The Bora Centipede portable workbench is an essential tool


This seemingly fragile craft can support enormous weight.

Nick Miotke / Roadshow

Whether you are hanging crown moldings, DIYing in the garage, or fixing something on your vehicle, having a horizontal surface to place tools or other parts on is an absolute necessity. But it always seems like that space is scarce and you end up putting things on the floor or making a precarious workbench from an old piece of plywood. (I went, I did this.) Luckily, there is a simple and affordable solution to this problem and it’s called the Centipede.

Foldable and amazing

Made by a company called Bora Tool, this portable workbench is absolutely ingenious. For starters, it weighs just a few pounds and is about as easy to carry as a laptop bag. The Centipede also collapses to next to nothing, but it can support a tremendous amount of weight.

The example tested here happens to be a 2 foot by 4 foot model that measures 30 inches high when deployed. Bora also sells 4 x 4 and 4 x 6 variants, as well as a huge 4 x 8 foot version. For reference, this is the size of a standard sheet of building material like plywood or drywall. Depending on the model, two Centipede heights are offered: 30 inches (as you see here) and 36. For added flexibility, optional risers are available, adding 6 inches in height. There are lots of other accessories too, but more on those in a minute.

The Centipede is super compact and light. When folded, the 2×4 unit measures only 6 x 9 x 38 inches and weighs only 12.5 pounds, but when unfolded it can support a massive weight, up to 2,500 pounds, this which is amazing for something so compact. . Of course, the biggest centipedes can hold even more: 3,500, 4,500 or even 6,000 pounds, a full 3 tons for the 4×8 version. That’s enough to handle a Crew Cab Chevy Silverado 1500 Trail Boss pickup while still having enough capacity for a few passengers.

A nod to use, many accessories

As the tools go on, the Centipede couldn’t be simpler. The whole thing takes place in about two seconds, you just have to slide it open, a bit like shaking a tablecloth. The legs telescoping when you extend or retract the workbench, while thin metal links triangulate these brackets, providing immense strength. Although it looks as flimsy as a boxed kite, this thing is really sturdy.

At the top you will find the so-called P-Tops. These rotating attachment points allow you to quickly attach a range of accessories to the Centipede, from non-slip pads to quick clamps to the risers I mentioned earlier.

A fiberboard top is also sold as an accessory. It’s priced at around $ 80, but honestly this item should probably be standard as the Centipede is considerably less useful without it. Sure, you could lay a piece of plywood on top, but that wouldn’t be as good. This worksurface attaches to the P-Tops with a series of pins that go up from the bottom and twist into place. While they hold things well, these locks are a bit tricky to use and two had to be changed to work as expected as a few inserts at the top weren’t pushed in enough.

There are so many things you can do with a centipede.

Nick Miotke / Roadshow

The 2 x 4 foot Bora Centipede comes with four X-Cups and two quick clamps. X-Cups are designed to hold 2×4 pieces of lumber (smartly, vertically or horizontally) so they are easy to saw or drill. These don’t hold wood very well, but they’re good enough for light work. As for the quick clamps, just stick them through the holes in the tray and press down firmly to lock things in place. Again, they’re nowhere near as good as a proper pliers, but they should work well enough for a lot of small projects.

Another great accessory for this portable workbench is the non-slip glides. As expected, they fit directly into the holes in the table top (which should be included in the base price), but these pads keep parts or projects from slipping while you’re working on them. They seem effective, especially on sensitive things that you prefer not to squeeze at the risk of damaging the surface.

Another interesting Centipede accessory is the hooks. These attach to the P-Tops, coming from the bottom up and twisting to lock firmly in place. They’re great for storing an extension cord or air hose, rather than having them on the floor where they pose a potential tripping hazard.

Look at how much weight this thing can take.

Nick Miotke / Roadshow

Without a doubt, one of the most convenient add-ons you can get for the Centipede are the previously mentioned elevators. They raise the surface about 6 inches, bringing it to a more comfortable height. To secure them, you need to unscrew the P-Tops with a 19mm or 3/4 inch socket, install the riser and tighten it with the included thumbscrew, then reattach the P-Tops to the risers. It takes about five minutes to make, but it’s very easy to figure out, just make sure you don’t over-tighten the nuts or thumbscrews – you definitely don’t need a ratchet to do this. Everything is plastic and the wires could strip if you’re not careful, so be aware.

You need a Centipede workbench

Considering its strength, versatility, and lightweight construction, you might expect the Centipede portable workbench to cost a young fortune, but it isn’t. This entry-level version costs around $ 90, while the more expensive variant – this 4-by-8 model – costs just over $ 200. The accessories are also very reasonably priced, and there are many more available than what has been covered here.

The Centipede has been one of the most ingenious tools to come out in a long time. With its lightweight construction and incredible strength, this portable workbench is a great addition to any DIYer. Of course this tray should be included and we had some mounting issues with the locking pins, but overall the Centipede is 95% present so it’s still a great buy and huge value.

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