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The last time I used my mitre saw, a few weeks ago, I had quite a big kickback on a piece of oak (my own fault for not clamping it)

When I came to use it again today I spotted the (aluminium?) fence is quite badly bent and will take a lot of force to bend it back.

Would a kickback have been enough force to bend it like this or would something else have been more likely to cause it?enter image description here

enter image description here

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  • Kickbacks can develop quite a bit force, just make sure you are not in the way. Search youtube for saw kickbacks.
    – crip659
    Commented Jun 15 at 19:47
  • Wouldn't a kickback generate force toward the operator and away from the fence? Such a force would not be applied to the fence and I would not expect it to bend the fence.
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Jun 15 at 20:14
  • 2
    The bottom of the blade is turning towards the fence so when the blade snags it's the saw that kicks backwards towards the user - I guess pushing on the fence with whatevers being cut inbetween. Since wood usually flies off somewhere I didn't expect there to be enough force to do any damage to the fence.
    – Barker1889
    Commented Jun 15 at 20:33
  • It flies off somewhere, because it bounces off of something. Just think of the force needed to bend the fence, and hope you are not the target.
    – crip659
    Commented Jun 15 at 21:00
  • I suspect the saw is also a knock off with questionable materials being used to produce the fence, compounding the problem. Commented Jun 16 at 6:52

3 Answers 3

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Yes, it grabbed the material and slammed it into the fence with enough force to bend it.

On my last miter saw, I was cutting a small piece of wood and it didn't need to be a perfect cut, so I didn't place the wood against the fence. The blade grabbed the wood and slammed the fence so hard it broke. Literally, a large part of the fence completely broke off the rest of it.

Always secure your material against the fence when cutting something.

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  • 4
    This ^^^. (Happened to my makita in the hands of someone else.) Suggest you actually replace the fence — I know, it’ll be expensive! — because bending it back can create a weak point through metal fatigue. Commented Jun 16 at 2:23
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Unfortunately, it's quite easy to damage a miter saw fence with a kickback. And it's dangerous: when the miter saw blade manages to make a piece go airborne, you are at risk of injuring yourself and/or people and things around you (think broken glass or hole in sheetrock). I've had this happen on more than one saw over the years, and the damage to the fence looks just like your picture. It doesn't mean your saw is cheap, aluminum just isn't that strong in this application because those fence tips have to be thin to support stock near the blade. To be safer, only cut longer, strong pieces that can be held securely well away from the blade. If EVER in doubt, clamp well back from the blade, and if you aren't 100% convinced the whole setup is solid, don't make the cut, figure something else out.

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Your fence is clearly bent!

The odd shape of the "bow" in the casting means it is weakest in the middle.

Start by checking if this part is available as a replacement, and the cost. If that's significant or unavailable, then:

If its aluminium, then there's a non-zero chance of it cracking if you try and bend it back the other way. I'd personally take that chance. Take the fence off the saw and clamp it to a straight stout piece of wood or bench. Then use a piece of scrap wood in the corner radiuses at the back, and hammer downward.
Start with a light tap and work your way up. Check often to see if the fence is straight, and do NOT over-bend it.

If the fence is steel it should bend back fine, given enough impact.

If the fence was plastic, it would be trash already.

Your last repair option is to cut some thin shims/wedges, and try to create a straight face across the front of the bent fence, though this will also lose some cutting depth.

Its not really useful with a bent fence because every cut will be off. You might choose to make a complete replacement fence from a piece of hardwood or similar.

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