Best Worm Drive Saws for the Money – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

a worm drive saw

A Worm drive saw have a perpendicularly mounted motor sat behind the blade supported by worm gears due to which they generate higher torque hence more powerful than a sidewinder. Even though they have more torque but have less speed of the blade up to 4500 RPM. It is more heavy and expensive than our standard circular saw.

These circular saws are helpful in cross-cutting sheet goods. A worm drive has the more load-carrying capacity & larger gear teeth result in more power & weight. As the blade position is on the left side, so if you are a lefty, then it is easier for you to see the cutline. They are more popular among contractors for cutting wet lumber as they provide reach in too tight spots. As now you have made the decision to buy the best one, so our experts have used their knowledge to select the best worm drive saws models and shared the reviews to help you.

Comparison of our Top Picks

Model
Weight
Ratings
#1. DEWALT DWS535
DEWALT DWS535
Editor's Choice

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14 lbs


4.9/5
#2. SKILSAW SPT77WML-01

SKILSAW SPT77WML-01

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12 lbs


4.8/5
#3. Makita 5477NB
Makita 5477NB
Value for Money

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14 lbs


4.6/5
#4. DEWALT DCS577B FLEXVOLT

DEWALT DCS577B FLEXVOLT

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11 lbs


4.3/5
#5. Milwaukee 6477-20

Milwaukee 6477-20

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19 lbs


4.1/5

5 Best Worm Drive Saws 2020 – Reviews:


1. DEWALT DWS535 Worm Drive Saw – Top Pick

DEWALT DWS535

We all know that Dewalt makes top products with excellent service and product warranty. DEWALT DWS535’s 15 amp powerful motor with a no-load speed of 4,800 RPM can cut up to the depth of 2-7/16-inch & 1-7/8-inch at 90 & 45 degrees respectively. This saw has magnesium construction that why weighs only 13.8 pounds which makes it durable without making it too heavy. 

This Dewalt saw can bevel up to 53 degrees, with detents at 22.5 and 45 degrees. The 7-1/12-inch carbide-tipped blade helps you cut deeply into any material like cutting through lumber or multiple sheets of plywood. It even comes with an oversized saw hook that can accept materials up to 2 ½ inches wide, allowing it to cut larger pieces of wood than other saws. 

This machine as a top-accessible spindle lock, allowing you to change your blade faster and easier. The TOUGHCORD Cord Protection System prevents cord damage while you’re working around the Jobsite. It minimizes damage from jerking. This Worm Drive saw is backed by a 90-day money-back guarantee with a 3-year limited warranty & 1-year free service.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Durable & Powerful Motor
  • Large cutting depth
  • Excellent bevel capacity
  • 3-year limited warranty
Cons
  • Plug not compatible with regular outlets

2. SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 Worm Drive Saw – The Runner-up

SKILSAW SPT77WML-01

Most people trust SKILSAW when it comes to circular saws because they invented the tool way back in the 1920’s. Even though this model has the same power as Dewalt DWS535 has with 15 amp motor with & blade speed up to 5300 RPM but we still placed it in 2nd place. The reason for that is it doesn’t provide a 1-year free service contract. Although Skilsaw provides a 180-day money-back guarantee plus 1-year limited warranty while Dewalt provides more than that.

It is also lighter than Dewalt, weighs only 11.6 lbs, crafted using lightweight magnesium. The best thing is it stays cool even after working for a whole day on the job. It has a Cut Ready depth adjustment system that allows you to make quick and easy depth adjustments, so you can spend less time adjusting and more time cutting.

An anti-snag guard helps protect the blade when not in use, improving its longevity and durability. This guard is also carefully designed to not snag on thinner materials while you’re cutting. The footplate has indents at 0 and 45-degrees, allowing you to make quick and accurate cuts. This Skilsaw also has a maximum cutting capacity of 2 ⅜ inches when at a 90-degree angle.

Pros
  • Stays cool
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight & Powerful Motor
  • 180 days money-back guarantee
Cons
  • Not Durable

3. Makita 5477NB Hypoid Saw – Best for the Money

Makita 5477NB

Even though it’s our 3rd choice, it is the best bang for the buck for homeowners or DIYers. The Makita 5477NB has all the power like a 15-amp motor with a blade speed of 4500 RPM that can easily cut through any material like plywood or lumber. The only thing we didn’t like is the weight.

It weighs 15 pounds which is a bit heavy as per user reviews. Moreover, it has 30 days money-back guarantee and a 1-year limited warranty which is very less as compared to Dewalt and SKIL. Otherwise, at this price range, this would have been our top pick.

As it is still in our top picks means it has all the features that make it one of the best worm drive saws. The motor has a unique hypoid design, which means the gears have more surface contact, allowing for more power. The gear housing is sealed, preventing wood dust and other debris from getting into the motor. The gears are heat-treated to improve their longevity. This saw has a cutting capacity of 2 ⅜ inches when beveled to 90-degrees. This machine can bevel from 0- to 51.5-degrees, making it ideal for rafter cut-outs and truss. 

A 10-foot cord allows you plenty of room to roam and move around your workpiece, making this saw a great choice for the jobsite.

Pros
  • 1-year warranty
  • Steel, hyoid gears
  • Comfortable to use
  • Unbeatable price
  • Thin Kerf
Cons
  • Heavy at 15 pounds
  • Only 30 days money-back period

4. DEWALT DCS577B FLEXVOLT Worm Drive Saw

DEWALT DCS577B

This is the only cordless worm drive circular saw in our list of top picks. Although cordless has many benefits, but here it has the disadvantage of being a heavy model out of all circular saws listed here. Once you add the battery to this tool, it weighs 17 pounds.

Being a Dewalt product, this model is backed by standard DEWALT’S 3-year limited warranty. It has 60V, 5800 RPM motor which is very powerful and cuts at a depth of 2-7/16 in. at 90°. The shoe can bevel from 0 to 53 degrees, with hard stops at 0, 22.5, 45, and 53 degrees for quick adjustments. 

This saw by Dewalt has a high-grade magnesium show that helps improve overall durability. Featuring a brushless motor, it is powerful enough to cut through most softwoods and hardwoods. The electric brake stops the blade quickly after the trigger is released. This helps you to cut more accurate and stops accidents.

Pros
  • Powerful motor
  • Electric brake
  • Dewalt’s 3 Year Warranty
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Very Heavy
  • Battery and charger sold separately

5. Milwaukee 6477-20 Worm Drive Circular Saw

Milwaukee 6477-20

At first look, we thought this model must not be our choice. As it is made from Magnesium which makes it lightweight but not durable enough. The other thing we didn’t like is its price which is expensive for such a tool. 

Aside from that, we liked many things that compelled us to add this in our list of top-rated worm drive circular saws. The first one is its 5-year eye-catching warranty which you won’t find in any other tool. The other thing is as it is corded-electric, it has a cord of 12 foot which is more than enough.

It has a 15.0 Amp motor but with less blade speed of 4400 RPM than any other tool in this list. The shoe is made with heavy-duty, composite material, preventing it from warping or bending for the most part. The “composite” shoe is not as durable as we would like and tends to warp under heavy pressure. 

Unfortunately, the lower guard on this saw is not attached well. It jams up, causing you to start your cuts all over again. While the gears are made of decent material, it is not the best. The engine simply will not last long under heavy use.

Pros
  • 5-year warranty
  • Long Cord
Cons
  • Composite shoe is not durable
  • May not last long
  • Gears wear down fast
  • Over-priced

6. Ridgid R3210 Saw, 7 1/4-Inch Circular Worm Drive

Ridgid R3210

If you want a basic, reliable, and well-built corded circular saw then Ridgid R3210 circular saw is made for you. Whether you are a contractor or a woodworker, with its power and durability, you will not feel to buy another circular saw for the next several years.

For heavy and rough cutting jobs, the Ridgid R3210 Saw with 7¼ inch blade uses 15 Amp motor which is capable of generating speed of 4400 RPM. Due to this, it can easily cut through anything with great comfort and control.

Ridgid R3210 Saw comprises of an industry-standard blade of 7¼ inches with an arbor size of 5/8 inch which provides a cutting capacity of 2-3/8 inches deep at 90 degrees and 1-3/4 inches at 45 degrees. It also offers 51.5 degrees of bevel capacity which provides a greater range of cutting experience and increased visibility scales offer an easy reading process.

The blade is protected with magnesium guards from both top and bottom. This ensures in keeping the blade as light as possible. The saw also comprises a spindle lock for easy blade changing process. The 24 tooth carbide blade provides clean, smooth, and easy cuts and it is also fairly durable.

Ridgid R3210 Saw comes with a 3-year limited warranty by the manufacturers which assured guaranteed product repair in case of any damage.

Pros
  • Ergonomic design
  • Provides smooth cuts
  • Feels good in hands due to nice rubber-coated grips and makes it comfortable to use
Cons
  • Some might find it difficult to change the blade
  • Doesn’t come with a carrying case

7. Hitachi C7WDM 7 1/4″ 15-Amp Worm Drive Circular Saw

Hitachi C7WDM

Want a good saw for a heavy-duty cutting job? Hitachi C7WDM circular saw is the one. It is the best saw for heavy and tough cutting processes. It has a 7¼ inch blade and a powerful motor of 15 Amp and produces a coercive power of 5000 RPM which is ideal for the above-mentioned conditions.

For better experience and increased toughness, Hitachi C7WDM consists of steel levers three position hook rafters for safe rafter placement and it’s easy storage. The saw consists of a durable blade of size 7¼ inches which a great cutting capacity with 2-3/8 inches at 90 degrees and 1-3/4 inches at 45 degrees. The saw comes with two 24-tooth carbide-tipped premium VPR framing blades.

The handle offers a soft and firm grip which provides a comfortable and controlled cutting process and reduces vibration while using it. It can cut the material with great ease and speed. If you are a DIYer then you can cut the woods professionally using this string circular saw.

Hitachi C7WDM worm drive circular saw provides a maximum range of bevel capacity of 53 degrees which results in nice and clean cuts. The weight of Hitachi C7WDM saw is around 14.7 pounds which is a little heavy in comparison to other worm drive saws.

The worm drive gears are durable in nature which leads to longer life even when used in rough conditions and provides professional cuts. Another great point about this Hitachi saw is that it comes with a warranty of 5 years.

Pros
  • Makes tough cutting jobs quick and easy
  • Soft grip handle offers comfort and less vibration
  • The steel levers and rafter hooks highlights strength and power
  • Warranty of 5-years
Cons
  • It is heavy in weight

What to Look for in the Best Worm Drive Saw

Keep reading our guide to know what exactly you should look for in a worm drive circ saw.

Cutting Line Visibility

If you want to cut straight, you have to be able to see your cutting line. So for that, you must be a left-handed person. But that’s a theory aside. As the worm drive has the blade on the left side of it so if you are left-handed you can see the cutting line clearly. Otherwise, you’re going to get off track and end up with a crocked and uneven cut.

Also, some worm drive saws do not have a proper mechanism to keep sawdust and other materials away from your cut line. This can obscure your line and make it nearly impossible to see what you’re doing. A high-quality worm drive saw will have a dust blower to keep your cut line clear.

Beveling

Unless you’re just planning on making plain, straight cuts, beveling is important. A wider bevel range will allow you to make more angled cuts, letting you use the worm drive saw for a wider range of applications. Of course, how easy the bevel is to use is also important. Some bevels do not slide easily or give accurate angles. 

A good quality worm drive circular saw has bevel stops at commonly used angles, such as 22.5- and 45-degrees. This is not necessarily a must-have, but it is nice if you’re planning on making lots of angled cuts. 

Housing

What the saw is housed in impacts both the durability and weight. Circular Saws with heavy housing tend to be the most durable, while those in lighter housing tend to be less durable. It is essentially a give-or-take situation. Luckily, magnesium housing is a good middle ground. It is both lightweight and resistant to warping and cracking. 

Beware of saws made of “composite” materials, which are essentially plastic. This type of housing might be very lightweight and inexpensive, but it will not stand up to normal job site use. 

Dust Blower

A dust blower keeps sawdust and other debris from building up on your workpiece. This keeps your cut line clear and allows you to make more accurate cuts.

Blade Changing

Eventually, every blade is going to need to be changed. A worm drive circular saw that allows you to do this efficiently and easily is essential. You do not want to find yourself spending hours wrestling a blade off of your saw. This feature is especially important if you’re a contractor or handyman who switches blades often. Some machines have a simple button-push system that allows you to quickly change out the blade without the use of tools. Others require the use of a wrench, which is sometimes carried onboard for quick access. Both of these systems are fine. But, you should avoid saws that require you to use external tools or just have complicated procedures. 

Cutting Depth

How deep a worm drive saw can cut is essential to consider when making your purchase. The deeper the cutting depth, the better. However, most homeowners and even handymen do not need saws that have extreme cutting depths. Although blade capacity decided how much deep it can cut. The standard blade size of this type of saw is 7-1/4 inches. Most of the saws come with blade capacities of 6 inches & can cut through 2-inch material

Conclusion

According to us, the best worm drive saw is undoubtedly DEWALT DWS535 as it is designed to last longer on construction sites. It has much more torque, very lightweight & is quieter. The blade spins slower too. You can use this for framing lumber, cutting sheet goods. This is the only one with the tool-free blade change feature.

While these worm drive models are expensive, Makita 5477NB is the best value for money option. It has strong hypoid gears and comes with a very comfortable handle. It is somewhat heavier, but you really can’t beat it for the price.

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