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General Purpose Workbenches

General Purpose Workbenches are the most popular type of bench available. They are suitable for a wide range of applications - not just traditional workshop or garage use, but also for offices, laboratories, schools, warehouses and storerooms.

Benches in this category generally feature a framework design and can be modified to suit your particular requirements. Storage can be added in the form of drawers, shelves and panels and lighting or electrical sockets can also be fitted to increase a bench’s functionality.

A general purpose workbench has the capacity to grow with your business so is a good choice for those looking to purchase for a new facility or expand in the future.

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Buying Guide

It’s easy to dismiss general purpose workbenches as unnecessary. On the face of it they can seem virtually no different to standard desks, but that is far from the truth. The correct workbench will have a huge impact on the ability of users to complete daily tasks and can increase productivity and output. Simply put, they are the right tool for the job.

Workbenches are set at the optimum height for working with tools and industrial equipment – whether that be standing or sitting. This can have a marked effect on the efficiency of workers and reduces the need for unnecessary breaks and even, in extreme cases, time off due to health problems.

They are available with worktops appropriate for a variety of purposes from general use chipboard to non-conductive laminate. Workbench tops are durable, easy to maintain and more suited to industrial applications than most other work surfaces. Using the right worktop for the task at hand can even protect expensive tools and components from damage during use.

General purpose workbenches are a great way of streamlining operations. A selection of add-ons is available to aid in this process and increase functionality further. Integrated storage means everything can be kept within arm’s reach eliminating the need to cross busy and potentially dangerous spaces to retrieve everyday items. Over bench lighting can be of huge benefit when working with small parts or in areas where natural light is low or non-existent. The ability to make this and other electrical elements integral to the workbench, thereby eliminating external wires, gives them an instant advantage over other items of furniture.

Workbenches are built to last. Ranges such as Bott Verso feature a 10 year guarantee as standard and all benches are constructed and designed for long-term industrial use.

General purpose workbenches reduce risk and create a more manageable workload for users, providing them with the right surface with which to complete the task at hand.


Q: What bench types are available?

A: The vast majority of general purpose workbenches are what is known as “framework style” meaning they utilise a simple frame and worktop construction. This often takes the familiar form of a basic bench with 4 legs, stringer or shelf and worktop – ranges within this category include Bott Verso, Welfix and Quinton. This style of bench is perfect for the addition of storage and a range of cabinets are available either as standard or separately.

Alternatively, cantilever-design benches feature 2 legs with an extended base, stringer and worktop. They are incredibly strong and offer superb under bench access. Hytech benches use this configuration.

Finally, some general purpose benches are pedestal style. This bench type swaps out the legs on one or more sides and replaces them with floor to worktop storage cabinets. Although under bench space is reduced, storage capacity is increased making them perfect for small spaces.

Q: What else sets a general purpose workbench apart from a standard desk?

A: One of the main differences between workbenches and desks are the materials used.

General purpose workbenches feature strong steel frames and a variety of different worktops suitable for any application.

The most basic of these is reinforced chipboard. It’s a no fuss option that is ideal for industrial or warehouse usage. Workbenches with this top make superb packing stations or maintenance benches. Melamine faced chipboard (MFC) has the added benefit of being easy to clean. It’s both attractive and economic and perfect in garages or workshops.

Laminate worktops are durable and a great all round option combining many of the properties of the basic worktop finishes with those at the top of the range. They are easy to maintain, incredibly strong and can be used virtually anywhere.

Linoleum covered worktops are hardwearing and feature good surface resistance to water, acids, oils and chemicals. They are especially suited to laboratories, assembly areas and storerooms.

Multiplex Beech Ply (Mpx) worktops give a professional appearance and are suitable for office or customer-facing environments. Made from resin bonded, layered beech ply they are incredibly strong and perfect when a high-end finish is desired.

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