• Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • 9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
  • Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
    Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details

Rockwell JawHorse Ruined by Infomercial?

comments (11) November 24th, 2009 in Blogs
JFink Justin Fink, Senior Editor

Video Length: 1:21
Produced by: John Ross

Infomercials are a handy marketing tool, but they can also water down the credibility of a tool, in my opinion. If you've seen my latest Tool Hound video, you know that I think the Rockwell JawHorse has merit. It's an all-metal, solid clamping station, and folds up to a compact package for moving and storage.

the jawhorseAnd though I learned a few uses for the tool that I hadn't thought of on my own (like holding 4x4 posts upright while backfilling the holes), I also experienced reactions that included laughter, annoyance, fear of safety, and general skepticism.

Miter Saw Station - If you ask me, the moment when a high-RPM, 12-in. diameter, 100 tooth miter saw blade is plunging into a piece of nested crown molding is NOT the time to worry about the tripping hazards or stability of a 3-legged miter saw station.

A second pair of hands - Why bother asking for some help from your spouse or children when you can wheel an 40-lb. clamping tool into your living room to hold up one end of some 3-in. wide chair rail while you fasten it to the wall? After that, you can kick up your heels and crack open a cold beer...with a gas-powered chainsaw. awkward angles - Do I really need to make a comment about the absurdity of the photo shown below? Really?

I'm clearly poking fun at the infomercial, but I'm really sort of disappointed because I think that at some point these fantastical examples, booming voice-overs (MONSTER TRUCK, TRUCK, TRUCK!) for a truly GREAT tool start to muddy the waters for the rest of the consumers.

I'll let you watch an excerpt from the infomercial from YouTube to see for yourself:

posted in: Blogs, miter saws, bases and stands
Back to List

Comments (11)

ThomasMaloney ThomasMaloney writes: Yes, I hate to see a perfectly good product reduced to a gimmicky gadget by a badly produced commercial or promotion. I'm a collector tools, one would say almost excessive, my storage unit is filled to the brim — but many of my most useful items are late-night TV purchases or sold by hucksters on the walkways of the shopping mall — infinitely useful items that never made it into common usage because of the lowbrow way they were peddled.
Posted: 9:49 pm on January 15th

Old_Lady_DIYR Old_Lady_DIYR writes: I just saw the end of a TV ad for the Jawhorse - from Lowe's, I think - and I've spent a couple of hours now looking at company sites that sell it for the least amount of money possible. Social Security doesn't allow for much leeway, at least not all at once and I maxed out my Lowe's card buying the materials for a replacement 12 x 20 addition.

I also always like to read customer reviews so I clicked on your site. By the time I got through your list of reasons the tool was unnecessary steam was coming out of my ears because none of your examples applied to me; I'll never be able to afford a miter saw (as badly as I want one), I have no one to help me hold things and the angle of the bottom of the door is the only comfortable way I would be able to do that. I'm 69 1/2 yrs old and not as limber as I used to be. I've been struggling to hold 2x4s while cutting them with the circular saw and this tool will be a God-send. I was so relieved to find out you were being sarcastic.

Similarly, the reviews of the professionals didn't apply to me either. I finally found the best price at Sears, but still too much all at once so I was thrilled to find that Sears (only) lets me purchase it on layaway terms. If I wait until Friday to order it and set up the layaway I'll be picking it up at the store on the 1st week of January!! Then I'll come back and post about how much I've been able to get done!

I could sit here and watch your videos all night but I'd cry too much. . .
Posted: 11:18 pm on November 19th

AndyEngel AndyEngel writes: I've been using a pair of Jawhorses for year now. I wouldn't say they're indispensable, but they're sure handy.

Posted: 12:43 pm on March 27th

WillyMaykit WillyMaykit writes: "Rockwell, which is a relatively new company"...

>>> In 1945 Rockwell Manufacturing Company acquired Delta Machinery and renamed it the Delta Power Tool Division of Rockwell Manufacturing Company and continued to manufacture in Milwaukee.[5] In 1966, Rockwell invented the world's first power miter saw.>>>>

>>>>Pittsburgh-based Rockwell Standard then acquired and merged with Los Angeles-based North American Aviation to form North American Rockwell in September 1967.[1] It then purchased or merged with Miehle-Goss-Dexter, the largest supplier of printing presses, and in 1973 acquired Collins Radio, a major avionics supplier. Finally, in 1973 the company merged with Rockwell Manufacturing, run by Willard Rockwell Jr., to form Rockwell International. In the same year, the company acquired Admiral Radio and TV for $500 million. In 1979, the appliance division was sold to Magic Chef.
Rockwell International also drew on the strengths of several of George Westinghouse's concerns, and Westinghouse is considered a co-founder of the company.[2]>>>

>>>Rockwell International was a major American manufacturing conglomerate in the latter half of the 20th century, involved in aircraft, the space industry, both defense-oriented and commercial electronics, automotive and truck components, printing presses, valves and meters, and industrial automation. It was the ultimate incarnation of a series of companies founded by Willard Rockwell. At its peak in the 1990s, Rockwell International was No. 27 on the Fortune 500 list, with assets of over $8 billion and sales of $27 billion.>>>

Quite simply: We would never have gone to the moon without Rockwell.
Posted: 6:06 am on March 27th

LisaJ5227 LisaJ5227 writes: Hmm, I can see where that could come in handy. I think I will make one :)
Posted: 9:46 am on April 25th

Davo304 Davo304 writes:
I've first saw the jaw horse on display at Lowes. Curiosity got the best of me so I checked it out. My expensive piece of junk! a DIYR might like it for a particular purpose or two, but it is way too limited in purpose, way overpriced, and would compete with precious space that my more needed tools already take up in my pick up truck. A person can buy metal, fold-up saw horses that cost less than $15 dollars each, add a sheet of plywood, or use an old salvaged hollow core door from a previous job, throw in a couple of quick clamps, and voila! You now have a large, sturdy jobsite worktable that you can use for a variety of tasks, and only cost a fraction of the cost of a jawhorse.
Posted: 12:44 am on December 18th

zzzorn zzzorn writes: My girlfriend bought me a jawhorse after seeing it on TV. Go ahead and laugh. I find it exceptionally useful as I work alone, and need a stable, easy to use clamp for doing cuts, drilling into oddly shaped or small stock, any ABS work, tile and stone, fine hardwoods etc. I have found it a real safety provider, and use it constantly. Cheers, Zzzorn.
Posted: 1:11 pm on November 25th

JFink JFink writes: KFC - One of my brothers came up to me one time and jokingly made some comments about this supposed do-it-all tool he saw an infomercial about. He figured it was just another of those crappy tools that claim to do everything...turns out he was talking about the MultiMaster. It's too bad, because I've never heard anybody speak poorly of that tool in terms of performance (price, yes)...yet his perception from an outside point of view was infomercial=crappy tool.
Posted: 5:12 pm on November 24th

JFink JFink writes: I actually just logged on to fix that weight problem, Renosteinke. I didn't know the weight when I was writing this post, so I just stuck 80 in there until I went to the website and looked it up. Then I forgot. Sloppy...sorry.
Posted: 5:10 pm on November 24th

renosteinke renosteinke writes: I have the original version of this, the Triton "Superjaws."

Mine has certainly worked well when I've used it - which hasn't been quite as often as I had expected.

80 lbs? Either that figure is off by about 60 lbs, or I'm a whole lot stronger than I think I am. For a vise, it's amazingly lightweight.

Not being much of a TV watcher, I'm not sure if I've ever seen any ads for either this, or the various multi-master tools. I certainly haven't seen any of the extended 'infomercials,' so I'll have to take your word for it.

Instead, I learned of the vise at a tool house's "Open House," where the Bosch rep was using one to hold his workpiece.

As vises go ... well, the job site isn't a machine shop. The stuff we want to hold is larger, we don't need a gazillion tons of pressure, surface marring is a concern ... and the ground is uneven. All of which suggests that this Austrailian design is on the right track ... including the tripod legs.
Posted: 1:58 pm on November 24th

KFC KFC writes: I agree. I don't know anything about the Jawhorse, but the Fein infomercial had the same effect on me.
I love, love, love my Fein tools, but seeing the homeowner-oriented infomercial for the Multimaster made me queasy, and the way I feel about the brand plummeted.
It may (or may not...) be good business to go after the DIY market, but you risk credibility with the pros. Always a tradeoff, one that applies to the magazine as well.
Posted: 1:07 pm on November 24th

Log in or create a free account to post a comment.