Since we specialize in saws like band saws and chainsaws, I know the many types of saws out there can be a little confusing. One thing’s for sure: circular saws are extremely useful in any project. There are smaller ones for DIY projects, larger ones mainly meant for cutting through slabs of metal, and then there are worm drive saws.
Worm drive saws are powerful and built for confined spaces or unique construction purposes. Where many other saws have blades powered by electricity or battery, these are propelled by a worm gear (which looks like a heavy-duty spiral).
Since the spiral is designed to crank the gears, turning the saw’s blade at a 90-degree angle, and these bad boys are electrically-powered, you can get some pretty intense cuts out of these guys (such as sawing through a few boards at once).
Worm drive saws are powerful, but which ones are the best? There are so many on the market, since they are such versatile and excellent options for many DIYers and construction workers.
To help you make sense of all the option, I’ve gathered the best saws and compiled everything for you to read through (instead of skimming dozens of websites for particulars). Here are the top 3 best worm drive saw options, with details and an overall rating.
My top choice for the best worm drive saw is the DeWalt DWS535B. It has the durability, quality, price, and overall function of a true winning worm drive saw. Not only does it top this list, but it tops worm drive saw lists over and over again.
Last update on 2020-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Table of Contents
The 3 Best Worm Drive Circular Saws
One of the quickest and easiest ways to identify a worm drive saw is by looking at the handle. If the handle grip runs parallel to the vertical height of the tool, it’s probably a worm drive. The handles are designed this way for maximum power and muscle comfort.
DeWalt really knows tools. They build everything from heavy-duty hammers to high-quality toolboxes, and they deliver as promised every time. As one of the best tool manufacturers out there, it’s no wonder they’ve perfected the worm drive circular saw.
The DeWalt DWS535B is a heavy-duty power tool and Guaranteed Tough™. It has everything you might need from a worm drive saw, from a durable magnesium floor plate to an electric brake which stops the blade as soon as the trigger is released.
Curious about the details of this excellent drive saw? Here they are:
- Power: Corded electric
- Saw: 7-¼”
- Motor AMP: 15 (4,800 RPM)
- Weight: 17.95 lb
- Highlight: Overall best
- Lightweight durable construction
- TOUGHCORD™ protection system
- Electric Brake for automatic blade stop
- Extra wide sawhook (2 ¾”)
- 53 degree bevel
- Three-year limited warranty
- One year free service
- 90-day money-back guarantee
What Other People Are Saying
In all of the reviews left for DeWalt’s great worm drive saw, we have yet to see a review under 4 stars. This has been called a “contractor-grade worm saw,” and it’s definitely worth every penny. Besides being manufactured by one of the best, it is one of the best.
- Lots of power, runs smoothly, and is relatively quiet
- This tool is sturdy, well-built, and well-balanced
- Footplate is solid and durable
- Easily cuts through concrete
- Can be challenging to find a good case for the tool
Editor’s Rating: 4.75/5
In the end, you can’t go wrong with this option. It made our best worm drive saw list for good reason: it’s one of the best.
Makita makes some pretty great power tools, and it’s no surprise that their take on the worm drive saw is unique and highly reviewed. All of their products come in the iconic dusty turquoise color that works as its own symbol of quality.
While this worm drive saw isn’t as close to being perfectly reviewed as DeWalt’s (Option #1), it has gained a lot of traction with hundreds of customers reporting that they’re very happy with the overall build, function, and durability of their Makita 5377MG saw.
Here are some things you should know about this great tool.
- Power: Corded electric
- Saw: 7 ¼”
- Motor AMP: 15 (4,500 RPM)
- Weight: 13.2 lb
- Highlight: Versatile power, highly reviewed
- Lightweight design and jobsite safe
- Retractable hook
- Heat-treated hypoid steel gears
- 100% inner oil surface coating for less maintenance
- One-year warranty
- 30-day refund policy
What Other People Are Saying
Most ratings given for this saw fall above the three-out-of-five range, and you can find happy customers on many online stores. Generally, this worm drive saw has been a hit with those who have given it a chance to make their jobs easier.
- The saw is easy to use, powerful, and well-balanced
- On sharp angle cuts, the operating guard lifts smoothly without snagging
- A rafter hook is included
- Don’t need to change the oil
- Depth lock and guide rail may bend easy
- Rubber covers can be cumbersome
Editor’s Rating: 4.13/5
Outside of the odd, infrequent malfunction or general shipment issues from ordering this saw online, it’s an excellent worm drive saw that delivers results and will be less of an arm workout than some of the other saws of its caliber.
SKILSAW was the company that really introduced many saws into the world of construction, and their quality and professionalism are hard to beat. This option is easy on the wallet and definitely easy on the arms, as it’s only 11.5 pounds.
If you’re looking for a lightweight, heavy-duty circular saw that can rip through materials and keep lines straight and nice, this is the perfect option. It has lots of features and wonderful reviews, and the manufacturer is one of the best.
Here are the features, details, reviews, and our overall rating of this worm drive circular saw:
- Power: Corded electric
- Saw: 7 ¼”
- Motor AMP: 15 (5,300 RPM)
- Weight: 11.5
- Highlight: Value-added features
- Lightest magnesium construction
- Accurate depth measurements
- 53-degree bevel
- Anti-snag lower guard for smooth cutoffs
- SKILSAW stay true guarantee (180-day refund guarantee)
- Works with all woods
- Dual-field motor
- No-load RPM of 5,300
What Other People Are Saying
This worm drive saw has received hundreds of positive reviews from multiple sellers all over the United States, and many of the customers have voiced their overall satisfaction and appreciation for a lightweight, easy-to-use SKILSAW power tool circular saw that gets the job done.
- Lightweight construction means less fatigue
- Its 15-amp power allows the saw cuts quickly
- Built-in measurement system to help you easily measure, meaning less mistakes
- Has an anti-snag lower guard
- The saw may require frequent lubrication
- Only suitable for hobby or small project use
- No carry case, meaning it isn’t suitable for travel
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
On the whole, this is an excellent saw with plenty of great features from a reputable tool manufacturer. It is easy to use, lightweight, built to last, and comes with an extra blade. While it’s not going to saw through every material out there, it’ll come pretty close.
Comparing all the options for saws can be a lot to take in, and deciding between three of the best worm drive saws from this best-of review might seem a little bit like a toss up in the end. Never to fear, here’s a quick guide to skim and see what you should be keeping in mind for your next power tool decision.
Keep in mind that while there are plenty of worm drive saws available today, not all of them have the power, cut depth, and accessibility as the options listed here.
Your Projects and Usage
Are you building houses regularly or are you repairing an old shed? You might be using any of these high-power worm drive saws any given day of the week, or you may be gearing up for one kick-butt project before storing this tool for a little while.
Keep in mind how frequently you’ll be using a worm drive saw and for what kind of work. For example, if you’re building up a small remodeling business and you want it to last for a while, it’s a good idea to invest in DeWalt’s option, so you know it’ll last through anything.
If you’re using this sporadically to blast through projects as they come up, the DeWalt worm drive would still work but Makita’s 5377MG hypoid saw might be a little more practical.
Cut Depth and Materials
You may be cutting through counters or regular 2x4s, but you do need to know how deep you’ll need the saw to go. These are some of the most heavy-duty saws on the market for personal use, and they can usually meet any needs you have, as far as thick materials go.
Keep in mind the depth of the materials you use for projects and if you’re using this for regular projects. If it’s being used for a remodel, take a look at all of the materials you’re using. Most of them can be ripped easily by these worm drive saws, but check the cut depth needed.
Worm Drive Saw Features
Maybe a three-year warranty is a selling point for you, but maybe someone else considers the saw color a bigger factor as to what they’re purchasing. Look over the features of each option and see which ones are selling points and which are convenient bonuses.
Keep in mind that some things are necessary for saws and while they might not be the most convenient things (like shorter cords or heavier weights), they are often important to the integrity of the saw’s functionality.
This one might seem a little self-explanatory, but investing in the best worm drive saw out there (like DeWalt’s) when you only really need a simple job done might not be the best investment.
We’re all looking to make projects easier and more professional, but if a one-time use is in the future of whatever saw you buy, it’s best to go with the most valued option or even see if construction workers in your area have a great one you could rent for a day.
If you’re looking for the next best power tool to add to your collection of construction-savvy, project-crushing machinery, adding one of the best worm drive saws from this best-of list will definitely make your next project fast and professional.
While my top pick continues to be Option #1, the other two options are fantastic power tools that can help you power through any project, any time.
Worm Drive Saw Safety
In the world of projects and construction, accidents happen a little more frequently. Luckily, there are some general precautions we can all take when we’re handling a worm drive circular saw at the jobsite:
- Wear gloves and goggles. Even experienced sawmen should wear protective gear while they’re operating heavy-duty cutting equipment like any of these worm drive saws.
- Keep it tidy. Having sawdust and boards lying everywhere might not look great, but the bigger problem is that it can cause tripping and other health hazards around dangerous equipment.
- Unplug the machines. Once you’re done using a worm drive saw or any other power tool, leave it unplugged. Unless it’s consistently being used throughout an entire project, leaving tools like this plugged in can create opportunities for accidents to occur.
- Store it low. Storing heavy or bulky workshop items high up on shelves could result is a hazard, as it falling off said shelf could damage property or cause injury. When you store a worm drive saw, store it somewhere low.
- Keep away from children and animals. Whether stored or in use, keep these power tools away from curious children and animals. When you’re storing your tool lower to prevent any falling accidents, try locking the doors it sits behind to keep out curious little hands.
When it comes to saws, we know where to find the best of the best, so that’s exactly what we’ve rounded up for you. In the end, DeWalt’s fantastic Option #1 is clearly the winner, although the rest are still top of the game, as well.
Hopefully this list of the best worm drive saws available today has helped you find the right tool to move on to more challenging and exciting projects in the future.
Best Product Overall
The overall best product is the SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 Worm Drive Circular Saw. This one has the reputability of a fantastic tool company and the saw is powerful and easy to use.
Best Value Product
The best value product on our best-of list is the Makita 5377MG Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Hypoid Saw. This one is excellent and comes in a fantastic price range.