Garage workbenches generally fall into two categories: custom-made and prefabricated. From there, the designs and features of each bench will vary significantly according to the garage owner's needs, the size of the garage, and the work being performed on and around the bench. Custom made garage workbenches are usually made from either wood or heavy gauge metals, and they can be made with any array of features the builder desires. Prefabricated benches also come in either wood or heavy gauge metals, though some prefabricated models are made of lighter gauge metals, plastics, and other light duty materials meant more for storage and easy jobs.
Some garage workbenches are made to be portable. The legs of the bench are designed to fold up easily, and the bench itself is fairly lightweight to allow a user to move or store the unit. The garage workbenches that fit this portability requirement are usually not meant for heavy duty jobs, though some are built well enough to be used for medium duty jobs. Heavier materials and tools should not be stored on such benches permanently unless the bench is specifically designed to handle such weight.
A structure built permanently into the garage is usually designed for heavy duty applications. Wood is most commonly used to build garage workbenches for several reasons: wood is generally easy to work with during construction, meaning the builder can customize the bench on site very easily. He or she can design shelves, drawers, and other features relatively easily without having to order parts to custom sizes, as is often the case with metal. One drawback to wood is its flammability: garage owners who will be doing work that may cause sparks, such as welding or using torches, may want to consider a metal bench that will not catch on fire should a stray flame or ember strike it.
Metal garage workbenches can be less expensive than wood, though heavier gauge metals may be just as expensive, especially if one needs to hire a welder to build the bench custom. Metal can also be customized, but the process is much more difficult. Wood and metal benches often feature back boards, on which tools can be hung. Pegboard can be added to the back board or supports to make hanging tools much easier and convenient. Light and medium duty benches may also be mounted on heavy duty casters so the bench can be moved easily around the garage. The casters should feature wheel locks that will allow for more stability while the bench is in use.