So one of the cool things about being a professional tool reviewer and licensed contractor is that I sometimes get my hands on tools right as they’re introduced.
Tough life for a tool lover, huh?
Anyway, I got my mitts on a Rockwell JawHorse—yes the tool you’ve seen on the infomercial—before the infomercial existed.
It didn’t take long to figure out that a JawHorse was going to make my home improvement life significantly easier. Owning two is an order of magnitude better than owning one.
Full Disclosure. From a perception point of view, I might need to clear some things up:
- In case you’re wondering what I look like, that’s me on the infomercial
- It is an un-paid testimonial. I did it because I like the tool (I did get lunch.)
- I don’t get paid if you buy a JawHorse.
Okay, now on to the tool and the two main questions I’ve heard people ask, notably during demonstrations I’ve done where I’ve used the JawHorse at The Remodeling Show and DeckExpo
Is it the real deal and does it do what they say it does?
Real or Hype?
Short answer: real deal.
Unlike many things I’ve seen on info-mercials, and de-bunked by this cool series, the JawHorse is as Rockwell claims.
I set mine out on a jobsite last summer and not only are they set-up on another jobsite right now (under about 3 feet of snow) but they haven’t been inside since last summer. The steel is powder coated and/or galvanized and rust simply isn’t an issue. The parts move smoothly. Indeed one project I used the JawHorses for was stripping paint from an old-house door. The tool’s finish was affected by the stripper but the tool is just fine.
Does It Live Up To The Claims?
And then some.
It is rare that I pick up tips from TV—especially a commercial. And while lots of the stuff on there doesn’t apply to me, some does.
The JawHorse is nothing if not versatile. Again, two are about 10 times better than one. I’ve used them:
- Repairing a damaged garden hose—clamped the hose in the jaw, then cut and repaired it
- As as a miter saw/table saw cut station
- As a giant work table for staining cedar posts and fence parts before installation
- As a giant work table for cutting a vinyl sheet for a bathroom remodel
- To make a “tent” that kept my tools dry during a week of rain
- As a standard for holding up drywall sheets
- As a standard for hanging upper cabinets
- As a standard for installing porch soffit
- As a standard for a walk-board (probably not in the owner’s manual; be careful) installing a window
- For mortising door hinges
- As outfeed support for my table saw
The list goes on.
Cost. It ain’t free. I don’t like to be cavalier with recommendations, but both JawHorses I own have more than paid for themselves. Now every minute or hour they save me is mine.
Ironically, I really don’t use it as a sawhorse much. Sawhorses (I build my own from 2-by) work better for production cutting and materials storage on my jobs, notably because their tops are flat and I can cut through the top of the wooden sawhorse without worry.
Besides, if I pile lumber all over my JawHorses, I can’t use them for all the other stuff they’re much better at.