A sawhorse is one of the most essential workspace items to have as a carpenter or carpentry enthusiast. It is one of the most functional carpentry investments. A sawhorse can be used in a professional workshop or transform your home hobby area into a proper workspace.
A sawhorse should be between 26 inches (66.04 cm) and 32 inches (81.28 cm) for most people. This range varies based on your height and your working preferences. You can find sawhorses with adjustable heights for more flexibility or have multiple sawhorses of different heights to suit your needs.
This article will further discuss how to determine the best suitable sawhorse height for your needs and whether or not you should buy a sawhorse, as well as the main things to consider when purchasing a sawhorse.
Determining Sawhorse Height: What To Consider
A sawhorse should ideally be around 26 inches (66.04 cm) and 32 inches (81.28 cm) tall. However, keep in mind that this height measurement depends solely on your own height and or preferences.
Someone taller than 6 feet (182.88 cm) would probably need to size up in a sawhorse. Similarly, anyone shorter than around 5’4 feet (162.56 cm) would be recommended to size down.
When considering personally working preference, some people have specific motions or positions they are most comfortable working in.
A user on fine homebuilding noted that they like to rest one knee on the material while cutting large sheets and hence prefer a shorter height of 24 inches (60.96 cm) compared to the recommended.
Another user commented on the forum that a tip they picked up is that a sawhorse should ideally reach the middle of your lower back height, which is something you might consider.
As you continue your work, you’ll come to realize that having more than one sawhorse is beneficial, as we’ve talked about in our article How Many Sawhorses Should You Have?
You might then consider having sawhorses of different heights to suit your varied requirements.
Buying vs. DIY Sawhorse: Which Is Better?
If you are a professional carpenter, then DIYing a sawhorse is not a bad idea. In fact, DIYing a sawhorse will allow you to customize the work surface exactly to your liking.
You can add metal brackets for personal reinforcements, use whatever material you find works best for you, and customize both height and size capacity. For a newbie or beginner, we would suggest staying away from DIY sawhorses just in case your needs shift away from your initial design.
That said, buying a sawhorse is super easy and accessible both in stores and online. You can easily find a wide variety of sawhorses in size, height, features, and material. If you are a professional and don’t have the time for a DIY project, then a ready-made sawhorse is the fastest fix.
If you are a newbie or beginner, a ready-made sawhorse with features such as height adjustment may allow you to discover and develop your carpentry skills till you know exactly what your work surface preferences are.
Things To Keep in Mind When Planning on Buying a Sawhorse
The following are features you should carefully assess to fit your personal carpentry needs and should not be overlooked.
Size Limit of Planks
It is vital to keep in mind what size of planks you will be working with when getting or making a sawhorse. Most ready-to-buy sawhorses support a 2 feet x 4 feet (60.96 x 121.92 cm) wooden plank size or a 4 feet x 4 feet (121.92 x 121.92 cm).
Our advice to any carpentry hobbyist is to go for the larger 4 feet x 4 feet (121.92 x 121.92 cm) support sawhorse. This will allow you to work on smaller pieces while having room to grow and expand your skill and work size if you wish.
Weight Range of Your Projects
Similar to the size limit, sawhorses have different weight capacities they can support. It is important to understand whether you will use your sawhorse for personal items or large-scale industrial pieces. Based on the previous thought, determine the sawhorse that best supports the weight capacity range you work within.
Material of Your Sawhorse
Some sawhorses are made of wood, whereas others are made of plastics and metals. Wooden sawhorses are more durable and can withstand a heavier weight capacity. In contrast, plastic and metal sawhorses are lightweight and easy to transport and move but do not support heavier wood planks.
Choose the material of your sawhorse depending on your needs. If you need to shift workspaces a lot or work on-site, then a plastic or metal lightweight sawhorse may fit your needs. Whereas if you have one specific workshop with a designated area for your sawhorse, wood may be the better fit.
Add On Features
Not all sawhorses come with the following features, but they can be handy add-ons for more customized sawhorses.
Some sawhorses, specifically metal and plastic, offer height adjustment through varying leg sizes. This is ideal if you are unsure which height suits your work. This feature also comes in handy if multiple people are using the workspace and can easily adjust the sawhorse to their individual preferences.
Although this feature is not usually available in wooden sawhorses, they can come in handy in plastic or metal ones.
A folding feature is ideal if you constantly shift workspaces or work on-site. If you are a professional carpenter having a second, folding, lightweight sawhorse as an addition to your durable wooden one can be a dream come true.
Top Two Sawhorses Available Online
- ToughBuilt – Sawhorses
The ToughBuilt Sawhorse is the most durable and lightweight sawhorse available on the market.
If you want to invest in a high-quality, foldable steel sawhorse that can hold up to 1100 lb., then the Toughbuiltt Heavy Duty Sawhorse from Amazon.com is your best option. Not only does this sawhorse fold easily, but it is very lightweight yet durable for professional use.
- Amazon Basics Folding Sawhorse
If you are looking for a budget-friendly, high-quality sawhorse for personal use, then the Amazon Basics Folding Sawhorse Set of 2 will be a great fit. This sawhorse is made of high-quality lightweight plastic that can support up to 900 lb. It also has a flat following feature to allow for easy storage.
The height of a sawhorse is recommended to be set at 26 inches to 32 inches. Still, it can be customized depending on your individual height and working preference. When investing in a sawhorse, assess whether it meets your required weight capacity, size limit, and preferred material.