What is you bench height?

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Forum topic by Dave posted 11-25-2012 10:42 PM 2152 views 1 time favorited 67 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11429 posts in 2806 days

11-25-2012 10:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bench height question

What tool style do you use?
Power tool, hybrid, hand tool.
What is your bench height?
How tall are you?
Would you change it?
Thanks for you time and input.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

67 replies so far

View Bagtown's profile


1739 posts in 3696 days

#1 posted 11-25-2012 10:49 PM

Hey Dave,

I use power tools and hand tools.
I believe my bench is about 37” high.
For most of what I do it is fine.
There are however times when it seems a little short.
Like for cutting dovetails and tenons, I think a moxon style bench/vise might solve that for me.
Sometimes, when hand planing, I think it could be a little higher too.


-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4904 posts in 3926 days

#2 posted 11-25-2012 10:59 PM

Placing your hands flat on the surface while standing upright is the “standard”. My bench is at 34 1/2” from the floor.
Anything else is the option of the builder/user.
So much for “standards”.
I prefer to use my lower body rather than just my arms for bench use.
These “norms” are from the White book of sometimes useless info. Use them as you will.


View JL7's profile


8644 posts in 2931 days

#3 posted 11-25-2012 11:19 PM

Hey Dave,

I have 2 benches as I think you know…..The first is the traditional European bench and it’s just shy of 33”. And the bench I built is just over 38”.

I prefer the taller bench. I can stand or sit – mostly stand…..But I don’t do so much with the hand tools…..If the 33” bench would have been cool, I wouldn’t have ever built the taller one, but that’s just me….....

I’m 6’ and I think 33” is too low.

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3075 days

#4 posted 11-25-2012 11:19 PM

I am 6’1. I had a bench that was here when I moved into my house and used that for most of my pounding and assembly. It was a wreck and was about 36” high. When I replaced it with a simple bench that I could plane on as well as use power tools, I followed the advice of Chris Schwartz in one of his blogs on making the bench height about knuckle high if you want to use both power and hand tools. In my case, that was about 33”. After some time of planing on this bench, I wouldn’t change the height at all. It allows me to properly bend my knees and put my whole body into it without throwing my back out of whack. The rest of the tools followed suit and I think that the advice is pretty ergonomically sound.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Bagtown's profile


1739 posts in 3696 days

#5 posted 11-25-2012 11:28 PM

David Craig – Interesting that you went lower. Food for thought.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3075 days

#6 posted 11-25-2012 11:39 PM

It had a great deal to do with what I was using the bench for. I don’t have a jointer so flattening is done with a no. 7 bench plane. This weighs about 10 pounds. With a taller bench, I have to stand straight and my arms are putting downward pressure at the same time I am putting forward momentum. My shoulders would start crying in no time. At the lower height, I can bend my knees, still keep my back straight, but my body is used for the downward pressure so I can put more of myself in the momentum without everything concentrated on my arms and shoulders.

I also use risers for glue-ups and other tasks. Add that 4 inches to a tall bench and the ergonomics get messed up. Everyone will have their own comfort level of course, but for what I use it for, I am quite comfortable with the height.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2806 days

#7 posted 11-25-2012 11:43 PM

Interesting input gentlemen.Thank you for your time.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28935 posts in 2304 days

#8 posted 11-25-2012 11:49 PM

I am 6’2”. My bench is 37” tall. I really hate bending over to work on things, kills my back. I want to make a couple mobile work stands with adjustable height.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2113 days

#9 posted 11-26-2012 12:29 AM

I am a hybrid woodworker, though I favor hand tools a bit more. I have 2 benches. One has my vises and bench dog holes and is 31” high. The other is 34” high. I am 5’ 10” ish. For sawing and planing and scraping, I like the 31” height. For assembly and chiseling and such where I’m more stationary and over top of the work for longer periods, I like the 34” bench.


View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2806 days

#10 posted 11-26-2012 12:41 AM

Rich you are about where I am. I am fixing to build a new bench. My current bench is 34” and to tall. I am planning on 30” for the new bench. I have a mini bench that I set on top for chisel work and joinery. I am just fishing for final thoughts and future problems.
Thank every one for your input.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View boxcarmarty's profile


16029 posts in 2326 days

#11 posted 11-26-2012 03:10 AM

28’’ on the bench Dave. I designed my bench primarily for cabinet making so that the low height keeps a cabinet at a comfortable working level. It also has Kreg tracks and clamps for holding and squaring face frames as I build them. Don’t forget the drawers to hold all of the things that you need to keep handy at the bench. My problem is I have drawers on both sides of my bench and I’m usually standing on the wrong side for what I need…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3274 days

#12 posted 11-26-2012 04:32 AM

I have one work table that is the same height as my table saw so it can act as an outfeed table also. It is 36”x 96”

My other 2 worktables are 37” tall and 30” deep x 96”

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2580 days

#13 posted 11-26-2012 05:16 AM

mine is 39 but im a bit tall and wanted it at a comfortable working height

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2659 days

#14 posted 11-26-2012 12:06 PM

The “Body Standard” is the best way to start. I found that over the years my “standard” is about 32”. Yea I’m a short guy 5’6”. 32” is what my table saw is set at so the workbench is the same. Other power tools around the shop are at varying hights to make use easier, like the wood lathe, “Body Standard” is stand straight bend your arm to 90 deg. at the elbow and the hight of your down facing palm is the correct hight for the headstock spindle. It’s all a matter of comfort for you.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View HorizontalMike's profile


7749 posts in 2880 days

#15 posted 11-26-2012 12:14 PM

I built my WB to be 1/4” shorter than my TS/mobile-base (~34”), so that it does not interfere with TS outfeed and/or can be the outfeed table itself.

BTW, I am 5’ 9” and 34” works out well for me as a “standing height” to work from.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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