If you have a workshop and you work on a lot of projects, you may be interested in getting a worm drive saw to help you power through all those jobs. There are a lot of different models on the market, so it’s important to know what features you need before you purchase one.
Always do a little homework and read reviews to make sure you are getting just the right saw for the projects you have. Here are a few tips to help you know what to look for in the best work drive saw for you, and a few reviews to help you start shopping.
How Does a Worm Drive Saw Work?
A circular saw works with a spiral or worm gear that turns perpendicular to the blade shaft. A worm drive saw can be perfect for you, if you need a lot more power and speed when you are cutting. It should easily power through plywood and studs for long periods of time.
Since the motor is normally parallel to the blade this makes sure that there is enough torque given to the blade while it is operating. They are also pretty heavy-duty since they have added weight, so make sure you are strong enough to hold them for a long time or you should think about getting a lighter saw.
Differences Between a Worm Drive Saw and a Circular Saw Sidewinder
The motor on a worm-drive saw is found in the rear, and the power is conveyed to the blade through the worm or spiral gear. This increases torque but lessens the overall rpm. This design makes it easy for longer blades to be attached to it.
A sidewinder has a spur gear that lines up with the rotating blade giving it higher rpm than the worm drive. The sidewinder blade is on the right, which is opposite of the worm drive blade placement. They are also lighter than worm drives.
Worm Drive Saws
Features of Worm Drive Saws
- Cutting Line Visibility – While you are operating your saw, you should have a clear view of the cut line. This is a very important feature. Remember, if you are right handed, your worm drive saw should have a blade on the left of the motor. If you saw is poorly designed, you won’t be able to see the cutting line with the handle, guards, or spindle locks in the way.
- Bevel Capability – Angled cuts are much easier if you have good bevel capability. Tool-less adjustment with positive stops will increase your efficiency and are the way to go.
- The Housing – A magnesium build is a great design as it protects the motor, but doesn’t add more weight to the saw.
- Dust Blower – Removing the dust from your cut line is a great safety feature, and it helps you to make precise cuts.
- Blade Changing System - One-step blade changes, with or without a tool, helps to not waste a lot of time while you are working, and it makes your project that much easier.
The Best Worm Drive Saw
Here's a brief summary of the best worm drive saws on the market today. We'll follow up with detailed worm drive saw reviews to make your decision easier.
The DeWalt DWS535 7 1/4 Inch Worm Drive Circular Saw is a lightweight worm saw that has a durable magnesium construction, and it makes quick and accurate cuts. It features a spindle lock for easy and fast blade changes, and it has the Toughcord Cord Protection to ensure protection from cord jerk for additional safety.
The Bosch CSW41 7 1/4 Inch Worm Drive Circular Saw has a 15 Amp motor, and it is very lightweight at 13.2 pounds. It has a lightweight design to lessen user fatigue, but still retains its durability and stability. It also features an on-board multi-function wrench to make blade, brush, and oil changes a breeze.
The Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 15-Amp 7 1/4 Inch Lightweight Worm Drive Circular Saw also has a 15 Amp motor, and it is the most lightweight saw on our list at 11.6 pounds. Despite its weight, it powers through projects and works well with hard, soft, and engineered woods.
The Milwaukee 6477-20 7 1/4 Inch Worm Drive Circular Saw is another 15 Amp saw on our list. It is also a durable and lightweight design with a magnesium construction, plus it comes with a unique oil site glass that makes checking the oil level quick and easy.
The Rigid R3210 Saw 7 1/4 Inch Circular Worm Drive is our last 15 Amp saw with a magnesium construction. It has a spindle lock for quick and easy blade changes, and it has a clear cut line for accurate cuts. It also comes with a convenient skyhook for easy storage.
Top Worm Drive Saw Reviews
The DeWalt DWS has a lightweight magnesium build that is optimal for user comfort and handling. This is a durable worm saw that makes fast, precise cuts each time. It comes equipped with a saw hook that can hold wood up to 2 ½ inches wide, and it features a carbide-tipped blade and a blade wrench.
This lightweight saw weighs 13.8 pounds making handling and storage easy. Its magnesium build makes it durable and powerful without being bulky, and the strong cast magnesium shoe gives you a strong and solid cutting surface.
The DeWalt DWS535 has 4,800 RPM, and it has a bevel capacity of 53 degrees for tougher projects. It also gives you a 2-7/16-inch depth of cut at 90 degrees and a 1-7/8-inch depth of cut at 45 degrees. It can even tackle advanced roofing jobs and compound angles easily.
This saw will save you a lot of time with bevel detents at both 22.5 and 45 degrees for quick and precise setting for common angles. This is also a user-friendly saw with a spindle lock for fast and simple blade changes, plus it has Toughcord Cord Protection System that gives you four-times more protection from cord jerk for improved safety.
Features include the following:
- Easy to use and lightweight
- The magnesium build gives you optimal handling
- The durable cast magnesium footplace gives you a strong and solid place to cut
- The extra wide hook will hold pieces of wood up to 2 1/2" wide
- The Toughcord protection system gives you better cord jerk protection
- Has a 53 degree Bevel capacity with bevel detents at both 22.5 degrees and 45 degrees
- Good power, lightweight, nice wide rafter hook
- Nice rugged shoe and beefed up adjustments
- The optional fence can help you put a fine quality bevel on a board
- Narrow window to see your cut line
- Can get very hot
- May cause sparks
The Bosch CSW41 comes equipped with 15 Amps, and it only weighs 13.2 pounds. The CSW41 Worm Drive Construction Saw is a very lightweight saw that is still powerful and durable. It features a durable magnesium build, and a die-cast magnesium footplate for power and a long lifespan.
It includes five ball bearings and an advanced oil lubrication system that gives additional stability, durability, and long life to both the worm drive gears and the motor. User fatigue is lessened by its lightweight design, and the soft grip handle gives unparalleled comfort and control for any project you work on.
It has a large bevel capacity that goes up to 53 degrees, and it has a positive stop at 45 degrees. The Bosch CSW41 has an easy-to-access metal depth and bevel adjustment levers that let you make fast adjustments for advanced projects and multiple cuts.
The on-board multi-function wrench lets you easily make changes to your brushes, blades, and the oil. It also comes with a built-in saw hook for easy storage.
Features include the following:
- The Magnesium build gives you better comfort and control while delivering a lightweight saw to lessen user fatigue
- Comes with a built-in saw hook for easy storage
- Comes with an On-board Multi-Function Wrench to make blade and brush changes easier
- The Anti-Snag Lower Guard gives you smooth operation for those small cut-off pieces
- Equipped with high torque to give you ample power for a variety of projects
- Very powerful, quality construction
- Heavy duty performance, long lifespan
- Strong and durable, feels good in your hand
- Too lightweight, will get away from you if you're not careful
- Magnesium plate warped quickly
- Motor sounds awful
The Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 has a 15 amp dual-field motor that can work through the toughest worksite job, and it will still stay cool. This is a very lightweight saw coming in at 11.6 pounds.
It has a magnesium build, and a maximum cutting capacity of 2-3/8 inch at 90°. Plus, it has a maximum 53° bevel capacity with positive stop at both 0° and 45°. This is perfect for framing, decking, siding, and ceiling projects, and works well with hard, soft, and engineered woods.
The Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 has an on-tool multi-function wrench to make those blade changes simple and quick and to easily take care of brush and oil maintenance. Also included is a 24-tooth carbide-tipped SKILSAW blade that has depth adjustment level set, so you can quickly and easily adjust for ¼ ply, ½ ply, ¾ ply and 2x.
The anti-snag lower guard keeps the blade protected when you are not using it, and it will not snag when you are cutting thinner pieces of material. There is a no-load RPM of 5,300, and it indents for both 0° and 45° bevels on the footplate in the front while the behind blade assists in making the most accurate cut. This is an overall balanced saw that also has a comfortable soft-grip ergonomic handle to make it easy to use all day.
Features include the following:
- Lightweight magnesium construction lessen user fatigue for less downtime
- The Cut-Ready™ depth of cut system helps with fast and precise depth measurements
- The 53° bevel allows users to made a wide range of cuts
- The 15 Amp of power lets user go through a lot of wood in less time
- The anti-snag lower guard makes sure you have smooth operation for those small cut-off pieces
- Saw is light and well balanced, very little kickback
- It can modified to cut natural stone with an installed water kit
- Lightweight and durable
- Handle is too small
- Not heavy enough to handle tough workloads
- Cord is not very flexible, too stiff
The Milwaukee 6477-20 7-1/4 in. Worm Drive Circular Saw comes with a 15.0 amp and a 4.400 rpm motor to give the most performance you can get without getting bogged down under heavy workloads.
The hardened steel worm gearing gives you the most torque when you need it for those tough jobs, and it's magnesium build makes the saw both durable and lightweight. You won’t have any problems with warping, bending, or burr kick up with the composite shoe, and the unique oil site glass makes it quick and easy to check the oil level.
Features include the following:
- Easy to use and durable
- Has a 15.0 Amp and 4,400 RPM Motor that gives you the most cutting performance and does not get bogged down, even under heavy workloads.
- Hardened steel worm gearing gives you the maximum torque in the toughest applications
- Magnesium Construction makes it durable and lightweight
- Heavy-Duty Composite Shoe will not bend, warp, or kick up a burr
- Exclusive Oil Site Glass makes checking the oil level quick and easy
- Great power, smooth cuts
- Comes with a nice decent blade and it feels good in your hands
- The plastic base shoe is less likely to damage your workpiece
- The angle pointer and blade change lock hit a guide if you're using a straight edge to make a cut
- The motor makes a lot of noise
- The plastic base is easier to slide left and right while making a cut meaning less accuracy
The Rigid R3210 Saw, 7 1/4-inch Worm drive comes with a 15 Amp motor that gives you a lot of power, and it has a magnesium build that makes it both durable and lightweight. It comes with a spindle lock for simple blade changes, and the cut line is clearly visible on the left side of the blade.
It has a 51.5-degree bevel capacity that lets you make a wide variety of cuts, and it has a clearly visible scale for easy reading. This Rigid worm saw has a heavy duty work gear build to give you more power and torque, and it comes with a skyhook for easy storage on framing materials.
The brushes are easily accessible from the outside, and large levers give you easy bevel and depth setting. The Rigid 3210 has a high strength aluminum base, and it includes a wrench, blade, and dipstick.
Features include the following:
- Has a spindle lock for easy blade changes
- Has a left side blade for a clearly visible cut line
- Has a 24 tooth carbide blade for smooth cuts and longer life
- Heavy-duty worm gear construction giving you more torque and power
- Magnesium construction for durability and lighter weight
- The hook on the side is well thought out as it easily flips up or down to get it out of the way
- Adjustments are smooth and easy to read
- It has good power and it fits well in your hands
- You can't get a proper rip fence for it
- Doesn't come with a carrying case
- Storage area for tools can get in the way when you're working
What is the Best Worm Drive Saw to Buy?
Our favorite of the Best Worm Drive Saw is the DeWalt DWS535 7 1/4-Inch Worm Drive Circular Saw. It comes equipped with 4,800 RPM, so you have a lot of power for your projects. The magnesium build is both lightweight and durable, and it helps to lessen user fatigue.
It has a clearly visible cut line, and a 53-degree bevel capacity for a wide range of cuts making it very versatile. Plus, it has a spindle lock for easy blades changes and an extra wide skyhook.