Trojan Sawhorses – Minimalist Design with Maximum Utility

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trojan-sawhorses-mainSawhorses are something you find on just about every job site and in many garages and shops. They’re often bulky masses of wood that take up valuable space in your truck or shop. As indispensable as sawhorses are, most designs suffer from not only a lack of portability but also versatility. A while back, our friends over at The Handyman Club of America suggested we check out some sawhorses made by a company called Trojan Manufacturing, right here in the USA.

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Trojans take up minimal space, even when they're not fully disassembled

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Add a little paint and they make great barricades too
We’re no strangers to sawhorses. Actually, we might be a bit obsessed because they’re so darn useful. Back in 2010, we detailed some super-simple sawhorse plans, and even went so far as to brand them (what can we say, we had a branding iron handy). We also reviewed The Clydesdale sawhorses last year, and we loved that they could easily be transformed from sawhorses, to work platform, to lunch bench. We also loved that The Clydesdale horses use standard, ubiquitous 2x material. But what if you want something that’s more compact for transport and storage and something that you don’t really have to build? That’s where Trojan Sawhorses come in. Like The Clydesdale, the Trojan TS-35 (35″ tall) and TS-27 (27″ tall) can use standard 2x material. The Trojan Sawhorses come in pairs, with one pair creating a single sawhorse. Essentially, two heavy 1/8″ thick steel legs form an “A” shaped support at the end of each timber.

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The minimal hardware that accompanies each kit

Assembly

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You too can look like an adult film star while assembling the Trojan sawhorse
The sawhorses come ready to assemble, with a minimal list of parts. All the nuts and bolts are the same size, so there’s really not much you can mess up. Aside from the nuts and bolts, it’s just a couple pinch guards and washers, along with the two metal pieces that make up the spreader. A 7/16″ socket/wrench does the job of tightening everything up. Once assembled, each pair of legs folds up nearly flat, although we found the middle spreader bolt tended to get in the way of the legs smoothly folding up all the way. Even so, the Trojan sawhorses take up minimal space in your truck or shop when stowed away. Even if you don’t take them apart, they nestle next to each other to take up minimal space.

Operation

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Keep fingers and the rest of you away from pinch points
The legs of the Trojan sawhorse clamp down and apply two sizable teeth on each side of the 2x material. I found it easiest to spread the legs apart at the bottom of each leg initially, so that the teeth start to bite. Then, you simply step down on the metal spreader to fully extend the legs and lock them in place. Attaching the first set of legs can be a bit awkward with longer timber. You want to make sure the base of the clamping area is flush/parallel with the bottom of your 2x material. I was working with twelve foot long 2×4’s, so holding everything at the correct angle and then securing the legs was a little tricky. With shorter material for a more typical sawhorse size, holding the timber really isn’t a problem. Depending on how hard or soft the wood is, fully extending the legs can actually take a fair amount of force. Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty straight forward though.

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Solid teeth form a tenacious grip between legs and 2x material

Adjustable Height, and Length
I used to own a pair of fold-up sawhorses that had adjustable legs. In theory that sounds great, in practice it was a big pain to adjust each leg individually, and once you did, you could no longer fold them up. The Trojan sawhorses take a more low-tech, simple approach. First off, the Trojan sawhorses come in the two sizes already mentioned; 27″ and 35″ tall. We opted for the 35″ model, which Trojan informed us is preferred two to one over their 27″ model. I often use sawhorses as work supports and I find the higher platform is more ergonomic to work with. One great feature with these is the ability to create an even higher work surface my using wider 2x material. A 2×6, 2×8, 2×10 or even 2×12 can dial in your ideal working height for the particular project you’re tackling. Of course, how long you make each sawhorse is entirely up to you. I used two twelve foot pieces to create a long support for four window sashes I’m working on. Being able to create much longer sawhorses gives them a decided advantage over traditional sawhorse design which tends to be narrow unless you build additional supports across the horses.

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Trojan sawhorses creating a 12 foot long work area

Performance
Although the steel is solid and substantial, the Trojan sawhorses do look a bit spindly when compared to most conventional sawhorses. Don’t let the thin legs fool you, they’re stronger than Xenia Onatopp’s. Understandably, Trojan doesn’t rate the horses for load as testing has proven the customer supplied 2x crossmember is the weak point. By the way, Trojan doesn’t recommend stacking thousands of pounds of anything on these, as depicted in the first photo and the video. However, according to Trojan, the horses meet or exceed OSHA standards, and we don’t doubt it. Once the Trojan sawhorses are assembled, they are downright solid with no or minimal wobble. If you look at many used sawhorses, you’ll often see saw cuts that range from superficial to structural-integrity-threatening. Another nice feature of the Trojan Sawhorses is that cutting through the top of the horse is no big deal, as the 2x material is very easily replaceable if it gets too beat up. Even with just a 2×4, you’d have to be cutting far deeper than you should to come anywhere close to the Trojan’s metal brackets (something you should avoid on multiple levels.

Trojan Product Warranty

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Assembly is quick and easy

Trojan Sawhorses carry a Lifetime Guarantee, which covers them should they ever fail to function properly. All Trojan products carry a Lifetime Warranty on each of the welds. Other defects in materials and workmanship are warrantied for a period of one year from the oringinal date of purchase. This warranty does not apply in the case of misuse or abuse of our products. Trojan Manufacturing, Inc., shall in no way be liable for any incidental or consequential damages resulting from the use of its tools.

All in all, we found the Trojan sawhorses to be a real hit and are happy Trojan sent them our way for testing. They’re strong, solid, easy to disassemble, transportable, storable, versatile, and they take advantage of readily available 2x material. With the hardware carrying a lifetime guarantee, and the wood supports being easy to replace, these just might be the last pair of sawhorses you ever purchase. At just under $70 for the Trojan TS-35 35-Inch Sawhorse Legs for One Complete Sawhorse via Amazon, they’re not cheap. However, based on build quality and expected longevity, we think they’ll pay for themselves in no time.

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About Marc Lyman

Marc grew up under a brave single mom who "encouraged" home improvement on the family home. Early toddler gifts included a tool set, and even a cordless Bosch drill when cordless drills first came out. In grade school (give or take a few years), Marc's mom said, "We need to cut down some trees. . . . here's a chainsaw." A father figure also involved Marc in many home improvement projects, including a summer of home remodeling in Palo Alto, CA. Toss in some Obsessive Compulsive personality traits researching everything home improvement related. The end result: a genetically pre-disposed, socially sculpted home improvement machine! For his complete profile, please visit our About page. Really, it's worth it.

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5 thoughts on “Trojan Sawhorses – Minimalist Design with Maximum Utility”

  1. Back in 1982 I bought a set of four legs of similar design from my lumber yard. Still use them. Bought another set and still use them. Then I had a job that required more horses. Bought eight Trojan legs(four horses). I find I like my old ones better. Trojan has overly aggressive board grabber which will work OK on green wood but you’ll never punch i into dry fir. I trimmed mine way back with an angle grinder. But the biggest flaw is in the hinges. Look at a hinge on a fiberglass step ladder. There is a little sheet metal “U” channel built into the hinge that stops the folding arms in a straight line. When you step on a Trojan hinge to open it, it pushes past that point and the grip loosens. I’m going to modify mine so that the hinges stop when the two leaves form a straight line. My old “lumber yard” horse legs(which I think Trojan copied) have that feature. They’re rusty but still work well after 40 years. Wonder why Trojan didn’t copy completely?

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  2. The product’s versatility is a very strong selling point. I won’t mind getting a couple of these for my future remodeling projects. Thanks for the nice post. (It’s my first time here but you’re guaranteed to see me here more often.)

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