You are welding, running wire, painting, and need to access high places quickly and safely. Ladders are inconvenient and take up a lot of room. Tables are heavy and not easily portable. A portable work platform is that priceless partner you want when working on a fabrication or electrical project.
These great assistants can handle weights of up to 500 lbs and they are still light enough to transport from one place to the other. Portable work platforms sometimes come with clamping systems that hold tools and materials in place so you can focus on your job. And when the work is complete, these portable work platforms fold flat for easy storage and transport.
Before you shop for a portable work platform, you need to bear some factors in mind. You will learn more about these factors as you read on.
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What is a Portable Work Platform?
A portable working platform is a conveniently transported platform used to access a place of work that is somewhat out of reach. It is usually lightweight and compact.
And since this platform can be folded down, it can be stored conveniently by leaning it on a wall in your garage or hiding it away behind a shelf. It is ideal for DIYers, handymen, etc.
Therefore, if this is your first time purchasing a portable work platform or replacing an old one, this guide will be beneficial. This is because there are many work platforms out there, and you don’t want to make a wrong purchase.
Buying Guide: Parameters for Selecting a Good Portable Work Platform
Here are a few of the essential factors you need to consider, arranged in no particular order:
A portable work platform should be sturdy and capable of enduring rough use or abuse. But it must also be light enough for easy transport. To achieve this balance, most work platforms are crafted with a combination of lightweight aluminum or sturdy steel.
Many portable work platforms feature aluminum or steel legs as a sturdy support system, while the bench top is made with light wood like bamboo or heavy-duty plastic resin.
Weight and Size
When you shop for a portable work platform, weight and size are highly crucial. Most work platforms weigh far less than 30 lbs. This is a manageable weight for a single individual. Most work platforms come with worktops that are about 30 inches long by 24 inches. They fold flat to between 4-7 inches thick in order to allow for easy storage and transport.
A wobbly surface is a no-no when working on a project that requires 100 percent stability. A portable work platform must be sturdy and stable enough to bear your weight and that of other tools.
That means it must come with wide-set feet made with aluminum or steel legs. The feet must also be coated in rubber or any other non-slip material in order to prevent the work platform from slipping or sliding along the floor.
Adjustability and Versatility
The best portable work platforms should meet several demands. Some work platforms can double as workstations for miter saws. Others can even change shape entirely in order to function as a sawhorse and workbench.
Some work platforms allow you to change the height of the worktop by, say, 4 inches. This is a very handy feature when using a work platform with a table saw or support when cutting long materials. Some models allow you even to change the work platform’s angle.
Some models come with molded handles that make transportation easier; others feature measurement marking molded or printed onto the worktop surface. Some models even come with additional drawers and pockets for storing tools. Several others feature integrated power strips and a clamping system to secure accessories.
Top 4 Portable Work Platforms
The Ironton Compact Aluminum Platform is a sturdy, solid, and portable solution for anyone that needs extra height. It is the go-to choice for a wide range of maintenance projects at job sites or around your home.
The Ironton Compact Aluminum Platform is also great for washing trucks, in paint booths, and while performing grinding and welding work. It features lightweight, highly durable aluminum construction and folds effortlessly for very convenient storage.
- Powder-coated steel hinges
- A sturdy handle facilitates portability.
- Large platform (11.75 inches x 18 inches).
|Material Type||Aluminum, steel hinge|
|Overall dimensions (L x W x H) inches||24 x 13 x 13|
|Manufacturer’s warranty||3 years of consumer limited|
- Many users are suprised and satisfied with its light weight.
- Compliments of how handy and versatile this tool flood the user reviews.
- The 13″ height is fairly short.
The Ironton Folding Aluminum Platform is ideal for anyone who needs extra reach when welding, power washing, or painting at higher heights. Providing extra height at the job site or in the shop, this portable work platform is a strong choice.
- Lightweight aluminum construction
- Space-saving design for easy storage
|Material type||Aluminum alloy|
|Overall dimensions (L x W x H) inches||27½ x 11¾ x 19 5/8|
|Platform material||Aluminum alloy|
- Light and sturdy enough when folded out.
- Additional height adds versatility.
- Economical – users say it provides great value for the price.
- Lowest weight capacity of all platforms that were reviewed.
If you are looking for a multi-purpose stable piece that can be used for a wide variety of tasks in your workshop or garage, the Giantex Work Platform is what you need.
This portable work platform provides highly durable performance and its non-slip feet, as well as the gripping top, are excellent pieces of workmanship. It makes for a supplementary but temporary work surface for every manner of shop project.
- Special, anti-slip surface design
- Skid-resistant feet and locking legs
- Triangle holder design
|Overall dimensions (L x W x H) inches||41.7 x 15.7 x 19.9|
- Provides over 1.5′ of additional height with a high weight rating.
- It is lightweight and easy to use.
- According to a user, the weight rating is misleading and should be lower.
- A user says the product squeaks really bad.
The X-Tra Hand 2-in-1 Workbench/Platform is a patented product that converts easily to a work platform that can bear up to 500 lbs. It has an extra-large, square-framed workbench as well as a versatile utility tray, drill-through clearance, V-groove for cutting materials like pipes, etc., and protractor/ruler for layout work.
This portable work platform features high-impact polypropylene decking and a welded steel frame along with non-skid feet.
- High-impact 51.02-inch polypropylene decking
- Drill-through clearance
- Ruler and protractor for layout work
|Material type||Steel frame; aluminum alloy/wood decking|
|Overall dimensions (L x W x H) inches||51 x 23 7/16 x 31 5/8|
|Platform materials||Aluminum alloy|
- The built-in handle allows for easy transport.
- The extendable aluminum legs and steel frame make for easy reach up to a 31.6-inch height.
- A great assistant for the handyman.
- A user says the spring-loaded locking mechanism pops out easily, and this causes the work platform not to be locked securely.
- A user claims that the work platform cannot support up to 500 lbs.
- At over 50 pounds, its far heavier than other alternatives.
There it is: a rundown of the top 4 portable work platforms on the market today. Portable work platforms will continue to be versatile and sturdy assistants to painters, welders, electricians, and maintenance technicians.
All of these work platforms should be strongly considered, but our team believes the Ironton Folding Aluminum Platform offers the best all-around value for the price. Its strong, lightweight, and provides over 1.5′ of clearance. For those who care about tools and the ability to use the work platform as a workbench, the X-Tra Hand 2-in-1 Workbench/Platform might be the best choice. Regardless, choosing any of these four options should help increase your productivity, safety, and work satisfaction.