Fact Check

Can You Throw a Saw Blade Through a Two-by-Four?

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but ...

Published May 29, 2021

Image courtesy of YouTube
A video shows a construction worker throwing a saw blade through a two-by-four.

One sign of a great viral video is that it continues to circulate long after it has left the limelight. In May 2021, more than a decade after this video first went viral, we received a query asking if a construction worker really threw a circular saw blade through a two-by-four:

This video first went viral in 2009 and has since been viewed nearly 2 million times. Posts on Facebook over the years added hundreds of thousands additional views. But, while this video is undoubtedly popular, it's also undoubtedly fake.

This video was created as part of a viral marketing campaign from Martin Williams Advertising for Integrity Windows and Doors from Marvin. The campaign, dubbed "The Carl and Stu Skills Challenge,"  featured five videos of suspiciously skilled construction workers. We've only been able to locate one other video from this campaign, which featured the tremendous tape-measuring skills of an anonymous construction worker actor:

In 2010, Adweek magazine awarded Martin|Williams Advertising with the BUZZ Award. Here's an excerpt from a news release announcing the award:

ADWEEK awarded Martin|Williams Advertising with its prestigious 2010 BUZZ Award for the agency's viral marketing campaign for Integrity Windows and Doors from Marvin, which generated more than seven million online views and mentions on ESPN. The BUZZ Award honors national advertising campaigns exhibiting the best in brand integration and the innovative use of media and product placement to resonate with pop culture.

"The Carl and Stu Skills Challenge" – developed by Martin|Williams Advertising – features five videos showcasing builders' unique talents with various tools found on the job site, including manually throwing a saw blade to cut a piece of wood, flinging a tape measure to retrieve a set of keys and operating a nail gun to create a work of art.

"In a traditional category, we were able to create a successful, non-traditional campaign that really seemed to create a lot of buzz, sorry," said Tom Moudry, CEO, Chief Creative Officer.

According to power tool manufacturer Vermont American, a circular saw blade can spin as fast as 10,000 SFPM (surface feet per minute). We're not sure how fast a human-thrown saw blade spins (or if it has ever been measured), but it's not fast enough to saw through wood. In addition to spinning speeds, power tools also have the added benefit of continuing to spin after they meet resistance. Here's a video of what it actually looks like when you throw a saw blade at a piece of wood:

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.