New Ring Tool

Photo: New Ring Tool 1

Here are some Cedar Vases I made with my new Sorby Ring Tool. The vases are roughly 6″ diameter by 5″ to 6-1/2″ tall. I turned these out of green Cedar logs. What you see is what came off the tool. NO sanding, 1 coat of poly when they were still wet, no finial finish yet.

Note: I cut the inside with Ring Tool.  I cut the outside with 1/2″ Bowl Gouge.

Ring Tools are poplar in Europe. They are practically unheard of in the USA. Here is what one looks like: (3 different views of the same tool)

Photo: New Ring Tool 2

The above is what they call a 1/2″ ring tool. This means the hole thru the center is 1/2″. The outer diameter of the ring is a little less than 3/4″. You can cut with either side of the tool. There are 2 bevels. The flat bevel is used for drilling a hole in the center of an end grain. The 60 degree bevel is used to do all the rest of the cutting.

Here is a quick video by Ulf Jansson showing how to use a Ring Tool.

Photo: New Ring Tool 3

A ring tools is like a modern version of a hook tool. I find the ring tool, cutting on the 60 degree bevel is a lot more forgiving than a hook and thus easier to use. I love it for end grain hollowing. With the Ring Tool you can take a hair thin shaving or a big 1/2″ deep shaving all with the same tool. All in the same pass of the tool if you want.

The best thing about a Ring Tool is that it cuts very cleanly in the bottom of a deep vase shape. Like no sanding clean. It’s almost impossible, to due this with a Bowl Gouge, or anything else.

A 1/2″ Ring Tool is a like a bigger version of the Oneway Termite Tool. I have all 3 sizes of the Termite Tool. I like my new 1/2″ Ring Tool a LOT MORE than a Termite. The Termite cuts to slow for me and tends to drill a hole because the radius on the end is to small. I really like my new Ring Tool.  I don’t like Termite Tools.

When I first saw one of these Ring Tools, I was very skeptical. There is no way a ring, just brazed on to a long shaft is not going to break off! Just a little bit of force and it is going to be gone! Well, I was all wrong! I have used and abused my Ring Tool, quite a bit. No problems.

Crown makes a 1″ Ring Tool.  I just purchased one.  I am looking forward to giving it a try. In the future I will probably be purchasing all my Ring Tools from Crown. I like Crown handles better than Sorby.

Mr Ring Tool – Ulf Jansson

I learned how to sharpen and use a Ring Tool from Ulf Jansson on the 2018 Norway Woodturning Cruise. Ulf is from Sweden. Ulf is “svarulf” on Instagram. He has posted good ring tool videos and great pictures of his very inspiring work. Ulf posts stuff in English.

Note: Ulf does not have a web site. He is just on Instagram. He posts often. You can access Instagram WITH OUT being a member!

Sorby says that Ring Tools are for End Grain only.  Ulf’s videos show this is not true.  He uses a Ring Tool on side grain bowls, etc. No problems.

Click here for Ulf’s Artist Statement and Profile on the Woodturning Cruise web site.

Click on the picture below for Ulf’s Ring Tool videos, etc.

Photo: New Ring Tool 4

Ulf Jansson’s Videos on Instagram

Updated: 4/23/2022. Time marches on. Some of Ulf’s videos have become a little hard to find. Moved way down on his Instagram page by his recent posts.

Here are some links to his most useful videos.

Video: Why Ring Tool? by Ulf Jansson

Photo: New Ring Tool 12 minute, 53 seconds. On Instagram at

This is just one of many good ring tool videos by Ulf on Instagram.

I like this video, because, it answers the questions. “Why would I want to spend money on a ring tool?” “Why should I spend my valuable time learning how to use a ring tool?”. Because I want to be able to hollow the inside of vases like this!

Note: In this video Ulf is actually using the bigger 1″ Ring Tool. Rather than the smaller 1/2″ ring tools I show above. Use of 1/2″ or 1″ ring tools is the same. The 1″ ring tool is just a lot faster. I love my 1″ ring tool. However, it is a beast to control. I recommend learning to use (control) the 1/2″ tool before moving on to the 1″ tool.

Video: Ring Tool Usage by Ulf Jansson

Photo: New Ring Tool 245 seconds. On Instagram at

I like this video because it shows how to use a ring tool. Tool angle, how to ride the bevel.

This is just one of many good ring tool videos by Ulf on Instagram.

Video: Sharpening Ring Tool by Ulf Jansson

Photo: New Ring Tool 31 minute, 42 seconds. On Instagram at

If you want to learn how to sharpen a ring tool this is the video for you!

Video: Honing Ring Tool by Ulf Jansson

Photo: New Ring Tool 4Less than 1 minutu. On Instagram at

After you sharpen a ring tool you hone it over and over before sharpening it again.

Sharpening Jigs in USA

Ulf Jansson is in Sweden. Here are some sources for things I use in the USA.

Sharpening Honing Guide

Photo: New Ring Tool 5The jig Ulf uses in his ring tool sharpening video is avaialble in the US from Amazon. It is a
“Self Centering Side Clamping Sharpening Honing Guide Jig …”

1. The big knob on Ulf’s sharpening jig in the video is something he added. You have to add your own if you want one of these. It looks like a knob from

2. The little white ring on the shaft of Ulf’s ring tool while he is sharpening is custom made by Ulf out of UHMW. You have to make your own if you want one of these. I just live with out it. Or use a chunk of 1/4″ plywood.

Honing Stones

Photo: New Ring Tool 6The honing stones Ulf uses in his honing ring tool video are hard to find in the USA. Or to expensive for me.

I have found that a 3/8″ diameter round diamond hone works good on the inside of the 1/2″ ring tool. The cheapest way to get one of these is to use a DIAMOND kitchen knife sharpening rod. A DIAMOND one!

I have and use a “Top Cut by Cangshan | P2 Series 1022452 Diamond Coated Honing Steel, 10.25 Inch” from Amazon.

I have/had a fancy flat expensive DIAMOND honing stones. Sort of like the expensive ceramic one Ulf uses. However, mind are worn out. I replaced them with a cheap credit card size DIAMOND hone.

I have and use a “SHARPAL 114N Credit Card Size Diamond Sharpening Stone … (Fine 600 Grit)” from Amazon.

The quality of the hones from Amazon is ok. They will wear out sooner or later (probably sooner) and then I will replace them. The are NOT tools for life.

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