The Rockwell JawHorse, a portable work clamping station, is still a great gadget, and it’s currently on sale at Amazon, seemingly as part of Amazon’s Father’s Day promotions.
The JawHorse’s design has not changed much in recent years. It still features all-steel construction, and the standard model’s capacity can clamp workpieces up to 37″ wide.
Rockwell says that the JawHorse can exert 2200 lbs of clamping pressure, and can support loads of up to 600 lbs.
I have used different versions of the JawHorse over the years, and still keep a standard model.
For me, this isn’t a must-have clamping tool anymore, and now that I think about it, my remaining test sample doesn’t see very regular use anymore. Although, this might be because I now have more specific-use clamps, vises, and work-holding equipment at my disposal.
The clamp’s usefulness is also tied to the types of projects I might be working on. It will see more use some years than in others.
But when I do break it out, the JawHorse’s convenience, ease of use, and clamping capabilities are very hard to beat.
I cannot say I’ve used the JawHorse in the manners they advertise in product photos, such as for holding cabinets, chairs, doors, and small engines. I mainly use mine for holding wood boards and cut sheets. It’s especially quick for setting up boards to be cut.
Rockwell’s JawHorse accessories are hard to find these days, if not permanently discontinued, and so it’s not easy to expand the JawHorse’s functionality very much. But, its clamping jaws and large working capacity make it easy to fit custom-cut DIY jaw inserts.
Would I buy one today? Honestly, I’m not sure. But I also refuse to part with my last test sample. It’s not quite a must-have for the types of things I occasionally use it for, but it does save me time and effort, and I know I’ll kick myself the moment I give it away.
Throw in a piece of 3/4″ plywood, and you have a quick portable work table in a pinch. I wouldn’t do heavy work on such a setup, but I’ve used it to create flat tray for holding tools and supplies at-reach and off the ground.
I suppose this is why the JawHorse has been such a popular holiday season tool gift idea in the past – it’s pricey and not quite a must-have in the same way as other types of irreplaceable tools – but it is a time and effort saver.
I also like the hands-free nature of the clamping action. You set it up, place your work in the jaws, and use the foot lever to apply clamping pressure, allowing for two-hand adjustment if you need things perfectly aligned.
The JawHorse is heavy (Amazon says 46.1 lbs for this model, RK9003), but it’s also strong and sturdy. I have had some frustrations with dual wheels or singular roller wheels, but they’re better than nothing. The current model has a roller wheel.
While not indispensable, the JawHorse is a fantastic work-holding accessory. It’s easy to use, versatile, and it folds into a compact shape for storage.
Sale Price: $159.99