AskDefine | Define sawhorse

Dictionary Definition

sawhorse n : a framework for holding wood that is being sawed [syn: horse, sawbuck, buck]

User Contributed Dictionary



saw + horse


  1. A device used to temporarily raise and support pieces of material (for example, timber), especially during cutting with a saw or similar device.



a device used to temporarily raise and support pieces of material

Extensive Definition

A sawhorse is a beam with four legs used to support a board or plank for sawing. A pair of sawhorses can support a plank, forming a scaffold. In certain circles, it is also known as a mule.
The sawhorse may be designed to fold for storage. A sawhorse with a wide top is particularly useful to support a board for sawing or as a field workbench, and is more useful as a single, but also more difficult to store.
A sawhorse can also be used as the base for a portable work table by placing a sheet of 3/4" plywood or even a door on top of two sawhorses. If the sawhorses are strong enough, the portable table can be used as a platform for tools like a table saw, although with caution if the top is not secured to the sawhorses.

Related devices

  • A sawbuck is a similar device for working with logs and branches.
  • Devices resembling sawhorses but without the top rail are also sometimes painted with bright colors and fitted with flashing lights and used to block excavations or road construction or other safety-related purposes.

Crowd control

A device for crowd control in the late 20th century had the shape of a sawhorse made of wood. The legs are similar but rather heavy duty facsimiles of the hobby version of about the same height. The horizontal bar consists of a heavy-duty plank of about 4.2 meters (14 feet) long with printed on it in large letters: Police Line - Do Not Cross. The wooden sawhorses, used as barriers, are slowly being replaced. In New York, for example, in 2007 only about 3,200 wooden sawhorses (14 feet long and $60 each) remain. They are being replaced by an aluminium version called a French barrier (in the USA) of which New York now (2007) uses about 12,000 (2 meters (7 feet) long and $70 each). Other cities like Chicago and Philadelphia also use both types.
sawhorse in French: Tréteau
sawhorse in German: Bock (Gestell)
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