2×4 or 4×4 Workbench Legs (Which Option is better?)

Making a workbench isn’t an easy task. In fact, when you start the planning phase, you will encounter many difficulties.

One such problem is choosing the legs for your workbench. Usually, the 2×4 and the 4×4 legs are used by most woodworkers.

Comparing them only sparks debate among woodworkers from time to time.

What are some of the differences between 2×4 or 4×4 workbench legs?

The 2×4 workbench legs will cost less to make considering 2×4 lumbers are cheaper. But their weight capacity is lower than 4×4 workbench legs. Other than that, the 4×4 workbench legs are more durable and less prone to warping. But joining two 2×4 together will grant better results against warping.

Anyways, that was nothing but just a summary of the entire debate. We have further elaborated the comparison and simplified it into multiple categories. 

For now, let’s not waste any more time and head right in-

2×4 Workbench Legs Vs 4×4 Workbench Legs: Notable Differences

Workbenches need to be strong and capable enough to withstand the weight. Great workbenches don’t get wear and tear even after years of use. 

But for that to happen, you’ll have to build the workbench properly. Since workbenches deal with weight, their legs are significant. 

Both 2×4 and 4×4 workbench legs are quite famous and offer a sturdy workbench. But there are a couple of noticeable differences that you can’t ignore. 

For example, bullnose and shoulder planes are very different when it comes to application. But bullnose planes belong to the same family as shoulder planes. 

The comparison between the 2×4 and 4×4 workbench legs is almost the same. Before we enter the main discussion, it’s best if you know the basic information first. 

That’s why we prepared a small table for you. Here’s what you’re looking for-

After going through the table, which option do you like more? 

2×4 Workbench Legs Vs 4×4 Workbench Legs: Full Discussion

There are many factors that can influence your final decision. Making that choice is certainly not that easy. So if you haven’t picked a side yet, don’t worry. 

This also happens when comparing SawStop Premium against T-Glide. Since they’re almost the same, it’s hard to choose one.

That’s why we have compared both types head-to-head in multiple categories. This will help you understand what choice to make in what situation.

Simply sit back, relax and go through all the points- 

Price Range

Like in any other woodworking debate, the price range is the first and foremost concern. Woods aren’t cheap and that’s why the budget is something you’ll always have to worry about. 

Besides, spending more money on wood doesn’t always provide the best result. By being smart and knowledgeable, you can get what you want at a lower cost. 

First, let us start with the 2×4 workbench legs. The 2×4 workbench legs are thinner and so obviously, they’re cheaper. 

The 2×4 workbench leg price range is between $08 and $12. This is the price of the 1-foot length. The price will gradually go upwards as you order longer lumber.

To build a workbench with 4 legs, should cost you about $120 in total. This includes some extra cost in case you make a mistake. 

As you can see, the 2×4 workbench leg cost is quite decent. 

On the contrary, the 4×4 workbench legs are more expensive. Of course, the 4×4 has more wood and therefore it costs more. 

The 4×4 workbench leg price ranges between $12 to $20. Likewise, this is also the price by foot. This price can further increase higher depending on the wood you choose. 

If you wish to use 4×4 workbench legs, it’ll cost about $160 to $180. Like before, this is an estimate which includes scrap legs. So it can be higher or lower depending on your project. 

Overall, price-wise you can conclude that the 2×4 workbench legs are more friendly. But if the extra price isn’t an issue, you can always go for the 4×4 legs.

Winner: 2×4 workbench legs are cheaper and easily affordable. 

Weight Support

Workbenches have to deal with many devices. Depending on the work, Sometimes, it can be a car engine or something really heavy. 

So, this factor kind of depends on your needs. Based on what you’re going to do, the weight support requirement will be different. 

Let’s start with the 2×4 workbench legs like before. The weight support of the 2×4 workbench legs is around 1000 lbs. 

In other words, each of the 2×4 workbench legs can support 1000lbs vertically. Of course in the middle, the weight support would be less. 

If the table is going to be long consider having 3 legs on each side. That’ll make the table stronger. 

But for most of the day-to-day projects, 2×4 workbench legs are perfectly fine. Having 4 of those 2×4 workbench legs will make your workbench really sturdy. 

Average woodworkers don’t really need anything more than that. However, if you’re looking for something heavy-duty, then you’ll have to look the other way.

The weight support of the 4×4 workbench legs is 4000 lbs. As you can see, the 4×4 workbench legs are 4 times stronger than the 2×4 workbench legs. 

As usual, the weight support is vertical. It will obviously be lesser in the middle of the table. But it will be better than the 2×4 nonetheless. 

Many woodworkers consider 4×4 workbench legs an overkill for the job. Because most of the time, you won’t be putting anything super heavy anyway. 

Bu if you want to go the extra mile, you’re most certainly welcome to do so. 

Winner: 4×4 workbench legs have better weight support. 

Prone to Warping 

If you’ve worked with the woods, you know that woods can warp over time. This is where the debate will take a slightly different turn. 

Warping is the archnemesis of wooden projects. Especially the ones that support a lot of weight. That’s why you always want to make sure that you avoid it in the long run. 

Since 2×4 lumbers are slimmer, they’re prone to warping over time. Their weight support is significantly less. 

Therefore, it’s something you will definitely face if you keep heavy things on the table. 

But the 4×4 workbench legs are less prone to warping than the 2×4 workbench legs. That’s sort of expected knowing they’re beefier. 

At the end of the day, both 2×4 and 4×4 workbench legs will warp over time. The warping will simply be slower in the 4×4’s case. 

Winner: The 4×4 workbench legs are less likely to warp.


There is a way to get rid of warping completely. Getting rid of warping permanently is the best-case scenario for you. 

Unlike 4×4 lumbers, 2×4 can be joined together. This is the best way to completely eliminate warping.

If you take lumber and look from one side, you may notice that it’s slightly bent. This bending will simply increase over time. Warping can also be affected by the weather. 

The best way to prevent this is to join another 2×4 lumber that is bent the other way. This way you create a balance and it stays strong for years after. 

That’s why woodworkers like to join 2 2×4 together. All you need is 0.5-inch plywood in the middle and you’re all good. 

These 3 parts will be glued with construction adhesives. This doesn’t take too much effort so it’s a great upgrade.

The output result is much better than 4×4 as well. On top of that, two 2×4 pieces of lumber can be bought cheaper than one 4×4 lumber. 

But remember that joining two 2×4 lumber together will not surpass 4×4 in weight capacity. This is done simply to eliminate warping. 

Winner: 2×4 workbench legs can be fortified for cheaper. 

Speaking of 2×4 workbench legs, here are our best recommendations-

You can simply pick whichever lumber you like more and get to work! 

Final Verdict

If you still haven’t picked a winner yet, that’s totally fine. Let us summarize it once more. 

For most cases, 2×4 workbench legs are going to be enough. They’re cheaper and easy to afford and have a decent weight capacity. They’re quite durable too. 

But 4×4 workbench legs are considered overkill and expensive. But if money’s not a problem, you can go ahead. 

Finally, you can use two 2×4 workbench legs together to eliminate warping. This is an option that 4×4 lumber users don’t get to choose. 


How thick should workbench legs be?

Workbench legs should be about 3 inches to 4 inches thicker. For width, you can consider 6 inches to be the maximum range. But for most cases, 2×4 workbench legs are more than enough. Their actual size is 1 ½” by 3 ½” which grants decent weight capacity. You can also use 4×4 lumbers for the legs. 

What wood should I use for a workbench top?

The best woods for a workbench top are hickory and hard maple wood. Workbenches may have to deal with a lot of weight. So you can’t afford to go easy otherwise you’ll face wear and tear. Hickory and hard maple can withstand a lot of pressure. But they’re also unlikely to get cracked. 

What height should a workbench be?

The optimal height for a workbench should be between 38 and 40 inches. They’re the most used height for most workbenches as they’re usable by most people. Talk workbenches are also great if you want to use power tools or cut wood. Keeping the height between 34 to 36 inches is also common. 

Final Words

That was everything we could explain on 2×4 or 4×4 workbench legs. We hope that this discussion was helpful to you and helped you reach a conclusion.

If you’re still confused about what to do, you can ask the woodworking experts. They’ve been working on these for years and will easily solve your problem.

Finally, have a nice day, and happy woodworking!

Kevin Smith

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