Best Worm Drive Saws – Review & Buying Guide

best worm drive saw

There are more and more pro and DIY users searching for the best worm drive saw - For good reason!

Compared to regular saw, the worm drive saw features a higher load-carrying capacity and larger gear teeth using a powerful motor at the rear. You can expect that the drive saw can handle narrow profile in even confined spaces.

Can’t wait to find out more about the worm drive saw? Then keep reading with us:

  • A list of the best worm drive saws 2020

  • A complete buying guide

  • Brands who provide the best worm drive circular saws

  • All FAQs explained

Top 5 Best Worm Drive Saws Review

​SKILSAW SPT77WML-01

SKILSAW SPT77WML-01

Our Rating: 4.8/5

#Top Pick#

  • ​Lightweight and durable
  • ​Cool dual-field motor

​SKILSAW SPT70V-11

SKILSAW SPT70V-11

Our Rating: 4.6/5

  • ​Well-performed construction
  • Ambidextrous handle available

​DEWALT DCS577B

DEWALT DCS577B

Our Rating: 4.7/5

  • ​Very lightweight and balanced
  • Fast-depth settings

​SKILSAW SPT77W-01

SKILSAW SPT77W-01

Our Rating: 4.5/5

  • ​Supportive ready-cut depth adjustment
  • Suitable with soft and engineered woods

​Bosch CSW41

Bosch CSW41

Our Rating: 4.7/5

  • ​Affordable price
  • Various choices of bevel adjustment

SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 - Best Worm Drive Circular Saw

SKILSAW SPT77WML-01

The SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 is by far the best worm drive saw on the market, coming with reliable specifications as follows:

The lightweight construction of 11.6 lbs

All parts of this SPT77WML-01 are made of the quality magnesium. This material is both light and rugged-durable enough to perform difficult cuts through thick materials.

The magnesium body also allows the users to grip on the tool steadily for better control over every cut without fatigue - even for extended hours.

The ready-cut depth adjustment

SKILSAW knows how time-consuming it is to hand-measure the depth. That is why they offer a ready-cut depth adjustment instead.

Accordingly, the sharp blade comes with aligned teeth to get through any material. Even better, the depth and angles are adjustable to help complete measuring in less time.

The anti-snag lower guard to process small pieces

Handling small pieces of materials might end up with pain and injuries sometimes. Thankfully, the anti-snag guard helps with large strips of lumber.

Also, it protects the sharp blade when it is not in use.

The best-in-class dual motor

Running at 15 AMP and in dual-field construction, the motor is almost always cool during the use. The no-load RPM is as reliable as 5,300.

In drawbacks, the tool is not for heavy-duty tasks

The motor is running smoothly. However, the power rating is not very impressive. Hence, you should not use this saw for heavy-duty tasks.

Pros

  • ​Lightweight and durable with all-magnesium body
  • ​Supportive ready-cut depth adjustment
  • ​Cool dual-field motor
  • ​Safety-conscious anti-snag lower guard
  • ​Suitable with soft and engineered woods

​Cons

  • ​Not for industrial heavy-duty tasks
  • ​Semi-frequent lubrication required

​SKILSAW SPT70V-11 Super Sawsquatch

The price is another thing you need to consider. The SKILSAW SPT70V-11 has some advanced features but is still limited to small-scale jobs. So, you can take the SPT77WML-01 instead.
SKILSAW SPT70V-11

As you can figure out from the name, this SKILSAW SPT70V-11 is the advanced version of the SPT77WML-01 above.

Still, this tool adopts the basic features of all SKILSAW products, including:

  • A magnesium housing and footplate

  • A duel-field motor at 15 AMP

Some noticeable improvements are:

A decent cutting capacity

Using 6-5/16" blades, the saw can handle big boards at ease. The max cutting depth at 90 degrees is 6-1/4” and that at 45 degrees is 4-5/16” at 45°.

Electric brake to leverage the safety

This feature is more common on the newly-introduced worm drive saws with a view to slowing down the blade upon release. One the one hand, such the brake protects electric cords and boards. On the other hand, it will improve overall safety during the project.

Better safe than sorry!

The adjustable dust port

Along with the electric brake, there is also a dust port to avoid a messy and dusty working environment. You can simply connect the port with a dust collection, and you can stay safe from sawdust.

The cutting line, as a result, is more clear.

Things we want the manufacture to improve include:

If lighter, the better

The overall weight is around 27 to 30 lbs, making it a bit hard to travel the tool around. Although we know that it is due to the additional brake and dust post, we still wish the manufacturer to reduce the weight more.

Expensive price tag

Pros

  • ​Well-performed construction
  • ​High-cutting capacity
  • ​Ambidextrous handle available
  • ​Additional electric brake and dust port
  • ​Flexibly-fitting blade

​Cons

  • ​A bit pricey and heavy
  • ​Still limited to small uses

DEWALT DCS577B Flexvolt 60V Max 7-1/4”

DEWALT DCS577B

At a glance, we are immediately impressed by the signature black-and-yellow cover of the tool. Thus, DEWALT DCS577B Flexvolt gives off a sturdy and effective performance.

In details:

Lightweight and balanced construction

Believe it or not, this DeWALT saw is as light as 10.9 lbs. Thus, transportation is a piece of mind.

Meanwhile, the gravity center is positioned at the trigger to maintain an overall balance. You will not have to worry that the light saw can split out and cause disastrous accidents.

Brushless motor run on a powerful source

To minimize the overall weight, the DeWALT DCS577B makes use of the brushless motor, coming with battery power.

It is recommended to use the FlexVolt to maintain a good power between 20 or 60 volts. At those points, the tool can cut through hard materials easily.

Fast-depth settings

With the DeWALT worm drive saw, you can set up the depth and bevel angles straightforward. Also, the maximum cutting depth is quite generous - up to 2-7/16 inches.

The additional blade brake and dust blower

The benefits are similar to those of the SKILSAW SPT77WML-01.

Related to the disadvantage:

Expensive and limited uses

We just want to note that this saw is much more expensive than many others with similar sizes and features. Also, the small capacity of the saw is only available for carpentering works rather than industrial work.

Pros

  • ​High-quality parts
  • ​Very lightweight and balanced
  • ​Fast-depth settings
  • ​Additional safety features

​Cons

  • ​Expensive
  • ​Limited to carpenters or DIY users

SKILSAW SPT77W-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Aluminum

SKILSAW SPT77W-01

The SKILSAW SPT77W-01 Aluminum shares almost all features of the SKILSAW SPT77WML-01.

  • The cut-ready depth is adopted for faster and more accurate measurements

  • The power source at 15 AMP. You can still reduce the time to rip through lumbers

  • 51° bevel angles so that users can finish a variety of cuts as wished

  • The anti-snag lower guard is still founded to treat small cutting pieces

The main differences are the SPT77W-01 is made of aluminum and it is assembled in China.

This material even cuts down the weight to 14 lbs - compared to the 16-lb magnesium SPT77WML-01. In other words, you find no burden to transport this worm drive saw to work office or around the house when needed.

Nonetheless, some users complain that 14 lbs are too light. It might cause mechanical problems or unpleasant scenarios.

Pros (similar to the SPT77WML-01)

  • ​Supportive ready-cut depth adjustment
  • ​Cool dual-field motor
  • ​Safety-conscious anti-snag lower guard
  • ​Suitable with soft and engineered woods

​Cons

  • ​More expensive
  • ​China-made tool

Bosch 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw CSW41

Bosch CSW41

Compared to the SKILSAW SP177WML-01, the Bosch 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw CSW41 comes at similar features, but lighter. Meanwhile, when considered with the DeWALT, the Bosch is much cheaper.

Once buying this tool you can get:

Lightweight and balanced all-magnesium body

Similar to the first SKILSAW on the list, the Bosch CSW41 trims down the weight by shortening the housing to ⅜ inches and makes all parts with the affordable magnesium.

Various depth of cuts with the bevel from 0 - 53 degrees

The wide bevel levels even come with positive bevel stops at 0 and 45 degrees, clearly marked with vivid paints and black. As a result, you can adjust between the depth of cuts in blinks.

Other same features like the SKILSAW SPT77WML0-1

  • The lower blade guard, along with coil spring

  • An anti-snag bump to move the guard back and forth

  • The 15-AMP motor which can cut through 2x lumber

The one we do not like is the plastic rear handle.

Although the blade is nestled firmly into the foot, I still find that one side of the guard is bigger than the others, leading to an uncomfortable thick grip.

Pros

  • ​Affordable price
  • ​Compact and lightweight of 13 lbs
  • ​Various choices of bevel adjustment
  • ​Additional bells and whistles

​Cons

  • ​Uncomfortable thick grip
  • ​Small-scale AMP motor

​Buying Guide for The Best Worm Drive Saw

Basic factors to consider for any saw

It is true that there are typical features you should care about worm drive saws, but first of all, you must refer to several basic components for a good saw, as follows:

Size

The particular size is applicable and helpful for specific situations and also your skill-levels. It can affect the overall cost, as well.

  • For DIY projects, we suggest portable and small drive saws. They can cut through thin materials and consume less power.

  • Medium-sized saws can manage to cut through thick beam and plate, but with some struggles. Nonetheless, it gives a balance of cost, weight, and precision.

  • Larger saws are stronger and more functional for various materials and in industrial job sites. However, they are often expensive and bulky.

Thus, choose wisely based on your practical demands.

Weight and durability

Weight also matters.

Common issues you might come up with a heavy saw are arm fatigue, hard transportation, awkward balance, and lack of precision.

But too lightweight saw is also not a good choice. Light tools end up causing tired arms and even overshooting.

All in all, any power tool should come in a certain amount of weight based on which materials you handle with, how long of your work shift, your physical strength, and your skills.

The weight mostly depends on the size, the material of parts, and the construction.

Maximum cutting depth

Many saws are built for specific types of jobs, which can be referred from the types of blades, the housing, and the handle.

Obviously, a 7-inch cutting depth blade is useless to cut through an 8-inch surface. Even when it is possible, you will have to make many efforts and even tricks! Otherwise, if the blade is over-sized, it will waste lots of materials or even overcutting and dangerous injuries.

Hence, always check how deeply the wood can be cut at a slanted or a 90-degree angle.

And, if you work with materials at different sizes and shapes, you should go for worm drive saws that allow adjusting the cut depth.

Advanced features for best worm drive saw

Bevel capacity

The wider range of beveling the worm drive saw is, the more freedom you can cut with the worm drive saw - at a single angle. Accordingly, the bevel capacity indicates the max angle-cut achieved by tilting the base shoe at a specific angle.

The best worm drive saw should come with various bevel angles ( at least 45-degree angle) and bevel stops (usually from 22.5 degrees to 51.5 degrees) for a flexible adjustment.

Commonly,  a worm drive saw will support bevel from 45 degrees to 50 degrees. Meanwhile, the bevel stops are either 22.5 degrees or 45 degrees. Some saws with a higher bevel capacity might come with the bevel stops of 51.5 degrees.

Dust Blower

This feature is not required but thoughtful-to-have.

On a busy project, the blower keeps a clear cutting line to improve the overall productivity and safety.

For a typical worm drive saw, the dust blow is placed into its front.

Blade replacement

The blade will eventually blunt and require the change. When it comes to time, you must ensure the replacement is safe and quick.

Fortunately, worm drive circular saws nowadays are built with two blade-replacing mechanisms to help.

  • The tool-free mechanism is effortless to use. All to do is press the button to release the blunted blade and insert the new one.

  • The tool-assisted mechanism often comes with heavy-duty construction. It requires wrenches and screwdrivers. Still, easy to use - we promise.

Motor housing

The housing is important to improve the safety features and precisive cutting. Hence, choose it carefully.

  • Most housing is mental, which is stronger and can take more abuse. However, it is a bit heavy.

  • Magnesium housing is the most commonly-used thanks to the balance of weight and performance. To be specific, it is lightweight and sturdy at the same time.

  • The plastic housing is the cheapest, but be aware, it is not durable at all.

  • Some advanced worm drive saw is even coming with aluminum housing.

Safety features

Never ignore the safety features.

Even the weakest drive saw can cut through our skin and bone, leaving serious injuries. Therefore, you must pay attention to the overall construction and the handling grips. Also, check and maintain the saw periodically to figure out and fix swing blades as soon as possible.

Who Makes The Best Worm Drive Saw?

Along with the increasing popularity of worm drive saws, more brands - even ones who used to specialize in direct saws, start introducing their new worm drive saws.

The more choice, the better!

However, many products turn out to be a scam with many defective features. So, be considerate and go for reliable brands. Just to name a few, here are three most famous brands that make the best worm drive saws ever.

DEWALT

DeWALT is a U.S-made brand who provides hand and power tools for manufacturing, construction, and woodworking industries for nearly a century.

Thus, they stand for their products’ quality.

Generally, the company is known for the easy-to-spot black and yellow exterior, sleek design, user-friendliness, epic durability, and reliable backup warranty.

In terms of saws, DeWALT particularly offers a full line of circular saws, including the worm drive ones. As always, these tools are built with extensive Jobsite and professional use.

In drawbacks, you might have to pay high for such quality.

Bosch

Bosch has an even longer history than DeWALT, starting from the 1880s.

The company also covers a wider range of products and services from home appliances and tools, mobility, as well as industry and trades. Even more excitingly, almost all products under the Bosch brand are very affordable, but still good quality.

However, the Bosch devices - in general, and worm drive saws - in particular, might not have the longevity and abuse-resistance as those of DeWALT.

For that reason, we recommend Bosch products if you are looking for casual tools or you have budget constraints. They can serve you well.

For daily professional uses, go with DeWALT instead.

SKILSAW

There are three SKILSAW out of the five best worm drive saws as we mentioned above. Thus, there is no doubt that SKILSAW is leading the market.

Yet, interestingly enough, SKILSAW used to be a feature brand of Bosch for 10 years from 1996 before being acquired by Chervon (HK) Ltd. - a global power tool provider.

Now that SKILSAW mainly focuses on the saws (circular saws, worm drive saws, and benchtop saws), the company can optimize those products for the best.

Take the top-notch CUT-READY™ DEPTH-OF-CUT system, for example. It supports accurate and quick adjustments on the fly!

FAQs You Might Want to Know

1. Which is better: worm drive or circular saw?

We have to make clear one point: a worm drive saw is itself a circular saw. So, we wonder whether you want to distinguish a worm drive saw and the sidewinder saw.

If yes, each type of saw has its impressive benefits.

  • The worm saw features a greater torque with the blade positioned in front of the motor. Thus, the blade is hotter and easier to cut.

  • The sidewinder saw comes in a higher RPM at a lower price.

Which is the winner is based on your needs.

2. What is a worm drive saw used for?

Like other saws, the worm drive saw is used to cut woods and other materials.

The difference is, the saw is optimized with powerful motors to fasten the work and to handle metal, hardwood, and other materials with less effort.

3. What is the difference between a hypoid saw and a worm drive saw?

Hypoid saw looks really similar to worm drive circular saw. However, the two are different in some ways:

  • Gearing system: bevel gear vs. worm gear
  • Operation: large pitch surface with multiple touchpoints vs torque mechanism
  • Sound: Quiet vs. noisy
  • Maintenance: No oil-change vs. oil-change

4. Why are worm drive saws left-handed?

This is because of the traditional orientation and for the reason that most of us are right-handed.

With a left-handed saw, the righty people are supposed to saw the cutting line and bevels clearly to perform accurate and safe cuts.

5. What kind of oil goes in a worm drive SKILSAW?

As mentioned above, the worm drive saw requires a frequent oil change to ensure its smooth operation.

So, if you ask for oil going with SKILSAW worm drive saw, then we reveal that the brand provides its own oil. You should use the Skilsaw 77 oil - affordable and effective.

Conclusion

To cover-up, the winner for the best worm drive saw is the SKILSAW SPT77WML-01. This tool comes in a good balance of weight, price, features, and practical performance.

You should give it a try right away and make a choice. Selecting the best worm drive saw will improve the whole productivity significantly.

We promise!

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