We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Ripsaw?

By Shannon Kietzman
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A ripsaw is a specialized type of handsaw designed to make rip cuts. A rip cut is a term used in woodworking to describe a cut that is made parallel to the grain of the wood. Cutting a tree trunk in half from its top to its bottom, for example, is considered a rip cut.

There are many tools that can be used to make a rip cut, such as a table saw, a radial alarm saw, a hand rip saw, and a band saw. A ripsaw, however, is the only saw that was created specifically for this purpose. The cutting edge of every tooth on the saw is made with a flat front edge. Unlike with many other types of saws, the tooth is not angled in a forward or backward direction.

The special tooth design of the ripsaw allows it to act like a chisel. Unlike the crosscut saw, which has teeth angled back with beveled edges, the design of the teeth prevents the saw from following along the grain lines. By acting in a way that is similar to a chisel, the ripsaw can easily cut across grain lines and achieve a straight cut by lifting off tiny splinters of wood. The American-designed saw is created to cut when it is being pushed through the wood, which is called the push stroke. A Japanese ripsaw, however, cuts on the pull stroke instead.

A ripsaw is made with a metal blade and blade holder. The handle is usually made of wood, though it may be made of metal as well. Since the tool is made of metal, it should be stored in an area that is free from excessive moisture in order to prevent rusting. In addition, it is best to hang the saw on pegs on a wall in order to prevent moisture from accumulating on one area of it.

Occasionally, the ripsaw blade needs to be replaced because it dulls from use. In addition, the blade may break during use, particularly if too much pressure is applied while sawing. Replacement blades are available at hardware stores and home improvement stores. To replace the blade, the user simply has to remove the screws holding the old blade in place, slide in the new blade, and re-screw.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon213049 — On Sep 09, 2011

"The ripsaw blade needs to be replaced because it dulls from use."

Um. Sometimes you sharpen it before you chuck it in the bin.

By anon29187 — On Mar 28, 2009

This doesn't mean it's the only saw designed to do make a rip cut. There are blades with rip tooth geometry for circular saws, bandsaws, etc. all specifically for making rip cuts. The front faces of the teeth typically do have an angle, just steeper than crosscut saw teeth.

By "American designed" I think you mean what people typically mean when they say "western" - that is, a push-cut saw. These saws have existed since long before America.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.