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Best Worm Drive Circular Saw Reviews

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Image of SKILSAW SPT77WML
  • SKILSAW SPT77WML-01
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Good for

If you’re planning on tackling a demanding woodworking project, a worm drive circular saw might be the power tool you’ll need. In comparison to regular sidewinder circular saws, these are more powerful, heavier, and a bit more expensive. The position of the motor is what makes these machines different from the others. Due to the motor being behind the blade (as opposed to on the side), these units produce more torque.

As far as the overall design goes, there are some notable differences in comparison to other types of circular saws, but the essentials are all the same. Regarding balance, ease of use, and compactness, the worm drive saws are somewhere in the middle. One cannot say these power tools are particularly easy to operate, but you can overcome that obstacle within an hour. All you have to do is read the user manual and follow the instructions.

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Not recommended for

As we already said, these units cost more than sidewinder ones. Therefore, some DIY-ers might have to skip buying some of these machines due to budget limitations. In fact, if you’re a devoted hobbyist looking for a cheap piece of equipment, this page is not the best place to do it. On the other hand, some affordable models offer more than enough features to tackle any project, but even those aren’t cheap per se. Either way, you’ll have to make a significant investment if you want the best of the best.

People who seek more power and better balance love investing in worm drive models. As far as the trustworthiness goes, these saws are quite good. You can rest assured that they won’t let you down in the middle of a project because they are built to last and withstand a lot of pressure.

Top-Rated Worm Drive Circular Saws


DEWALT DWS535


Our Rating: 4.6

When top-quality power tools are in question, we cannot skip mentioning the ones produced by Dewalt. It’s a well-known brand, and most people are familiar with the quality and usefulness of Dewalt’s products. The DWS535 model is special because it weighs only about 14 pounds. In comparison to other models within the same category, it can be regarded as lightweight and compact. It features a powerful motor which is able to deliver up to 4800 RPM under no load. It also provides a 2-7/16-inch depth of cut at 90 degrees, 1-7/8 inch at 45 degrees, and 53 degrees of bevel capacity. As you can tell, versatility is also one of its main advantages.

The DWS535 features an accessible spindle lock that alleviates the hassle of blade changing. Many people get confused when it comes to changing blades because most models require additional tools for any adjusting. However, thanks to the convenient blade lock, adjusting and fine-tuning of this model is a breeze. On the other hand, we recommend that you read the user manual and follow the instructions written there, regardless of your previous experience and expertise. The reason is simple – it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Speaking of safety, there are plenty of mechanisms that are responsible for keeping you safe during operation. For example, the blade guard is well-designed, and it does its job quite well. Furthermore, the handle grip is molded so that it doesn’t cause any fatigue after extensive use. As far as the vibrations go, they aren’t non-existent but are pretty bearable, especially if you include a pair of work gloves in the equation. The price is okay, and it’s acceptable even for some DIY enthusiasts who would like to invest a few dollars more in order to get a powerful and reliable machine.

SKILSAW SPT77WML-01


Our Rating: 4.5

This model features a 15-amp motor which is able to rip through any lumber without breaking a sweat. Furthermore, the magnesium components make this unit one of the lightest in this category. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about fatigue and downtime.

The design is neat and innovative. The Cut-Ready feature allows you to measure the cut depth quickly and accurately. Speaking of accuracy, the SPT77WML-01 can be regarded as one of the most accurate units in this price range. The measuring components are well-made and designed to last for a long time. The anti-snag guard ensures smooth operation during smaller cuts. As you can tell, this machine is quite easy to use, and on top of that – it’s a high-quality piece of equipment. If you’re a devoted professional, this particular model might be a solution for your troubles.

The safety is at the highest level. The lower and upper blade guards are designed to withstand quite a beating meaning they won’t fail in the middle of a project. Furthermore, the hand grip is made of hard plastic and coated with a layer of fine rubber. In other words, one can tell that engineers from Skillsaw paid special attention to the reduction of unpleasant vibrations. However, there is still a fair amount of vibrations; therefore, we recommend using work gloves at all times.

What makes this particular motor different from the others is the dual copper winding system. In simpler words, the system increases copper surface area thus helping the motor to run at much cooler temperatures than usual. Also, the dual copper system increases the overall durability by quite a bit. The price is acceptable, but we would have liked it to be a bit cheaper. It’s not a particularly expensive piece of equipment for professionals, but the hobbyists might beg to differ.

SKILSAW SPT77WML-01


Our Rating: 4.5

This model features a 15-amp motor which is able to rip through any lumber without breaking a sweat. Furthermore, the magnesium components make this unit one of the lightest in this category. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about fatigue and downtime.

The design is neat and innovative. The Cut-Ready feature allows you to measure the cut depth quickly and accurately. Speaking of accuracy, the SPT77WML-01 can be regarded as one of the most accurate units in this price range. The measuring components are well-made and designed to last for a long time. The anti-snag guard ensures smooth operation during smaller cuts. As you can tell, this machine is quite easy to use, and on top of that – it’s a high-quality piece of equipment. If you’re a devoted professional, this particular model might be a solution for your troubles.

The safety is at the highest level. The lower and upper blade guards are designed to withstand quite a beating meaning they won’t fail in the middle of a project. Furthermore, the hand grip is made of hard plastic and coated with a layer of fine rubber. In other words, one can tell that engineers from Skillsaw paid special attention to the reduction of unpleasant vibrations. However, there is still a fair amount of vibrations; therefore, we recommend using work gloves at all times.

What makes this particular motor different from the others is the dual copper winding system. In simpler words, the system increases copper surface area thus helping the motor to run at much cooler temperatures than usual. Also, the dual copper system increases the overall durability by quite a bit. The price is acceptable, but we would have liked it to be a bit cheaper. It’s not a particularly expensive piece of equipment for professionals, but the hobbyists might beg to differ.

Bosch CSW41


Our Rating: 4.2

If you’re familiar with the power tools market, then you’ve probably stumbled upon a lot of Bosch machines. There is a good reason behind that – they produce high-quality units with a ton of auxiliary features, and they manage to retain the overall affordability. Whenever you’re in any doubt, purchasing a unit made by Bosch is always a good idea.

As far as this particular model goes, it has everything you’ll ever need for a woodworking project. The powerful motor is able to cut through anything without a single issue, as long as you use the machine properly. If you’re not familiar with the principles, go ahead and check the user manual out. The learning curve isn’t as bad as people think, and you won’t need much time to get familiar with this unit. In fact, even absolute beginners can learn the basics of use within an hour or two.

Changing the blade does require a special wrench, but it’s included with the unit. It may be regarded as a small disadvantage in comparison to other models on the market because most of them have a lever or a simple lock system for this task. It doesn’t change the overall concept much, but it does take a couple of minutes of your time. Even though many professionals are usually in a hurry, most of them don’t mind spending 5 minutes to change the blade.

The safety is at a decent level. The blade guards are well-designed and easy to use. The magnesium components are great both for overall weight reduction and durability. The build quality is great; although, we would have liked to see less hard plastic used and more metal components. The hand grip is cushioned and rubberized meaning there are no excessive vibrations at all. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any vibrations whatsoever, but they are tolerable.

SKILSAW SPT77W-01


Our Rating: 4.4

True lovers of high-quality say that this particular model has a whole lot to offer. The 15-amp motor rips through lumber like a hot knife through butter and reduces downtime by a lot. The patented Cut-Ready system helps you to make quick and accurate adjustments on the go. Overall, the SPT77W-01 poses a great solution for many artisans that decide to replace their old circular saw with a new one.

One of the main advantages of this machine is its light weight. In fact, it’s one pound lighter than its main competitor SHD77. When it comes to ease of use, one cannot say it’s the easiest unit around. There are some elements that you probably won’t be familiar with, but that’s not a reason to give up because of the small learning curve. Even though you might not be able to master the unit immediately, it won’t take long to get familiar with it. Make sure that you read the instructions in the user manual to avoid any unpleasant surprises and safety hazards.

The safety is at an okay level, but not particularly impressive. The blade guards are made of durable and reliable materials meaning you don’t have to worry about flying debris at all. The hand grip is a piece we didn’t like. Even though it’s perfectly functional, it does not feature any buffers or softeners. There is a thin layer of rubber on the back side of the handle, but it’s not enough. The vibrations are bearable, but not nearly as decreased as in some other models within the same price range.

Speaking of price, it’s okay. We would have liked it to be a bit lower, but it’s acceptable thanks to the quality of production and usefulness of its features. If you’re a devoted professional in need of a decent worm drive saw, take a moment and check this one out, it might be a good solution.

SKILSAW SPT77W-01


Our Rating: 4.4

True lovers of high-quality say that this particular model has a whole lot to offer. The 15-amp motor rips through lumber like a hot knife through butter and reduces downtime by a lot. The patented Cut-Ready system helps you to make quick and accurate adjustments on the go. Overall, the SPT77W-01 poses a great solution for many artisans that decide to replace their old circular saw with a new one.

One of the main advantages of this machine is its light weight. In fact, it’s one pound lighter than its main competitor SHD77. When it comes to ease of use, one cannot say it’s the easiest unit around. There are some elements that you probably won’t be familiar with, but that’s not a reason to give up because of the small learning curve. Even though you might not be able to master the unit immediately, it won’t take long to get familiar with it. Make sure that you read the instructions in the user manual to avoid any unpleasant surprises and safety hazards.

The safety is at an okay level, but not particularly impressive. The blade guards are made of durable and reliable materials meaning you don’t have to worry about flying debris at all. The hand grip is a piece we didn’t like. Even though it’s perfectly functional, it does not feature any buffers or softeners. There is a thin layer of rubber on the back side of the handle, but it’s not enough. The vibrations are bearable, but not nearly as decreased as in some other models within the same price range.

Speaking of price, it’s okay. We would have liked it to be a bit lower, but it’s acceptable thanks to the quality of production and usefulness of its features. If you’re a devoted professional in need of a decent worm drive saw, take a moment and check this one out, it might be a good solution.

Milwaukee 6477-20


Our Rating: 4.1

When it comes to durability, this particular model might be the winner of our list. It is made of sturdy and resistant materials meaning you don’t have to worry about causing any damage to the unit as long as you use it properly. Furthermore, the 15-amp motor delivers up to 4400 RPM to ensure maximum cutting performance. One more important thing about the overall power output is the fact that it won’t bog down even under heavy load. Therefore, you can rest assured that 6477-20 has more than enough consistency for any woodworking project.

On top of its sheer power, it’s also very easy to use. Instead of being filled with complex levers, functions, and proprietary parts, it’s as simple and straightforward as they get. All you have to do is plug it in, adjust the blade, and you’re good to go. However, we recommend reading the instructions before first use just to make sure everything is set up properly.

The safety measures are pretty standard. The two blade guards are well-designed, but more importantly – the handles are cushioned with a rubber coating. It means that the engineers thought about vibrations and decided to do something about it. Even though you are going to experience some vibrations, they are quite tolerable and sometimes even non-existent, depending on the load.

The composite shoe is made of heavy-duty materials meaning it won’t bend or twist under pressure. Base bending is quite a frequent problem, even with some units that are far more expensive than this one. However, you can rest assured that this one won’t kick up or bend under heavy loads. The innovative oil glass allows you to monitor the oil levels without having to break the unit apart. The price is affordable, acceptable, and suitable both for hobbyists and devoted professionals.

Quick Product Comparison


 POWER SOURCEVOLTAGEWEIGHTPRICE 
Image of DEWALT DWS535

DEWALT DWS535

Corded120V14 pounds$Check Price
Image of SKILSAW SPT77WML

SKILSAW SPT77WML-01

Corded120V11.6 pounds$$Check Price
Image of Bosch CSW41

Bosch CSW41

Corded127V13 pounds$$Check Price
Image of SKILSAW SPT77W-01

SKILSAW SPT77W-01

Corded120V14.2 pounds$Check Price
Image of Milwaukee-6477-20

Milwaukee 6477-20

Corded120V19 pounds$$Check Price

Before You Buy: How a Worm Drive Circular Saw Works?


Before you decide to invest money in these machines, you should take a moment and get familiar with the basic working principles. Once you know how a particular tool works, it’s much easier to get a hold of its features and master the operation. Also, you will get familiar with the safety hazards meaning you won’t have to rely solely on safety features of the unit itself. Paying attention and knowing how things work might save your life someday.

The motor


As you may already know, worm drive machines usually have their motor mounted at the rear of the casing. It produces a much better transfer of power which consequently results in better torque. Due to the position of the motor, the worm drive saws are much more stable than the sidewinder ones. However, the tradeoff is in the overall weight of the product. In other words, the worm drive units are quite heavier than other types.

The most common problem people stumble upon with these tools is the position of the handle. Because the blade is usually on the left side of the unit, left-handed people may experience some issues. In case you’re a lefty, make sure to buy a unit that’s made specifically for left-handed individuals or else you may encounter a problem.

The design


The design isn’t much different from the other types. The most noticeable difference is in the position of the motor and the blade. As we already said, instead of being on the side of the unit, the motor is at the back. Other than that, there aren’t many notable differences. As far as the durability goes, it all depends on materials that were used in production. Luckily, the modern units are mostly made of magnesium components which are much more durable and lightweight than steel or any other metal, except aluminum.

Best Worm Drive Circular Saw – Buyer’s Guide


A lot of people make the same mistake of buying the first thing they stumble upon just because it’s more expensive than others or more aesthetically appealing. Needless to say, it’s a completely wrong method of investing, and it usually results in people overpaying or getting something they don’t need or want. Instead of following the price and aesthetics, you should dig deeper and check the specifications and features out first. If you don’t know what to look for take a moment and read this buyer’s guide, it may help you with the decision.

Reliability


As far as the reliability goes, you should avoid the all-plastic models. They aren’t weaker than the metal ones per se, but they are much more susceptible to vibrations. A large amount of vibrations can cause loosening which consequently leads to safety issues.

The things you should look for are parts made of various metals. The most common ones are steel, aluminum, and magnesium. Even though one cannot specify the best-suiting metal out of these three, we always encourage people to invest in magnesium and steel. However, it’s more a matter of personal preferences than it is an integrity hazard.

When buying a circular saw one of the first and most important things you should do is check the components used in the production process. If it turns out that the unit is made of plastic with some metal parts, you should avoid it. On the other hand, it all depends on your budget because the units with more metal components involved cost more than the all-plastic ones.

The motor


The overall power output of a particular unit is always an important factor. Most of nowadays models feature a 15-amp motor which is able to deliver at least 4000 RPM. Those can be considered sufficient for both hobbyists and professionals. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the ones that are weaker. It means you should be prepared for subpar performances of weaker units. Therefore, if you have a 10-amp circular saw, you can rest assured that it won’t perform as nearly as good as the 15-amp ones.

Worm drive saw cutting wooden board

Measuring components and accuracy


An unreliable circular saw is worth nothing. One of the main things that make or break a model is the measuring components that are included. First of all, the shoe has to be calibrated properly and made of tough materials to prevent bending. Other than that, you should also avoid buying a model with a lot of different levers. Even though many people love the tool-free concept, too much of it may cause some issues, especially if you’re a beginner.

Some part of the overall accuracy is dictated by the weight of the model. Therefore, particularly lightweight models tend to have stability and accuracy issues. It is not a written rule, but it happens more often than one would like. The key is in finding the perfect balance between quality, weight, stability, and price.

Cutting wood with worm drive saw

The budget


If you’re on a limited budget, try finding a sidewinder saw for the same price. As we already said, these machines aren’t cheap, but they are definitely a worthy investment for people who know how to use the full potential of them. The problem emerges when absolute beginners invest a lot of money in a power tool and can’t cope with its auxiliary features. Therefore, if you’re looking for a simple machine to cut some lumber, the sidewinder type might be a better solution.

However, the true devoted professionals know how useful these things are, and most of them are ready to invest a few dollars more for better torque and more power.

The conclusion


As you can see, there are plenty of models to choose from. It’s up to you to find the best-suiting one for your needs. All of these models perform as advertised and don’t have any hidden flaws. When it comes to sheer functionality, we recommend Dewalt and Bosch. However, if you don’t care too much about the brand, Skillsaw and Milwaukee do the job just as well.

Even though these aren’t the easiest ones to use on the market, the learning curve is quite small, and you’;ll get a hand of them quickly. Remember to read the instructions before the first operation because it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

The biggest advantage of the models on our list in comparison to other ones available on the market is their price-to-quality ratio. In simpler words, if you opt for one of the units on our list, you can rest assured that you’re getting a high-quality machine for an affordable price. As we said, they aren’t cheap per se but are a worthy investment for people who know how to use them properly. Take a moment and check them out, you might find something of interest. If you’re interested in reading more about a particular model, go ahead and check our full reviews out.

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