Rockwell Jawhorse: The One Tool You Never Knew You Needed

Whenever a tool can be used effectively in multiple ways for a variety of shop and on the job tasks – it gets our attention. Such is the case with the Rockwell Jawhorse. At first glance, it’s kind of an odd-looking piece of equipment. But its functionality is impressive. It’s actually a combination of sawhorse, heavy-duty vice and worktable – all in one – and is available in a couple of different sizes. 

Two Popular Versions

Made of steel, the Jawhorse is built to last. The standard edition weighs 43 pounds and extends to a 37 inch opening between the jaws. The larger Rockwell Jawhorse – known as the Sheetmaster – weighs an even more substantial 53 pounds and extends to provide up to 49 inches of clamping capability. Both models are surprisingly useful in a variety of settings around the home, shop, farm, or job site.

Both versions of the Jawhorse provide a sturdy and stable base at a comfortable height, so you won’t have to bend over to do your work – as is often the case with typical sawhorses. One of the added features of this portable tool is that it also collapses to a more compact size for easier storage when not in use. Additionally, they’re equipped with small wheels to make it a little bit easier to move around the shop floor, though the wheels are not a tone of help if you’re set up on grass or gravel.

Intelligent Design – Useful Functionality

It is designed with a tripod base – which works well on uneven surfaces – as it helps provide you with a more stable work base when the ground is uneven. 

There are many different ways you can use the Rockwell Jawhorse. But what really stands out about the unusual design of this device is that it’s particularly helpful when working on individual pieces of stock because it can hold it firmly in place. It’s equally useful when working on larger assembled pieces of furniture like bookcases. You can also use a Jawhorse as a miter saw stand, or as a temporary workbench.

What’s particularly valuable about the Jawhorse Sheetmaster model is that it can firmly hold a full 4 x 8 sheet of plywood. It’s a beast that can support up to 600 pounds. And it offers more than one ton of clamping force. Yes, the Jawhorse holds your project or material tight, so you never have to worry about it coming loose. Oh and… those jaws are covered with a protective coating, so they won’t mark up your work. 

Mar-free pads made of urethane help protect your work piece. As the jaws grip the material, it won’t leave any marks, which is ideal for your woodworking projects. But due to the sheer power of the jaws, you’ll want to go easy when working with softer materials like copper pipe or cedar boards.

Customize Your Rockwell Jawhorse To Suit

Multiple accessories are available which only adds to its versatility. For example, you can use this as a welding table – perfect for the do-it-yourself welder. And the log attachment is a worthwhile accessory if you do any chainsaw carvings. You can modify this thing to serve you exactly the way you want. If you’ve ever tried working with a large, unwieldy piece of material trying to get it to stay in place as you cut, drill, chisel, etc. just right – you’ll especially appreciate this unique and most useful workshop accessory.

Either model of the Jawhorse is sure to come in handy. Put it to work once or twice and you’ll discover its usefulness and value for yourself. It’s like having an extra pair of hands in the shop – hands that have a remarkably strong grip. Of these two Rockwell Jawhorse models, what we recommend most is the Sheetmaster. It costs a little more than the standard model but the added capacity can be irreplaceable at certain times. It’s also every bit as capable as the standard model of doing other work – so why not go with the larger capacity version if you can afford it?

How It Works

A single switch locks (and unlocks) the legs of the Jawhorse into the correct position. You place your material on top within the jaws of the device and use the foot pedal to tighten it. It’s the tailstock that moves and closes in on the material you want it to hold. With each step on the foot pedal, the jaws close 3/8 of an inch. Once you have the material tightly held, keep your foot on the pedal and then click the lock to hold it securely.

The rear leg of the tripod doubles as a handle when in the folded down position. The front legs have wheels so you can move it around your location in a similar way you would move the wheelbarrow. However, those wheels are much smaller, so it works best on a smooth floor rather than on the ground.

Hands-Free Operations

What the Rockwell Jawhorse allows you to do is keep your hands free as you tighten the grip on your work piece. Each step of the foot pedal helps close the gap until it’s got a rock-solid grip. It’s easy – even with awkward pieces because you can use your hands to hold your piece in place as the vice tightens.

Three In One

The Rockwell Jawhorse is actually a three-in-one shop and on-the-job tool. It’s a powerful vice with strong jaws. It’s a portable workbench you can set up in seconds wherever you want. Clamp a piece of plywood between the jaws and you have a simple workbench for any purpose. It’s excellent for a quick set up on a job site, or out in the yard as you do home repairs. And the Jawhorse offers machine press functionality too. Whatever function you deploy, the Jawhorse provides you with a comfortable working height. This makes it a whole lot easier than working on low sawhorses – or worse – the shop floor.

Since the Jawhorse is made of solid steel, it has remarkable strength and clamping power. In fact, you can use it to bend or to straighten metals.

When set up, it measures 39 inches x 39 inches x 34 inches. Folded down, the dimensions are 29 inches x 14 inches x 13 inches. This means that you can store it in a little over a square foot making the Jawhorse a good choice for those smaller home shops where space is limited.

Pros
It’s a versatile assistant that you can deploy in a variety of ways
– Foot driven clamp is easy to use and it frees up your hands
– Irreplaceable tool for clamping large projects – like doors, window frames, or countertops
– Impressive stability and sturdiness – on uneven terrain
– Solid tool made from heavy duty steel so you know it’s going to last
– Folds quickly and easily for more compact storage
– Rockwell Jawhorse Sheetmaster is revolutionary in that it can support a full sheet of plywood
– Somewhat portable (it folds, but can be a little awkward to move about)
– Provides a stable working base since it does not wobble and can easily handle heavier projects and materials
– Intuitive design makes it easy to use
– Versatile tool – many ways you can use this thing
– Many uses including supporting materials and projects that require cutouts, chiseling, sanding, or cabinet assembly
– Built-in wheels make it easier to move across a small shop
– Ideal for cutting openings in countertops for sinks


Cons
– Some buyers report that the jaws on their device did not line up perfectly due to a poor welding job (test yours first with a piece of scrap wood)  – Potentially slow customer service response from Rockwell
– It can be slightly awkward to move once set up
It can damage some materials (such as hollow pipes) due to the strength of the clamp
– It’s rather heavy and not height adjustable
– Nuts and bolts used in assembly are not galvanized and therefore susceptible to rusting
– It’s a bit of a hassle to fold down since you have to flip it upside down with the legs up and then flip it over again

The Verdict

We’re the first to admit that this device looks a little strange. But we’ve found that with shop tools in general – it’s all about the experience and results. The Rockwell Jawhorse is the kind of thing you might not think you need – until you use it – and then you’re blown away by its effectiveness. Put it to use and discover just how valuable it can be. From a functionality point of view – it’s an intelligent design concept – well executed. It’s such a handy clamping system that you’ll wonder how you got by without it.

The strength of these jaws is impressive. And the foot pedal makes it easy to lock your stock in place while freeing up your hands. Its three-legged design ensures that it’s much less likely to tip over. There are number of additional attachments you can get for your Rockwell Jawhorse including the log clamp attachment and welding attachment. If you’re looking for a solid workstation at a fair price with many different applications – we recommend the Rockwell Jawhorse Sheetmaster.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.