UK Workbenches Limited

Your Guide To Workshop Bench Top Materials

  25/08/2020     Lee Burnham

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that not all workshop benches are suitable for all lines of work. If you want to work with wood, metal, machinery or electrics, some materials are better than others for a workbench top.

In this guide, we will take a closer look at the workshop bench top materials, to help you decide which is right for you.


MDF (medium-density fibreboard) is a material used in medium-duty workbenches. It is inexpensive and fairly durable, suitable for woodwork and general DIY. You wouldn’t choose an MDF top for machinery or industrial purposes, but you could choose it for your garage or an engineering or woodworking shop.


A laminated top uses MDF or wooden particle board as a core and a plastic laminate (melamine-formaldehyde) for the coating. The laminate is resistant to scratches and cracks and can be wiped clean, making it more hygienic than MDF. You can think of the laminate as a protective coating for a wood workbench.

ESD laminate

ESD laminate surfaces (also known as anti-static surfaces) are similar to laminate surfaces, except they use a laminate with a carbon layer. The carbon layer dissipates any static that is generated, allowing you to safely work with electrics and work in environments where parts and materials are sensitive to static.

Galvanized stainless steel

Galvanized stainless steel is used to make heavy-duty and super heavy-duty workshop benches. They can be made from a sheet of solid metal or they can have a solid wood core encased in stainless. Stainless steel workshop benches with a solid timber core are suitable for super heavy-duty applications.

Which is right for me?

Galvanized stainless steel is the heaviest duty option. It’ suitable for things like industrial engineering, machinery and also food contact because it’s hygienic.

If you work in an environment where parts and materials are sensitive to static, then you will be best served by an ESD laminate or MDF with an anti-static mat.

For garages and DIY, you can’t go wrong with a laminate or MDF workshop bench. Both offer good durability and are suitable for woodworking and general use.

Once you’ve chosen the right top material, you should size up your space and consider any accessories you might like to add, like drawers and cupboards. You can also get shelves and louvres built onto your workshop bench.

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