Best Worm Drive Saws – Buyers Guide

Surely, as a woodworker, I’m certain that we can agree that the easiest way to take on a woodworking project is by using a circular saw …a worm drive circular saw, to be exact. In comparison to other types of circular saws currently on the market, it is obvious that the worm drive saw is more substantial, more powerful, and yes, more expensive.

Regardless of who you may be, whether you’re trying to finish off a serious project at home or you’re using the circular saw for commercial work, the worm drive circular saw is one of the best power tools you can have. With the worm drive by your side, you will be able to get past any woodworking obstacle that gets in your way.

Of course, finding the best worm drive saws will require specific knowledge. You can’t just go out to the nearest store and buy a worm drive saw without doing any research because while worm drive saws are great, not all of them are created equal. It is important that you take time to do your research or you could end up regretting your purchase. If you buy a good worm drive saw, you’re not going to regret it because it is an investment that will pay itself off.

That right there is the main reason why I decided to write about the best worm drive saws on the market – because I understand that finding the best worm drive saws is hard to do in a world full of saws.

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

The Best Worm Drive Saw for Professionals

Skilsaw SPT77WML

While I have labeled the Skilsaw SPT77WML the best worm drive saw for professionals, that doesn’t mean it’s not suitable for hobbyists as well. The professionals draw to this saw due to the smoothness, accuracy, and stability, while the DIYers enjoy the simplistic design and how easy it is to use. On top of all of that, the price is acceptable, making it one of the best budget-friendly professional saws.

15-Amp Motor

The power nesting behind this saw is what makes it worth your investment. This saw is capable of delivering a good amount of rpm with its 15-amp motor and you don’t have to worry about it getting sluggish, even if you’re trying to cut through dense pieces of wood. 

Dual Copper Windings

What’s interesting about the Skilsaw SPT77WML would be the motor. It has new technology referred to as dual copper windings. What this does is it decreases the temperature of the motor, helping it stay cool while in use. When it comes to taking on big projects for a prolonged period of time and you plan on having this saw run for hours on end, then this feature is going to come in handy for you.

Safety

Safety should always be something you look into and with this saw, the safety is decent. Looking at the blade guards, I see that they’re well-designed and they feel sturdy enough to be able to withstand kickbacks. I have seen people eliminate blade guards on saws because it allows them to get the job done faster. However, I personally do not believe you should do this, because you would be interfering with the safety of the saw and it can lead to fatalities. I understand that you may want to get your work done faster, but in the end, it is better to be safe than sorry.

The Design of the Saw

The design of this saw is fairly standard as there aren’t any type of components that will give you the wow factor, but that’s okay, because it’s still built like a beast. The materials that are used in production, however, are amazing. The main component used is magnesium. Now, if you’re not familiar with magnesium, it’s known for its light weight and sturdiness. In other words, this machine is pretty resistant and reliable. With that said, you won’t have to worry about this saw leaving you stranded slap dab in the middle of a project.

Since the hand grip is rubberized and partially cushioned, it is fairly comfortable to use. The rubber coating on the handle helps eliminate a large amount of the vibrations, but you should still wear a nice pair of work gloves with it.

Cut-Ready System

With the cut-ready system, you will be able to fine-tune the machine, without experiencing any form of downtime. This will also help you be able to make accurate death measurements as well as quick adjustments. Thanks to the anti-snag guard, operating this machine is smooth.

Pros

  • 15-Amp Motor
  • Decent Safety
  • Affordable
  • Solid Construction
  • Light in Weight
  • The dual copper winding feature makes it so that the motor doesn’t overheat

Cons

  • Handgrip is only partially rubberized
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ketQ2gIrWk8

The SPT77WML is worth your money and is suitable for both DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike. Due to the price-to-quality ratio being so good, this worm saw is one of the best in this category, even more so if you’re working with a strict budget. If you’re out to find precision, then this power tool is suitable for you. Versatility may not be its strongest suite, but it’s able to work through a variety of projects without having any issues.

Read More Reviews at Amazon

The Best Worm Drive Saw for DIYers

Bosch CSW41

Bosch is the type of company you’d go to when you’re looking for control, stability, comfort, and ease of use. This is a popular brand that has been selling power tools as well as car accessories for as long as I can remember. If you’re reading this right now, then you’re probably trying to find the best worm drive saw, and with that in mind, if you’re a DIYer, I’d recommend the Bosch CSW41 due to the fact that it’s a long-lasting saw, and it has a large amount of features that will come in handy during your woodworking projects.

Time and time again, I’ve witnessed friends and family members go out and buy the most expensive power tool they can find – they’re under the impression that you “get what you pay for,” and in all actuality, just because a power tool has an expensive price tag on it, this doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best. In other words, what I’m saying is that just because it is expensive, this doesn’t determine if it’s worth it.

Is the Bosch CSW41 worth the price? Would it be a suitable power tool for you? Continue reading to find out …

Design

If you have owned a Bosch power tool of any type, then the design may seem familiar to you. You can count on the materials that are used in production – they are sturdy and reliable. The magnesium components make it so that you can put even more trust into this power tool – it’s much better than those made of steel or aluminum.  There’s an on-board wrench that is multifunctional – it will come in handy when changing blades. The wrench is universal and is capable of fitting all the screws on this saw, so you can use it for both changing the blade out and adjusting the blade.

Safety

Safety first! In this case, the safety is okay. Since the hand grip is coated with a fine layer of rubber, there isn’t a whole lot of vibrations, but this doesn’t mean there are no vibrations. I recommend wearing a nice pair of work gloves while using this saw in order to reduce the chances of that annoying numbness feeling and fatigue.

Power

Is this Bosch saw powerful enough? Well, it has a 15 amp motor, so i’d say it’s powerful enough for those DIY projects you have around the house. When you are using this saw, you’ll see just how smooth and powerful the motor really is. The Bosch CSW41 worm drive saw is capable of cutting through practically any type of wood you may be working with without giving you any issues.

The Weight

The Bosch CSW41 weighs 13.2 pounds, which isn’t all that bad. It’s just the right amount of weight, so you won’t feel exhausted after using it for a couple of minutes. Mind you, I have seen saws that are 25+ pounds, so this is like a breath of fresh air.

Ergonomics

I personally like the small handle on this worm drive saw. On the main handle, it has a nice rubber grip, but the auxiliary handle is actually made of durable plastic. The blade lock is on the oil fill port, making it even easier to lock.

Depth Adjustment

On the depth adjustment slide, you’ll notice that there are marketing on it – those are markings of common cuts. For example, let’s say that you need to cut a sheet of plywood that is ½ inches. You would set the depth adjustment to 1/2 inches and the saw will automatically adjust to the correct depth for you.

Blade

You can always change out the blade, but you probably won’t mind the saw it comes with. This particular saw comes with a thin kerf carbide blade that has 24 teeth.

Blade Wrench

On the saw, in the table, there’s a blade wrench. The blade wrench can be used to remove the diamond knockout on the blades, adjust the miter nut as well as the depth nut, and open the cap to the motor brushes. This blade wrench comes in handy, and the fact that it’s not lost somewhere in the bottom of a toolbox, it’s even better.

Blade Guard

When cutting roof rafters and angles, I’ve had certain saws get hung up. However, this is not the case with the Bosch.

Base Plate

The base plate is made from magnesium, which is definitely a good thing. With magnesium, you don’t have to worry about the saw getting warped like those steel ones do.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Top of the line machine
  • Affordable price tag

Cons

  • Doesn’t have an in depth user manual

Now, let me talk about the user manual for a second. Mind you, it’s a good user manual, I’m not saying anything like that. However, there are some inconsistencies in the manual.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygREG0sYC7k

If you choose the CSW41 I just told you about, and you’re a DIYer, then you won’t regret it. As long as you maintain the saw and keep it in good condition, it shouldn’t have any problems for many years to come. Just make sure you keep the blade tightened, because a blade that is not tight is one of the main reasons behind accidents. I believe the best thing about this saw would be the accessibility. Many people buy it because of the affordable price tag. Point blank, if you’re looking for a reliable and smooth saw, check this model out, because it might just be suitable for you.

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Well Known Worm Drive Saw

Milwaukee 6391-21

Those that are familiar with circular saws have probably heard about the Milwaukee 6391-21 once or twice. This is a high-quality and dependable saw, which is why so many people draw to it like a moth to a lantern. I could always just recommend this saw because I know it’s good, but just because others like it, doesn’t mean you’re going to like it. To be fair, I believe you should first take a look at the saw and see what all it has to offer, then you can decide whether or not it’ll be a suitable choice for you.

Light in Weight

Starting out, if you’re trying to find a saw that isn’t going to tire you out while you’re out in your woodshop, then the Milwaukee 6391-21 can be at the top of your list. Overall, this saw weighs 10.4 pounds, but don’t let that weight fool you, because you’re still going to get a whole lot of power out of this saw.

Power, Comfort and Control

Power, check – comfort, check – control, check. The Milwaukee 6391 worm drive saw has it all. The 15 amp motor is capable of delivering a total of 5800 RPM, making it easy for you to cut through the toughest pieces of lumbar, and that even includes wood that is wet.

Blade on the Left Side

This saw has a blade that is mounted on the left side, making it so that you can use your right hand with the main handle. This type of design makes it so that there is more visibility while you’re cutting and can see the cut line as well as the other side.

If you’re looking for consistent performance and power all day, then you’re not going to do good with battery power. The 9 foot power cord is great for woodworkers in shops.

As far as the bevel goes, it allows a 50-degree rotation, making the saw suitable for a variety of wood cutting projects.

Tilt-Lok

There’s an exclusive feature that you are going to find in some Milwaukee saws and that would be the Tilt-Lok feature.  With this feature, you will be able to adjust the handle to the position that is the most comfortable for you.

The Blade

The saw comes with a 7-1/4 inches blade diameter. This type of blade combined with this saw makes it possible for you to cut through the thickest wood you have in your workshop.

Ergonomic Design

The overall design of the saw is ergonomic. The handle especially makes this saw ergonomic, since it has a soft grip. It features a total of eight positions that you can adjust it to. Both the rear and front handles have a soft cushioned material on them, so when you’re holding it, it’ll feel comfortable, and is easy to grip.

Pros

  • Exclusive Tilt Lok feature
  • Powerful
  • High torque
  • Rear and front handles that provide a soft grip
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a storage case
  • Double insulated constructions

Cons

You won’t have laser sight

Overall, the Milwaukee 6391-21 saw is easy to use and convenient. This is a well-made circular saw that can last for many years to come, as long as you take care of it.  This is a powerful tool that would be great for woodworking projects and might just be the best solution for you.

Read More Reviews at Amazon

Best Worm Drive Saw for Professional Use

Makita 5477NB

If you plan on getting a new worm drive saw, then you may want to take a look at the Makita 5477NB. If you need a tool that can live up to the test of time, then this is a pretty convincing saw. What I really like about this saw would be the engine – it’s 14-amps, making it so that it will be able to cut through almost any type of lumber, even lumber that is wet.

Stability

This worm drive saw will definitely offer the stability you need in order to get through your work day. Stability combines with precision is great, so it’s great to use, whether you’re an expert of a beginning in the woodworking field.

Gear System

This saw actually uses a gear system, which isn’t like the other circular saws on the market. The gear system here is definitely unique to say the least. The gearing system is hypoid. This is a heat-treated gear system that offers better surface contact than the traditional worm drive gears.

Yes, these type of circular saws use oiled gears, but while the worm-drive doesn’t have permanent oil, this type does. The gears have been closed shut in an oil bath, which means you won’t need to change the oil on the gears, making the saw maintenance free.

Power

This saw has a 2300 MWO motor. The 15 amp motor is located behind the blade and it can deliver up to 3400 RPM. For quick and easy brush changes, you will have external access to the carbon brushes.

Bevels

It is capable of beveling to 51.5 degrees and it even has a nice auto-stop feature that can stop the bevel at 51.5 degrees and 45 degrees. You have a maximum cut of 2-3/8” depth at 90 degrees. For easy adjustments, there are larger levers.

Design

If you’re familiar with other Makita tools, then you’ll be familiar with this design, because almost all Makita power tools has the similar looking design. However, you’re still going to get features that are unique and different. Thanks to the combination of plastic and rubber, this model right here has decent ergonomics. Ergonomic features are one of those things that people look for, especially in power saws. Both handgrips have been rubberized – the more rubber, the better because rubber helps decrease vibration while you’re using it. While using this saw, you will feel a reliable and solid grip.

As far as the build quality runs, it is pretty good. The unit has both plastic and metal components on it and the gears are heat-treated, which means they’re going to last for many years, which we’re sure is something you want to hear. The thing I like the most about the gears on this power tool would be the fact that they don’t require any type of maintenance.

Safety

When it comes to safety, there aren’t really any spectacular safety feature, but you can rest with the satisfaction that the manufacturer made this unit as safe as they possibly can, but you need to follow the rules when using it. Don’t go removing the blade guards on it (this is something I have seen people do) and don’t alter any of the safety feature.

Changing the Blade

When you’re changing the blade, you will have access to a blade wrench that is on the saw. There’s a push button spindle lock, making it fast and easy to change the blade. When you push the button, it will prevent the shaft from turning.

Reinforced Power Cord

In order to make sure the saw is capable of taking on daily jobsite abuse, the manufacturer has equipped this saw with a good reinforced power cord. The power cord measures 10 feet in length, which should be enough to be able to get the job done – if it’s not, you can always use a heavy-duty power cord. Also take note that the aluminum base plate isn’t going to rust.

Pros

  • High Quality
  • Affordable
  • Maintenance free gears
  • Good design

Cons

  • Somewhat on the heavy side

To give you an idea of the weight of the saw, it weighs about 15 pounds. Mind you, 15 pounds may be a pain to life, but the cuts are easier to make.

The Makita 5477NB is a good power tool that is quite affordable and efficient. When it comes to investing money in tools that don’t have a heavy price tag nesting behind it, people have a tendency to be a little on the reluctant side, but you can rest assured that this isn’t some cheap copy that you would find in a budget store. If you’re looking for top of the line build quality, then this is a suitable saw for you.

Read More Reviews at Amazon

Features You Should Look for in Worm Drive Saws

Like I said in the beginning, before you go out there and put your hard earned money into a saw, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the different saws and their working principles. As soon as you gain an understanding of how they work, you will be able to do your research and know exactly what’s being talked about. That is one of the reasons why I wrote this guide for you – to give you an idea of the terminology and to introduce you to some pretty good saws that I found.

Features to Consider

Reliability

You need to go for a power saw that has been proven to be reliable and is able to last for many years to come. When checking for reliability, you want to take a look at the type of materials that were used to make the saw. The materials should be sturdy so that they won’t bend or wear. As you’re checking for the materials, have a look at the weight – the weight helps indicate the level of accuracy.

The Motor

Most of the worm drive saws have a motor that is located in the read. These are usually the more powerful. Where the motor is positioned is going to help you determine the stability. Most models will feature a 15-amp motor that is capable of delivering at least 4000 RPM. This is a good enough amount of power for both DIYers and professionals.

Cutting Line Visibility

When you’re using the saw, you’re going to want to see the cutting line – how visible is the cutting line? Those saws that aren’t designed well will make it so that you miss the mark you’re trying to cut because it’s hard to see. This will make getting accurate results feel as if it’s almost impossible, and it will also make it more dangerous to use the saw. So, when you’re choosing the saw, look into the cutting line visibility.

The Housing of the Saw

What is the saw housed in? This will help you determine how well it is going to hold up after you use it for a long time and it will also be a good indicator of how heavy the saw is. The best type of housing would be the type that is made of magnesium due to the fact that it is light in weight and strong – magnesium is actually better than steel housing.  Just make sure you stay away from the cheaper versions that use plastic as housing because this type of housing isn’t going to last long.

Beveling

In terms of beveling, a wider range would be best because this will give you the opportunity to cut in a variety of ways.

Changing the Blades

When you first get the saw, the blade may be amazing, but the more you use it, the more the blade is going to become dull and eventually it’s going to need to be changed out with a new blade. How often you have to change out the blade is going to depend on how much you use the saw. If you’re just using it for DIY projects around the house every now and then, then needing to use a tool to change the blade shouldn’t be that big of a deal. On another note, if you will be using the saw almost every day for an extended amount of time, or if you’re cutting dense woods, you’ll need to change the blade out more often. Some of the saws have it so that there’s a lock that you can open up to get the blade out and quickly change it, making it so that you don’t need a tool.

Maximum Cutting Depth

This is going to depend on the types of projects you take on and how often you do those projects. If you’re just cutting a little bit of wood, then this isn’t going to matter. However, if you plan on working with it every day and you plan on taking on thicker pieces of wood, the maximum cutting depth is definitely something you’re going to want to pay attention to. When looking at saws, have a look at how deep the wood can be cut.S

Safety Tips

If you’re not careful, you could end up sawing off a finger, or something else. It has been shown that more debilitating injuries occur from using these types of saws than any other power tool or woodworking machine. When it comes to a woodworker using handheld power tools, the circular saw takes the reward for being the most dangerous one.  This is why I highly recommend you making sure safety is at the top of your list on the jobsite and in your woodshop.

The Safety Gear

Starting out, whenever you are using a power tool, you need to make sure you are wearing the appropriate safety gear. This includes hearing protection, safety glasses, and clothing that is appropriate.

Blade Guards

At times, the blade guard on the saw can be aggravating and there may be times when you think about removing it or altering it …don’t.  The blade guard is there for your safety and if you were to remove it, it is going to leave the blade exposed.

The Blades

When you’re using a circular saw, the blade will need to be free of pitch and kept sharp. When you work with a blade that is dull, there are more chances of a kick back, but a sharp blade is going to cut through the wood faster and give a cleaner cut.

Conclusion

The type of saw you choose is fully up to you, but I just introduced you to the best worm drive saws currently on the market. If you choose a worm drive saw from this list, whether it’s the Skilsaw, the Makita, or any of the others, you can rest with the satisfaction of knowing you made the right choice. Just make sure you keep the features you need in mind when you’re out shopping for the best saw, and when you’re working with the saw, please make sure you follow the safety procedures.