding Table
If the Strong Hands Nomad (reviewed below) isn’t heavy enough for you, this Miller Portable welding-table is designed to provide a robust welding surface that you can carry with you from job to job. With a load capacity of 500 pounds, this one is no slacker.
My readers who already have invested in a welding generator, and who have been frustrated by the fact that they always have to work on the ground, will appreciate this durable, yet portable table.
If you’ve been welding for a while, you’ll notice that you need a thicker welding surface to keep the table from warping over time. This Arcstation welding table uses a 3/8-inch thick tabletop to provide that longevity that you expect out of your equipment.
The other nice feature is the channels that are CNC machined out of the middle in an “X” shape. Compared to the Strong Hands model, this X-shape provides more angles for the clamps to grab those odd pieces.
It also has a handy gun holder for when you need to walk away from your work for a moment.
When folded out, it reaches 48-inches high.
This is a simple work table that is designed for professional use. You don’t have “bells and whistles” just thickness and durability. At about 75 pounds, it is something you can carry around with two hands.
Nomad Portable Welding Table
The Strong Hand Tools Nomad Portable Welding table is the complete opposite of the Miller reviewed above. However, we include it on the list as the best portable welding table.
With this table, you are getting one that is lightweight, easy to carry around, and rated for 350 pounds.
Even better, you can purchase more than one of them to help support larger welding projects.
Throughout the table are three parallel grooves so you can slip your clamps in and secure the workpiece while you are welding.
The other nice thing is that you can adjust the table from 26″ up to 32″ to suit your height preferences.
The table also has a handy tilt feature for when you need to reach those hard-to-reach areas. This adjustable table angle is easy to click into different positions to give you more flexibility.
For the hobby welder, who is working with tight spaces and needs a foldable welding table, the Strong Hand Tools Nomad table should be a top consideration. It’s especially a favorite among those who are doing intricate TIG welding.
Hobart Folding Welding Table
This list would be incomplete if we didn’t mention the Hobart folding welding table.
Hobart is a popular brand among beginning welders, and their table provides a steady place to learn the trade.
The 12 gauge steel top (1/8″ ) is durable enough to handle most welding tasks, and the 33.5-inch by 19.5-inch welding surface is just big enough without being too bulky. I’d like to see a thicker top if you are doing a high volume of work or working with high heat.
When you are done, it collapses just like an ironing board.
Missing from this option, are the added clamp channels of the Nomad reviewed above. However, you have the advantage of the Hobart’s portable, lightweight design.
Champ’s Welding Table
If bells and whistles aren’t your things, you’ll appreciate this Champ’s welding table. It offers a round, 24″ tabletop that provides easy access to your welding job. The tabletop rotates, so you can sit in one spot and work.
The 3/8-inch steel top provides the stable workspace that you are looking for.
When not in use, you simply roll it out of the way.
If you don’t need a lot of portability, this one might offer a longer lifespan than the Strong Hand Tools Portable welding table.
An excellent choice for the hobbyist.
Rhino Cart Welding Table
When trolling through welding forums, you’ll see mentions of these old cast iron tables. They are referred to with reverence. And, as with all good things, they’ve been discontinued.
This is why I love the Rhino Cart. Just like the older workbenches, this one has the drilled holes spaced evenly apart so that you get full coverage for using your clamps. Each of these holes is 5/8-inch wide, so you can easily drop your clamp in.
Compared to trying to tack weld your welding jobs to the table, these clamps are a much faster, cleaner system.
It’s enough of an advantage that I would almost choose this one over the Miller Arcstation when working in high-speed production environments.
The 48″ by 30″ surface area gives you plenty of room to work, and the 5/8″ thickness helps to ensure it will last through years of high-speed use.
Underneath the table is the racks you need to store and organize your clamps and welding tools.
This is an industrial tool, and won’t be the ideal choice for most of my readers. But the fabrication shop will appreciate the added reinforcement that went into this piece.
Welding Table Buyer’s Guide
As you can tell, there are a lot of options, and each brand has its own unique features that they use as a selling point.
Here are the questions you should consider to help you get the table that is most likely to meet your needs.
Everyone has a preference for topics like this. We wrote this guide from the viewpoint of the personal garage that does a lot of welding or the light-duty commercial operation that needs a table for one of their employees.
Weight Bearing Capacity
Load capacity should be one of the top considerations as you shop for a welding table.
Metal is heavy, and you don’t want a table that is going to be shaky under load.
In the reviews above, I discuss the load capacity of each table. Use that to help get a heavy-duty welding table that will meet your needs.
Generally, the heavier the table, the more durable it is.
A welding table should provide a flat surface for doing your welding on.
Ideally, you want one that hasn’t warped, so you can get the pieces to line up properly.
Additionally, welding material at different angles is a challenge. If you have a jig or clamp, you want to secure the piece properly to secure them once and then keep them in place while you do your work. This is especially helpful if you are trying to preheat metal, and need it to stay in place for a longer time while you prepare it.
Common table sizes are 30″x 60″ or 48″ by 96″. You can get them with as little as 30 square inches of surface area to more than 100 square inches of space.
The type of work that you are doing is going to determine which table size you should be purchasing.
A lot of your limitations will come from your shop size. Measure your shop and figure out where the table will sit. You need to be close enough to a power supply that you don’t need an extension cord (or factor the added cost of a welder-specific extension cord into your setup.)
If you lack space, a large table can be limiting. You want to be able to move around it freely and have room to move the material that you are working on.
If you have the room, bigger is generally better. You can also use the table for other projects.
For portability, go small. These tables get quite heavy, and you will appreciate having a smaller, lighter table.
You can certainly get one with casters, but for true portability, you need it to be fold-able.
What Is The Best Height For A Welding Table?
For TIG work, you will often be sitting next to the table. These tables are generally about 30″ to 40″ tall. A 36″ table is ideal for TIG welding.
However, for other work where you are standing all day, a taller table can be handy for lessening your back pain. In these cases, a 38 to 42-inch table is probably a better fit.
Some welding tables are going to be adjustable. This comes in handy if you are doing both TIG welding and MIG welding. The alternative is to buy a taller table and then to get a bar stool to sit on while you work.
Keep in mind that you also have to lift the piece up to your table. If your table is too tall, this can make it difficult.
As we just alluded, how you are planning on using the table and the different welding processes can influence which table you should buy. You might want the table to be tall enough that your welding cart will fit underneath it.
Or you might prefer to have that space underneath the table for storing consumables.
A larger table like the Miller 60SX Arcstation is likely going to be a better option for something like this.
However, if you are frequently doing remote welding or need a secondary table for helping to support the bigger pieces, getting a portable welding table like the Strong Hands Nomad Portable Welding Table would be a better choice.
You can also use something like a wooden sawhorse to support long pieces.
Having the option to clamp your work can help speed up the quality of the finished weld.
Some of them offer self-locking clamping systems (generally sold separately). These clamps make it faster for securing your work, can be very handy if you are rapidly switching between jobs.
Some tables include additional holes in the middle of the table for securing a jig.
If you are working in a shop with a lot of other people or in an area where your kids might wander through, having a welding screen can protect people’s eyes. This helps to shield observers from the spatter and the welder’s flash that results from looking directly at the weld.
For the shop that has a single welding station where most of the employees are not wearing welding gear, having a welding screen can be a worthwhile investment.
These tables are quite heavy. With wheels, you can move the tables around your shop.
You want to make sure that it is a high-quality caster wheel with good bearings. Additionally, they should have a built-in brake that will let you keep it in place while you work.
Some of the tables have casters that move up when the table is in position. This added feature allows the table to rest on the more stable legs instead of its wheels.
There are a lot of tools that a welder uses. From wire brushes to grinders and welding tips, there are a lot of loose ends that you want to keep handy.
At the least, you want a place to be able to set your welding torch while you are working on something else. This keeps it from accidentally welding something while keeping it handy to reduce the time that it takes you to switch between tasks.
Even better, you should have a place to hang pliers and the other hand tools that you frequently use when you work.
Welding tables are one of the simplest tools in your shop.
While it makes sense to buy a brand name tool — and you’ll undoubtedly appreciate the better customer service and build quality that comes from making this choice — there is very little that can go wrong with a welding table.
If you need to cut costs, a welding table is a good place to do that.
After all, it is likely that if something breaks, you can always weld it back together.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What Should A Welding Table Be Made From?
The best material for a welding table is stainless, cast iron, or steel. If you are building your own table and don’t need it to be portable, you can look at using 1/4″ steel. This is thick enough that it should hold up to accidental cutting. If you want to be guaranteed that the table won’t have any warping, you could go with 1/2″ steel. However, with that thickness, you might need an overhead hoist for moving the workbench around your shop.
Stainless steel looks cool and is sometimes more affordable. It does tend to make BB’s (molten metal that rolls back to your piece and cools to it, creating the need for more cleanup work) and may warp a little faster than going with high carbon steel.
Aluminum is a poorer choice for a table, but it should be considered its portability is a concern. Aluminum transmits heat instantly. This can both cool down your weld too rapidly. It also creates a hot table that makes you more likely to burn yourself on.
What Type Of Steel Are Welding Tables Made From?
This is a nuance that we can definitely split hairs on.
Most tables are made from ASTM A-36 or “mild steel.” This hot-rolled low carbon steel is affordable and plentiful. With any luck, you might even be able to buy it in scrap pieces that you then cut to size to fit your new table.
How Thick Should A Welding Table Be?
For your first welding table, you can get away with a 1/4″ steel top. It is likely that you will have some warping over time, but there are a lot of folks who build their own table from 1/4″ steel. The advantage of this slightly thinner material is that you can use a smaller welder to build it.
The recommended thickness is going to be 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch steel. If you support it with a couple of cross-supports on the underside, there is very little risk of it warping.
A consideration is to build a smaller, 4’x4′ table, instead of the common 4’x8′ size. This makes it easier to move the tables around if you don’t have a lot of help. Plus, you can use them as separate supports for larger welding projects.
Is A Welding Table Necessary?
You do not need a metal welding table to weld. Most of us want one, and at some point, we either build or buy one.
You will generally need a place that can hold your vice. If your table doesn’t have it, you may need to add a 2″ support that you can clamp the vice to.
Additionally, you’ll want a 3-4″ overhang around the edge so you can clamp to the table.
The platen tables are getting harder to find, but they have the holes in them using a grid shape that you can then use to secure your jigs.
Can I Weld On A Wooden Table?
Whether it is from a lack of room or budget constraints, beginner welders often consider welding on a wood table.
There are a few risks with this.
The first one, of course, is the risk of a fire hazard. The metal that you are welding on can get hot enough to burn the wood that it is resting on.
Additionally, the flying sparks are always a concern as a fire hazard.
The other concern is from electric shock. Professional welders often clamp to their table and temporarily tack the metal in place while they work on it. This keeps the piece from moving around and creating an opportunity to shock them.
With a wooden table, you can’t secure your workpiece as well.
For liability reasons, we could never suggest using a wooden table for welding. Most folks I know would rather work on the concrete floor than on a wood table.
Should Welding Tables Be Grounded?
Welding tables should not be grounded.
There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, providing a ground to earth (ie, with a copper grounding rod), you provide a new path for the electricity to travel. This can affect the microenvironment around the weld and require you to turn the power up to get the same amount of heat on the area that you are working.
Additionally, it is common to use electrode negative welding, where your grounding clamp is positive. In this scenario, you absolutely do not want the positive current to be rushing away from your work to the ground.
It is common to secure your welding clamp to the table, but you shouldn’t ground the welding table to earth.