As any DIY guru will tell you, there are a few pieces of their tool kit they’d never be without, and a saw horse is one of those tools. Whether it be carpentry; painting and decorating; or cutting up logs for the log burner, it’s inevitable at some point you’re going to be reaching for the saw horse – a beam supported by two pairs of A-frame legs, which works best when used in a pair. A saw horse provides support for wood or any other rigid material that is being cut, as well as doubling up as the legs of a makeshift workbench.
When shopping for a saw horse, you need to make sure that you get a good model that will last; is low maintenance; easy to store; and relatively easy to use. A saw horse is one of those DIY tools that you know is working well because you never have to think about it. However, if you don’t shop around and look at getting the most for your money, or you buy a cheap model that isn’t fit for purpose, then it’s going to cause you more stress than if you’d just stuck to getting earache from your better half for using the breakfast bar as your workbench!
Only got 5 minutes
Best Pick – ToughBuilt C550
- Load capacity up to 500 kg (1 tonne in a pair).
- Steel parts powder-coated or galvanised.
- Collapsible with pull-out handle.
- Size: approx. 1 m wide and 73.5 cm high.
- Can be used as a work table and sawhorse.
Saw horses can be made of plastic, wood, or metal. They act as a steady, secure work surface, particularly useful for when you’re cutting with a saw, supporting the material you’re cutting, making the task that little bit easier.
|Wood||Traditional Strong & sturdy structure|
|Metal||Robust Able to support up to 1400lbs|
|Plastic||Impressive weight-bearing capacity Lightweight Inexpensive|
Why you need a saw horse
Unless you’re lucky enough to have the use of a workshop, or you’ve converted your garage or outbuilding into your own little DIY haven, it’s likely you’ll be struggling for space to store and use any kind of workbench. A saw horse is designed to support any rigid structure, whether it be wood, plastic or metal, and provide you with a secure place to cut, whilst being relatively compact when not in use. In contrast, once erected, their dimensions are pretty impressive, with the best saw horse models offering you a decent-sized surface area to work on.
Choosing the right saw horse
The most important question to ask yourself before you begin shopping for a saw horse is what am I going to be using a saw horse for and how often? If you’re getting one for simple day-to-day DIY tasks around the house; the occasional garden project; to cut firewood or to use as a workbench, then you should be fine with a plastic model.
Look carefully at the features each model comes with and choose one with extras that are relevant to you – if you don’t use power tools, you don’t need a cord hooks; if you’ve got a place earmarked for where the saw horse is going to live, fully built, then you can afford to go for a model with bigger dimensions and even consider an aluminium or steel model as you won’t be moving it around very often. You want to get the most out of your money but not be paying above the odds for features and gadgets you’re never going to use.
- The best saw horse models will fold flat for easy storage, meaning you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to storing them out of sight when they’re not in use – under the bed; propped behind the sofa or slid on top of the wardrobe out of sight
- Adjustable height
- Substantial Weight capacity – the best saw horse models can weight bear up to around 1250lbs (567kg)
- Detachable clamps
- Hands-free clamping
- Built-in shelf/tool storage
- Cord hooks for when you’re using power tools
- Non-slip feet
- Adjustable telescopic legs, which are ideal for use on uneven or difficult surfaces
Best Budget – Stanley Folding Junior Sawhorse
- Strong and robust design - holds up to 362 kg per pair
- Light weight and foldable for easy carrying, transport and store
- Tray underneath for storage - tray opens up to hold small parts, tools and accessories
- Integral V Grooves on top - fits 2 x 4 inch for worktop supports
- Anti-slip rubber pads - reduces chance of slippage
Sawhorse sturdiness and strength
Sturdiness and strength – the two most important factors when it comes to choosing the best saw horse, whatever your budget. Sturdiness is how well your saw horse is able to hold up with repeated use – the best saw horse models are built out of good-quality, long-lasting, hard-wearing materials.
A good way to assess the sturdiness of a plastic saw horse is to check if the plastic has been reinforced with metal, usually steel or aluminium, which is common in portable models as it increases the amount of weight the saw horse is capable of bearing; this is where the strength of the saw horse comes in – you’ll need to know what the total weight capacity is that the saw horse is able to take so you know not to overload it. The majority of saw horses are able to hold at least 900 lbs – meaning you don’t have to worry about strength and stability as they’re designed to be able to support some pretty impressive weights!
Choosing the best saw horse size
The majority of saw horse models will stand at between 25 inches (0.6m) and 40 inches (1m) in height, with the average, saw horse measuring around 31 inches (0.8m).
The height of the saw horse you need is determined by own height as, when you’re working, you should avoid putting any unnecessary pressure on your back, neck and arms – be sure you’re able to reach the ‘tabletop’ easily, without any discomfort, and without having to excessively bend over or hunch your shoulders.
The best saw horse models will be height adjustable which is particularly useful if your saw horse is likely to have multiple users or be used for a variety of purposes.
Saw horse cost
If you’re on a budget and looking for a sawhorse for occasional domestic use, a plastic saw horse is likely to be the best saw horse for you, with prices starting at around £20. They tend to be pretty basic and quite compact so they can be stored away easily without taking up too much space. However, don’t be hasty in dismissing a plastic saw horse as not being up to the job as a good-quality, plastic saw horse is still capable of supporting some serious weight!
Top-of-the-range models, which are usually metal or metal/plastic, and which offer additional features such as adjustable heights, foldable legs and tool storage, can set you back anywhere from around £50 to £120.
Metal sawhorses, which are designed and constructed for regular use and more laborious tasks, are subsequently more pricey than plastic due to the strength and durability of both steel and aluminium, which are the two most common metals used in manufacturing metal saw horses.
Useful key features to look out for
If you buy a saw horse today, you’re no longer investing in a simple wooden structure designed for nothing more than cutting wood. How the humble saw horse has changed!
In today’s market, you’ll find the majority of saw horses available are constructed out of plastic, or a combination of plastic and aluminium; these materials make the design hard-wearing, sturdy, and capable of supporting heavyweights, whilst the sawhorse itself is relatively lightweight, meaning it can be carried and moved around easily compared to the old-style wooden models. This is important if you need your sawhorse to be portable e.g. moving it from its storage place to where you want to use it, or if you have back or neck problems.
The professional builders and carpenters among us are likely to have the use of a stationary saw horse, however, a portable saw horse is still a savvy investment for when you’re on the go, out on a job or working at home. The best saw horse models also often come with tool storage too, so your tools will be easily accessible when you need them as well as cable hooks which make using your power tools practically stress-free as you’re able to keep wires out of the way, neatly stored under the bench.
Being lightweight and portable just makes setting up your sawhorse and putting it away that little bit easier and hopefully, hassle-free.
Best of the Rest
- This telescopic builderӳ trestle is made using Q195 steel in box construction
- This item comes as pairs and has a weight capacity of 200kg, it can also adjust in height from 80cm to 130cm
- The foldable design allows you to transport easily and can be setup up within minutes
- It's a practical item and widely used by builders, decorators and painters, great for when doing work on high places like ceilings and hard to reach places
- Overall Dimension: 68L x 58W x 80H (cm); 2 piece set
- 27cm log capacity
- Boxed steel construction
- Easy to assemble
- Foldable and easy to store
- ROBUST: Sturdy construction with up to 225kg weight capacity of each sawhorse.
- ANTI-SLIP INSERTS: Adjustable ratchet clip on support bar help keep materials in place for increased stability.
- ADDITIONAL STORAGE: Tray underneath for storing small parts, tools and accessories.
- FOLDABLE DESIGN: Light weight and foldable for easy carrying and transport.
- DIMENSIONS: Single: 69L x 35W x 82Hcm. 69L x 7W x 83Hcm (Folded). Weight Capacity: 1000lbs.(One Pair).
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a saw horse used for?
A sawhorse (also known as a ‘trestle’ or ‘mule’) is a tool used for construction. It’s a simple structure – a beam supported by two sets of A-frame legs, which works best when used in a pair. A saw horse provides support for wood or any other rigid material that is being cut, as well as doubling up as the legs of a makeshift workbench.
How do you store a saw horse?
The best plastic sawhorse models will be collapsible and, ideally, foldable, meaning when not in use it can be stored in the shed or garage; under the bed; or on top of a wardrobe.
If you’re going for a metal sawhorse, look for a model with folding legs as, although steel or aluminium can’t be made quite as compact as plastic, being able to tuck the legs away makes it much easier to store flat.
Last update on 2020-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API