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Kobalt "heavy duty" workbench review.
#1
Hello friends.

So I needed some sort of work bench to clean and work on my guns, and I picked up one of these Kobalt "heavy duty" work benches from Lowes. I got it on sale during President day, for 159.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_2218-55738-LWWB0...Id=1235425

Since where I am currently living isn't a permanent residence, I didn't want to spend to much, and I wanted something that I wouldn't mind giving away, or trashing, when I eventually move. One day, I'd like to have a custom made, solid wood bench, but not while I'm renting.

This seemed liked it would do a good job at keeping all of my cleaning gear and tools in one place, and it would fit in the corner of my "gun" room.

I put the words "heavy duty" in quotes, because it most certainly is not, and I didn't really expect it to be. It is just mild chinese steel junk, really. The panels are very very flimsy and you have to handle them with care when assembling, or you run the risk of warping or bending them permanently. Put together, it seems pretty sturdy, though. However, I've tried to help friends move these mild steel products before, and it never went well. They simply do not hold up to moving around very much.


Assembly was straight forward, and the instruction manual was pretty easy to follow. Along with the mild steel, you get crappy hardware as well. No surprise. I knew what I was buying and I wasn't looking for anything special at this price point, from Lowes.

Like I said, once assembled, it seems pretty sturdy. Sturdy enough to handle what I'm using it for..., cleaning guns and mild gun smithing. I do want to try to put a vice on the bench, but I'm not sure the MDF top can handle one. The drawer tracks are terrible. The bottom drawer falls out for me, if I'm not careful. The other two, smaller, drawers are cock eyed in their slots as well. They'll work for what I'm using them for, as seen in the pictures. Above the peg board is a little storage area that is supposed to have hinges that will keep it open, but I broke the mounting points for the hinges on assembly. Since they are also made out of the same mild steel, they bent when I tried to apply any torque to tighten the nuts. When I bent them back, that was the end of them. Oh well.

It does have a florescent light over the work area, and a power strip on the side. It also has some hooks that I found useful for hanging bore snakes. All in all, it'll serve its intended function just fine. I wouldn't want to do any heavy duty work on it, but for cleaning guns and the minor smithing that most of us would do, it'll handle it.


Here's some pics. You can see that for its intended purposes, it will do just fine. I wouldn't want to pay their normal price, though, and am happy that I got it for 159, since my expectations were low, and they managed to meet those low expectations. But, if you're like me and just need a little space to organize some gun stuff, and clean your guns, and you don't want to move it much, it'll work just fine.

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Justin
[Image: pafoasig.png]
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#2
Nice to see a review. I considered this for the same purposes plus reloading but the MDF scared me away. Ultimately the wife convinced me to keep my current setup. It ain't pretty bit ot works.
The law? The law is a human institution...
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#3
Yeah I don't think this bench could handle reloading very well. That's my opinion, based on the MDF and the fact that it isn't secured in any way. It just lays on top, and it is only about a half inch thick, if that.

Justin
[Image: pafoasig.png]
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#4
MDF isn't bad to work with as long as you have it in the correct thickness. That looks like it's too thin for it to be of any real use. I have several pieces of 1 1/4" MDF that I'm using in homemade workbenches in my garage. One of them has a band saw, drill press and a small vice mounted to it. Not a problem with it. The other I currently have my Radial Arm Saw mounted to the top of a mobile cabinet. Before I put the RAS on it I had my Dewalt Miter saw mounted to it. It too has seen a lot of use, had things spilled on it, and not a single sign of it degradinng.

I'd like to see if I could get a bunch of 3/4" so I could replace all the pieces on my rotary tool table that I picked up from a PAFOA member.
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#5
If you would like, I can send you plans for the bench I use. No drawers or anything. But two grown men can stand on it.
This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. -Ben Franklin
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