When sawing heavy or tough materials, it is important to have a machine that can deliver enough power. A worm drive saw is a type of handheld, circular saw that delivers a lot more power than a standard or sidewinder saw.
Even though worm drive saws are heavier than standard saws, they more than make up for it with the added power. They may not be necessary for the average person who wants to complete some DIY projects at home, but they are great for more intense woodworking projects.
Like with any other type of saw, it is important to buy the right worm drive saw to see its full benefit. There are so many models and makers on the market, which can make the decision a tough one.
We have narrowed down your options by expertly selecting the top five worm drive saws available.
The Best Worm Drive Saws for 2019
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Worm Drive Saws for 2019
- 2 1. DEWALT DWS535 – Best Overall
- 3 2. SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 – Lightweight Magnesium Worm Drive Saw
- 4 3. Bosch CSW41 – Highest Quality
- 5 4. Makita 5377MG – Magnesium-Powered Saw
- 6 5. Makita 5477NB – Best Budget Hypoid Saw
- 7 Before Buying a Worm Drive Saw – Buyer’s Guide
- 8 Use These Saws For Specific Projects
1. DEWALT DWS535 – Best OverallDEWALT is one of the top companies when it comes to materials for construction and job sites. It is a respected brand, which is part of the reason why the DWS535 is at the top of our list. And it helps that it is the best worm drive saw that you can purchase, especially if you are not on a budget.
Cuts with the DWS535 will be quick and precise. It has an extra-wide saw hook, which can help you make cuts that are up to 2.5 inches wide. The saw comes with a carbide-tipped blade and a blade wrench, which makes it easy for you to change blades on the job.
At a weight of 13.8 lbs, it is not the lightest on our list, but it is light enough that most users will have no problem handling this worm drive saw. And the 15 AMP motor that goes to 4,800 RPM is extremely powerful. The saw also has a bevel capacity of 53 degrees.
2. SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 – Lightweight Magnesium Worm Drive SawWith a weight of only 11.6 lbs, the SKILSAW SPT77ML-01 is one of the lightest worm drive saws on the market. And despite that lightweight nature, it is still very powerful in delivering cuts on various types of materials.
It has a 15 AMP motor that will you all the power you need, going up to 5,300 RPM. The bevel capacity is 53 degrees, which means that you can made wide cuts in many different angles with this saw.
SKILSAW has designed an anti-snag lower guard on this saw, meaning that you will get very smooth operation every time. The only issue with the saw is that due to its lightweight nature, it may not be as durable as some of the other models. It is made of very lightweight magnesium.
Those who want the lightest possible saw for the power, but do not work at very chaotic job sites, will find this saw perfect for their use. But if you care more about durability than a couple less pounds in weight, then you may want to go for the DEWALT model that is our number one choice.
3. Bosch CSW41 – Highest QualityBosch is another top company in the industry, which is why we know the Bosch CSW41 is a quality choice. It is an extremely powerful saw that delivers a no-load RPM of 5,300 and only has a weight of 13.2 lbs. The motor is 15 AMP.
The bevel capacity goes up to 51.5, with positive stops at 45. The gears are high quality and heat treated hypoid, which means they are going to last for a very long time. The gears are also designed to deliver more surface contact, as compared to other worm drive gears.
Thanks to the CSW41’s oil bath technology and sealed gear housing, maintenance is not a big issue with this saw. The motor has magnesium housing, which will ensure that it has a long life. The housing also keeps the motor cool.
There are five ball bearings on the saw, resulting in a very stable and smooth operation, no matter what material you are cutting. It also has a multi-function wrench that makes it fairly easy to change blades.
4. Makita 5377MG – Magnesium-Powered SawThe Makita 5377MG is one of the premium models from the company, as it is a magnesium worm drive saw. They are marketed as hypoid saws because they have heat-treated hypoid steel gears. Other worm drive saws have bronze-alloy gears.
It is one of the more durable saws that you can purchase. The motor is 15 AMPS and goes up to 4,500 RPM. While the raw power is a bit less than some of the above options, it is still much more powerful than a standard saw.
And where it may lack in power, the saw makes up for it with its lack of maintenance. It is going to require next to no maintenance, thanks to the gears and the oil bath gear coating that it features. Unlike some other worm drive saws on the market, it does not require oiling to maintain performance.
And the model is relatively light, at only 13 lbs.
5. Makita 5477NB – Best Budget Hypoid SawThe Makita 5477NB is very similar to the above model, except for one difference. It is not made of magnesium. The result is a slightly heavier worm drive saw, but also one that is a little more affordable. Those who want a budget-friendly saw with a lot of power, the 5477NB may be the ideal choice.
It has the same hypoid gears as on the 5477MG, along with the oil bath technology for increased durability and lack of maintenance. The motor is 15 AMPS and it has a bevel capacity of 51.5.
It is one of the heavier saws on the list, at 14.3 lbs. It may take a little bit of time for you to get used to it. But when you are comfortable holding and using the saw, it will deliver great performance thanks to the quality of its baldes, gears and overall mechanism.
Before Buying a Worm Drive Saw – Buyer’s Guide
What is a Worm Drive Saw?
A worm drive saw will have the worm drive motor at the rear of the machine. The power is transferred using a pair of gears that are usually at a 90-degree angle.
The result is a saw that may have a slightly slower blade speed, but delivers a lot more torque. And that results in more power. The motor position also means that worm drive saws are often longer than standard saws, while being heavier as well.
Are Worm Drive Saws Useful?
Many woodworking enthusiasts wonder why a worm drive saw would be useful to their arsenal of tools. If you already have a standard saw, you may think it can get the job done for you, even on tougher projects.
And while that is true, a worm drive saw will produce better results and lead to an easier working process. Worm drive saws have an increased capacity compared to standard saws, while they also give better visibility.
With the blade and machinery being on the left side, you have a clear view of the wood as you are making your cut. It can be very helpful when you are working with heavier and tougher wood, but still want to ensure that you get a precise cut.
Even though worm drive saws are heavier, it can be an advantage. So long as you can handle the weight, you will know this saw is very durable and sturdy. It is not the type of machine that is going to break down anytime soon!
A major positive of the worm drive saw is the versatility. Not only will it work on your standard plywood projects, but it is so powerful that you can use it on engineered lumber, particle boards, masonry, certain metals and other materials. It is the type of powerful, all purpose saw that will be perfect for those who do a lot of work around the house or frequent job sites.
Important Features of a Worm Drive Saw
The three most important features in a worm drive saw are the power, durability and ease of use. These are the factors that should determine what worm drive saw you purchase.
A motor that is 15 amps is common. Anything less means that you are not getting the full potential of a worm drive saw, and you may as well use a standard saw.
Durability matters too, as you are using these saws on job sites and other rough environments. The gears should be made of steel or similar material, while the body must be rugged enough to withstand rough treatment.
Ease of use is a crucial factor as well. There is no point having all that power if you are going to struggle to use the machine. It should be relatively simple to set up and comfortable to operate.
If the motor has magnesium housing, you know it is a durable saw that will last a long time. The motor must be properly protected, as it is vital to the saw remaining in top condition for many years.
Blade Change Mechanism
The worm drive saw should have an easy system for changing blades. When you are using these saws in a work environment, you may be working with different materials. Each material or type of cut you are making may require a different blade. If it takes ages to change blades, it will slow down your work tremendously.
When it comes to worm drive saws, the bevel capacity is an important feature. With a higher bevel capacity, the worm drive saw will be able to make cuts at many different angles. As you get more familiar with woodwork and attempt more complex projects, having a worm drive saw that can deliver a bevel capacity of 50 degrees or more is very useful.
Use These Saws For Specific Projects
Worm drive saws are not meant to be used for just any project. If you are completing a few basic projects at home, a standard saw will be cheaper, lighter and easier to use. However, when you progress to more advanced woodworking projects, both for professional or personal reasons, a worm drive saw has tremendous benefits.
The extra power is a delight, as it will ensure a clean cut and smooth finish on the toughest of wood. It is also easier to visually follow the cut you are making on a worm drive saw, as the blade is on the left side.
If you are searching for the best worm drive saw, regardless of price, the DEWALT DWS535 is a tremendous choice. It delivers all the power and extra features you will need. Those who want the lowest maintenance saw will love the Makita 5477MG, while the Makita 5477NB is also a solid choice at a more modest price point.
We hope our guide made your decision a little easier. Those who have experience with any of these worm drive saws should leave a comment below, as we love to hear from our readers regarding the products we recommend!