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Wood Folding Tables vs Plastic Folding Tables (Pros/Cons)

Pros and Cons of Wood and Plastic Folding TablesWhen purchasing new tables, many of our customers have difficulty choosing between NEW Wood Folding Tables and NES Reliable Plastic Folding Tables. We are often asked "Which tables are better?" in hopes that we'll be able to definitively tell our customer and potential customers which tables are better. The truth is that both types of tables have pros and cons that you need to consider before you purchase your tables. To help you make your choice, we will look at some of these positives and negatives of both tables, including weight, strength, cleaning, flexibility of use, and overall longevity.


Weight is an important factor if you are going to be moving around the tables on a regular basis. If you need to move the tables around with limited labour, then the advantage clearly goes to the plastic folding tables. For example, the 6-ft NES Reliable Rectangular Plastic Folding Table weighs in at a scant 30.26lbs compared to the NES Wood Folding Table which weighs 48lbs. Lighter tables help reduce the risk of injury and damage to the table when it is being moved. If you will not be moving the tables then the weight advantage is likely a non-factor for your purchase.


When it comes to strength it is really a dead heat. Both the NES Reliable Plastic Folding Tables as well as the NES Wood Folding Tables are exceptionally strong. Need some proof? Take a look at the two pictures below. One is our 6-ft NES Reliable Rectangle Plastic Folding Table and the other is our new 6-ft NES Wood Rectangle Folding Table. Both tables had two 35lb 6-ft rectangle skids and 22 8-ft NES Reliable Rectangular Plastic Folding Tables stacked on top of on them; This is a combined weight of over 1100lbs. At the end of the one hour test, both tables were folded neatly and put away with no evidence that the test had been performed on them.

Plastic Folding Table Stress Test Plastic Folding Table Stress Test 45 Angle Wood Folding Table Stress Test Wood Folding Table Stress Test 45 Angle
Click to enlarge pictures.


Each product in this case has a different advantage for cleaning. The plastic folding tables are great for fast cleanup of spills. Since it is a flat surface that does not have bolts in the top like the wood folding tables have, you can simply wipe the top clean. With that said some people do find that over time the plastic folding tables pick up marks that are either difficult to get off or they are not able to get them off the table. This is not as much of an issue with the plywood tables because they can be refinished.

Flexibility of Use

In terms of overall usability, the plastic tables come out slightly ahead of the plywood tables. Why is this? As I have already mentioned, the plastic tables are lighter than their wood equivalents, which makes them easier to manage. Additionally, they can be used in doors and outdoors. While the plastic folding tables will deteriorate over time if left outdoors, the deterioration will occur over a significantly longer period of time. Additionally if you wipe the tables dry after it rains this deterioration will be delayed further.

Overall Longevity

For overall longevity, wood folding tables are king-- although the wood table may not remain the size that you originally purchased. Many of our customers love that they can sand the tables, apply a new coat of varnish, and effectively have a brand new table. What happens if you break the corner? The 8-ft x 30” rectangle will simply become a different size, perhaps a 8-ft x 18” Training Table or a 6-ft x 30” rectangle. While plastic folding tables also last a long time in a rental environment, you are not able to refinish and reuse them in the same way that you can with the plywood tables.

So which type of tables should you buy? It’s really a personal preference. You need to decide what is important to you, so that you get table that's best for you on a day to day basis. At the end of the day, as long as you purchase a high quality table, we don’t think there is a bad choice between the two. We have many customers that wish that they switched to Plastic Folding Tables earlier and others that swear by the Wood Folding Tables. If you have any other questions about folding tables or any of our other products, please don't hesitate to ask us a question!

Top Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /