When you think of cool, cutting-edge tools, the item that tops your wish list is undoubtedly…new sawhorses, right?! No? Not even if they’re brushless? Ah, well, maybe we can change your mind. Centipede Tool, is maker of the Centipede Sawhorse, and its big brother, the Centipede Support XL. These supports sport one of the more clever and innovative designs we’ve seen recently. Resembling collapsible chairs on steroids or miniature scaffolding, the Centipede work stations take literally three seconds to set up, and are capable of supporting from 1,500 to 3,000 pounds. When the workday is over, they’ll collapse in a few seconds and rest quietly in their tote bags, waiting to be summoned forth again.
The unique design of the Centipede Portable Work System consists of multiple steel struts. Obviously, someone at Centipede knows something about physics, because these relatively small interconnected pieces of steel work together to support an incredible amount of weight. Various “Don’t try this at home” strength tests have included pallets of concrete blocks, sand bags, an ATV, and lifting up the front end of a beefy John Deere front-end loader by resting the bucket on the surface of the Centipede Support XL. See their website or YouTube for the gory details, but they all ended well!
When set up, the work surface is just under 31” from the ground, a typical height for sawhorses. (For those who like a bit more height, optional extension kits are available that bring the surface up to 36”). Each point of contact on top is capped with a durable polymer P-Top. This provides a support surface that won’t mar sheet goods, and helps prevent contact damage between cutting blades and steel struts. In the event some old guy with poor eyesight, such as myself, happens to accidentally send a saw blade through one of the P-Tops, they’re easily replaceable.
Each P-Top spins 360 degrees. This facilitates use of the included Quick Clamps, which are designed to keep materials in place, and X-Cups, which conveniently accommodate standard 2X4s for drop-in setup. Each kit comes in a carry/storage bag, making them very compact and easy to store and transport. The Centipede Sawhorse shrinks down to 6”by 9” by 38”, the larger Centipede Support XL to 9” by 14” by 38”.
Here are the official specs from Centipede Tool:
• Centipede Sawhorse: 12-lb. steel frame supports 1,500 lbs. over a 2-ft x 4-ft area, condensing to a portable 6-in x 9-in size in seconds, without tools.
• Centipede Support XL: 32-lb. steel frame supports 3,000 lbs. over a 4-ft x 8-ft area, condensing to a portable 9-in x 14-in in seconds, without tools.
• Multiple steel struts move in tandem to support thin materials without sagging and provide a heavy overall weight capacity.
• Flat steel cross bars ensure smooth operation to set up and take down in seconds, providing compact portability.
• Replaceable polymer pads protect load, blade, and steel struts from contact damage.
• Includes Quick Clamps, a tension clamping system to hold boards and table or bench tops (not included) in place.
• Includes drop-in X-Cups, which accommodates standard lumber (not included) for quick sawhorse setup.
• Includes a carry/storage bag, providing protected storage and convenient portability.
Editor’s Note: According to Centipede Tool, a recent audit found the Sawhorse to be 11-lb. and the XL to be 29-lb.
De-Bagging The Centipede Sawhorse
Setting up the Centipede Sawhorse is super fast and easy. Pull it out of the bag, and give it a shake or just pull the struts apart – it takes about three seconds. If you’ll be using 2X4s across the ends, simply drop the X-Cups into the holes in the corner P-Tops. The 2X4s fit perfectly into the X-Cups, and you have a stable set of sawhorses to hold your dimensional lumber or whatever while you work on it.
To use the Centipede Sawhorse or Centipede Support XL as a workbench or table, first open the unit up. If you’ll be using the entire surface area, position a 2X4’ (for the Centipede Sawhorse) or 4X8’ (for the Centipede Support XL) piece of plywood or other sturdy material, so it’s centered on the struts. Insert Quick Clamps into the holes in the corner P-Tops, position the arms over your work surface, and smack them into place.
You could also configure the larger Centipede Support XL for multiple uses. Clamp down a 2X4’ or 4X4’ table at one end, and a set of 2X4s in X-Cups at the other end to serve as a cutting station, for example. The possibilities are endless! Okay, maybe not endless, but at least extremely numerous…
Strut Your Stuff
I set up the Centipede Sawhorse, which Centipede Tool provided to us, in our driveway on a blustery 15 ° day. (While no sacrifice is too great for the enlightenment of the HomeFixated community, I think I’ll defer to Marc in San Diego next time a wintertime outdoor demonstration is required).
After shaking the Centipede Sawhorse open, I dropped the X-Cups into the corner P-Tops. I put a couple of 2X4s into the brackets, essentially giving me two sawhorses, four feet apart. I could also have put two of them into the center P-Tops, if I needed the supports closer together. The setup looks rickety, but it’s actually extremely sturdy. Despite the dire warnings in the instructions, I sat on one of the 2X4s, and it held my 200 pounds with nary a whimper.
I then removed the X-Cups and laid a 2X4’ piece of plywood across the Centipede Sawhorse. I put a Quick Clamp in each of two diagonally-opposite corners, and smacked them snugly down. The resulting work surface was solid and felt very stable, enough so that I felt comfortable setting up my roughly 90-pound DeWalt planer on it. It felt very stable and secure on the plywood, so I figured what the heck, and climbed up there with it.
Again, the directions tell you to NOT DO THAT, and we certainly recommend that you DO NOT DO THAT. It was a childish and blatantly irresponsible act, and I am thoroughly trained and heavily insured (at the insistence of my wife). Anyhow, the Centipede Sawhorse easily supported our weight, felt rock solid, and no writers or planers were harmed in the course of this reckless experiment.
While we’re on the topic, though, I’ll just mention my one minor quibble with the Centipede Sawhorse. For full functionality, it would be nice to have four hold-down clamps included, one for each corner. Since the plywood or other material only sits partially on the corners, it would give the user a warmer, fuzzier feeling to know all the corners were secure.
In the testing I did, I had no issues with the material coming loose. Under constant use, though, especially on a jobsite, it might be possible for the friction-fit Quick Clamps to move a bit, allowing the platform to shift. Watching your chop saw or planer tumble off the platform would definitely NOT give you that warm, fuzzy feeling. It would also be great to have two more X-Cups, so a 2X4 could be set across each set of legs. These items are available at a reasonable cost from the manufacturer (five bucks for a pair of X-Cups, eight for a pair of Quick Clamps), along with other accessories and replacement P-Tops, for those errant saw cuts.
Start Your Own Support Group
After trying out the Centipede Sawhorse for the past few days, the only real downside is that I only have ONE of them. This thing is much more versatile than a plain old sawhorse, although it does an excellent job when used that way. Since I do work in various locations, and the Centipedes are so fast and easy to set up, tear down, and transport, I plan to try out the larger Centipede Support XL to use as a base for the chop saw. I’ll set up the other end as sawhorses, to handle cuts in dimensional lumber and so forth. That will free up the Centipede Sawhorse to set up as a storage area for screws and other expendables, small tools, chargers, and a place to park my radio.
The Centipede Sawhorse And Centipede Support XL will undoubtedly appeal to a broad range of users. Anyone in the construction field, including carpenters, tile installers, plumbers, siding installers, masons – anyone who wants a quick, easy, and strong work platform or job site table will love it. It could also serve as a jobsite desk; just slap a piece of plywood on top and let it overhang a bit.
Caterers, flea market or craft show vendors, shops that need additional display or storage space, tailgaters, folks with limited floor and storage space that need extra work space occasionally…you get the idea. It’s one of those tools you’ll constantly be finding new uses for, like an oscillating multitool.
The Centipede Sawhorse and Centipede Support XL are currently available through several retailers, with more in the works. They have excellent reviews everywhere they’re sold, which is one of the reasons we’re proud to have them onboard as a Home Fixated sponsor. A full list of retailers can be found on the Centipede Tool website.
Centipede Tool was a Home Fixated sponsor at the time this article was published.
You can find the Centipede Centipede Sawhorse from Lowes for $49:
The Centipede Support XL also from Lowes for $109:
Centipede Tool Accessories Available From: