Picking the Perfect Folding Table
When it comes to buying a folding table, there's a lot more to look for than just a basic structure with a flat surface, four legs, and the ability to fold flat. With so many table styles and options on the market, sometimes confusion unfolds faster than the tables!
So, we've narrowed down some of the top features to consider helping you pick the perfect folding table for your needs.
Where Do You Plan to Use It?
Using one is not usually "planned," so it's important to look at a table's protection against weathering and water damage. Galvanized or powder-coated metal on the table frame will prevent rusting when left outdoors.
And, look for protected surfaces – whether wood, plastic, or metal, protection from water and the outdoor elements is an important feature to eliminate warping, cracking, or damaging in outdoor use.
Do You Need Portability Features?
Consider the weight of the table, and some design features like a carrying handle or the ability for the table to fold in half. If you plan to transport the table often or have limited storage space, a fold-in-half design is a convenient feature. But if you have multiple tables that will remain in one place, a straight 6-foot, 8-foot, or 60-inch round table may be best as long as it is lightweight and easy to use.
The weight of the table will largely depend on its material of construction. Wood and metal tables can be fairly heavy, while plastic and resin tables are lighter weight. Pick up the table before you purchase it and think about carrying it in and out of your church.
Look for Strength and Durability
Plastic tables are lightweight and can be durable, but there are two things to look for in blow-molded plastic tables: the type of plastic and the tack-offs. The type of plastic should be a heavy-duty, high-impact plastic that won't crack, chip, or peel like High-Density-Polyethylene (HDPE).
You should also feel the table's surface. If it's chalky and creates a white residue on your finger, the manufacturer might use too many additives (like calcium) in the plastic to lower the cost. While calcium and other minerals make the table more rigid, when a manufacturer adds too much, it can make the table surface brittle and prone to cracking.
Tack-offs are a waffle-like pattern below the table's surface. This helps blow-molded tables stay rigid and resist dents. Each tack-off supports the table surface, so when it is hit with force, they absorb the impact. The more tack-offs and the tighter the tack-off pattern, the better.
Also look for dent-resistant corners, since folding tables tend to easily get dropped when being carried and set-up.
Look for Safety Features
A "gravity" locking ring – a ring that slides down the table leg frame (with natural gravity so you don't have to slide it) and locks the legs in place – is a great feature that helps ensure table safety. A locking ring will prevent the table legs from folding when bumped.
If the table folds in half, look for a mechanism that locks the table top when it is assembled. This will keep the table flat while you are working on it, so it won't begin to fold in the center when bumped.
Find the Best Value
Keep in mind the above features and determine what is best for you and your organization. A quality, durable table with safety and convenience is always a better value and investment in the long run.
This article is courtesy of Lifetime Products, www.lifetime.com.