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Best Sawhorses

Updated September 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 17 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 125 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best sawhorses

    Last Updated September 2018

    Sawhorses started out as simple wooden trestles to support a material while you worked. However, like many other tools, the sawhorse has evolved. These days, different materials and features give you a vast choice when shopping for sawhorses.

    But with so many sawhorses on the market, finding the best one for your workshop can be confusing. You’ll need to consider the type, weight capacity, flexibility, and price. We’re here to help.

    At BestReviews, we thoroughly research the market to help you make the best shopping decisions. For all the practical information you need before buying a pair of sawhorses, keep reading our shopping guide.

    Rubber or plastic feet will do a lot to stop sawhorse legs from maring delicate surfaces, but be careful on wood flooring. Too much weight across the sawhorses, and even these feet will make indentations.

    What is a sawhorse?

    Sawhorses have been around for hundreds of years, used by everyone from shipwrights to housebuilders. There’s no easier or more flexible way to support wood or other materials than by using a pair of sawhorses.

    Over the years, sawhorses have changed. Traditional wood sawhorses were usually stacked together when not in use. These days, folding models save space and make carrying the sawhorses around easier.

    While many sawhorses are still a fixed height, adjustable models are more common. Some of today’s sawhorses can be extended for width as well.

    Sawhorses are usually thought of as a pair, but modern single sawhorses can hold entire 8 x 4 sheets, can support circular saws or other power tools, and include all manner of accessories to broaden their capabilities. These heavy-duty sawhorses are complete workstations.

    The sawhorse taken to extremes

    Imagine a single sawhorse with the ability to securely clamp an 8 x 4 sheet of plywood, support a 600-pound load, and provide clamping force of one metric ton. That’s the Rockwell RK9002 JawHorse Sheetmaster Portable Workstation. Outstanding capacities, a tough build, and thoughtful features – like the foot pedal for hands-free clamping and wheels for portability – make this the pro’s choice for handling large materials.

    Features to consider for sawhorses

    To find the best sawhorse for your needs, consider these features.

    Material

    Wood sawhorses and trestles are now rarely available commercially. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the material, but wood sawhorses are comparatively heavy. They also don’t fold, so they’re not easy to store or move around either.

    Entry-level plastic sawhorses are inexpensive. More advanced plastic sawhorses are adjustable or come with tool trays. Plastic sawhorses are usually lightweight, depending on the added features. But plastic options are not as hard-wearing as steel models, and they are more susceptible to damage.

    Steel sawhorses are the most durable option, though it’s important to check their construction. As with plastic sawhorses, there’s enormous variety.

    Capacities

    Weight ratings are given for all types of sawhorses, but unfortunately there’s no standard, so it isn’t possible to make accurate comparisons. However, minimums are usually several hundred pounds, so few users will push sawhorses to their limits. Maximum weight capacities for a pair of sawhorses can exceed 2,000 pounds.

    It’s more important, in our opinion, to look at how capable the sawhorse is of supporting the materials you regularly work with. Are the legs wide enough apart to provide a stable platform? Do the components look sturdy enough to take frequent use?

    You’ll also want to look at the width of the top rails. If you mostly work with boards, it won’t be an issue. But if you regularly cut large sheet material, it needs to be well supported so it doesn’t wobble as you saw.

    Flexibility

    The most inexpensive sawhorses offer basic support, and that’s all many people need. The most common step up from basic models is sawhorses that are height-adjustable. It’s nice to be able to adjust working height to accommodate different thicknesses of material or support the workpiece at different levels depending on the work being done.

    A few sawhorses also offer top rails that can be extended width-wise, making them capable of offering greater support for materials like 8 x 4 plywood sheets. These sawhorses are also compact when not in use. However, it’s a good idea to check whether there’s enough variation to be of practical value.

    Folding sawhorses are popular because they’re easier to store and carry. If you have limited space available, this feature might be important to you.

    Some sawhorses have independently adjustable legs, which is very useful if you have to work on uneven ground.

    Accessories

    Manufacturers often use terms like “sawhorse workstation” or “multi-function worktable” to underline the versatility of certain sawhorses. Some of these models still look like sawhorses but have vise jaws and foot-operated clamps. Others have drop-down sides that form a table that can support power tools.

    If you're a keen DIY-er, a multi-purpose sawhorse might suit you well, though buying a pair might be overkill. In commercial environments, a sawhorse that is just a sawhorse is often the more practical option. There’s less likelihood of small parts being snapped off or lost.

    EXPERT TIP

    Most manufacturers give weight ratings but don’t indicate how they’re measured. If you don’t think a particular sawhorse set looks as sturdy as claimed, choose another.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    If you're buying sawhorse brackets or leg sets, check how many you are getting. It’s not always as clear as it should be. You need a pair of brackets or legs to make one sawhorse.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Cross braces offer additional support, especially on folding sawhorses. If they aren’t included, check for a leg locking mechanism.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Prices for sawhorses

    The cheapest sawhorses are made using sawhorse jaws or brackets. These are available from as little as $10 to around $30 a pair, which gives you one sawhorse. There’s the cost of the lumber to add, but that’s not much.

    Next up are lightweight folding sawhorses – either plastic or steel – designed for homeowners rather than full-time professionals. These cost $40 to $50 a pair. Sturdier pro models – invariably steel – can be found for around $80 a pair.

    Bolt-on leg sets give you the option of creating sawhorses at the length you want. But at around $90 a pair, which only gives you one sawhorse, they are not a cheap option.

    There is a tremendous choice among adjustable or folding sawhorses made from hard plastic. You’ll find good basic models from well-known brands at anywhere from $50 to $80 per pair. You’ll find several sawhorse/table combinations in this range, too.

    At the top end of the market are high-quality professional sawhorses that are adjustable for length as well as height, running from around $120 to $150 per pair. The most expensive products under the sawhorse umbrella are called workstations, and they can be as much as $200. Considering their capacities and versatility, this price still represents a good investment.

    Simple, durable support for the home workshop

    A good sawhorse is a straightforward concept, but not everyone gets it right. The PortaMate All-Steel Folding Sawhorses are both practical and affordable. Assembly is quick and secure thanks to large locking pins. The tops are drilled to take 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 lumber, providing versatile and practical work surfaces. Each sawhorse can handle a 500-pound load. These robust folding sawhorses offer excellent value.

    Tips

    • Wherever possible, set your sawhorses on a firm, level surface. If the legs fold, make sure they’re properly extended and locked in place. People tend to lean quite hard on the material being worked, so you need to ensure the legs won’t collapse.

    • Steel sawhorses often come with a non-slip upper work surface. Usually, they are also drilled so you can fix a “sacrificial” piece of cheap lumber to the top. Doing this reduces the risk of accidentally cutting into the steel top rail, which could damage the sawhorse but will more likely ruin your saw blade. When the sacrificial strip gets too cut and chipped to be useful, swap it for a new one.

    • Sawhorses are great for supporting long lumber and large sheet material, but they can also be a convenient and stable platform for cutting, drilling, or sanding smaller workpieces. All you need is a clamp or two to secure the job firmly. With a little ingenuity, you can work horizontally or vertically.
    Some sawhorses take up a lot of space when not in use. Those that stack or fold are easier to store. Handles make sawhorses easier to carry from one place to another.

    FAQ

    Q. What’s the best height for sawhorses?

    A. That’s not an easy question to answer because there are so many variables. If you’re cutting an 8 x 4 sheet on basic sawhorses, you’ll want a different height than if you’re mounting a circular saw on a sawhorse worktable. Your own height also makes a difference. Most basic sawhorses are around 30 to 34 inches high, which is comfortable for the majority of people.

    Some sawhorse bracket kits allow you to choose whatever height you like, though these are not adjustable. Adjustable sawhorses can overcome problems with uncomfortable cutting levels for those who are taller or shorter than average, but be sure to check how flexible they are before buying.

    Q. Can I build my own sawhorses?

    A. You can. An easy method is to buy sawhorse brackets or sawhorse leg sets, which you simply bolt to appropriate pieces of lumber. If you are considering either of these, be sure to check quality and price. Some brackets and leg sets are less robust than they should be, and some won’t save you any money.

    Q. Is a log sawhorse different from a normal sawhorse?

    A. Yes. Although the underlying support structure is the familiar trestle style, the difference is at the top. On standard sawhorses, the top is flat to support lumber or sheet materials. On log sawhorses, the vertical rails extend upward, creating a cradle for the log to sit in while it’s being cut. Some log sawhorses also include a chainsaw support.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bob
      Bob
      Writer
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katherine
      Katherine
      Editor
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director

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