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What’s the Best Type of Plastic Folding Table?

- 5 min read

Understand the difference between ABS Tables and Blow-Molded Tables

If you’re looking for the best folding table, how can you decide whether to purchase inexpensive plastic folding tables (blow-molded) or invest in more expensive ABS plastic tables? The answer lies in learning how these different construction methods affect the overall durability of both types of plastic tables.

In fact, how folding tables are made can be just as important as other considerations, all of which are covered in our Ultimate Folding Tables Buying Guide. 

Let’s talk about how the best plastic tables are built—and which plastic folding table types are built to last.

Blow-Molded Plastic vs. ABS Plastic

Blow molding is the process of shaping plastic. Hot plastic is placed into a mold and injected with pressurized air, making the plastic form to the different pieces of the mold. The hardened plastic is hollow inside. This same process is used to make single-use plastic water bottles. 

In contrast, ABS, which stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, is crafted by bonding layers of vacuum-formed sheets of ABS plastic over a wood or honeycomb framework. The internal framework gives the plastic table extra strength and durability not present in a lighter blow-molded table. 

Rows of Tables With Chairs Setup
MityLite ABS Tables come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making them perfect for any event.

A Closer Look at Blow-Molded Plastic Tables

Blow-molded tables have a hollow core and they are supported by steel tubing along each side. The molding process often creates some chipping or peeling on the table’s surface and its corners. Some blow-molded collapsible tables are available as fold-in-half tables which makes them more portable and easier to store.

The hollow core makes blow-molded plastic tables lightweight and easy to lift, move, set up, and take down. Blow-molded plastic folding tables are often inexpensive and easily found on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Wayfair.

Anatomy of Blow-Molded Tables

Blow-molded Table Cut In Half To Show Anatomy

• Molded plastic with a hollow core 
only supports 100 to 300 lbs.
• Uneven plastic surface can collect 
dirt & stains
• Tabletop isn’t heat resistant
• Thin metal folding legs
• Legs can be stiff and hard to set up
• Metal screws into plastic, which can 
fall out
• Unable to accept standard skirting clips

Recommendations for Blow-Molded Tables

The best use for blow-molded tables is periodic and short-term indoor and outdoor events such as BBQs, tailgates, and receptions.

Blow-molded tables are not recommended for long-term use and they often have a short lifespan. The tables will likely need to be replaced every few years. Don’t expect to get hundreds of uses out of a blow-molded plastic folding table. They are not suitable for high-traffic areas or venues with heavy room turnover.

A Closer Look at ABS Plastic Folding Tables

An ABS plastic folding table is manufactured using vacuum-formed sheets of ABS plastic that are bonded together over a wood framework with a strong outside edge.

In an ABS table, the hard-plastic top is resistant to heat and scratching. The reinforced frame and core of ABS tables protect them from bending, even under heavy loads. In fact, MityLite ABS tables can support up to 1,000 pounds (while blow-molded tables of a similar size tend to support around 250 to 500 pounds).

ABS tables are heavier than blow-molded tables, but most are still lightweight enough to easily move and store—especially if you have the right cart.

ABS tables last longer, they are more durable than blow-molded tables, and the majority have strong warranties. For example, MityLite ABS tables come with a limited 15-year warranty.

Anatomy of An ABS Table

Blow-molded Table Cut In Half To Show Anatomy

• ABS plastic with a durable hardwood
frame supports up to 1,600 lbs.
• Metal-on-metal bolts & anti-spin 
• ABS sheets are permanently bonded to 
alder wood frame
• A stain- and heat-resistant surface, 
paired with chemically welded trim for 
impact-resistant edges
• Rubber non-slip pads keep stacks from 
• Strong 16-gauge steel legs with smoothly
gliding metal tracks

Recommendations for ABS Tables

Because ABS tables are so durable, they hold up well in high-traffic areas and heavy use situations.

If your facility is hard on furniture and you hold a lot of events, go with ABS. It will be worth the investment. And, you’ll likely end up saving money over time because the tables will need to be replaced less often.

What’s the Best Collapsible Folding Table?

The answer to that question depends on how you’re going to use the tables. The important thing is to be an educated buyer.

Blow-molded tables are less expensive, lightweight tables that are a good fit for short-term use. They are not suitable for high-traffic areas, and they need to be replaced every few years.

ABS tables are extremely durable and last more than 10 years. They are a great fit for heavy use in high-traffic areas, and the right cart makes it easy to set up and take them down.

Shop MityLite’s selection of ABS folding tables in various shapes, heights, and leg styles.