How To Stop Saw From Sticking? (Do This FIRST!)

how to stop saw from sticking

The saw is one of the basic woodworking tools that use to cut the wood into different shaped pieces. There’re so many different types of saws. Some are hand saws, and some are power saws. In my early woodworking days, when I was working with my handsaw, I was curious about, How to stop saw from sticking?

I’ve researched and here’s what I’ve found:

You can stop saw from sticking by lubricating saw blade with beeswax or paste wax before cutting, holding two sides of the wood with the other hand that cut apart, placing a wedge to keep the kerf open, or by cutting straighter. Otherwise, use a saw with finer and coarser teeth to stop the saw from sticking.

But that’s just a quick snapshot of the question.

So, in this article we’ll explore all the aspects of how to stop saw from sticking, why does saw keep getting stuck and how to stop that!

Furthermore, I’ll answer some frequently asked questions as well.

Let’s dig in!

Why Does Saw Keep Getting Stuck?

Stuck saw while working on a clean finish is a nightmare for any woodworker. Several reasons cause saw keep getting stuck. Some of them happen due to user’s mistakes and others happen due to tool failures.

Here’re the main reasons that cause the saw to keep getting stuck.

  • Cut isn’t straight
  • When the wood is closing the kerf opening and pinching the saw blade
  • Push saw through wood with excess force
  • Push saw through wood quickly
  • Bending the saw blade during the work
  • The saw teeth set isn’t large enough to make space for the saw to pass through without friction
  • Saw teeth are too fine
  • Sawing wet wood

Because of the above reasons, it’s so hard to make a clean cut without saw getting stuck.

Saw teeth set have a responsibility to make the kef opening wider to give enough space for saw to pass through without friction.

Because once the friction works against saw blade, it’ll tend to bend, and the cut won’t be straight anymore, and it’ll get stuck eventually.

Now you have a clear idea about why does saw keep getting stuck. So, let’s focus on how to stop the saw getting stuck.

How to Stop Saw from Sticking?

There’re several ways you can stop saw from sticking. Most of them are simple pre-preparations that everyone could follow.

Here’re some best methods to stop the saw from sticking,

  1. Lubricate saw blade before work
  2. Hold two sides of the wood
  3. Place wedge in the kerf
  4. Cut straighter
  5. Use different saw set
  6. Replace the saw
  7. Avoid sawing wet woods
  8. Sharpen the saw

Most of the methods listed above are simple and can give a try even if you’re a beginner in woodworking.

In my opinion, every woodworker should know saw using and maintenance techniques that can apply to various woodworking projects.

So, let’s discuss each of the above methods separately to get a clear idea about how to stop saw from sticking.

1. Lubricate Saw Blade Before Work

Lubricate the saw blade with paste wax, beeswax, or tool oil before you start the work. Wax-coated blades slide across wood pieces smoothly when making cuts.

Wipe a light coat of wax or tool oil all over the blade without missing any spots. Especially cover the areas that directly touch the wood while you are making cuts.

Then wait for about 10 – 15 minutes for the drying process of paste wax. Once the surface is dried completely use tint free, clean, soft cloth and buff it out with circular motions.

Now your saw blade is fresh as new. It can pass through any kind of wood without building up unnecessary frictions. This will prevent the saw from getting stuck and able to make a nice and clean cut easily.

2. Hold Two Sides of the Wood

Hold two sides of the wood with the other hand that cut apart to prevent the saw from sticking. This stops the saw blade from getting stressed due to friction and makes the cutting process easier.

When the saw blade doesn’t stress from two sides of the wood, it’ll smoothly go through the wood fibers and make the cut nice and straight.

This will give better control of the saw and make sure to keep your hands away from the saw blade. Not along the cutting line of the saw.

Hold the wood piece firmly and flat on the surface to prevent them from moving and turning and drawing your fingers against the surface.

3. Place Wedge in The Kerf

In order to stop saw from sticking place a wedge in the kerf opening. This will prevent the saw blade from getting stressed by squeezing between wood pieces.

Placing a wedge in the kerf opening will prevent the wood from pushing and forcing against the saw.

Wedges help you to force the wood open and complete the cut. Because some woods have high internal pressure makes it is really difficult to pass a saw blade through wood fibers. Wedge is useful to create an open pathway for the saw to cut through without getting any disturbances.

4. Cut Straighter

Cut straighter to stop saw from sticking. When the cut isn’t straight the saw tends to stick due to the high friction between the blade and wood.

You cannot make the straight cut if the saw blades and dull and uneven. Therefore, better to check your saw blade before cutting, because even though you’re trying to cut straight the saw blade may prevent that due to mechanical failures.

Read: Can You Cut MDF With A Table Saw? What You Need To Know!

5. Use Different Saw Set

If your saw stick when sawing the wood, try to use a different saw set and give it a try. Because saw set increases the number of teeth amount of the saw and helps to make a clean cut with ease.

Most saw sets that you purchase from local hardware have induction hardened teeth. Those teeth don’t bend like regular saw teeth. Therefore, they may snap off during the process.

If you live in a hot area with a high room temperature level, I don’t recommend using saw teeth to stop the saw from sticking because some saw sets tend to be blue because of temperature by changing their metal structure. This issue is so rare to find unless you live in a very hot climate.

6. Replace The Saw

If none of the above methods is working and your saw is keep sticking better to replace it with a new saw.

Make sure to buy a saw with finer and coarser teeth. The saw blade should be well sharpened. Plus, make sure the saw blade saw set is the incorrect size.

There’re two types of saw teeth,

  • Rip saw teeth – Rip saw teeth are used to cut along the wood grain. Teeth push along the wood like a chisel.
  • Cross-cut saw teeth – this is used to cut across the wood grain. It cuts wood like a knife blade.

So, make sure to get the right type of saw for your project. because the right fresh saw will not stick when cutting.

7. Avoid Sawing Wet Woods

Sawing wet can cause saw sticking. Even though the saw is well prepared with a suitable saw set, sharpens the blade, and followed the right angle when cutting, wet wood can always be trouble.

Wet woods are filled with moisture content. Because of having high water content, the wood is already expanded, and it’ll eventually contract when drying. When it is drying and contracting while you’re sawing, the saw will stick between the wood.

Plus, saw teeth chew up the wood when it’s wet. This will damage and crack the wood. As a result of chewing up the wood, the saw will stuck and won’t give a clean cut.

Wet wood can dull the saw blade and weaken its functionalities. Therefore, never use wet wood for sawing.

8. Sharpen The Saw

Sharpened saws clean up saw teeth and you’ll be able to make nice and clean cuts with it without sticking the saw.

But sharpening a saw is a little bit tricky especially if you’re a beginner in woodworking. Because you need a small diamond or triangular file that perfectly matches your saw teeth.

Then stroke saw teeth against the diamond or triangular file to remove the saw teeth’ dullness and sharpen them crystal clear.

If you’re a beginner in woodworking, better to buy a new saw rather than spend time sharpening the saw because it takes a lot of time and practice to sharpen the saw blade.

That’s it, folks!

Now you have a clear idea about how to stop saw from sticking with 8 proven methods.

So, let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

How Do You Unstick a Saw Blade?

If the blade is already sticking between woods, unstick using the following steps,

  1. Lay down the saw on the worktable.
  2. Pull the saw the same as you pulled down the saw by letting saw teeth bite the wood.
  3. Put a wrench on the arbor nut at a 90-degree angle and hold the saw with one hand and hammer down striking the bow on the wrench with the other hand.
  4. If the wrench falls off, place it again and try to hammer it down again.
  5. Place the saw with the blade that faces up.
  6. Remove the arbor nut
  7. Tape the blade again and again until it loosens up and lift off the blade when it’s free.

How To Keep Chainsaw from Sticking?

To keep the chainsaw from sticking, place a flat screwdriver between the wood pieces and widen the groove.

If you cannot lift the log, better to cut on top of the wood that is one-third of the wood diameter and cut from the underside using the chainsaw. This will keep the chainsaw from sticking.

How To Lubricate A Saw?

To lubricate a saw, Take a lint-free, soft cloth and wipe a light coat of paste wax or tool oil all over the blade without missing any spots. Especially cover the areas that directly touch the wood while you are making cuts.

Then wait for about 15 minutes for the drying process of paste wax. Once the surface is dried completely use tint free, clean, soft cloth and buff it out with circular motions.

Did I cover all you wanted to know about: How To Stop Saw From Sticking?

In this article, I have deeply discussed how to stop saw from sticking by describing 8 different methods. All the methods discussed throughout this article are 100% accurate and easy to use even if you’re a beginner. Plus, we have talked about what are the reasons that cause saws to stick between woods.

Usually sawing wood is hard due to the strong bonds between wood fibers. When you insert the saw blade into the wood, the wood fibers will block its pathway causing the saw blade to get stuck. To prevent the saw from getting stuck, lubricate the saw blade before the job and make the cuts straighter. Those are the best methods you can follow to stop the saw from sticking. Otherwise, better to replace the saw.

Furthermore, I have answered some frequently asked questions as well. Hope you have got a pretty good knowledge about how to stop saw from sticking. Make sure to try the things you have learned when you stuck your handsaw while working on a project in the future. Happy woodworking!


About Walter Parker

Walter Parker is a father and woodworking enthusiast. He is passionate about woodworking projects & plays with woodworking tools having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Woodworking Planet. He wants to make people love woodworking!

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