I'm a student in woodworking. Today, when I tried cutting my 2" thickness maple wood, it jumped back when I got towards the bottom corner. The second time I tried cutting another piece, the same thing happened and pushed the wood away. Is there a certain technique?

I am not sure about the specific type of miter saw I used.

  • 3
    "It jumped back", does "it" refers to the saw itself or the piece of wood? Anyhow, when I cut thick/dense wood, I do multiple pass/cuts; each time deeper. Oct 11, 2015 at 1:33

3 Answers 3


You mention thickness but you don't mention length or where the cut was on your wood in respect to that length.

Use your fence effectively

From the sounds of it you are cutting near the end of what sounds like short wood. Many mitre saws (single/dual compound) don't have a full fence (so that the blade has room to rotate) and they taper down near the blade. That gives room for wood to move around since it is not supported by the full fence.

The saw will push the wood against the fence so you want to work with that natural tendency. You could make the fence longer by screwing a straight board across the existing fence.

Support the work

If the wood is long be sure that you support the ends because you cut it you will have changed each ends centre of gravity which will make it pop up into the blade.

Hold the work

You can use your hands to hold the wood against the fence provided it is far enough away from the blade. If you are not comfortable holding it as it would put your hand to close then the wood you are cutting is tool small and you are using the wrong tool. Some mitre saw manufactures have clamps that are attached to the fence. Use them if they exist and will fit against your piece. You can use regular clamps as well, again, provided they are away from the operating blade. Clamps are safer to use closer to the blade then your hands. Be careful that the clamp is tightened in case the wood does try and move.

Cutting speed

Another thing would be the speed of cutting. If you try and cut too fast the blade could bind and would stop the blade. That sudden force would move the wood. In general you want to be cutting slow enough to give time for the gullets of the blade to remove dust but not too slow that you burn the wood.

Use the right blade for the job

Just like other saws mitre saws have their own blade that are good for cross cutting, rip cutting, plywood, metal etc. Make sure you are using the right blade for your work. If you were cutting down through end grain, for example, with a cross cut blade it will resist and cut very slowly. You risk burning the wood and binding the blade causing damage.

Not sure of the best overall advice but the wood should have as much as possible supported by the full fence. I don't recommend trying to cut would that is not square against the fence either... like a large dowel.


First, you should have the piece of wood you are cutting (work piece) pressed firmly against the fence. The rotation of the blade will pull the work piece toward the fence.

If you are using a sliding miter saw, the proper technique is to pull the blade forward, then down, then push it back into the piece. If you are trying to use it like a radial arm saw (down and out), that might be your problem.


Sounds like the fence is not adjusted properly and lets the material buckle in and pinch the blade when the cut is almost through.

Try a cut with a thin, uniform shim that will let one side of the wood gap away a slight amount from the fence on the other side of the blade. If the problem goes away, the fence needs adjusting.

When trying this cut, DO NOT let the blade back up until the blade stops, the slight gap at the fence can let the wood move slightly and possibly let the blade catch it and set it off in some direction.

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