A DIY enthusiast should have the right tools and supplies on hand at all times. For instance, take a saw horse—a beam propped up by multiple legs that is strong enough to support large planks or boards for sawing down to size. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about finding the right saw horse for your garage workshop.
Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Saw Horse
When shopping for a saw horse, you should be aware of all of the factors that affect how well the tool works. This guide will explain briefly what these factors are and how they affect overall performance.
Seeing as how a saw horse is going to support heavy boards and planks, it should be able to withstand large loads without buckling at the knees. The materials used to construct the saw horse’s legs should give you a good idea of how sturdy it will be and how reliable it can bear heavy loads. Premium materials such as wood or steel can provide long-lasting sturdiness to endure heavy-duty abuse, though plastic legs can be more cost-efficient for light DIY woodworking projects.
Saw horses aren’t meant to be bolted to the ground. They’re all about portability, adjustability, and ease of use. In fact, if you’re just starting your garage workshop, a saw horse may actually make for the perfect temporary workbench for a ton of different projects. A saw horse’s potability is affected by its weight and how much floorspace it takes up. Measure your workshop and see how much you can lift before choosing a model. It wouldn’t hurt to get a folding saw horse that hardly takes up any floorspace when folded up during storage.
Saw horses can bear loads of between 200 and 2,500 pounds depending on the model. How much you actually need depends on what sort of projects you plan on taking up, but it’s always safer to go for a more high-quality saw horse with steel and aluminum supports for heavier loads.
If your crew of woodworkers vary in height, then a height-adjustable saw horse can eliminate any problems between users. A foot-operated crank can increase the height of the tool as per your specific needs and make woodworking projects more enjoyable. This is by no means a must-have feature, especially if you’re the only person using the saw horse.
As a DIY-er, it never hurts to have additional storage space for your essentials. Some saw horse models come with pockets or compartments built into the tool to cover this specific need. However, in the case of folding saw horses, their design may not accommodate such a feature as it would actually get in the way of the folding mechanism.
1. What is the ideal height for a saw horse?
Although the “ideal” height varies from user to user, a single preset setting of between 26 and 32 inches is perfect for a person of average height. If you plan on turning your saw horse into a temporary workbench, the work surface should be a couple of inches thick. Make sure the tool is sturdy enough to handle heavy loads for extended periods.
2. How many saw horses should I get?
We’d like to say that a pair of saw horses would suffice, but this is most likely not the case. We’d recommend investing in two pairs or at least an additional set of legs to accommodate larger boards. Extra legs will add stability to your work by preventing longer boards from dipping in the middle.
3. Do I need a saw horse?
We can’t answer this question for you since we don’t know your exact needs, but we will say this: not everyone has the fortune of having spacious garage workshops. A portable saw horse can be used for a number of different jobs without taking a ton of floorspace. Also, if you plan on taking your work to the driveway to avoid sawdust buildup indoors, a saw horse would be an invaluable tool to have.
4. Can I make my own saw horse?
In all honesty, it’s entirely possible to build your own set of saw horses at home without a lot of thought. However, considering the materials needed to make a premium saw horse, you may only end up making a simple set that may not withstand the test of time.
A saw horse is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you could have in your garage. Not only are they extremely portable, but with enough horses, you’ll be able to cut through planks of nearly any size without the slightest bit of trouble. Check out our guide to see how you can find the best saw horse to suit your every DIY need.