Best Worm Drive Circular Saws – 2020 Buyer’s Guide Review

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If you have never used a worm drive circular saw before, you will be absolutely blown away by the difference you feel as compared to a standard circular saw.

Worm drives, as we will go into detail below, are specifically designed to deliver almost unbelievable power and efficiency to the cuts you will be making.

Read on to learn more about these amazing tools and all the ways they can revolutionize your projects.

​Snapshot​! Best ​Worm Drive Circular Saws

​In a hurry? Here are our top picks​:

Best Overall
Milwaukee 2830-20
Runner-up
Bosch CSW41
Best for the Money
Skilsaw SPT77WML-01

Comparison Chart of the ​Best Worm Drive Circular Saws

Product

Our Rating

​Price

Milwaukee 2830-20

​Best Overall

Bosch CSW41

​Runner-up

Skilsaw SPT77WML-01

​Best for the Money

Skilsaw SPT70V

Best Skil Worm Drive Circular Saw

Dewalt DWS535B

Best De​Walt Worm Drive Circular Saw

Makita XSR01PT

Best Makita Worm Drive Circular Saw

Milwaukee 6477-20

Best Milwaukee Worm Drive Circular Saw

What is a Worm Drive Circular Saw?  

Worm drive saws are so named because of their internal gear systems, which are spiral shaped, like a worm on a sidewalk.

The design of these gears, plus their overall size (they are much larger than the gears you will find inside of a regular circular saw), is able to conduct power from the saw’s power source to the blade in a much more effective manner.

The design is helped by the location of the aforementioned gears comprising the motor, which is directly in line with the saw’s blade for high efficiency cutting. This means that these saws are ideal for hefty cutting jobs.

When Would a Worm Drive Circular Saw Come in Handy?

Home Renovation

If you are undertaking a massive home renovation project, you are going to want to go with a worm drive circular saw over all of the competitors. The amount of cuts you are going to have to make, plus the weird angles you will probably end up cutting at, make this saw your best choice.

Contract Work

Even if you are not renovating your own home, doing contract work on someone else’s home can be made significantly easier with the right worm drive circular saw. These saws are built to go the distance and make consistent cuts, day after day.

Construction Sites

What if you do not anticipate any sort of weird cuts, just a lot of cuts? Worm drive saws are also a great option for construction sites where you need to process a high volume of material. These saws will keep your cuts straight and true even after a hard day’s work.

Quick Take: Best Worm Drive Circular Saws

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best​ worm drive circular saws:

  1. ​Best Overall: Milwaukee 2830-20
  2. ​Runner-up: Bosch CSW41
  3. Best for the Money: Skilsaw SPT77WML-01

Review of the Best Worm Drive Circular Saws

Now that you know what these saws are and how they can be best used, let’s check out some top of the line products:

​Best Overall:
​Milwaukee 2830-20

PROS

  • Weighs around 15 lbs.
  • Has a rafter hanger for easy storage
  • Great for working on sheeting, framing, and fences
  • Endorsed for use by professional construction workers

CONS

  • Can loosen up and spin out

Our Review:

This saw is so unbelievably simple to work with. You can see the cut marks from either side of the saw’s blade, even when you are in the middle of cutting something – oh, and even if you are working in the dark or in low lighting conditions, thanks to the saw’s blade light.

You will also be able to go for hours when operating this saw, because its 12.0 V battery will last for an exceptionally long time (some users report only needing to recharge it after two and a half days of work!).

What Makes This Product Stand Out?:

Cleaning up this saw is an absolute breeze. The dust port attachment can easily be removed, only requiring you to work with one screw. The Milwaukee vacuum system works great at clearing out all the gunk that accumulates when woodworking.

​Runner Up:
Bosch CSW41

PROS

  • Lower guard prevents snagging
  • Handle is soft to grip and ergonomic
  • Does not produce a high level of vibration
  • Durable enough to stand up to everyday use

CONS

  • Customer service can be lackluster

Our Review

The number of convenience features included with this model simply boggles the mind. First, say goodbye to carrying around a toolbox all the time – this saw includes a multi function wrench that can solve any technical issues (including blade changes, brush changes, and lever adjustments).

This wrench is actually stored in a little compartment on board the saw itself. And this saw’s automatic oil lubrication system also takes yet another chore of your plate, and guarantees your saw is always sufficiently oiled, which extends its lifespan.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

One of the biggest gripes we have heard from working with circular saws is blade wiggle, which makes for less accurate cuts. No need to worry about that with this Bosch. The rigid motor housing ensures the blade stays in place to make the most accurate cuts possible.

​Best for the Money:
​Skilsaw SPT77WML-01

PROS

  • Feels high quality
  • Does not overheat
  • Can make quick cuts
  • Patented Cut Ready system helps with measuring cut depth

CONS

  • Shorter extension cord

Our Review

This is a saw that you could go all day and all night with. Not only does it stay tough even after running for extended periods of time, but components of it are made of magnesium, making it a lot lighter than many of the other saws we are reviewing on this list.

The saw’s snag guard prevents small wood shavings from getting trapped and gumming up the blade while you are cutting, which also helps you to make cuts as quickly and efficiently as possible. Finally, it can be beveled up to 53 degrees for angled cuts.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

You are not going to believe your eyes when you see the price point on this product. A worm drive saw for such a low, low price? You have got to jump on this deal as quick as you possibly can!

​Best Skil Worm Drive Circular Saw:
Skilsaw SPT70V​​​

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Makes clean cuts
  • Included blade is designed specifically for the saw
  • Much more powerful than some of the other brands on this list

CONS

  • Blade can dull fairly quickly

Our Review

Users report that this saw is the perfect option if you are looking for something that is tough and strong enough to cut through materials in one pass. It is especially excellent for consistently cutting through lots of thick materials at a large scale, so if you are a contractor or you work in construction, this should probably be the saw you choose to go with.

Also, if you are looking for something that can always make super clean, precise cuts, this is the saw for you. Its die cast magnesium footplate ensure it is as precise as possible.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Let’s say you are right handed and your partner is left handed. How do you find a saw that both of you can effectively use? Skilsaw has solved this problem by designing this saw with a handle that can be removed and screwed to either side of the saw’s body.

​Best Dewalt Worm Drive Circular Saw:
Dewalt DWS535B

PROS

  • Great for DIY projects
  • Does not have a ton of kickback
  • Comes with a three year warranty
  • Small enough to fit into tighter spaces

CONS

  • Does not have a wrench holder

Our Review

This saw is an excellent option for beginners and those who may be new to working with worm drive saws, or just circular saws/power tools in general. It is specifically designed to strike a good balance between being easy to operate, and still packing a hefty cutting punch.

Its strong electric brake should be a safety reassurance for anyone who may be a little nervous about operating a powerful worm drive saw for the first time. And even the process of changing out the blade is simple and easy, thanks to this saw’s spindle lock.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

We were really impressed with the cord protection system on this saw. It protects the cord from damage (which means it also protects you from electric shock!). And, it prevents you from suddenly yanking the cord out of the wall and causing your saw to die on you.

​Best Makita Worm Drive Circular Saw:
Makita XSR01PT

PROS

  • ​Well built
  • ​Has a rafter hook for convenient storage
  • ​Endorsed for use by professional contractors
  • Versatile, can tackle a wide range of different jobs

CONS

  • ​Does not have a cutline dust blower

Our Review

Okay, let’s take just a second and talk about the battery operation on this model. First of all, running on batteries means you can take it anywhere – forget about needing to be anywhere near an outlet.

You are probably thinking, yeah, but batteries run out of power pretty fast. Not so with this saw! It comes with batteries included, which is remarkable in and of itself, but best of all, these batteries last 50% longer than batteries from other saw brands! Plus, it incorporates automatic speed change technology, so you will not have to grapple with any sort of dial system.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

We were big fans of the brushless motor system that this saw incorporates. When a motor is brushless, that means it is able to run for longer periods of time, be more efficient overall, and most of all, avoid overheating.

​Best Milwaukee Worm Drive Circular Saw:
Milwaukee 6477-20

PROS

  • ​Not complicated to operate
  • ​Great for heavy volume cutting
  • ​Comes with a five year warranty
  • ​Does not require a ton of maintenance

CONS

  • ​On the heavier side

Our Review

The first thing that we noticed about this model was its intuitive shoe design, which is specifically intended to resist warping and bending over time. This design ensures that your saw will be able to make as accurate cuts ten years later as it did the day you first brought it home to your workshop.

It also has a number of convenience features, including a transparent oil tank so that you can visually eyeball where your oil is at and replace it before the level drops too low. Plus, the fan air naturally blows dust of the blade while you are cutting.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Are you sick and tired of having to open your saw up and give its internal gears some love to keep it running smoothly? This Milwaukee has internal gears that are made of hardened steel. Those babies will not wear down for years and years.

What is the Advantage of a Worm Drive Circular Saw?

Let's take a look:

Enhanced Cutting Power

We have said it before, and we will say it again – if you are looking to maximize your cutting efficiency, there simply is no type of circular saw that will serve you better than a worm drive. These saws take any power they are given and boost it to the max.

Easy to Use

Do not let the name intimidate you. These saws are straightforward and simple to operate. In fact, in many cases, they are actually easier to use than many other kinds of power tools. Even if you are a beginner to the world of circular saw use, you will be able to learn quickly how to use a worm drive.

Lightweight

Even though their gear systems are total beasts, these are still circular saws. They are intended to be manipulated and used to make cuts at a wide variety of different angles. Worm drive saws are specifically designed to be lightweight.

Worm Drive Saw vs Circular Saw

Worm drive saws are a subset of circular saws, but they do have some features unique to their worm drive status. As discussed above, a worm drive saw has a gear system that centers the saw’s motor directly in line with the saw’s blade, meaning it can deliver the maximum amount of power.

If you are looking for the most efficient circular saw on the market, you have to go with a worm drive.

Circular Saw Worm Drive vs Sidewinder

Sidewinder saws also take their name from the design of their motor – but this time, the motor is on the (you guessed it) side of the saw. This means that their motor power is less efficient than a worm drive saw.

On the other hand, the saw is lighter overall and more easy to handle. This is often a trade-off with saws – power vs. balance, and it is always something to consider.

Conclusion

Worm drive circular saws really do stand out from the rest of the pack when it comes to the power and torque they are able to deliver. You will for sure notice the difference if you ever make a cut with a worm drive as opposed to a more traditionally designed circular saw. Make sure you are investing in the right worm drive saw for your needs – size, safety features, and the like. We guarantee you will not be able to go wrong if you choose one of our models from the list above.

People Also Ask

Hopefully this section can help clear up any remaining questions you may have about worm drive circular saws

What Makes a Circular Saw a Worm Drive?

To reiterate, circular saws are worm drive saws if their motor is positioned directly in line with the saw’s blade, which means they are able to deliver much more torque than many other circular saw designs. Worm drive saws are ideal for large jobs and jobs where you need to make consistently precise cuts.

Who Invented the Worm Drive Circular Saw

Worm drive circular saws have been around for almost a hundred years! In 1923, Edmond Michel invented a circular saw with worm drive gears. Interestingly enough, he then went on to co-found the company that today is known as Skilsaw – with several models from their brand on this very list.

Worm Drive vs. Standard Circular Saw – Which is Easier to Use?

If you are entirely new to the world of working with circular saws, a standard circular saw would probably feel more intuitive because the balance will feel more like what you are expecting. However, plenty of beginner users report being able to use worm drive saws without any complications.