At its simplest a sawhorse is a plank with four legs which is used to support something for cutting. The best saw horses can support lots of weight, are versatile and can be either folded down or stack-able so that they can be stored easily when not in use.
However sometimes simpler is better and you just want a plain old fashioned wooden saw horse to cut some lumber on.
Commonly used in a pair you can support a plank across them for easy cutting, or even use clamps to fix a heavy board on them to use as a temporary work bench.
I don’t know about you, but I use my saw horses for almost every project. They get even more use than my workbench, mostly because they’re not a fixed length. If you can fit the work piece in your shop then it’ll fit on your horses.
When purchasing woodworking equipment that is going to be taking a lot of weight you need to invest in something that is built from the best materials and to the best of standards.
You can either choose to build your own to your personal specifications or purchase the best saw horse that you can afford.
"Quality is long remembered after price"
Having the best power tools and saws in your garage is great. But if you skimp on the supporting items like meter saw stands, portable workbenches, bench vice or sawhorses then you may end up frustrated if they don't give you a safe, secure, strong and level work surface.
Although a saw horse may seem like a very unimportant item in your work shop choosing the right one is essential. A saw horse is the type of tool that you only notice if it is not working right, a good one should just go unnoticed doing its job time and time again without any hassles.
Best Saw Horse
The C550 folding saw horses from Toughbuilt are some of the sturdiest available. Capable of holding 1100 pounds singly or 2200 pounds per pair they should stand up to most woodworkers demands.
The C550 is the replacement for the much loved 470 and has surpassed its predecessor in every way.
Although these are priced on the high end compared to most other saw horses in our review they are probably the only ones you'll ever need and have a lot more features than any other saw horse.
These are some of the most veratile sawhorses you will ever see. The arms have built in notches that allow for a very square work surface to be built if you are looking to create a temporary table.
The C550's also feature support pegs on the legs that allow you to mount a board at a convenient angle for cutting.
Not many sawhorses can boast these kinds of features.
The best sawhorses for the money you won't be disappointed.
The Portamate saw horse offers a no frills alternative to the Toughbuilt above, however they have roughly have the load capacity.
Built from tough steel they stand at a height of 33 inches.
Out of the box these saw horses are ready to go all you need to do is unfold the legs and they are ready. No messing screws or bolts.
The top surfaces are pre-drilled ready for your 2 x 4's to be screwed into. You can have a sturdy work area up and running in only a few minutes and it's just as quick to take apart after also.
These Stanley sawhorses are from a high strength injection molded plastic that is capable of holding up to a 1000 lbs per pair.
Being made from plastic these horses have a significant weight saving over their metal counterparts and are still durable enough for heavy work environments.
If you intend to be on the move regularly and need some light durable and strong sawhorse then these are just the ticket.
When choosing the best sawhorse for you garage or shop there are a few important considerations to take into account.
Are you looking for a saw horse that:
They come in all types of materials; you can get a metal saw horse, plastic saw horse or, my favourite because you can easily make it yourself, a wooden saw horse.
Depends on your needs. Metal will always be stronger(if well built) however plastic can be considerably lighter meaning easier transportation.
There are two reasons for having a folding horse; portability and storage. A non-folding horse has a reasonably large footprint, which gets worse if you’ve got more than one and they don’t stack! One thing to bear in mind with a folding horse is how much weight it can cope with, you don’t want to compromise its integrity.
This type is height adjustable. There are two ways to achieve this (which can be combined); extendable legs or a liftable top piece. This is useful for lowering a tall work piece or for raising a temporary bench. One thing to watch out for with these is that the resulting work area is level, an off level saw horse can throw out measurements and cuts.
This can take the form of a shelf on the lower section of the legs and can be somewhere handy to store your tools during a project. With this design the shelf can flip up to accommodate a folding horse and can provide additional structural strength and rigidity.
Most saw horses are pretty similar, feature dependent, but there is one type that is a little different.
This type usually has a profile that looks like an X. This means that you don’t have a flat work area on top. The X makes a perfect holder for a log and will keep it still while you cut it with a chain saw.
Five seconds on Google will give you a hundred different saw horse plans, so I’m not going to add another one to the list. What I will do is talk about features you might find useful. Once you’ve decided what you want you can search for some plans.
Personally I went for a rock solid design for my first horses with no extra features. Next time though I will definitely make them foldable; there have been a couple of times I would have liked to put them in my car to take them to a friends house but ended up sawing on the floor as they wouldn’t fit. I’m not yet sold on the adjustable height feature yet.
So there you have it, you should know what you want your horses to do.