Best Worm Drive Saws of 2019 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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Worm drive saws has a perpendicularly mounted motor 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. That’s why you must choose only the best worm drive circular saw. 

These saws are helpful in cross-cutting sheet goods. A worm drive has 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 contractor 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 top models and shared the worm drive saw reviews to help you.

Comparison of our Top Picks

Model
Price
Weight
Ratings
Top Pick

DEWALT DWS535
DEWALT DWS535


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14 lbs


4.9/5

SKILSAW SPT77WML-01
SKILSAW SPT77WML-01


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12 lbs


4.8/5
Best for the Money

Makita 5477NB
Makita 5477NB


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14 lbs


4.6/5

DEWALT DCS577B FLEXVOLT″
DEWALT DCS577B FLEXVOLT


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11 lbs


4.3/5

Milwaukee 6477-20
Milwaukee 6477-20



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19 lbs


4.1/5

5 Best Worm Drive Saws 2019 – Our Reviews:


1. DEWALT DWS535 Worm Drive Saw – Top Pick

We all know that Dewalt makes top products with excellent service and product warranty. And for DEWALT DWS535 they are providing a 90-day money-back guarantee with 3-year limited warranty & 1-year free service. Even though we know these saws last for a long time. These saws are considered heavy but this saw is very lightweight at only 13.8 pounds as it is made out of magnesium, which makes it durable without making it too heavy. 

Its 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 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.

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

Most people trust SKIL 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 more blade speed up to 5300 RPM but we still placed it in 2nd place. The reason for that is it doesn’t provide 1-year free service contract. Although they provide 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 for 0- and 45-degrees, allowing you to make quick and accurate cuts. This saw 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 Wormdrive Sawing Power-Tool – Best for the Money

Even though it’s our 3rd choice, it is best bang for the buck for homeowners or DIYers.  The Makita 5477NB has all the power like 15-amp motor with 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 this would have been our top pick.

As it is still in our top picks means it has all the features that makes it one of the best. 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

This is the only cordless option in our list of top picks. Although cordless has many benefits but here it has the disadvantage of being heavy model out of all 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. It cuts to 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. It also features a brushless motor that is powerful enough to cut through most softwoods and hardwoods. The electric brake stops the blade quickly after the trigger is released. This helps make cuts more accurate and stops accidents fast.

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

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 which compelled us to add this in our list of top-rated saws. 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 tool has 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

Buying Guide

While we know there is a lot of options available in the market picking up the right worm drive saw takes some research. Here it is all you should read before going further.

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 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 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 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. 

The best saws will have 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. Saws in 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 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 saw 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

So now we have shared our reviews of worm drive saws. You can never go wrong with 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 saws are expensive Makita 5477NB is also a wonderful choice for 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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