- This article is about the tool. There is also a style of music called ripsaw music and a newspaper called the Ripsaw.
In woodworking, a cut made parallel to the direction of the grain of the workpiece is known as a rip cut. If one were to cut a tree trunk in half from top to bottom, this would be a rip cut — but the term also applies to cutting free lumber.
A rip saw is a saw that is specially designed for making rip cuts. The cutting edge of each tooth has a flat front edge and it is not angled forward or backward. This design allows each tooth to act like a chisel (rather than being knife-like, as with a crosscut saw), preventing the saw from following grain lines, which could curve the path of the saw. By acting like a chisel, the saw can more easily cut across deviating grain lines, which is necessary if a straight cut is to be achieved.
All sawmills use rip saws of various types including the circular saw and band saw. Historically sawmills used one or more reciprocating saws more specifically known as an "up-and-down" or "upright saw" which are of two basic types, the frame saw or a muley (mulay) saw which is similar to the hand powered pit saw. Some sawmills also use crosscut saws to cut boards and planks to length.
On the vast majority of saws throughout the world, the teeth are designed to cut when the saw is being pushed through the wood (on the push stroke or down stroke). However, some saws (such as Japanese saws and the saws used by Ancient Egyptians) are designed to cut on the pull stroke.
Rip saws typically have 4-10 teeth per inch, making them relatively coarse.
- The Saw in History: A Comprehensive Description of the Development of this most useful of tools from the earliest times down to the present day. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Henry Disston & Sons. 1922 http://books.google.com/books?id=5P0zAQAAMAAJ
- New international encyclopedia, 2nd ed. Volume 20. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Co. 1916. 601.