Worm Drive Saws. If you are looking for a regular circular saw for your project, you might wonder what to purchase. Is it a standard circular saw or a worm drive saw model?
What makes a worm drive saw not similar to a regular circular saw, and which saw is the most suitable for your projects?
If you are in this dilemma, you might find all the appropriate answers you require. You can understand the distinction and assist in selecting the right worm drive saw for you.
What are worm drive saws?
A worm drive saw is the same as a circular saw, but the motor’s location is at the rear. Because the motor is at the rear, the power is driven through two gears, providing more torque.
This setting means that the engine creates less RPM of about 4,500 compared to the regular circular saw.
Benefits of worm drive saws
1. 60-degree angle
A worm drive circular saw can cut at a 60-degree angle. It can cut with that angle because its shoe or plate is put at more of an angle.
This practice is possible due to the motor does not interfere with the plate shoe as much. This feature separates from a regular circular saw that prohibits the plate from going to 60-degrees.
2. The sound
The worm drive saw is much more pleasant to use than the circular saw that has a shrill sound to it. A worm drive saw does not produce a shrieky sound which is somewhat annoying.
The sound of the wood cutting is much louder than the sound of the motor while cutting.
A worm drive circular saw is better for heavy framing or thicker plywood. If you are cutting a 2×4 wood, the power tool will provide support due to having the weight out in front.
You can produce your 90-degrees cut in a downward motion.
Commonly, worm drive circular saws are made from durable materials that will not bend or wear off. The weight will also determine its reliability since some lightweight circular saws have issues with stability and precision.
5. The shape and power
Worm drive saws were developed in the mid-1920s. The design was the motor sat behind the blade.
The shape of the power tool becomes relatively narrow and long. A worm drive saw still has the same form as today.
Its motor’s centerline is attached in-line with the handles. It is parallel to the plane of the saw blade.
The longer distance between the blade and the handle helps jobs such as framing a roof.
In the motor, there is a spiral gear or the worm gear that turns a gear oriented at 90-degrees. Once the worm gear turns, that forces the engine to turn the blade.
This feature increases the torque of the saw blade. It is more potent than the regular circular saw.
Factors to consider when purchasing worm drive saws
You would never hope to experience trouble with your worm drive saw, but things unexpected can happen. The best way to protect yourself from having a bad experience is to check the warranty that the manufacturers provide.
You may expect between one to five years of full or limited warranty depending on the model and brand.
2. Blade changing
After repeated use, the saw blade dull. It is time to sharpen the blade. But if sharpening can not make the cut any easier, you may want to replace with new replacement saw blade.
You may choose from many brands and materials. You might want to also keep in mind that you must replace the blade without hassle.
A quick and easy change of the blade is what you want as a lifesaver. Purchase a worm drive saw that has a quick-changing blade system.
3. The power
You need to choose a warm drive saw that comes with a powerful motor so you will not have issues down the line. Worm drive saws motors are usually 15 amps and between 4,000 to 5,000 RPM. Do not purchase the power tool that has an underpowered motor or under 4,000 RPM.
4.The bevel cut capacity
The higher the bevel capacity the more versatility your worm drive can provide. You should also want to have a worm drive saw that comes with the bevel stops to do the cutting easier. If you know the rip capacity, you will also dominate the type of cuts you plan to achieve.
5. Depth of cut
Make sure that the worm drive saw provides 45-degrees and 90-degrees cut depth. You can cut particular materials and you may be limited to the type of materials to cut if you decide to choose under 45-degree cut depth.
6. Magnesium housing material
If the saw housing is made of plastic, it may be lighter than the magnesium material saw housing. The problem is, plastic saw housing can be vulnerable. Magnesium saw housing is a heavier but very strong material.
7. The weight
A worm drive saw maybe heavy, but during its cutting operation, it is smooth, less vibration, and less noise compared to the regular circular saw. The weight is between thirteen to fifteen pounds compared to a regular circular saw which is between eight to eleven pounds.
Best worm drive saws reviews
1. Skilsaw Worm Drive Saw SPT77WML-01
The first company to invent the worm drive saw is Skilsaw. They started the production back in the 1920s.
If you do not want to have intense pressure on your hand and lesser fatigue, this Skilsaw worm drive saw is the right choice. It is lightweight with magnesium housing.
The weight can match those lighter circular saw marginally, which is eleven and a half pounds. This worm drive saw is durable with one dual copper windings motor to increase the copper surface area by 40% that stays cooler for years of repeated and heavy use.
It comes with a twist-lock plug and a 180-day of money-back guarantee.
- Lightweight magnesium construction
- Dual-field 15 amps motor
- Durable die-cast magnesium foot
- 53-degree bevel of cuts
- 180-day money-back guarantee
- 1-year limited warranty
2. SKILSAW Cordless Worm Drive Saw SPTH77M-11 Truehvl
The Skilsaw cordless worm drive saw can help you cut anywhere you want. It comes with a Truehvl battery and brushless motor. The motor can run up to 5,800 RPM.
The motor can boost power and torque. Its weight is only 11.69 pounds due to the tough, and lightweight magnesium saw housing.
The 48 volts Truehvl battery can maximize heat dissipation, so it stays cool that wraps each cell in a temperature-controlling material. There is also intelligent power management that optimizes and monitors each battery cell.
These breakthrough innovations provide excellent performance and can deliver 425 cuts per charge. When the battery is empty, you can fully charge it in one hour.
This power tool can provide 1-15/16-inches of maximum cut depth.
- Dust extraction system
- TRUEHVL battery
- Jobsite durability and performance
- Magnesium saw housing construction
- 48 volts brushless motor
- Electric brake
- The cordless worm drive saw
- Can make 425 cuts in one hour fully charged battery
- Maximum cut depth: 1-15/16-inches
- 53-degree of bevel capacity
- 180-day money-back guarantee
- 1-year limited warranty
3. DeWalt Worm Drive Saw (DWS535B)
This DeWalt worm drive circular saw comes with a magnesium footplate and a combination of magnesium and aluminum construction. These materials provide durability, lightweight, and quality features.
The weight is only 13.8 pounds, with an electric brake to stops the blade immediately. Its no-load speed is 4,800 RPM, which is enough to finish hard plywood cutting and other hard materials.
It comes with an extra-wide saw hook that accepts material up to 2½-inches wide. For versatility, the maximum bevel capacity is 53-degrees.
- 15 amps motor
- 7-1/4-inches circular saw
- 7-1/12-inches carbide-tipped blade
- 4,800 RPM
- Extra wide saw hook
- 53-degree bevel capacity
- Bevel detents at 22.5-degrees and 45-degrees
- Cord jerk protection
- 12-inches dual port rip guides
- 90-day money-back guarantee
- 1-year free service contract
- 3-year limited warranty
4. Bosch Worm Drive Circular Saw CSW41
This Bosch CSW41 worm drive saw comes with a big gearing ratio in a small size. The power tool can support tremendous power with sturdy magnesium saw housing but still lightweight (13.2 pounds).
Its footplate is made of die-cast magnesium for reliability and strength for lifetime use. You can hold the saw with its soft grip handle for accuracy, control, and comfort use while you are cutting.
There is a built-in saw hook, blade diamond knockout, a spindle lock, and brushes. Its saw blade is located on the left side to provide clarity of the cut line.
This Bosch worm drive saw comes with a 15 amp motor, 5,300 (no-load) RPM motor. No doubt that it can deliver enough torque for a variety of applications, similar to worm drive gearing.
You can expect a smooth cutting operation due to the anti-snag lower guard for small cut-off pieces.
- Lightweight magnesium motor housing
- Magnesium foot plate construction
- Weight: 13.2 pounds
- Anti-snag lower guard
- Premium hook and lock backing
- Accurate depth of the cut system
- Left side blade
- Anti-snag lower guard
- Soft-grip handles
- 53-degrees bevel capacity
- Positive detent stop at 45-degrees
- Large adjustment levers
- Spindle lock
- Powerful 15 Amp motor
- 5,300 RPM
- 1-year warranty
5. Milwaukee Worm Drive Circular Saw 6477-20
This Milwaukee worm drive saw comes with a 4,400 RPM, 15 amp motor to make any cutting jobs more manageable. Its worm gearing is made of hardened steel to deliver optimum torque.
The saw is durable and lightweight with robust magnesium construction. You can check the oil level of the saw with its oil site glass.
The electric brake can support an immediate stop in an emergency. Its maximum bevel capacity is 51.5-degrees.
- 15.0 Amp, 4,400 RPM motor
- Lightweight and durable magnesium construction
- 7-1/4-inches blade
- An electric brake
- Hardened steel worm gearing
- Heavy-duty composite shoe
- A guide to making sure straight cuts
- 12-feet cord
- Maximum bevel capacity 51.5-degrees
- 5-year warranty
- 7-1/4-inches worm drive circular saw
- 7-1/4-inches carbide-tipped blade
- No-load 4,400 RPM
- 1-year warranty
6. Hitachi Worm Drive Circular Saw C7WDM
The Hitachi worm drive saw is designed for lifetime use and provides power. It is equipped with a 15 Amp, 5,000 RPM motor that is powerful enough to produce the most demanding cutting jobs.
You will not get vibration while holding the saw with the soft-grip handle and feel the comfort. This worm drive saw is a perfect choice for professional users for heavy-duty construction.
The power tools also feature steel levers, a rafter hook, and two durable 7-1/4-inches (24T premium VPR Framing) blades. Its cutting capacity is 45-degrees of 1.75 inches and 2.38-inches at 90-degrees.
For convenience and better control of the saw, there is a steel bevel and depth adjustment levers.
- Weight: 14.7 pounds
- 15 Amp motor, 5,000 RPM (no-load speed), 120 volts
- Durable worm drive gears
- Steel bevel
- Depth adjustment levers
- Cut capacity: 1-3/4-inches at 45-degrees
- 2-3/8-inches at 90-degrees
- Rafter hook
- Bevel capacity up to 53-degrees
- 5-years warranty
7. Big Foot Tools SC-1025SU BF-UG Worm Drive Magnesium Circular Saw
The Big Foot Worm Drive Saw was designed to be lightweight at 15.9 pounds. Its weight would matters when you are cutting all day long.
It is a well-balanced power tool to create a high-performance beam-cutting saw to provide convenient work in long projects. The Big Foot was designed to handle the most demanding job sites.
You can cut a 4×4 lumber in one pass, making it suitable to handle a tight deadline. It can do the job without fail.
This Big Foot Worm Drive Saw will cut your headers, sandwich headers, exposed beams, porches, fence posts, and 1/2inch plywood with one pass. Its included blade is designed with a good balance of ruggedness and strength.
It is equipped with a 15 amp, 5,300 RPM motor, powerful enough to finish cutting jobs.
- Maximum cut depth 3-7/8-inches at 90-degrees
- At a 45-degree depth of cut is 2-3/4-inches
- Lightweight Magnesium Parts Saw
- Weight: 16.59 pounds with the blade
- 15 amp, 5,300 RPM motor
- 1-year warranty
8. SKILSAW SPT70V-11 SUPER SAWSQUATCH Worm Drive Circular Saw
The Skilsaw Worm Drive Saw Sawsquatch is constructed with magnesium housing and a footplate. This material makes it durable.
Its weight is well balanced and easy to handle due to the evenly distributed weight. With one pass, you can rip cut through 6.25-inch thick lumber.
The motor is a 15 amp, 120 volts dual-field motor that runs cool temperature. This coolness provides increased power, durable, and can run a lifetime.
- 1-year warranty
- 15 Amp dual-field motor, 4,700 RPM, 120 volts
- Magnesium construction
- Aluminum motor housing
- 10-1/4-inches diablo blade
- Blade wrench
- Weight: 23.3 pounds
9. Ridgid THRUCOOL Worm Drive Circular Saw
This Ridgid worm drive saw comes with a 15 Amp, 5,000 RPM THRUCOOL motor to optimize performance. It allows air to flow through the center of the motor for more efficient cooling.
This saw is lightweight and compact with Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) construction. It comes with Lifetime Service Agreement, free parts, and free service.
The Ridgid worm drive saw features depth adjustment, electric brake, keyed blade change, lock-on switch, and spindle lock.
- 15 Amp, 5,000 RPM motor
- Compact size
- Visible oil sight
- 0 to 56 bevel detent system
- Sky-hook integrated rafter hook
- Cast aluminum base
- Protected cord relief
- Lifetime service agreement
- 180-day money-back guarantee
- Weight: 15.5 pounds
How to use worm drive saws
On a construction site, worm drive saws are one of the most versatile and useful power tools. There are many other uses for a worm drive saw in fine woodworking.
It can be used to cut sheet goods like soft and hard plywood just as precise and convenient as a table saw. A worm drive saw can be utilized to cut grooves for cleaning out a half lap joint—other uses like making crosscuts, or angled cuts similar to the miter saw.
In some way, using a worm drive saw takes some practice to be accurate and safe. Worm drive saws use a set of gears to connect the saw blade arbor to its motor.
The worm drive saw is much longer, and the saw blade is on the left side, which provides right-handed users a much more detailed view of the saw blade as it cuts.
The trigger handle is behind the motor and much lower, meaning that the saw should be located more out in front of the user than from above. The trigger handle’s location creates easier cutting of sheet goods, as the natural motion is to move forward with the cut hand.
You are practicing making cuts with the saw before attempting to make any accurate cuts is recommended. If you are left-handed, cutting will be challenging because the trigger handle’s rearward position is not suitable for leaning over the worm drive saw to see the saw blade operating the cut line.
A worm drive circular saw frequently use for framing. It is much easier to handle if the user lets the saw do half the work.
The saw’s weight will help push the blade through the cut. Having this position will prevent kickback. The saw’s weight is running downhill. That is the reason it prevents from coming back in the user’s direction.
Its elongated body of the saw makes it possible to use both hands to control the saw while making plunge cuts and intricate bevel cuts. The user’s rear hand controls the trigger and the speed of the cut.
While the front hand adds stability to the cut, a user can use just one hand to cut sheet goods to control it. The left-side blade allows the operator to stand behind the power tool.
1. Calibrate the bevel scale and check for square
With the worm drive saw unplugged, you should hold your square against the baseplate. Use this to check the blade angle.
If the saw blade is not square to the base plate, but the bevel gauge reads square, you should adjust the saw blade to a square. After that, identify a new 0-degree location on the scale with a pencil or marker.
Utilize the opposing force of your fingers and thumb to release the bevel lock.
2. The depth of the blade adjustment
After releasing the depth adjustment lever lock, you need to lower the blade just enough that the saw blade clears the underside of the plywood or material. Reducing the blade more increases the opportunity of kickback.
This practice will create excess heat that can waste the work. That will also leave a large portion of the blade without a guard.
It would be best if you held the stud with your hand a safe distance from the worm drive saw. Tilt the stud away from your body.
This method promotes a steady and smooth progression of the cut and allowing the saw to run downhill. While going downhill, this motion eases stress and fatigue on your arm.
4. Effortless cutting from the ground
To save effort and time, you need to cut directly off the stack of lumber. You can also cut from the ground without wasting time lifting lumber to a set of boards or sawhorses.
With the cutting work braced against your ankle, use your free hand to hold the stud at an angle. Allow the saw to run downhill, and let the gravity help with most of the work.
5. The cut alignment
The indents mark on the saw’s baseplate displays where the blade will cut. To achieve an accurate cut, account for the blade’s thickness and cut to the line’s waste side.
To make sure that you are square to the board, inspect that the base plate’s front edge is parallel to the edge of the plywood or workpiece.
6. Bevel and plunge cut
Before you start your cut, brace the entire length of the base plate’s front edge against the surface of the workpiece. Retract the blade guard, pull the trigger, and lower the blade to make the plunge cut with even pressure.
If you want to make bevel cuts, use both of your hands. Your trigger hand is the primary control. Your front hand has two jobs.
It retracts the blade guard for steady and smooth cuts and guides the front of the saw.
How to maintain worm drive saws
1. Oil change
Worm drive saws have an oil-bath gearbox for cooling and lubrication to the gears that provide power to the saw blade. After repeated use, the oil will be contaminated.
According to instruction manuals, you should change the oil after the first ten hours of cuttings. Ten hours is a prolonged use since most cuts take seconds to finish. The following oil change should be done every 50 hours.
Prepare a container for the used oil. Run the saw for about five minutes to change the oil.
After that, the oil will be warm. Then remove the spindle lock or oil-filler plug with a 1⁄2-inch wrench.
Roll over the saw on its side and start pouring out the oil into the container. Prepare a funnel with a 1⁄4-inch spout.
Prepare the oil and refill it to the crankcase to the particular level. Worm drive saws models that come with a sight glass will make the checking level and refilling easier. Some gearbox models should be filled to the bottom of the threads.
The power tool may be cleaned thoroughly with compressed dry air. If you are using compressed air, make sure to wear your safety goggles when cleaning the device.
Switch levers and ventilation openings need to be cleaned, and make sure they are free of dust or debris, or other materials. Do not clean the saw by inserting pointed objects through openings.
3. Bearings replacement
To avoid motor failure or overheating, damaged bearings should be replaced. They may become noisy due to repeated and heavy cutting or very abrasive material cutting.
4. Carbon brushes replacement
To maintain peak performance and efficiency of the worm drive saw motor, it would be best to inspect the carbon brushes every two to six months.
The brushes should be free from debris, dirt, and dust. Carbon brushes must be replaced when they get worn down to 3/16-inch length.
These brushes must slide freely in and out of their holders. You can inspect the brushes by disconnecting the plug from the power source.
After that, unscrew the brush caps on the saw housing and remove the brushes. Set the saw to its minimum depth of cut to replace the blade side brush.
Clean the brush holder openings with a clean cloth and replace the caps and brushes. Use only genuine manufacturer replacement brushes specially designed for your tool should be used.
5. Taking care of the blade
Blades become dull after repeated cutting lumber. If you feel that you force the saw forward to cut, the blade is dull or coated with debris.
You need to clean the blade from gum and wood pitch. First, unplug the saw and remove the blade. Wipe the blade with kerosene or other solvents to remove the pitch or gum. You may also sharpen a dull blade.
9 Worm drive saws comparison chart
|Skilsaw Worm Drive Saw SPT77WML-01||Magnesium||15 amp dual field||1 year||Check Price|
|SKILSAW Cordless Worm Drive Saw SPTH77M-11 Truehvl||Magnesium||48 volts brushless motor||1 year||Check Price|
|DeWalt Worm Drive Saw (DWS535B)||Magnesium and aluminum||15 amp||3 year||Check Price|
|Bosch Worm Drive Circular Saw CSW41||Magnesium||15 amp||1 year||Check Price|
|Milwaukee Worm Drive Circular Saw 6477-20||Magnesium||15 amp||1 year||Check Price|
|Hitachi Worm Drive Circular Saw C7WDM||Steel||15 amp||5 year||Check Price|
|Big Foot Tools SC-1025SU BF-UG Worm Drive Magnesium Circular Saw||Magnesium||15 amp||1 year||Check Price|
|SKILSAW SPT70V-11 SUPER SAWSQUATCH Worm Drive Circular Saw||Aluminum||15 amp||1 year||Check Price|
|Ridgid THRUCOOL Worm Drive Circular Saw||Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)||15 amp||Lifetime service agreement||Check Price|