The Rio Grande Guide to Buying a Jeweler's Workbench Part Two: Bench Types

Discover a variety of workbenches that are best for you and your work.

Last edited: 9/1/2020
Three jeweler's benches

Part Two: Choosing a Jeweler's Bench

Part One of this guide covered basic jewelry workbench terminology. Next up: How to choose a jeweler’s bench. The short answer is, there is no single bench that’s perfect for everyone. You’ll need to identify the set of features that are most important to you, then narrow your search down to some potential benches that fit your jewelry work, your jewelry-making space and your body. This short list should help you get started.

Types of Jeweler’s Benches

Compact bench with measurements

Compact Benches

Small, light-duty benches provide dedicated work space and organization in tight spaces, such as at the back of a retail store where quick repairs are performed. They’re also economical enough to buy in multiples for banks of benches in jewelry-making workshops and classrooms—a perfect way for beginners and students to get started.

 
Full-size bench with measurements

Full-Size Benches

When paired with separate stations for soldering, forming or polishing, these full-size benches offer good work space and storage, as well as more solid wood for added stability.

 
Handcrafted bench with measurements

Handcrafted Benches

The best workbenches for custom jewelry work and heavier metal forming tasks, handcrafted benches are designed to keep up with professional jewelers as they acquire more techniques and tools over time. Solid hardwood and extra-sturdy construction are fully customizable; added features like adjustable-height feet and catch trays are instantly adaptable; and extra-wide, extra-tall models offer a wealth of work space and leg room.

 

Choosing the Best Bench If You …

Illustration of a tall jeweler

… Are Tall.

Tall people absolutely need a tall bench—look for one that not only sits high enough to put the bench pin at your chest level, but one that also includes enough room below the center drawers for your legs and knees to fit comfortably.

Illustration of a petite jeweler

… Are Petite.

When paired with an adjustable chair, a bench with adjustable-height feet and center drawers will ensure that your feet stay on the ground while your work is comfortably in reach.

Illustration of two benches close together

… Work in a Shared Space.

If you host open studios or share a co-working space, getting a bench with at least one locking drawer to store valuable materials and personal items is a must.

Illustration of a bench mounting

… Don’t Have Room for a Soldering Station.

It may seem counterintuitive at first, but an extra-wide bench offers ample workroom in one consolidated footprint—an alternative to setting up multiple work stations when space won't allow it.

illustration of a gemstone

… Do a Lot of Stone Setting.

A bench with armrests and a deep cut-out will offer the right support when you’re setting a heavy bezel or doing pavé work under a microscope. Mount a GRS® BenchMate to your solid wood bench top, and you’ll be able to tackle any stone setting task that comes your way.

More Rio Grande Bench Guides

Read a glossary of jeweler's bench terms, get bench set-up tips from working jewelers and learn about the best lighting for your workbench and jewelry studio in Part One, Part Three and Part Four of our Rio Grande Guide to Buying a Jeweler's Workbench.