A ring saw is a special type of saw that uses a stiff circular blade that is formed in the shape of a ring. These saws are designed to work in much the same way as a bandsaw. In essence, the blade of the saw is rotated around by a pair of wheels. As the blade rotates, it uses abrasion to cut through whatever materials it comes in contact with.
Ring sawing is beneficial for applications that require precision. The blade itself is quite narrow. As a result, the amount of material that is removed when using it to make a cut is negligible – especially when compared to the amount of material that is removed when using other types of cutting blades.
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The primary factors that separate rings saws from traditional bandsaws are the shape and stiffness of the blade. With a bandsaw, the blade is usually oblong in shape and is quite flexible. With a ring saw, the blade is shaped like a perfect circle and is much stiffer.
Ring saw blades are most effective when the material that is being cut is placed directly in front of them. Although they can make cuts at an angle, they are far less effective. This has to do with the way the blade itself is designed as well as the way that the saw operates.
When pressure is applied to the front of the blade, the blade itself stays stiff, meaning that it can cut more efficiently. When pressure is applied from the side, however, the blade flexes, decreasing its ability to cut.
Ring sawing is usually used when working with tile, stone, concrete, masonry, or glass. Like other types of abrasive saws, ring saws usually need to be cooled with water while they cut. This is typically accomplished with a series of pumps that allow water to run over the blade while the saw is in use.