We study the multiterminal cut problem, which, given an n-vertex graph whose edges are integer-weighted and a set of terminals, asks for a partition of the vertex set such that each terminal is in a distinct part, and the total weight of crossing edges is at most k. Our weapons shall be two classical results known for decades: maximum volume minimum (s,t)-cuts by Ford and Fulkerson  and isolating cuts by Dahlhaus et al. . We sharpen these old weapons with the help of submodular functions, and apply them to this problem, which enable us to design a more elaborated branching scheme on deciding whether a non-terminal vertex is with a terminal or not. This bounded search tree algorithm can be shown to run in 1.84k×nO(1) time, thereby breaking the 2k×nO(1) barrier. As a by-product, it gives a 1.36k×nO(1) time algorithm for 3-terminal cut. The preprocessing applied on non-terminal vertices might be of use for study of this problem from other aspects. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.