We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.

When I hear one of the best weight benches has a total weight capacity of 1,000 pounds, I love it. That’s got to be a solid bench, and sturdy for just about anything. Still, how often do your workouts get that heavy? For myself, even as an Olympic-level weightlifter, I seriously doubt I could exceed a 1,000-pound weight capacity on a weight bench, or even get close to it.

That dreamy 1,000-pound weight limit is a worry reserved only for elite powerlifters; for the rest of us, we may want a simple, yet effective weight bench—one that’s sturdy enough for general workouts, but doesn’t have to hold the world on its back pad.

Our recommendation for simple yet effective is the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench. Strong enough to handle most people’s workouts and with a four-leg design, this flat bench also brings great value to your home gym.

It may not be for everyone, though. In this Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench review, I’ll go over the pros and cons of this flat weight bench so you can know if this is the best fit for your garage gym setup.

Flat or Adjustable, We Know Benches

We’ve sat and worked out on over 50 weight benches, and the number keeps going up. That’s because we hold a high standard in presenting you with the best information possible on the latest in home gym essentials. Virtually everything we review on Garage Gym Reviews has had hands-on testing done by one of our expert testers, so we know the ins and outs of the products we recommend.

Our testing team consists of top experts in the field, too: certified personal trainers, lifting coaches, and competitive athletes. For the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench, GGR Everything lead reviewer and ISSA-certified personal trainer Lindsay Scheele tested out the weight bench over several exercises, noting and rating aspects of the bench such as:

  • Construction
  • Durability
  • Portability
  • Stability
  • Overall value

Bells of Steel FLat Utility Bench

Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench

GGR Score: 4.21 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Under $200
  • 661-lb weight capacity
  • Lightweight
  • 2" thick pad

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Under $200
  • 661-lb weight capacity
  • Stable
  • 2" thick pad
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Four-leg design isn't best for benching
  • Uses thinner steel
  • Only 180-day warranty for upholstery

Bottom Line

An ultra-affordable and surprisingly durable weight bench that's great for beginners, people who don't plan to lift heavy, or those who are on a budget.

A Quick Look at the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench

Bells of Steel got its start in Canada in 2010, although the brand has grown, now with a U.S. showroom in Indiana. Whether it’s Olympic barbells or adjustable kettlebells, the mission of Bells of Steel remains the same: providing real value products to customers to help them in their pursuit of a stronger, healthier life.

Looking down on the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench.

The Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench is a physical representation of that. With little to no frills added, this bench comes in with great value, costing just under $150. The bench pad is simple, aside from the BoS logo on it, and the frame is simple, constructed of hardware and 14-gauge steel. However, the quality of the materials make for a durable bench that’ll support up to 661 pounds. Unless you’re a champion powerlifter, that should hold most of your workouts easily enough.

Before You Buy

  • Although it’s a sturdy bench, the flat bench’s narrow back pad might make bench press uncomfortable for larger athletes. 
  • If you’re concerned about the 37-pound bench taking up space, Bells of Steel has a bench hanger available that can mount onto your wall or power rack. 
  • If you prefer having your feet close and pressing into the ground during bench press, the four-leg design may get in your way a bit, although our tester had no issues with it.
  • Wanting a bit more versatility? Bells of Steel has an Adjustable Utility Bench that’s reasonably priced at just over $200.

Is the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench Worth It?

If you’re looking for a sturdy yet budget-friendly weight bench, it’s hard to beat the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench. At $149 with free shipping, there aren’t too many benches that provide high quality with great value at this price range. The closest is the Titan Flat Weight Bench, which is $169 and has a three-post design, ideal for benching. REP’s FB-5000 is higher-end at $239, although it’s also constructed with higher-end materials, too.

If you’re looking for ultra-budget options, there’s the GRIND 3-Post Flat Bench or our Amazon pick, the AmazonBasics Flat Weight Bench—both under $100, but also with lower weight capacities.

RELATED: Building a Budget Home Gym on Amazon

At this price range, it’s tough to outperform the BoS FLat Utility Bench, earning it a 5 out of 5 for value.

Great for:

  • Anyone wanting a simple, durable flat weight bench
  • Those not worried about extra bench attachments
  • People who value budget strength equipment

Not recommended for:

  • Those wanting an adjustable FID weight bench
  • Lifters needing a high weight capacity for heavy bench presses
  • Larger athletes needing a wider, longer back pad

Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench Specs

Price$149.99
Footprint44.4″ L X 17.75″ W X 17.3″ H
Pad dimensions48″ L X 9.8″ W
Pad thickness2”
Construction14-gauge steel
Weight37.2 lbs
Weight Capacity661 lbs
WarrantyLimited lifetime on the frame, 180 days on upholstery

Using the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench 

We’ve had several users try and test out the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench, one of which was GGR Everything lead reviewer Lindsay Scheele, ISSA-CPT. Over a couple of days, she tried the flat bench out for workouts, performing dumbbell work, bench press, and more.

A close look at a person doing bench presses on the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench.

For the most part, Lindsay had positive things to say about the bench, saying it felt sturdy enough for heavy weights—a concern when you’re looking at budget home gym equipment. Her biggest concern was with the back pad dimensions, particularly the width. At just shy of 10 inches wide, the bench is more narrow than the industry standard of 11 to 12 inches.

While benching, the four-leg design didn’t get in Lindsay’s way, but the pad width made it feel less comfortable than she would’ve liked. Additionally, she says, “The overall length seems short to me. When I researched it, the bench was a few inches shorter than most competitors.” At 5 feet and 4 inches, Lindsay suggests people over 6 feet tall may have trouble laying on the bench comfortably.

Construction and Durability

Although the bench is made to be budget-friendly, it’s still built solid. The 14-gauge steel used to make the bench frame is rated to hold up to 300 kilograms, or 661 pounds. While it’s not as heavy-duty as other weight benches, it can still hold its own. The bench frame has a black powder coat to protect it from corrosion or rust while in your garage gym.

Hands push to show deflection on the padding of a Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench

The bench pad is 2 inches thick, which is pretty normal amongst flat benches, but Lindsay still notes a bit more padding would be nice. The main callout is the size of the pad, being narrow and a bit on the short side, too.

The bench remained sturdy and durable during testing, even while dropping and setting weight plates and dumbbells on it. Lindsay rates the durability a 4 out of 5. 

Stability and Size

Lindsay notes that this flat utility bench is surprisingly stable, even at a light weight of 37.2 pounds. Many stable benches can approach or even exceed 100 pounds (Bells of Steel’s own Buzz-Saw Bench weighs 94 pounds). The choice to go with a four-leg design instead of three posts probably helps it stay sturdy, even at its smaller size.

Side view of the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench.

“There wasn’t any wobble or shake while I did different lifts on the bench: rows, bench press, and flyes. Even with no weight I manually shook the bench and there was little movement,” Lindsay says, giving the bench an “A+” on sturdiness.

Still, the size of the bench—notably the back pad—is smaller compared to the industry standard, so we rate the stability and size of the bench a 3.5 out of 5.

Footprint and Portability

The bench frame is 44 inches long, which actually has the 48-inch long back pad extending over the legs. So to use this bench, you’ll need about 48-inches-by-18-inches of space to set the bench out, along with a few feet around it to properly maneuver around your bench during your workout session.

RELATED: The Best Compact Exercise Equipment for Small Spaces

The bench doesn’t have wheels to help move it around your home gym, but it’s very light—weighing only 37.2 pounds. Most people will have no issue picking up this bench and moving it around the gym when it’s not in use. We rate the portability a 3.5 out of 5. 

Our tester stands up the Bells of Steel Flat Utility on end.

Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench vs REP FB-5000

REP FB-5000

REP FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Great price on a high-quality bench
  • Compatible with REP Wide Pad or Thompson Fat Pad
  • 3" x 3" 11-gauge steel provides solid construction
 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great price for a good value bench
  • 3” x 3” 11-gauge steel
  • Sturdy 3-post bench
  • Nothing in the way of your feet when you bench
  • Rated to 1,000 pounds
  • Meets the IPF specs for length, height, and width
  • Comes with a 4” thick pad on a plywood base with durable vinyl upholstery and the option to purchase an extra wide pad
  • Comes with a handle and wheels
  • Compatibility with 2 other bench pads including the extra wide and the Thompson Fat Pad
  • Easily assembled in less than 20 minutes.
  • Available in multiple colors and designs.

Cons

  • Shipping not included in price
  • Short manufacturer’s warranty
  • Some assembly required
  • 30-day return period and restocking fee applied to returns

Bottom Line

The Rep FB-5000 Flat Bench is the best value flat bench we've tested and reviewed. It offers an incredible combination of price and quality that many companies have overlooked for some time. With over 250 customer reviews, there is not 1 under 4 stars and most of those are for less than minor complaints. If you need a flat bench, this is the one we suggest. You could pay more, but it would still probably not be as good. Seriously.

Although it’s more expensive than the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench, the REP Fitness FB-5000 still has good value for the build of it. It’s built to handle much more weight, with 11-gauge steel and a total weight capacity of 1,000 pounds. The 4-inch thick pad is also reminiscent of the Thompson Fat Pad, although it’s not quite as big.

With such good value from each bench, which one is right for you? If you’re wanting a simple budget bench for routine dumbbell work and step-ups, then the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench will probably do. However, if you’re wanting to get serious about weight training or powerlifting, the REP FB-5000 will be able to handle most any weight you throw at it.

Read more about this bench in our REP Fitness FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench review.

Bells of Steel Flat Utility BenchREP FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench
Price$149.99$239.99
Footprint44.4″ L X 17.75″ W X 17.3″ H50.5” L x 21” W x 16.9” H
Pad dimensions48″ L X 9.8″ W48″ L X 12″ W
Pad thickness2”4”
Construction14-gauge steel11-gauge steel
Weight37.2 lbs62 lbs
Weight Capacity661 lbs1,000 lbs
WarrantyLimited lifetime on the frame, 180 days on upholstery10 years on frame, 30 days on upholstery

Customer Experience 

In our experience, Bells of Steel’s customer service is very proactive in helping out customers when an issue happens. They can be contacted through a variety of methods listed on the website: email, phone, or contact form. They’re prompt in responding as well, listing 4 to 8 hours as the typical response time during their support hours.

The flat utility bench has a limited lifetime warranty on the frame, but only 180 days on the upholstery. While the lifetime warranty is great, the upholstery warranty is pretty typical of weight benches. Bells of Steel does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, in which you may send back equipment for a full refund. Any item not in its original packaging or missing hardware will be charged a restocking fee, though.

Ordering and Assembling the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench

The Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench can be purchased directly from the website, and it’s delivered with free shipping. Financing is available through Affirm, but only on orders over $250. So to take advantage of financing, you’ll have to add another item to your order.

Side view of our tester doing bench presses on the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench.

The flat bench ships unassembled in a single, well-packaged box, and hardware is included. According to Lindsay, assembly is a one-person job that’s simple enough.

Customer Reviews

There aren’t many reviews on the flat bench at the time of this writing. Currently, there are three 5-star reviews on Bells of Steel’s website, and I couldn’t find any elsewhere. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive, remarking that the build of the flat bench is stable, and also adding that the quality is high—typical of Bells of Steel products. One review even mentions that the narrow 9.8-inch pad width feels better than the industry standard of 12 inches. That’s just a preference, though.

Final Verdict of Our Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench Review

For a budget bench that’s less than $150, the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench provides solid construction, with a 2-inch thick pad and a 661-pound weight capacity. The four-leg design of the bench may get in the way of powerlifters wanting to press their feet into the ground during a heavy bench, but for a stable, all-around flat bench, this is a lightweight solution that has great value.

There’s not a lot to this flat utility bench. It’s simple, and if simple (and inexpensive) is what you’re looking for, this bench is for you.

Full Rating

Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench

An ultra-affordable and surprisingly durable weight bench that's great for beginners, people who don't plan to lift heavy, or those who are on a budget.

Product Brand: Bells of Steel

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 149.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.21

Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench Rating

Construction – 4
Durability – 4
Portability – 3.5
Stability and Size – 3.5
Value – 5
Customer Experience – 4.5
Customer Reviews – 5
Buy Now

Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench: FAQs

Are flat weight benches good?

While they may not have the versatility of adjustable benches, flat weight benches can be a solid addition to any home gym, especially if you focus on the bench press a lot. Flat weight benches can also be more stable and durable than adjustable weight benches, since they have fewer moving parts.

What is the best weight bench?

The best weight bench will be determined by your needs and fitness goals. Depending on the amount of versatility you want from your bench, you may want to consider an adjustable weight bench. However, if you’re looking for just a solid bench for pressing, a flat bench will probably do fine. Here are our top picks for the best weight benches:

-Best Overall Adjustable Weight Bench: REP AB-4100 Adjustable Weight Bench-Best Budget Adjustable Weight Bench: REP AB-3100
-Best Overall Flat Weight Bench : Titan Flat Weight Bench
-Most Versatile Flat Weight Bench: REP FB-5000 Flat Bench
-Best Folding Weight Bench: PRx Profile Folding Bench
-Best Budget Flat Bench: Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench
-Best Luxury Flat Weight Bench: Rogue Monster Utility Bench 2.0
-Most Versatile Adjustable Weight Bench: Ironmaster Super Bench Pro
-Best Ultra-Budget Incline Weight Bench: FLYBIRD Adjustable Weight Bench
-Best Nordic Bench: Shogun NORD-EX
-Best Ultra-Budget Flat Weight Bench: GRIND 3-Post Flat Bench
-Best Amazon Pick: AmazonBasics Flat Weight Bench

What is the warranty on the Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench?

The Bells of Steel Flat Utility Bench has a limited lifetime warranty on the frame, but a 180-day warranty on the upholstery.

Further reading

ProForm Pro 9000 Treadmill In-Depth Review Cover Image
ProForm Pro 9000 Treadmill In-Depth Review

Finding the best treadmill for your home gym can be tough. If you have limited space, the search becomes even more difficult, especially if you want a commercial-grade treadmill without all of the bulk. Enter: The ProForm Pro 9000 treadmill, a commercial-home-hybrid treadmill that doesn’t skimp on power. It even folds to create more floor space when you’re not using it.After testing more than a dozen treadmills from true commercial treadmills to budget treadmills, I’ve determined that the ProForm Pro 9000 is one of the top treadmills to get if you need one of the best cardio machines that stores with a relatively small footprint.My Favorite Things:22-inch HD display and quality graphicsBuilt-in workouts and handsfree incline/speed adjustmentsFoldable for easy storageMy Callouts:WiFi connectivity is mediocre at bestCustomer reviews complain of tech problemsQuality control seems inconsistent Read more

Folding vs Non-Folding Treadmill: 9 Reasons To Buy, or Not to Buy, Each Cover Image
Folding vs Non-Folding Treadmill: 9 Reasons To Buy, or Not to Buy, Each

If you’re looking for cardio equipment for your home gym, you may be considering a folding vs non-folding treadmill. We’re here to help you decide. Read more

The Ultimate Guide to Power Rack Attachments (2024) Cover Image
The Ultimate Guide to Power Rack Attachments (2024)

Want to know which power rack attachments are compatible with your setup? Check out our complete guide. Read more

5x5 Workout: An Old-School Way to Build Strength and Size Cover Image
5x5 Workout: An Old-School Way to Build Strength and Size

Looking for a workout routine that’s been proven to give you strength and size? We’ve got you covered. This 5x5 workout program will do exactly that! Read more