Precision and efficiency are key when it comes to woodworking. However, as a woodworker, there’s nothing more frustrating than a saw that just won’t cooperate. But what happens when your saw starts sticking and derails your progress?
Here, our pro woodworkers explored effective techniques on how to stop your saw from sticking, regardless of whether you’re using a miter, hand, or circular saw.
Why Does Your Saw Keep on Getting Stuck?
For woodworkers, experiencing a saw getting stuck while trying to achieve a clean finish can be a dreadful nightmare. A range of factors can be responsible for this problem, stemming from either errors made by the user or issues with the tool’s functionality.
Ultimately, getting a saw stuck can be a significant setback for any woodworker attempting to complete a project. Identifying and addressing the root causes is essential to prevent future occurrences.
Thus, the reasons behind the saw getting stuck are summarized below. These causes exacerbate the issue and create setbacks for woodworking endeavors.
Stop Your Saw from Sticking in 8 Ways
1. Lubricating the Saw Blade
One way to prevent the saw blade from becoming stuck during cutting is by applying grease before using it. While this may appear to be a straightforward step, using lubricant reduces friction between the blade and the wood, resulting in a smoother cutting process.
By doing this, the saw blade can effortlessly cut through the wood, thus preventing any hazardous or bothersome circumstances where the blade gets jammed. In addition, you may use tool oil, beeswax , or paste wax to lubricate your saw’s blade.
However, choosing the correct lubricant for your saw blade is crucial. It is also important to consider the level of moisture and type of wood used, as this can affect the quantity of lubricant required.
How To Lubricate A Saw?
Ensure you apply a thin layer of tool oil or wax to the entire blade, covering all areas thoroughly and emphasizing the sections that come into direct contact with the wood during the cutting process.
In addition, it is recommended to let the lubricant dry for around ten to fifteen minutes after application. Once the lubricant has fully dried, use a clean cloth to buff the surface using circular motions.
Treating the saw blade with wax or tool oil and buffing it will rejuvenate it and restore it to its original condition. This process will effectively minimize friction between the blade and the wood, resulting in smoother and more efficient cutting.
Since there is less friction, the saw blade is less likely to become stuck, allowing it to move through the wood easily and precisely, resulting in clean and accurate cuts.
2. Keeping the Two Sides of the Wood in Place (Clamping)
Another important factor to consider is securing the wood by clamping or holding it down. This is an effective technique for preventing the saw blade from getting stuck while cutting. We suggest using the best woodworking clamp you have.
This reduces the likelihood of the wood shifting or moving during the cutting process, which can cause the saw blade to become lodged in the wood.
Moreover, if the blade of the saw is not under pressure from both sides of the wood, it will easily glide through the fibers of the wood, creating a straight and clean cut.
Thus, securing the wood with clamps is an effective method to make it sturdy enough to handle the pressure of the cutting process. We recommend using clamps on both sides of the wood to ensure it remains in place.
However, while using your hands to hold the wood can be useful, it may not be as effective as clamps. If necessary, your hands can support the clamps to ensure the wood remains secure throughout the cutting process.
See Also: Are Corners Clamps Necessary?
3. Inserting A Wedge in the Kerf
You can insert a wedge into the kerf opening to avoid the saw blade getting stuck. This will prevent the saw blade from becoming stressed or pinched between the two pieces of wood.
Moreover, using a wedge can facilitate a smooth cutting process by providing a clear path for the saw blade to move through the wood without any hindrances or interruptions.
4. Cutting Straighter
To avoid the saw blade from sticking, it’s crucial to maintain a straight cut. By cutting in a straight line, the blade can easily move through the wood fibers, reducing the amount of friction and preventing the blade from getting stuck.
Thus, taking your time and using a steady hand is important to ensure the cut is as straight as possible. However, before cutting, it is essential to ensure that the saw blade is sharp and even.
An uneven or dull blade will make it challenging to achieve a straight cut and may cause the blade to get stuck in the wood. So, make sure to visit some saw blade sharpening services near you.
5. Utilizing a Different Set of Saw
If you experience difficulty with your saw getting stuck while cutting wood, it may be worth trying a different saw set to see if it improves the cutting performance. Using a saw set can increase the number of teeth on the saw blade, facilitating a smooth, effortless cut.
However, induction-hardened teeth are commonly used on saw sets sold at hardware stores to prevent them from bending like regular saw teeth. Thus, the teeth may break during cutting due to their increased hardness.
6. Replacing or Retrofitting Your Saw
While the cost of this option should be considered, it can be a valuable investment. It is also the best option when the sharpening process is challenging, or lubrication fails to address the issue.
It is important to choose the right blade when purchasing a new saw. Although a sharp blade with delicate or fine teeth is often the optimal option, it’s crucial to consider the specific requirements of the task at hand.
Thus, the blade should be selected based on the material being cut and the project’s desired outcome.
7. Don’t Saw Wet Woods
Woods that are wet contain a significant amount of moisture. This moisture content causes the wood to enlarge; over time, it will decrease in size as it dries.
Thus, sawing wet wood can cause the saw to get stuck as the wood dries and shrinks. Wet wood is also more susceptible to cracking and damage from the saw teeth, leading to an uneven cut and making sawing more challenging.
8. Ensuring the Saw is Sharp Before Using
You can tidy up the saw teeth by sharpening them to avoid getting stuck, resulting in clean and smooth cuts.
However, sharpening a saw can be challenging, particularly for beginners when it comes to woodworking, as it requires a triangular small file that precisely matches the size and shape of the saw teeth.
Nonetheless, for those just starting in woodworking, investing in a new saw would be wiser than spending valuable time and effort mastering the art of sharpening the blade, which requires a significant amount of practice and expertise.
How to Unstick Your Saw Blade
- Set the saw down on the work surface.
- Pull the saw in the same manner as when bringing it downwards, allowing the saw teeth to grip the wood.
- Place the arbor nut wrench perpendicular to the saw and grasp it using one hand. Use the other hand to strike the end of the wrench with a hammer while holding onto the saw.
- In case the wrench becomes detached, reposition it and attempt to hammer it down once more.
- Arrange the saw so that the blade’s sharp side faces upward.
- Remove the nut that secures the blade
- Apply tape repeatedly to the blade until it becomes less tight, then remove it once it is loose.
How To Prevent Your Chainsaw from Sticking
To prevent the chainsaw from getting stuck, insert a flathead screwdriver into the wood’s gap and expand it. In case you cannot elevate the log, it is advisable to see the top section of the log, which is approximately 1/3 of its width, and then cut from underneath with the chainsaw.
What can I use to lubricate my hand saw?
To lubricate your hand saw, apply WD40, paste wax, or gun oil before storing and after each use. Although WD40 or gun oil can be used to clean the blade with a cloth, the paste wax must be left on the blade for a few minutes to ensure thorough cleaning.
Experiencing this issue with saws can be frustrating and time-consuming, but there are several ways to prevent it from happening.
By implementing these uncomplicated steps to stop a saw from sticking, you can ensure that your saw operates smoothly and effectively, making your woodworking projects more manageable and enjoyable to complete.
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