Remember Skil’s XBench? We wrote about it back in 2008 and to decent response, but it looks like Skil recently released an updated version that looks a lot more like Black & Decker’s industry-standard Workmate. In fact, it looks a whole lot like a steel and aluminum version of the X-Frame [What’s This?].
That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Skil claims its version will support up to 440 pounds (versus the X-Frame’s 350), and the XBench looks more portable — like it’ll fold up smaller and weigh less. I definitely like the track-sliding work holders as opposed to the B&D’s, which install into just a few pre-drilled holes. Sandwiched between those pretty aluminum rails and the steel frame you’ll find good ‘ole MDF benchtops.
Of course, the XBench is a bit more expensive, too, weighing in at a hefty $70 versus under $50 for the X-Frame. (Right now it looks like Lowe’s is the only place you’ll find the new model. Amazon and most others return the old version via search.) In fact, shop hard and you can buy two X-Frames for the XBench’s price.
But hey — price isn’t everything. Do you need two portable benches, or one that does the job just right? Which one would you buy if you were buying today?