What is a Sawhorse?

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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2015
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A sawhorse is a stable base that supports a piece of lumber or other material for cutting. A sawhorse can be made of wood, metal, or heavy duty plastic and is typically an A-framed structure. Generally speaking, a sawhorse is needed at each end of whatever material is being cut. A sawhorse is designed to make cutting easier and more ergonomic.

A sawhorse is portable, and when used in pairs, creates a stable work surface for many purposes in addition to cutting. When using a sawhorse to support lumber and other building material for cutting, there are no obstructions beneath the material being cut, which makes cutting lumber and material not only easier but also safer. Besides cutting, painting or staining doors or other large building materials is made simple with a set of sawhorses. A sheet of plywood laid across a sawhorse set creates a portable workstation for laying out hardware, tools, and any other items that may need to be kept handy for a project.

There are different types of sawhorses available for purchase, and they are generally sold individually rather than in pairs. A folding sawhorse is usually made of metal, and the A-framed legs are hinged so that they can be folded down for storage. A folding sawhorse is great for saving space when not in use, but it has a lower weight limit than that of a stationary frame. For most homeowners, the weight limit of a folding sawhorse is sufficient.


For safety reasons, plastic coated sawhorses should be used only for very light-duty cutting and projects. Before purchasing a set of sawhorses, check the weight limit of each sawhorse and only place objects totaling the combined weight limit of the two. Each time a sawhorse is used, check for stability and damage before placing any material on the sawhorse, and recheck before cutting. Also remember the golden rule to “measure twice, cut once”.


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What are some tips on using sawhorses?

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