10 Best Worm Drive Saws

  • Cutting Capacity : 2-3/8"
  • Weight : 11.5 Pounds
  • Motor RPM : 5300 RPM
  • Cutting Capacity : 2-3/8"
  • Weight : 19.3 Pounds
  • Motor RPM : 4500 RPM
  • Cutting Capacity : 2-7/16"
  • Weight : 10.9 Pounds
  • Motor RPM : 5800 RPM

1. Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX

The power tool world is full of hundreds of different options, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the choices you have when looking for handheld electric saws. From jig saws, skill saws, and sidewinder saws, there’s a tool to meet your needs. However, some tools work better for a job than others, and that’s why we’ve seen such a proliferation of new, innovative products.

That’s where worm drive saws come into play. They’re not necessarily new, but they are innovative. Worm drive saws feature the motor at the rear of the tool, and the gears that turn the blade are oriented at a 45-degree angle. What this does is produce more torque from your saw, although it comes at a cost of blade speed.

In addition, this orientation of the motor, gears, and blade puts the centerline of the motor parallel to the plane of your saw blade. Instead of the usual bulky profile you’re used to with handheld saws, this arrangement gives your saw a narrower profile, extending both your reach and your ability to make cuts in tighter spaces.

So, it’s pretty easy to see why there’s such a demand for worm drive saws. But when you’re looking for one, the options get overwhelming. Today, we’ll look at the top 10 worm drive saws available, why they’re great choices, and where you can buy them. This will help you narrow down your options and pick the saw that’s best for you.

Pros

  • Most powerful air impact gun in the market
  • Twin-hammer impact mechanism with adjustable torque
  • Lightweight: only 2.1 Kgs
  • Available in a sound reduction version
  • Max Power : 1350 ft.lbs
  • Weight : 4.6 lbs
  • Air Consumption : 6 CFM

2. Ingersoll Rand 231C

A classic tool, with the base design being 25 years old, Ingersoll Rand 231C is a boss for powerful nuts. Being refined over a period of 25 years, this tool performs on all aspects, be it power or durability.
The main attraction of this air impact wrench is its two piece construction which allows easy maintenance, even at home. It has a maximum torque of 600 ft. lbs with an adjustable power regulation.
The pressure feed lub system ensures easy lubrication helping the impact wrench run lag free for extended periods of time.
Main features of this tool
1/2″ inch anvil: available in extended anvil format
7.3 mm in length
Weight of only 5.8 lbs (2.63 Kg) making it extremely durable for usage over extended periods of time
600 ft. lbs of nut bursting torque
Adjustable mechanism for easy torque control
Twin hammer mechanism from Ingersoll Rand
Ergonomic design with just 2 parts, ensuring ease of use and maintenance
Pressure feed lubrication mechanism

Pros

  • Tough and durable tool, can withstand a fall with ease
  • Twin-hammer impact mechanism with powerful performance
  • 500+ positive reviews on Amazon
  • Max Power : 600 ft. lbs
  • Weight : 5.8 lbs
  • Air Consumption : 22 CFM

The power tool world is full of hundreds of different options, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the choices you have when looking for handheld electric saws. From jig saws, skill saws, and sidewinder saws, there’s a tool to meet your needs. However, some tools work better for a job than others, and that’s why we’ve seen such a proliferation of new, innovative products.

That’s where worm drive saws come into play. They’re not necessarily new, but they are innovative. Worm drive saws feature the motor at the rear of the tool, and the gears that turn the blade are oriented at a 45-degree angle. What this does is produce more torque from your saw, although it comes at a cost of blade speed.

In addition, this orientation of the motor, gears, and blade puts the centerline of the motor parallel to the plane of your saw blade. Instead of the usual bulky profile you’re used to with handheld saws, this arrangement gives your saw a narrower profile, extending both your reach and your ability to make cuts in tighter spaces.

So, it’s pretty easy to see why there’s such a demand for worm drive saws. But when you’re looking for one, the options get overwhelming. Today, we’ll look at the top 10 worm drive saws available, why they’re great choices, and where you can buy them. This will help you narrow down your options and pick the saw that’s best for you.

  1. SKILSAW SPT77WML

What’s great:

  • Light weight
  • 15-amp motor
  • Affordable
  • New cooling technology
  • Good blade guards

The SKILSAW SPT77WML is a consensus number-one pick on many different lists across the internet, and it makes the top spot on our list as well. Boasting a 15-amp motor and a 53-degree cutting bevel, this 120-volt machine clocks in at only 11.5 pounds. According to SKILSAW, their 53-degree cutting bevel gives you a greater range of cutting options. And, with the 15-amp motor, you shouldn’t have a hard time cutting through some of the denser wood that’s popular to work with, like walnut or cherry.

Also of note are the well-designed blade guards. These are built to industry standard, meaning that they’ll withstand tough kickbacks.

Verdict: It’s hard to beat the value of this offering from SKILSAW. You get a great tool for a reasonable price.

  1. Makita 5477NB

What’s great:

  • 15-amp motors
  • 4500 RPMs
  • Rubberized handgrips
  • Angled drill capacity
  • Solid metal-built frame

Makita is a popular brand because they make great tools at reasonable prices. The 5477NB worm drive saw is no exception. It’s a fantastic saw that features bigger gears than most other worm drive saws. The bigger surface area on the gears leads to more power, as evidenced by the 4500 RMPs you’ll generate while using this saw.

And, as is standard with Makita, you’ll get rubberized, comfortable hand grips that are great for extended use.

Verdict: The oil bath technology integrated into the gear housing means you’ll have to do less maintenance to keep this thing running, and the only reason it’s not the number-one saw on this list is its weight.

  1. DeWalt DCS577B Flexvolt

What’s great:

  • Battery power gives it more mobility
  • DeWalt standard 3-years warranty
  • Electric brakes
  • Four bevel stops for advanced cutting
  • Up to 5800 RPMs

The DeWalt DSC577B Flexvolt saw is an intriguing saw. It’s a battery-powered tool, with a 60-volt battery being the source of power. The saw has different blade depths it can cut at, ranging from 2 7/16ths inches at 90 degrees, and 1 7/8ths inches at 45 degrees. That flexibility in cutting options is why it’s in the third spot on our list, despite its heavy weight – 17 pounds once the battery is in.

Verdict: The electric brakes built into this saw make it an instant winner as far as safety is concerned. But it’s pretty heavy, at 17 pounds, and the cost of just the saw (without the battery) is a bit spendy, but if you want a lot of power, this is your saw.

  1. DeWalt DWS535B

What’s great:

  • Electric brakes
  • 15-amp motor
  • 4800 RPMs
  • Aluminum frame
  • Toughcord protection

This DeWalt is the smaller, lighter brother of the DSC577B. It’s corded, so you don’t have near the flexibility that you do with a cordless tool, but you do have the advantage of not running out of power, or needing to buy batteries.

Add to that the electric brake that stops the blade once the trigger has been released, and the incredibly lightweight frame, and you have a tool that really does live up to the DeWalt name. It doesn’t have as many of the bells and whistles as the other saws ranked higher, but if you’re just looking for something to put the nose to the grindstone and get the job done, this is that saw.

Verdict: This saw is hard to beat for the value, power, and lightweight construction. With the electric brake that stops the blade, you’re getting a really good tool for a really good price.

  1. Makita 5377MG

What’s great:

  • Saw is built from lightweight magnesium
  • Clocks in at 13.2 pounds
  • Oil bath technology to reduce maintenance needs
  • Makita rubberized grips
  • 15-amp motor at 4500 RPMs

Again, it’s no surprise that another Makita saw makes this list. This saw is different than the other one that took the number two spot, mostly in that it’s built from magnesium. This gives it an extremely light weight that’s hard to beat.

On top of that, Makita makes use of a hypoid gear system, which are different from the traditional bronze gears used in most worm drive saws. Hypoid gears don’t wear as quickly, meaning you’ll get more life out of this saw.

The only thing that folks have knocked this saw for is its initial torque upon firing it up. If you’re doing smaller, more refined cuts, you may not want this saw.

Verdict: This Makita is a good option if you’re looking for something slightly different than the other Makita on this list. There’s really nothing else to say about this tool – it gets the job done.

  1. Milwaukee 6477

What’s great:

  • 15-amp motor
  • 4400 RPMs
  • Steel gears
  • Composite shoe
  • 5-year warranty

If you’re new to the worm drive saw game, this Milwaukee might be your best bet. It’s a good saw to use when putting it under heavier loads, as its 15-amp motor delivers ample torque to cut through anything.

The steel gears mean that it should last longer than a saw made with the traditional bronze gears. The composite shoe helps reduce weight while giving you a firm, reliable surface on which to cut. However, Milwaukee didn’t cut the weight enough on this saw, as it still clocks in at 14.3 pounds.

Verdict: You’re paying a lot for a saw with not nearly the power, RMPs, or features as others on this list. While it’s still a good product, it’s not great, and that’s why it’s right here at number 6.

  1. Bosch CSW41

What’s great:

  • Incredible ease of use
  • Light weight
  • Anti-snag lower guard
  • Automatic lubrication system
  • 5300 RPMs

This saw is heralded as one of the most user-friendly worm drive saws on the market. The 5300 RPMs is certainly impressive, especially considering that’s coming out of the same 15-amp motor used by every other saw on this list.

The vibration from this saw is a lot less than others, it’s very affordable, and cuts incredibly accurately. However, it gets knocked down on our list because it needs more safety features built in, and the workmanship is a bit shoddy. While you won’t be disappointed with this saw, there are definitely better options out there.

Verdict: For close to the same price, you can get other, better saws. The lack of improved safety features is something that worries us, but if you know your way around power tools, you should be able to make this work without a problem.

  1. DeWalt DCS577XI

What’s great:

  • Light weight
  • Built-in dustblower
  • Electronic brake
  • Brushless motor
  • 5800 RMPs

DeWalt seems intent on building incredibly powerful saws, which isn’t a bad thing at all. That just means you’ll pay up for it, which is certainly the case with this saw. This is another cordless option, but doesn’t weigh nearly as much as the other cordless DeWalt on the list. It clocks in at 13.1 pounds, which is really light.

However, it’s really expensive. That’s really the big knock against this model. If it weren’t so expensive, it might claim the top spot on the list. It’s incredibly easy to use, and some say it’s just as nice as a corded model.

Verdict: You’re paying for a lot of saw. And, in all fairness, you do get quite a bit of saw for your money. But not everyone wants to spend that kind of money, especially when corded options run less than half this. Although, it should be noted that this DeWalt offers more power than any other saw on the list.

  1. Makita XSR01PT

What’s great:

  • 5100 RMPs
  • 68 pounds with batteries
  • Auto speed change
  • Brushless motor
  • Long runtime

Makita’s cordless entry has an impressive amount of power coming out of its brushless motor. Makita’s brushless motors are known for their longevity, especially in their drills, so it’s no surprise that they’ve introduced it to their worm drive saws.

This saw also boasts really good runtime, clocking in at 5.0 Ah. Plus, when you buy this particular saw, you get two batteries included. So that helps offset the rather high cost of the saw itself.

Verdict: You get a saw with two batteries, a charger, and an impressive 5100 RPMs. It’s cordless, and it’s hard to knock any part of the performance of this saw. However, you can get just as good performance out of a corded saw for less than half the price.

  1. SKILSAW SPT77W

What’s great:

  • Lightweight
  • Strong motor
  • Snag guard
  • 5300 RPMs
  • Solid build quality

Ending the list is a decent, but not impressive, 5300 RPM offering from SKILSAW. It’s heavier than we’d like, but still light enough for all-day use. It’s built more with precision, straight-line cuts in mind than any of the other saws on this list. You do have a 15-amp motor in this, too.

For a corded offering, it’s a decent piece of machinery. But there are better options out there, so unless you just fall in love with this one, we’d recommend spending your money on one of the other saws on this list.

Verdict: There’s nothing that really shouts “pick me!” about this saw. And that’s why it finished at number ten on our list.

What are worm drive saws used for?

Worm drive saws are used in just about every capacity you can think of, although they excel in framing or major renovation jobs. This is due to their design that allows for longer, more precise cuts. These saws typically weigh more than their sidewinder circular saw counterparts, though that only helps in making longer cuts.

In short, you can use a worm drive saw for any task you’d use a sidewinder circular saw for, but if you’re doing any sort of framing or restoration work, you definitely want a worm drive saw. They’re heavier, stand up to abuse better, and produce better torque. This means they’ll cut through wood far quicker, extending the life of your blade, and your saw. When you don’t have adequate torque, your blade slows down and heats up. That heat gets transferred to the rest of the saw, and unless you’re working with a model that has state-of-the-art cooling systems, you’ll subject it to some unnecessary heating.

In addition, worm drive saws are safer because of their longer handle. Since you’re not holding onto the saw right next to the motor, as you do with a sidewinder, you’re further back from the saw. If a saw kicks back on you, you want to be as far away from it as possible. Worm drive saws accomplish that task for you.

Buying tips

Obviously, you want to stay within your budget. However, you shouldn’t need to spend more than $160 or so to get a quality, dependable worm drive saw. Corded models are still the best choice, because the cordless models are heavier. That leads to increased fatigue throughout the day of using your saw, and fatigue can lead to accidents and injuries. A saw that’s light, and feels good in your hands, is the one you want.

At the end of the day, that’s perhaps the most important thing to consider – how does the saw feel in your hands? You want to be comfortable working with your saw. No amount of power or torque is worth discomfort, especially if you plan on using this saw for extended periods of time.

With that in mind, you should probably stick to a saw around 12 – 14 pounds. The best saws on this list all fall within that weight range. 12 – 14 pounds gives you plenty of stability when cutting through a variety of woods and materials, but it’s not so heavy that using it all day causes undue fatigue.

Power – and the subsequent RPMs – is also an important factor. After you’ve found a worm drive saw that’s the right price, and in a good weight range, then you should start looking at the power it generates. This matters quite a bit, for a couple of reasons.

First off, if you plan on cutting through wood that’s hard and dense – like maple, cherry, or walnut – you want plenty of power to push the blade. If your saw doesn’t have the power to slice through these materials, what happens is that the blade will heat up the wood instead of cutting through it. This heat is then transferred directly from the blade to the gears and motor of your saw. Too much heat will permanently damage your saw, shortening its lifespan.

The second reason you need to pay attention to power and RPMs is for safety. If you’re cutting through hard woods, and don’t have adequate power, you increase the risk of causing a kickback. This happens when your saw blade encounters a harder section of wood, kicking the entire saw back towards you. That’s obviously a dangerous situation, so you want as much power in your saw as possible.

Another thing to consider when buying a worm drive saw is the adjustability of the blade depth and bevel angle.

Blade depth is important because, especially with the long cuts common in framing, you want to cut completely through your workpiece. This is important, because you can only get accurate, effective cuts by cutting entirely through a piece in one pass. If you can’t adjust your blade depth to work for the different situations you find yourself in, then you’re severely limiting the efficacy of your worm drive saw.

Bevel angle is also important, because it allows you to do a few cool things. First off, though, is the ability to ensure that all your cuts are square and true. There’s nothing worse than making quite a few cuts, only to find that the angle of your blade was off just a few degrees, resulting in joinery that’s not quite flush. As the old saying goes, if it’s worth doing once, it’s worth doing right.

On the flip side of keeping everything square, a worm drive saw with an adjustable bevel angle also gives you the flexibility to make angled cuts. For work installing cabinets, baseboards, or other more intricate projects, you absolutely need the ability to make angled cuts. And again, this brings us back to the need to adjust your bald depth, too. When you make an angled cut, you may not be able to cut completely through your workpiece – if you can’t adjust your blade depth. Making sure you have that option really opens up what you can do with a good worm drive saw.

It can feel a bit daunting to take all of this into account when looking for a worm drive saw, but it’s imperative. By finding a good balance of price, weight, power, and an adjustable blade, you’ll be able to invest into a tool that’s going to give you years of dependable, hardworking service.

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