Best H-frame Artists Studio Easels

several different wooden easels

Posted On October 30, 2019

When it comes to purchasing any artist tolls and materials everything can be very confusing especially for a beginner. There are so many different kinds of easels for different mediums, materials and for a different purpose and since they are something you buy probably only once in life its better to choose wisely and invest your money into the item that will be of good use to you.

I composed a list of the best H-frame artists studio easels which are suitable for those painters that work on large canvases and have a designated studio space, but first, let me fill you in about types of easels and their use so you can judge which type of easel will be suitable for your artwork.

Types Of Easels

An easel is basically upright support for painting it makes your creating process much easier and allows you to paint without worrying that your painting will flip and get destroyed. 

When you decide to purchase an easel it is important that you know a few basic things like what formats of canvas you will work on,whether you going to use your easel only for the studio or you want something more portable that you can carry outside for landscape painting.

Also you have to consider the size of the space   you are planning to work in since some easels have the main mast that stretches really high and if the ceiling is not high enough you will not be able to use your easel to its full potential, also some of the easels are not foldable so it is not easy storing them after you finish working.

For those of you who decide to work indoors on a large canvas and have a studio space with no need to store the easel after use H-frame easel is the answer.

H-frame easels are very sturdy and stable, able to support very heavy canvas without the fear of flipping over. They are usually a bit heavier and not foldable as much as some of the smaller easels so it is important that you see the dimensions of the easel you are about to purchase and make sure you have enough space so you can use your easel to its full potential.

Some of the H-frame easels have a mast that is extendable over 3m in height so that is one more feature you want to pay attention to and make sure the ceiling in your studio is tall enough so you can as I already mentioned use your easel to its full potential.

Easel is not something you will buy very often and if you choose well and take good care of your easel it can last you a lifetime so it is worth sometimes spending a little bit more money to get a good quality one.

In the old days, easels were typically made of wood, nowadays you can find easels made of other materials such as aluminium or steel. The basic design of easels hasn’t changed much over the centuries.

 Mabef H-Frame Studio Easel M-18

Mabef is a family-owned Italian company that has been producing top quality wooden easels since 1948. The company is probably the most highly respected easel manufacturer in the world.

Easels produced at Mabef’s are of unparalleled function and aesthetic qualities.

Only top quality beechwood is used in the production of Mabef easels. Each Mabef easel has a lifetime guarantee.

 Mabef M-18 is a large studio easel able to support large canvas. It is big, heavy and not that easy to store.

So this is an easel for those of you that have a studio space since you can’t just put it away behind the door or under the bed.

Mabef H-frame studio easel M18

 You should also consider the height of the easel when fully stretched which is 375cm, since not all of us have a very high ceiling.

M-18 is very stable and keeps your canvas well in place so you do not have to think of it flipping over while you are painting. Also, it is so easy to adjust it to any angle you might need with minimal effort so there are no distractions while you work. In Mabef easels, there are simple ratchet or crank mechanisms to adjust canvas height.

The easel is heavy but it is very mobile since it has four lockable casters, also very easy to use just move to the desired position and lock and it is again perfectly stable for you. All the parts such as screws, plates, springs are placed in a manner to avoid friction on any moving parts.

Easel has a nice big tray on the front end under the mast for you to store your tools while working. The crank mechanism allows you to tilt it in any angle and it can also lay flat which makes it ideal for many painting techniques.

I personally like that trait since when you are working on a large canvas it is very difficult finding a surface big enough to place your canvas to varnish it and doing it on the floor is very uncomfortable. M-18 you can just tilt, secure the bolts and you have a perfectly stable surface to work on.

The wood used for the production of M-18 is solid beechwood no soft and hard grains in the same piece of wood. This means that your easel will never splinter or warp and it is really built to last you a lifetime

This is a large studio easel built for serious artists even tho it is a bit pricey this is something you buy once in a lifetime so it is worth investing a bit extra. If you like working on a large canvas and have big enough studio space this easel is my recommendation for you.

Specifications

Mabef’s M-18 H-frame studio easels height is minimum 180cm and maximum (when fully stretched) 375cm. Weight is 23,5kg and it can carry a canvas up to 30kg  and up to 225cm high.

Mabef Studio Easel With Crank M05

M05 is yet another H-frame studio easel made from Mabefs. Sturdy and reliable. this is an easel with a crank meaning it has a crank mechanism for elevating your canvas with ease while painting.

As all Mabef easels, M05 is also built fo top quality beechwood which never splinters or cracks perfectly designed and protected with an oil finish to last you a lifetime.

The height of the easel when fully extended is 360cm so you need to have a high ceiling in order to use the easel to its full potential. It can accommodate a canvas up to 215cm high.

bottom part of mabefs studio easel M05

 Easel is about 21kg heavy that makes it very stable and it has 4 lockable casters on the base which makes it mobile.

You can easily lock it in place when you move it on to the desired position so you do not have to worry that it will move while you are painting.

The base of the easel is foldable but don’t let it fool you, you still can’t store it under the bed or behind the door since it has a large tool tray with two side drawers which is undetachable under the mast on the front end.

The tool tray and the drawers are big enough to store all the tools and materials you might need while painting. You do need to assemble it upon purchase but it is very easy to do if you follow the instructions you get with the easel.

The easel can easily be tilted to any position you might need while painting and secured so it does not move. It can not lay flat. All the screws are positioned in a manner to avoid friction on any moving parts.

At Mabefs’ you get a lifetime guarantee on your easel and for a good reason. It is very easy maintaining it in perfect condition since it is protected with a layer of raw linseed oil which makes it stain resistant.

All you need to do after you finish painting is to remove any dried paint from it, wipe it with a piece of damp cloth and when fully dry just apply a layer of raw linseed oil on it using a soft cloth.

Specifications

Mabef’s M-05 H-frame studio easels height is minimum 180cm and maximum 360cm(when fully stretched). Weight is 21,5kg and maximum loading capacity is 30kg. It can accommodate a canvas up to 215cm high.

Us Art Supply Easel Malibu Extra Large H-Frame Deluxe

This H-frame easel is constructed out of seasoned beechwood with a finish of natural oil for additional protection.

It is sturdy and easily adjustable in height and any angle with the ability to lay flat which makes it usable for any technique.

Height adjustments are at the top bracket, at the rack, and at the back. All the parts move very smoothly so it is not distracting adjusting it while you are working.

There are four casters at the base for additional mobility. Tool trey is on the front end under the mast.

The tool trey is big enough to hold some of your paints and brushes so you have them on hand while painting.

US Art Supply H-frame easel Malibu

Height of the easel when fully stretched is 139″ and it can accommodate a canvas up to 90″ in height. The weight of the easel is 43.0lb.

The easel does need assembly upon delivery and it can be a little bit tricky since there are a lot of small parts but if you follow the instructions that come with it you will manage to do it.

The price is more than affordable. This is a real in budget easel which I would recommend to beginners.   

Specifications

Us Art Supply Malibu easels height is minimum 203cm and maximum (when fully stretched) 353cm. Weight of the easel is 19,5 kg and it can accommodate a canvas up to 274cm high.

Mont Marte Tilting Studio Wooden Floor Easel

Another in budget studio easel coming from Mon Marte, an Australian company that produces art supplies that are of good quality and yet affordable.

The wood used for the production of this easel is beechwood chosen for its great properties for an artist easel.

Beechwood is actually the best choice because it is dense and yet light-weight.

Mon Marte tilting H-frame easel

Mont Marte Floor easel is a convertible easel which means that it can be tilted in many angles and positioned to lay flat as well. Ability to lay flat is very useful since it allows you to use your easel for any technique you work in and also it is helpful when you are varnishing your painting since you do not have to move your canvas to another surface to do it.

You just simply tilt it and finish all you need on your easel. This is great if you like working on a large canvas.

The sturdy square base has four lockable castors on it for better mobility. There is a storage tray on the front end right under the mast where you can put the tools and paints you need while painting. Adjusting it to the desired angle is very easy and the easel has a trigger action height adjustment.

The weight of the easel is about 20kg and it can accommodate a canvas up to 200cm. When fully stretched the easel is about 263cm high so take that into consideration when buying it, you do not want your ceiling to be too low and stop you from using your easel to its full potential.

Like many H-frame studio easels, Mont Marte easel is not fully foldable so do not count on storing it under the bed or behind the door. You will need studio space in order to use it.

If you decide to purchase Mont Marte studio easel, you get the mobility, adjustability and quality at a very affordable price. It is great for beginners and good enough for professional artists with designated studio space.

Specifications

Mont Marte Tilting Studio Wooden Floor Easels height is minimum 243cm and it can accommodate a canvas up to 200cm in height. The weight of the easel is approximately 19kg.

Winsor And Newton

Winsor and Newton is a British company founded in 1832 by William Winsor and Henry Newton.

It was originally located in London at Henry Newton’s home. The company has a long tradition and experience.

In the production of their art tools and supplies, only the top quality materials are used and all is supervised by experienced artists.

This said you can rest assured that with this company you get only top quality art supplies.

Hamilton Studio Easel

Winsor and Newtons Hamilton studio easel is an H-frame easel perfect for beginners and students. It is built to last, easily adjustable in height and the tilt angle and is fit for studios and perfect for colleges.

Hamilton studio easel Winsor And Newton

Hamilton easel is handcrafted from seasoned Beechwood and designed for many different painting techniques.

It is fully adjustable which means it tilts forward to find a perfect angle for glare reduction while painting and tilts backwards to flat position to form a table suitable for watercolor painting and other more liquid techniques or for varnishing. 

There is also a  painting tray for storing the tools and materials you need while painting.

It can be folded completely flat after you finish using it so you can store it easily behind the door or under the bed anywhere out of the way so you actually do not need a studio space to use it. Not many H-frame easels have this option. Easel does not have casters but since it is very light it is not difficult moving it around even without them.

The easel can accommodate a canvas of maximum height of 138 cm (52″). The height when horizontal is 93cm.Height of easel 231cm (91″)Width 62cm (24″)Depth  70cm (27 ½”)Folded dimensions: 133 x 63cm x 19cm (50½ x 24x 6½”)Weight: 8kgs (17lb 5oz).

I would say that this is good in budget easel but I would rather recommend it to beginners and students than to serious painters. It is too light and not that stable and suitable for a large canvas.

The tool tray on the front end under the mast seems too small and not really that useful, it can’t accommodate really large canvas and anyway it isn’t sturdy enough to hold one.

Price really is more than acceptable but then again there are much more reliable easels in the same price range. This s a really good, almost ideal student or beginner easel because it is light, easily adjustable and foldable. As for more serious painters you have already seen my recommendations above.

Specifications

Winsor and Newton Hamilton H-frame studio easel maximally extend from 158,5cm to 222cm. Weight of the easel is 9,7kg. Maximum canvas height it can accommodate is 138cm.

Written by Magdalena

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2 Comments

  1. Tara in Tucson

    I need to purchase the trigger locking mechanism for a large H frame easel.
    Do you sell that hardware or have a manufacturer I can contact directly?

    Reply
    • Magdalena

      Hello Tara,
      thank you for showing interest in my post. First of all, you need to know the make and model of the easel you are buying the mechanism for since not all will fit each easel and even then you need to check is there a possibility to add the mechanism on your easel. If you were to give me more information about your easel I will try to help you find the right trigger lock mechanism for it.

      Reply

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