It doesn’t have legs and it can’t gallop, but the sawhorse can go a long way in the job site just like the trusty workhorses of yore.
Sawhorses have been around for centuries. Sawing a board or a plank is easier thanks to these handy tools. They can be found in many garages and job sites all over the world, and beloved by hobbyists, professional woodworkers, and builders alike.
The design of modern sawhorses is pretty simple and has not changed much for many years. It has a modified A-frame which consists of a beam, the legs, and sometimes, a leg brace or a shelf to keep it stable.
Some have supporting arms at the sides. In some sawhorses, the supporting arms can only accommodate 2x4s, while others can be adjusted to accommodate 4x4s.
The supporting arms make it easier to transform it from simple sawhorse to a work table. Just place a plank on both sides of the sawhorse, then place a sheet of plywood on top, and voila! You have an instant workbench. You can even use them as a scaffold if your sawhorses are made of heavy-duty material that can hold up a lot of weight.
Check out this video for helpful tips on how to use sawhorses safely.
How To Choose The Best Sawhorse
Sawhorses used to be made exclusively of wood. These days, however, it is rare to find wood sawhorses. They are durable and can hold up a variety of weights, but they are also heavy and it can be hard to find a space in your garage or workshop where you can store them.
Some of the sawhorses you’ll find on the market these days are made of plastic (particularly ABS plastic). They are lightweight and sturdy, making them ideal for hobbyists and professional woodworkers. They can be used for light or occasional projects, such as cutting 2x4s and sawing plywood. A pair of plastic sawhorses can also be used as a drying rack.
A lot of plastic sawhorses available on the market come with shelves at the bottom that also double as leg braces. They sometimes come with clamps and/or cord hooks at the sides. They are compact and easy to store.
If you want something more durable and longer-lasting, then sawhorses made of metal are a good choice. These sawhorses are a favorite among professionals, as well as hobbyists who have regular woodworking projects.
The beams of metal sawhorses are commonly made of steel. The legs are also often made of steel, but some manufacturers use aluminum to make them more lightweight and portable. The surface of the sawhorse is powder and/or zinc-coated to prevent corrosion.
Sawhorses can support anywhere between 250 lbs and 1,300 lbs. As a general rule, the more weight your sawhorse can support, the better. This applies whether you’re a professional woodworker or a hobbyist (you never know when you’re going to work on a heavy piece of wood). Always check the weight capacity of the sawhorse before buying one.
The majority of sawhorses on the market already have a predetermined height that ranges from 25″ to 40″. Sawhorses with preset heights are fine for most users. But if you’re taller or shorter, or if you just want to customize the sawhorse’s height to be more comfortable, then choose a sawhorse with a height adjustment mechanism.
Overall Sawhorse Size and Weight
The beauty of sawhorses is that they are available in different sizes, weights, and configurations. Many are compact and easy to store, while others are more portable than most.
If you are after ease of storage and portability, then choose a metal sawhorse with legs that can be folded into the beam. It is easy to store just about anywhere in your workshop, and it is easily portable because the legs are kept inside the beam.
This configuration allows you to carry it from its storage area to your work area hassle-free. You can even put it in the bed of your pickup truck or the trunk of your car and still have space for your power tools and more.
A stable pair of legs makes a big difference when it comes to working on a sawhorse. When choosing the best sawhorse, always check if the legs’ stance is good and if they are stable. You don’t want to cut a 2×4 on something that wobbles or something that is easily toppled by a gust of wind.
Supporting Arms, Shelves, and Other Features
Modern sawhorses have a lot of new features that can make your job easier. Many sawhorses have supporting arms that can easily accommodate a piece of 2×4, while some have adjustable arms that can be expanded to accommodate a 4×4.
Other features you might want to look at including a bottom shelf where you can put your tools while working, clamps to keep your workpiece in position, and hooks to get your cords out of the way.
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