Choosing The Best Reloading Bench

If you are just getting into reloading you might not know how to make a durable reloading bench. In theory a good reloading bench can be anything with a solid surface to attach a press. When I first started reloading all I used was a board mounted to my kitchen table with a c-clamp. This was done out of necessity since I was living in a major city at the time and didn’t have a large enough area to store a dedicated reloading bench. Within a month of moving to the suburbs I decided that I needed a new bench.

Which is The Best Reloading Bench?


1. Stack-On Steel Reloading Workbench

If you don’t want to go to the lumber yard and build your own bench you might want to stick with a ready made solution. The biggest advantage you get with this Stack-On bench is that everything you need is included in the box. In a mere three or four hours you can have a reloading bench built and setup with all your equipment. I helped a friend of mine build this bench and it’s really simple, you probably won’t even need your instructions.

This bench is a simple solution that doesn’t take up a lot of space. The Stack-On reloading bench is only 40″ wide by 20″ deep. This feels a little bit cramped to me but if that’s all the space you can allocate to reloading than this is better than nothing. The top is made out of a 1″ thick piece of wood and is more than solid enough to work with. The drawer has ball bearing slides that are easy to open, and can hold up to a reported 25lbs. You also get two shelves and a pegboard back wall for additional storage.

If I were to buy this bench I would definitely install led strip lighting underneath the top edge of the bench. Led lighting gives off a surprising amount of light, and the additional lighting angle should help see the powder inside your brass cases. If you have never installed led strip lighting it’s one of the easiest upgrades you can do to a workbench. The back of the led strips have an adhesive backing that will stick to almost any surface.(Its also inside my gun safe with a motion timer) At the low cost it’s an awesome upgrade to this desk.

2. Hopkins 90164 2x4basics Workbench and Shelving Storage System

This kit isn’t actually a workbench, it is a kit that helps you design your own custom workbench. All that is included is the metal fittings that form your boards into a workbench. You need to buy about 50$ worth of lumber and design the bench to fit your space. This is especially easy if you have a local Home Depot or Lowes to buy the lumber from. Both Lowes and Home Depot will cut the boards into the proper lengths for free. You just need to go into the store with a list of lengths that you need cut. I would definitely recommend doing the math on where you want your cuts before hand if you don’t want to have a ton of extra scrap wood.

This kit is great for the type of person that wants to have a custom sized reloading bench but doesn’t know exactly how to build it. Putting this bench together takes a minimal amount of construction knowledge, but if you’re smart enough to safely reload you should be able to put this bench together. The best part about this bench is that you can custom design it around your needs. The shelves can be placed any height you want and you can make a reinforced bench top. I would also recommend hanging peg board and storage bins behind the bench for additional storage. If you have the room and are good with your hands you should definitely get this kit.

3. Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Reloading Stand

If you can’t have a permanent reloading bench this Reloading stand by Frankford Arsenal is a good solution. This is the perfect stand if you live in a small apartment or your wife thinks the idea is ridiculous. This stand folds up and can be tucked away in a closet. This is a convenient solution for one of the biggest problems related to reloading.

This bench is actually a surprisingly stable design for the money. The main base is wide enough to accommodate any reloading press and while pushed against the wall sturdy enough to be used with a progressive press. The height can be adjusted from 28.5″ tall to 45″ tall. I wouldn’t recommend putting a lot of weight on the arms, but it will hold your scale components and anything else you need. Even if you decide to get a full size bench this bench can still be used with a case prep center or dedicated press so it won’t go to waste.


4. Lee Precision Reloading Stand

The Lee Precision Reloading Stand is the absolute minimum solution you can get for a bench. You will need to use this stand next to your kitchen table or computer desk to place all of your components. This is not a eligent solution since you need to leave a brick dangling from the bottom to stabilize the press. This stand is 39″ tall so it will probably sit a little taller than your standard kitchen table. This is good since you won’t have to bend over when pulling the arm down.

For such a simple stand this actually has a complex fairly impressive design. This is designed so that you can quickly switch between multiple presses. You attach your press to a base plate that goes into the receiver of the stand, and simply screw plate down. The base plates and receiver are also sold separately and can be used with any workbench.


What to Look For in A Reloading Bench

So what makes up a great bench. All high quality reloading benches are going to have to be strong. The press needs to have a solid surface to mount to. You need to have a lot of room for storage. And It needs to have a small enough footprint to fit into your space.

The main thing you are going to have to look for is a solid durable bench. It might not seem like it but Reloading presses put a lot of torque onto the surface of your bench. Especially smaller presses that don’t spread out their surface area enough. This isn’t a huge concern since any bench can be reinforced. Even the cheapest workbench will be strong enough to handle a press with a piece of solid hardboard mounted to it. You notice this weakness a lot in the cheaper workbenches that are on the market. The board on top is just some cheap bendable fiberboard. This style bench will work but you need to mount a solid piece of wood to the surface. With this type of design you could easily rig something up to quickly switch between presses.

The second feature found on a quality reloading bench is lots of storage space. When I first started reloading I had no idea how much reloading equipment I would eventually own. It’s pretty mind boggling how quickly you can get out of control buying the next best piece of equipment. You have to remember you’re going to have to find a place for all of your bullet components, reloading manuals, Case Preparation equipment, case tumblers, extra presses and other random accessories that you will inevitably purchase. Though you might initially get into reloading to save money, it can become a very expensive hobby.

The bench needs to be able to fit into a small room. I’m going to assume if you are reading this article you don’t have a large work bench in your garage that you can mount a press onto. And if you do have a work bench in your garage seriously consider mounting something like this Heavy Duty Quick Release Front Vise onto it.


If you use one of these side mount vices you don’t need to setup a permanent reloading bench. You can keep all of your equipment in a small cabinet and mount the vice to this whenever you want it. To use a setup like this you would simply mount your press to a small board that can be tightened into this press. This is the type of setup my father has used for years and he loves it. He can quickly switch between his different presses and when he’s not reloading he has his entire workbench to use. In the rest of the article I’m going to focus on smaller reloading benches that the average person can fit into their guest room or basement.

What’s The Best Reloading Bench?

A reloading bench can be anything from a purpose built stand for your press to a 20 foot long hand built workbench in your garage. The best bench you can get is always going to be a purpose built and designed by the user. You can never purchase a bench that will compete with the size and versatility of a bench that was designed specifically for your space. Due to shipping constraints most of the commercial reloading benches on the market are on the smaller side.

If you have the skills you should always custom design your own bench. You can either go to the store and build it by scratch or use a kit like the Hopkins Workbench and Shelving Storage System.  With this system all you need are 2x4s and a bench top. If you want a professional looking bench for cheap that kit is an excellent solution. It will walk you through the additional purchases you need and allow you to build a bench that fits your space. You need to have a lot of space because you will fill it up quickly with reloading equipment. Another option to give you space to work is the Stack-On Reloading Workbench. This is a ready made solution if you aren’t overly good with tools.

If on the other hand you don’t have a lot of space to dedicate to reloading your two best solutions are the Frankford Arsenal Reloading Stand and the Lee Precision Reloading Stand. Both of these stands will get the job done without taking up a lot of space. You can even store them in a small broom closet.

Make sure you buy a bench that meets all your needs.  Whether you have a whole room to dedicate to reloading or a small corner of your bedroom one of the above reloading benches will be an excellent choice.

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