10 Best Worm Drive Saws in 2020

best overall rating
  • Built-in dust-blower.
  • Automatic brake.
  • Brushless motor.
premium choice rating
  • Very high cutting capacity.
  • Strong motor.
  • Offers high accuracy.
great value rating
  • Strong motor.
  • More efficient than a standard worm drive saw.
  • Uses efficient, heat-treated gears.

Worm drive saws are powerful cutting tools that fall under the category of “circular saws,” but aren’t the same sidewinder-style models you might be expecting. If you don’t know what a worm drive saw is, you have probably seen one without knowing its name. The main difference is the position of the blade, as well as the way that you grip them relative to the cutting surface.

Compared to regular saws, a worm drive saw offers better torque and better cutting efficiency on tough materials. However, this all depends on the technical side of its design: there is no guarantee that every model will fill your needs perfectly. In fact, some of them might even end up being worse than your average sidewinder design.

Here are ten different worm drive saw models that might be perfect for your next cutting job, as well as some reasons they are worth picking up.

View the Best Worm Drive Saw, Below.

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1. DEWALT DCS577X1 Worm Style Saw Kit

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The DEWALT DCS577X1 uses a brushless motor and magnesium shoe to ensure that it can cut smoothly and consistently every time. The built-in electronic brake automatically stops the blade when you release the trigger, preventing injuries or accidental cuts while also boosting its overall running time. This worm drive saw has a total bevel capacity of 53 degrees, with pre-set sopping points at 45 degrees and 22.5 degrees, allowing for angled cuts.

To help keep the cutting surface clear, this worm drive saw also contains a dust blower that helps remove chips and shavings without forcing you to stop and sweep them away by hand. Helpfully, it also has a rafter hook that you can use to attach it to hanging points or hangars for easy storage.

Why We Like It
  • Built-in dust-blower.
  • Automatic brake.
  • Brushless motor.
  • Creates smooth cuts.
  • Hanging hook.
Cutting Capacity
2-7/16 Inches.
Motor RPM
5800 RPM.
Weight
10.9 Pounds.
Our Verdict

This worm drive saw is perfect for getting a job done without mistakes, giving you all of the basic features you will want if you are trying to make very accurate and precise cuts.

Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. SKILSAW SPT70V-11 Worm Drive Circular Saw

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This worm drive saw is designed for single, thorough cuts that slice through a material in one attempt, boasting a 6-1/4 inch cutting capacity and the ability to chop through lumber with ease. To back up its power, it uses a die-cast magnesium footplate to keep every cut precise, as well as keeping the weight down.

This worm drive saw’s most notable feature is the dual-field 15-amp motor, which is cooler than usual and can provide more power than your average saw motor. The blade used in the SPT70V-11 is specially made by SKILSAW for this saw, avoiding common problems caused by incorrectly-sized blades.  You can even screw the top handle to either side of the body, letting you use it with your preferred hand.

Why We Like It
  • Very high cutting capacity.
  • Strong motor.
  • Offers high accuracy.
  • Ambidextrous handle.
  • Perfectly-fitting blade.
Cutting Capacity
6-1/4 Inches.
Motor RPM
2,500 RPM.
Weight
27.3 Pounds.
Our Verdict

If you need to cut through thick materials on a large scale, this worm drive saw boasts enough power to slice right through without jamming or getting worn out.

Editor Rating
great value rating

3. Makita 5477NB 7-1/4″ Hypoid Saw

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This high-efficiency saw uses specialized gears to provide far more power than a normal design. This, alongside the strong 15-amp motor, gives it a standard cutting capacity of 2-3/8 inches at the default angle. However, it can also bevel by 45 and 51.5 degrees for specific cutting angles, allowing for slightly more versatility in how it is used.

To help reduce the amount of maintenance you will have to do, this worm drive saw has been constructed using oil bath technology to keep its internal parts lubricated longer. It is also sealed in key areas, mainly the gear housing, to prevent water damage and dust from affecting its performance.

Why We Like It
  • Strong motor.
  • More efficient than a standard worm drive saw.
  • Uses efficient, heat-treated gears.
  • Can bevel.
  • Dual handles for greater control.
Cutting Capacity
2-3/8 Inches.
Motor RPM
4,5000 RPM.
Weight
19.3 Pounds.
Our Verdict

The excellent parts used in this saw make it perfect for cutting through heavy-duty materials, and the bevelling means that you are not always stuck making 90-degree cuts when you really need to cut at a specific angle.

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4. SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 Worm Drive Circular Saw

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This simple worm drive saw is made with very light magnesium, cutting down on its total weight and making it far easier to use for extended periods of time. Thanks to its 15-amp motor, it still packs enough power to get through most materials quickly and has a snag guard to stop small shavings from getting stuck in the blade. All of this is designed to stay as cool as possible, avoiding damage from both natural heat and friction.

For angled cuts, this worm drive saw can bevel by up to 53 degrees, so you aren’t limited to straightforward 90-degree cuts. It also has a Cut-Ready system that makes it easy to measure the depth you are cutting at, as well as how much further you will need to go.

Why We Like It
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Powerful 15-amp motor.
  • Can bevel.
  • Good measurement system.
  • Built-in snag guard.
Cutting Capacity
2-3/8 Inches.
Motor RPM
5,300 RPM.
Weight
11.5 Pounds.
Our Verdict

A lightweight saw can be useful in a huge range of situations, but this one combines its low weight with a strong motor to keep each cut accurate and clean.

Editor Rating

5. DEWALT DWS535B Worm Drive Saw

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This aluminum and magnesium-based worm drive saw has a specially-built footplate that maximizes its durability, as well as improving its overall cutting accuracy. The cord protection system helps protect the power cord from harm, as well as stopping you from jerking it out of position with sudden movements. The saw also has a strong electric brake, which activates when you release the trigger.

The DWS535B’s design is meant to mix comfort, handling and cutting power really well, and its size means that it can get into smaller spaces than a regular sidewinder saw. This worm drive saw is relatively low weight which also makes it easy to transport, and reduces fatigue from long-term use.

Why We Like It
  • Comfortable design.
  • Durable.
  • Specially-designed cord protection system.
  • Electric brake.
  • Cuts accurately.
Cutting Capacity
2-3/8 Inches.
Motor RPM
4800 RPM.
Weight
13.8 Pounds.
Our Verdict

This worm drive saw is simple, taking a basic design and adding to it without being too complicated for first-time users. This makes it perfect for entry-level work and cutting through common material types.

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6. SKILSAW SPT77W-01 Worm Drive Saw

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The SPT77W is a lightweight and accurate worm drive saw that is built for precise cuts. The Cut-Ready system helps you measure the depths of your chosen materials, and it can bevel by up to 51 degrees for angled slices. The powerful 15-amp motor means that you are able to saw through tough materials really easily, and the built-in anti-snag guard ensures that none of the wood shavings can jam the blade.

This worm drive saw also comes with a multi-function wrench that you can use for general repairs. This includes swapping out the blade, replacing parts, or opening it up for oil and brush-based maintenance.

Why We Like It
  • Very lightweight.
  • Strong and reliable motor.
  • Easy to maintain and repair.
  • Snag guard.
  • Cut-Ready measurement system.
Cutting Capacity
2-3/8 Inches.
Motor RPM
5,300 RPM.
Weight
18.6 Pounds.
Our Verdict

This saw is another example of a basic design turned into something very practical, with the extra features making it much more efficient at dealing with thicker surfaces. The fact that you can measure the cut depth and bevel quite far opens up even more ways to use the saw, too.

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7. Makita 5377MG Magnesium Hypoid Saw

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This powerful worm drive saw uses a 15-amp motor to provide 4,500 RPM of cutting power at all times, fitting it all inside a relatively compact and lightweight body. Many of its components are made using magnesium, reducing its weight even further and allowing it to be hung from the ceiling with its retractable hook.

The internal gears are heat-treated to prevent usual wear and tear, and the entire saw has been built using oil bath technology for maximum performance. It even has a built-in fan that helps prevent dust build-up and removes other sources of internal damage. In addition, the worm drive saw’s exterior allows for quick one-handed adjustments using various rubberized levers.

Why We Like It
  • Easy to adjust on the fly.
  • Comfortable.
  • Great grips.
  • Heat-treated gears.
  • Very lightweight.
Cutting Capacity
2-3/8 Inches.
Motor RPM
4,500 RPM.
Weight
13.2 Pounds.
Our Verdict

This worm drive saw can be used almost entirely in one hand if needed, and its low weight means that you won’t hurt your arm if you need to perform a lot of cuts in a short span of time.

Editor Rating

8. SKILSAW SPT70WM-01 SAWSQUATCH Circular Saw

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This heavy-duty saw uses a big blade that can slice through nearly any material with ease, often letting you cut right through in a single attempt. Its 15-amp motor provides enough power to keep it spinning for long periods of time, and the durable construction helps prevent the usual wear and tear that your saws might experience. To stop the blade from jamming, it has an anti-snag guard, which also helps you cut accurately.

This worm drive saw can bevel by up to 51 degrees at almost any time, letting you create angled cut in any material. The high strength it offers means that it won't be stopped by glue, stick materials, or other layers that might get in the way of your cuts.

Why We Like It
  • Very durable.
  • Powerful.
  • Offers plenty of cutting strength.
  • Snag-preventing lower guard.
  • Can bevel.
Cutting Capacity
3-11/16 Inches.
Motor RPM
4,600 RPM.
Weight
16.45 Pounds.
Our Verdict

This saw is big, strong and tough, perfect for professional work in almost any environment. The great cutting power means that it will tear through all but the strongest surfaces in seconds.

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9. Bosch CSW41 Worm Drive Circular Saw

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This worm drive saw provides accurate cuts thanks to its clear design, which makes it really easy to track your cutting angle and direction from the left side. The already-great precision of its base design is boosted by the lightweight construction – mostly magnesium – that cuts down its overall weight. In terms of power, the CSW41 can deliver up to 5,3000 RPM at any time, despite only weighing a mere 13.2 pounds.

This worm drive saw has a custom wrench that you can use to swap out any of its parts, ensuring that you will always have maintenance and repair tools within reach if something goes wrong. To help prevent performance issues, this saw has been given an anti-snag guard at the bottom to stop debris from blocking the blade’s path.

Why We Like It
  • Excellent cutting power.
  • Great torque.
  • Lightweight design.
  • Very accurate.
  • Comfortable grip handles.
Cutting Capacity
7-1/4 Inches.
Motor RPM
5,300 RPM.
Weight
13.2 Pounds.
Our Verdict

The chainsaw-style grips of this worm drive saw are only the tip of the iceberg. It is strong, powerful and able to make accurate cuts without weighing you down.

Editor Rating

10. Milwaukee 6477-20 Worm Drive Circular Saw

Milwaukee 6477-20 Worm Drive Circular Saw

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This simple, durable worm drive saw takes a basic design and expands on it, providing strong cuts and great performance without getting too complicated. Its standard 15-amp motor allows the blade to spin at 4,400 RPM, enough to easily cut through a huge range of materials. The main body is made with magnesium, reducing its total weight and offering more durability than plastic parts.

The hardened steel gears used internally are able to endure high torque without wearing out, which reduces how often you will need to perform maintenance. This worm drive saw also has a heavy-duty shoe design that is meant to resist warping and bending, making it easier to keep your cuts accurate even during long jobs.

Why We Like It
  • Strong motor.
  • Easy to use.
  • Very simple design.
  • Durable and lightweight.
  • Uses hardened steel for vital components.
Cutting Capacity
2 3/8 Inches.
Motor RPM
4,400 RPM.
Weight
19 Pounds.
Our Verdict

This worm drive saw has an extremely simple design and visual style, but it is still very powerful. This makes it a great choice for basic jobs or people who an entry-level worm drive saw, regardless of the situation.

Editor Rating

Buyer’s Guide to Worm Drive Saws

Like any saw, a worm drive saw can have any number of features and special attributes, but not all of them will actually be useful. Practical tools aren’t always easy to modify or adjust in the same way that digital devices can be, and saws are a very clear example of that. Many saws are built for a specific job type or purpose – even if they can handle another situation, that doesn’t mean that they are the best choice for it. Knowing what to look for when buying a worm drive saw can save you a lot of time, money and stress in the future.

Safety Features

The average power saw can cut through metal in seconds, so even the weakest saw you can find might still cut through skin and bone before you have a chance to protect yourself. Safety is the most important part of buying any kind of tool, after all. Thankfully, most worm drive saws are designed with grips above and behind the blade itself, so you are not usually going to put yourself in danger.

The real risk comes when something goes wrong. For example, if your saw bevels, does it lock into place or just ‘float’ there on a stiff joint? If a saw won’t actually lock into place, you never know when it might swing the wrong way or flip upwards, which can put you in danger and completely ruin the precise cut you were working on.

That is not the only problem you need to watch out for, though. Let’s say you buy a random worm drive saw off the shelf without understanding its specifics: you won’t know if a certain blade is supposed to fit into it, or how often you are supposed to maintain it. The same should be said for online purchases: always read up on the specifics of a saw before buying it since you never know what you will miss. For example, a loose blade might bounce around inside the saw and cut through its internal parts, leaving you with a ruined tool that can’t be repaired easily.

Size

Saws come in all shapes and sizes, but that doesn’t mean they are all applicable to the same situations. A larger saw is able to cut through more materials at once and is often stronger than the average model, but this comes at the cost of weight and precision. The bigger the saw, the bigger the blade, and there is only so far you can go before it becomes impractical.

The opposite is also true – a medium-sized saw might struggle to cut through a thick metal plate or beam, but it can manage eventually. However, a small one might be physically too small to reach all the way through, leaving you with no way to completely separate the two halves. Even if you are working with a thin material, a small blade can only cut through so much per minute, which will affect your productivity during long cutting tasks.

Weight

Both heavy and light saws can be a pain to use in different circumstances. Heavy designs come with all the issues you’d expect: arm fatigue, awkward balance, no way to hold them with one hand, and so on. However, the main issue is that they become harder to move around. The heavier a saw is, the more annoying it will be to transport it from place to place, especially if you only have a regular car (or even worse, if you have to carry it by hand). This won’t matter much in your own garage, but it can make a difference if you are a contractor who needs to work all across a city.

On the other hand, if a saw is too light, it might actually become equally annoying to use. We expect a certain amount of weight from powerful tools, and it is easy for your brain to trick yourself. You will adapt eventually, but it is easy to overshoot a certain point you were cutting to, and you won’t have the same level of gravity helping to pull your saw down onto the cutting surface. If you regularly end up with tired arms, though, a lightweight tool can be a huge relief.

Cut Depth

Cut depth is often directly linked to blade size, although the design can play a part too. If you are trying to cut through an eight-inch surface, but your blade only has a seven-inch cutting depth, you won’t be getting through from one side, no matter how much you try. This might not matter with poles, beams and other objects that you can rotate, but trying to slice through a stationary surface can become really hard.

There is also the issue of over-cutting. If your blade goes too far, you can quite easily start cutting into your work surface or whatever’s behind your material, which can lead to a huge range of problems. You never know when a wooden wall can be hiding a pipe, or a panel on a table can be covering some of your other important equipment.

Some models give you ways of adjusting your cut depth, and others will have it adjust based on how far you’ve beveled, but this isn’t always in your control. It is not usually as simple as swapping out the current blade for a smaller size, either: most saws are designed to work with a single blade size, and nothing else will be completely safe to use.

Expert Tip

Many experts choose to change the oil in their worm drive saw after ten hours of first-time use, followed by future changes every fifty hours. This depends on how often you use it and the kinds of materials it is cutting through, though.

Did you know?

A worm drive saw is generally more powerful than a sidewinder saw, making them more desirable for cutting metals and other strong materials.