In our world of fancy power tools and high-tech, digital equipment, there is still a place for the humble sawhorse. Having something that will hold up a piece of wood while you are cutting it or doing other machining operations is essential, especially if you are working somewhere that you don’t have access to your workbench. Even when your workbench is available, sawhorses can multiply your effective working space, by providing you with an alternate work or cutting area.One of the great things about sawhorses is that they don’t take up a lot of room, but still provide you with a big enough work area that you can work on a full sheet of plywood. If you buy collapsible sawhorses, they take up even less room, while still giving you lots of room to work.
While many carpenters still make their own sawhorses out of 2-by-4s and some scrap plywood, the commercially available ones do have some definite advantages, especially for the do-it-yourselfer. More than anything, they’re collapsible, saving valuable space in your workshop. At the same time, they save you the time of having to build your sawhorses, which isn’t really all that hard. Even so, I’ve seen a lot of wobbly sawhorses made by people who decided to do their own. When you look at the cost of materials to make your own and compare it to the cost of buying, there really isn’t that much different.
There are a fairly large number of commercially available sawhorses on the market, plus a number of other work holding devices, such as the Black & Decker Workmate or the Rockwell Jawhorse. We feature these on our list for Best Portable Workbench, so you may want to take a look at them before making your decision. While not technically sawhorses, they do perform the same function, plus more.
There are about three basic options in manufactured sawhorse. The first one is to buy an actual finished sawhorse. These are usually made of plastic, so they won’t knick your saw blades. The second is to buy folding legs to use with a 2-by-4 top. The third option is to buy brackets which allow you to make sawhorses out of 2-by-4s. All three have their place, depending upon your need and the money you have available to work with.
Most sawhorses have a plastic or wood top member, so that you won’t knick your saw blades when you hit it (which invariably happens). However, there are a few around which are all metal construction. While these work fine, you need to be extra careful with them, so that you don’t accidentally hit them with your saw. Not only would that tend to dull your saw blade, but it’s rather hard to fix the saw horse when it happens.
This problem can be solved on metal sawhorses by putting a wood top on it. Most will have screw holes in the top member to allow for this, making it easy to protect your tools and giving longer life to your sawhorse.
This is a combination sawhorse and tool stand from DeWalt. The extruded top rail works together with optional brackets, so that the sawhorse can be used as a tool stand for miter saws. Read Full Review
This is a sawhorse that’s more than a sawhorse. Actually, DeWalt designed this to be a portable tool stand, but it works wonderfully as a collapsible sawhorse as well. With a 1,000 pound capacity (each), it’s also great if you need a small scaffolding for doing some high up work, such as finishing the drywall on a ceiling. Everything folds into a nice, compact package, with locking levers for quick setup and take down. The whole package weighs in at only 15.4 pounds. Two stands can be locked together with the Transport Latch, making a compact package that’s easy to take with you. Please note that these are sold as individual units, not pairs.
This set comes as just the metal legs to be attached to a 2-by-4, making a sawhorse. That provides an incredibly strong sawhorse, which folds flat for storage; while allowing the top to be easily replaced when needed. Read Full Review
This is one of the options where you buy just the leg set and add your own 2-by-4 to make it into a sawhorse. That allows you to decide how long you want the sawhorse to be, along with making it easy to replace the most easily damaged part of the sawhorse, once you’ve cut into it a few too many times. The legs fold flat to the top, but don’t collapse inwardly to make it a narrow package. However, that helps maintain the strength of the sawhorse, which will support 1,000 pounds (each). Each set of legs weighs 12 pounds, so fully assembled this one will be a touch lighter than the DeWalt. Please note that the price is for enough legs to make one sawhorse.
2x4basics has taken the basic metal sawhorse bracket and turned it into something truly unique. Besides making a very rugged sawhorse out of any 2-by-4s, this one has a second cross member, allowing a shelf or second cutting level. Much more rugged than other sawhorse bracket sets. Read Full Review
This is another great design from 2x4basics. The kit contains enough brackets and stabilizing feet to convert 2-by-4s to two sawhorses. The design is extremely easy to work with; all you have to do is slip the 2-by-4s into place and nail through the brackets with 4d nails. The design accommodates a wide range of sizes, allowing you to build sawhorses that are up to 8 feet long and 4 feet high. A stabilizer bar below the top bar makes the sawhorse double-decker for stacking material or putting a shelf in place. That’s also great if you’re using the sawhorses for scaffolding, as you readily have two heights of scaffold available. Each pair of sawhorses will support 2,000 pounds.
Stanley makes several different models of collapsible plastic sawhorses, of which this is the top-of-the-line. Both height and width are adjustable, using ergonomic controls. Read Full Review
Stanley makes several different models of collapsible plastic sawhorse, varying in price. This is the top-of-the-line model, with adjustable height and width. When collapsed, the sawhorses lay flat for easy storage. Opened, the bottom expander makes a convenient tool tray. Although made of plastic, these will support 1,000 pounds per pair, so they’re still strong enough to use as scaffolding. Fully assembled and ready to use right out of the package. Sells by the pair.
This all-steel sawhorse collapses down to only 2-1/2". Even so, it's adjustable in height from 25" to 34", with a 38" long top member. Read Full Review
The Crafword sawhorse is an all-steel design, made of 14-gauge steel and powder coated for durability. The bright yellow color increases visibility for safety. The top piece is 38 inches long for added stability and is pre-drilled for mounting a 2-by-6 to the top. It can also accept any of the Crawford roller assemblies. The legs are adjustable, ranging in height from 25 to 34 inches. When folded, the unit is only 2.5 feet tall (plus the thickness of the 2-by-4, if added). Units are sold singly.