I received the B&D 225 today, Oct. 18, 2010, and just minutes ago finished assembly. I'm near 60 and have a nicely equipped machine shop at home and do welding, both gas and arc. I purchased the 225 to make a portable welding bench by adding a piece of 1/4" steel plate 24x36" that sits on an angle iron frame that raises the steel top about 8 inches off the 225 and that will be clamped in the jaws for stability.
My father bought one of the early aluminum frame Workmates, must have been in the 1970s, that just broke last year, 2009. I felt it was a valuable addition to my shop not only as a temporary tool platform for the planer or chop saw but also as a portable and versatile work surface. I've felt a little lost without it so it was time to replace it with a new Workmate.
I studied and read about the various models, including the 425, and decided for $70 delivered from Amazon that the 225 was exactly what I needed. Below is my immediate impression and feedback on the "Workmate 225 Type 5". No, I can't tell you what Type 1 through 4 were all about.
No where did I read that this 225 was as simplified as it is. There is no longer 2 movable jaws. Only the front jaw is movable. The rear jaw can be fixed in one of 3 positions against which the front jaw exerts clamping pressure. I thought about this for a few minutes and decided that simple was better. Simple means fewer parts. Simple means it does the same job with fewer parts. There's nothing negative about fewer parts as long as the tool does the same job, and it does.
In one of the reviews a buyer lamented at the "plastic" parts. Well, the only plastic parts are the crank handles, knobs, the 4 spacer blocks under the 2 wooden jaws and the 4 clamp dogs on top, which are larger and have Vee's for small round material. The female threaded parts for the vise screws are not plastic but appear to be cast nylon. These are the only two parts that would need replacement from Black & Decker. I say this because the crank handles, knobs, jaw spacers and clamp dogs can all be easily made of maple by the home wooodworker and the 225 would be all the better for this slight improvement.
The wooden jaws are 3 plies of laminated hardwood. Not OSB or fiberboard. When I say laminated I mean there's a lot of lamination going on.
The 225 has 2 practical heights. The legs folded in and legs extended with the top up. The top down position may be impractical with much weight. For use as a welding table 2 heights is very nice to have.
The one and only negative could be the lack of leveling screws on the extended legs and lack of adjustment on the 4 feet in the 'legs folded' position. The old Workmate had rubber footed screw adjustable feet on both those levels.
Otherwise the pressed steel frame certainly feels up to the job, far as I'm concerned. It does not feel inadequate as far as strength and ease of use. I'm glad I bought the 225 and I highly recommend it.
Shipping via FedEx was fast and there was absolutely no damage whatsoever.