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Is the Workmate 225 a Worthwhile Puchase?

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Forum topic by Paul Stoops posted 12-05-2013 09:06 PM 1180 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Paul Stoops

324 posts in 1311 days


12-05-2013 09:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workmate

I am considering buying a new Black & Decker Workmate Model 225. I plan to use it mostly as a work stand to hold a portable router table or a Ridgid Oscillating Spindle/Belt sander. The user reviews seem to lament a gross loss of quality compared to the earlier models, which seems to be a common phenomenon these days. Do any of you fellow LJ’ers have one of these Model 225 Workmates? If so, what is your opinion of it? I will appreciate any advice and opinions you can offer. Thanks,

-- Paul, Auburn, WA


12 replies so far

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

4473 posts in 1079 days


#1 posted 12-05-2013 09:14 PM

I have the larger model … I think it’s 425,and I think that in general, Workmates are very handy…. especially in a small shop with limited bench space…. and not so many clamping options.

Now that I have three benches and a counter in my shop, I don’t use it that often… but it still makes a sturdy platform in the corner or a handy portable bench for outdoor projects.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

628 posts in 454 days


#2 posted 12-05-2013 09:54 PM

I’ve had one since they first came out. I have used it often for what must be over 30 years. Recently I have seen some on Craigslist at very good prices, been temped to pick up another. For the last several years it has been my work table in my little shop. Has a 4’ x 2’ piece of 3/4 in plywood clamped on it. It has been a work horse for me.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View LoriF's profile

LoriF

119 posts in 627 days


#3 posted 12-05-2013 11:14 PM

I have an old Workmate 400 and being it’s the only workbench/work surface I find it very versatile. Of course, I’ve learned how to expand it’s capabilities by searching Google & Google Images. I snugged of a 2” x 4” x 4ft in the jaws and centered a 4’ x 4’ piece baltic birch on top, marked to midpoint then removed both in order to screw the board to plywood. Drop in the jaws and Voila large work surface when needed.
Sorry for the long post.

-- There's a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in - Leonard Cohen

View TerryDowning's profile

TerryDowning

1025 posts in 868 days


#4 posted 12-05-2013 11:34 PM

The number generally refers to it’s weight holding capacity.

225 means it is rated for 225 pounds
425 – 425 pound load bearing capacity.

Search you local craigslist, you may be able to find a higher quality older model for less money.

You can also check out the work mate of your dreams thread for tons of workmate info.

I still regularly use my workmate 300 that I have had for 30 years! I need to replace the tops, they’re thrashed and falling apart. But it still does the job. so yes.

-- - Terry

View Paul Stoops's profile

Paul Stoops

324 posts in 1311 days


#5 posted 12-06-2013 05:28 PM

Thanks to all of you who took the time to answer my inquiry. I am still considering using a Workmate, but I am also looking at building a simple cabinet.

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112932 posts in 2327 days


#6 posted 12-06-2013 05:39 PM

If all you want is a router stand why not make one? I have an older workmate and it seems to work fine the few times I’ve used it.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1505 posts in 1383 days


#7 posted 12-06-2013 05:41 PM

Paul- I use my Workmate mostly as a stand for my miter saw or lunchbox planer. The moveable jalws make it possible to clamp the machine into place. But I also use the WM for a variety of other purposes. Its nice to have a portable workbench that can easily be moved outdoors-when your doing work that is messy and/or smelly.

Its also nice that it folds-up and can be hung on a wall when its not in use. Afterall, the purpose of a portable router/sander is somewhat defeated if you have a cabinet taking-up floorspace.

From what I’ve seen, the newer workmates aren’t in the same league as the older models. I have a Type 1(?) from 1979ish. However, even the newer models would still be more than adequate for your needs. I’d definitely consider buying the 425 though.
Check out my WM below. If you see one of these at a yard sale, snag it in a hurry. I paid $13 for mine. I consider it one of my best buys ever.

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2112 posts in 1981 days


#8 posted 12-06-2013 06:45 PM

I have a Workmate 225 that is 15-20 years old. Still works when I need it. Sometimes I use it to work off of and sometimes I use it to temporarily clamp something so I can work on the end of the work piece.

Now if you have room to leave it set up all the time, you might want to consider making a mobile cart like mine. I think you would like it a lot.

Or, you use the workmate and make a temporary work surface like this one. That way you can put them both away when not needed. Mine hangs on the wall out of the way.

Good luck.
Mike

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2044 posts in 1244 days


#9 posted 12-06-2013 07:08 PM

I have a 200, earlier model. It gets used more for cleaning guns than anything else, though I’ve clamped a compound bow in it to re string. But the woodworking jobs it does are done really well. There has been a few times it worked for the task at hand when nothing else would. I liked my 200 so well, I later bought a 400, and don’t find it nearly as useful. It has a three piece top that gets a little unhandy at times.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

1306 posts in 1197 days


#10 posted 12-06-2013 07:11 PM

I have 6 workmate stands from 225 to 400 and 2 old grey ones from 70s,my main complaint with the newer ones is the way the small leg fold ,those black plastic clamps that lock the legs open/closed get brittle and break,I now use a little Lithium grease on them to make it easier for the legs to fold in or out .
Over all they are still good quality stands ,the 225 is just not as wide as the 400.

-- Ken from Ontario

View lepelerin's profile

lepelerin

334 posts in 1075 days


#11 posted 12-06-2013 07:23 PM

I have the workmate 2000 , simply love it. I do not like the new ones, too small and they seems “unstable”

View Picken5's profile

Picken5

141 posts in 1442 days


#12 posted 12-06-2013 07:47 PM

Paul — I own a Workmate that I’ve had for maybe 30 years. In my small shop, I’m forced to store most of my smaller stationary power tools such as my planer, spindle sander, miter saw, etc. out the way under a bench or inside a cabinet. But the Workmate nearly always seems to have one of those tools clamped on top it. It’s also a great temporary clamping station. And when its not in use, I fold it up and lean it against the wall. I absolutely love mine.

I’ve considered building some custom carts for these tools, but, frankly, I barely have room for the Workmate when it’s set up much less 3 or 4 carts.

-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb

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