I bought a circular saw recently. I noticed that sometimes as I finish a cut, the saw throws the free end of the board forward a couple of feet. Most of the time, the board just drops as expected, but every now and then, it gets projected. It doesn't seem like a huge deal, but I was curious to know if there is a technique to prevent this.

The wood I am cutting is SPF. I believe I've usually seen this happen when I am cutting off smaller pieces, from 2" to 12" in length. I am making crosscuts across boards that are 2" to 3" wide, and I make the cut in about 1-2 seconds.

  • 1
    Is this dimensional lumber? Or some kind of laminated wood like plywood/OSB? How much wood is at the end, getting cut off? Also how fast are you moving the saw through?
    – TylerH
    Oct 27, 2020 at 13:52
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    Also if you haven't yet, it's always good to watch a video or two on YouTube of someone using a tool if you are having issues with using it. I like this guy, personally (no affiliation) youtube.com/watch?v=jDfpl1_I904 (video is "circular saw 'pro' tips"). I think he also has a 'basics' video, too.
    – TylerH
    Oct 27, 2020 at 13:53
  • Updated the question with additional information to answer your questions. I am moving the saw somewhat slowly - perhaps I need to move it faster. Thanks.
    – plafratt
    Oct 27, 2020 at 14:04
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    1-2 seconds for a cut is not 'slowly'. Faster than that is bad. Can you clarify if this is your meaning? And can you describe how the wood is positioned when you're cutting? (On the ground, sawhorses, offcut unsupported, etc?) Oct 27, 2020 at 14:18
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    To add to TylerH's comment, anytime wood contacts the actual saw blade body (aka a pinch) then this can cause kickback. Wood should never touch the actual body of the saw blade because when you make a straight cut, the 'kerf' of the saw blade is clearing just enough space in the wood for the whole saw blade to slide through. If the wood pinches the saw blade body, it is not going to be cut and rather the energy of the rotating blade will transfer to the wood and cause it to move--kickback. This applies to almost any saw with a large saw body, including hand saws.
    – cchoe1
    Oct 28, 2020 at 17:10

1 Answer 1


I learned this technique from my house-builder father from a young age: Do your cross cut (or any cut) normally but pause very near the end of the cut with the saw still running. Then focus on keeping the saw straight and zing the last bit. Use plenty of follow through as you shoot the saw away from the cut and the waste piece drops to the floor.

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