The wire sawing process is a highly flexible cut-off grinding process. Nowadays it is not only used in its traditional field of application (processing of natural stone) but also in the civil construction industry and for the destruction of metallic structures. In order to extend the knowledge about the process it is one goal of the Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools (IFW) of the Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany, to investigate the cutting mechanisms. These are supposed to be the basis for a tool design taking into account the specific field of application. The results presented within this paper describe an approach to explain the interdependencies of the system and manipulable variables for the wire sawing process. From these interrelationships the cutting mechanisms will be derived.