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Best Worm Drive Saws of 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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a worm-drive saw in actionIf you are an avid woodworker, you will know that it is imperative to have the right tool for the job. Sure, you could eventually saw through that block of wood using a hacksaw, but this is really only an option if you are extremely bored, or in need of some serious exercise.

For the rest of us, a worm drive saw is a much better option. It is more expensive and heavy than your standard circular saw, but you can also do a whole lot more with it. Because it is an investment, you want the best worm drive circular saw.

Figuring out which option is best can be tough, though because there are a lot of options out there. That is why we have used our expertise in the industry and written these worm drive saw reviews.

We have picked out the best of the best so you can choose the option that you truly want.

A Glance at the Winners

ModelPriceWarrantyEditor Rating
(Best Overall)

Check Price
3 Years4.8/5

Check Price
1 Year4.7/5
Makita 5477NB
Makita 5477NB
(Best Value)

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1 Year4.5/5

Check Price
3 Years4.3/5
Milwaukee 6477-20
Milwaukee 6477-20

Check Price
5 Years4.0/5

5 Best Worm Drive Saws – Reviews 2020

1. DEWALT DWS535 Worm Drive Saw – Best Overall


We have to admit that we are partial to DeWalt, they offer excellent service, top-quality products, and guarantees that tend to be unmatched in the industry. For this saw, you have a 90-day money back guarantee, a 3-year limited warranty, and 1-year free service.

The saw hooks are very wide allowing you to use material that is 2 ½ inches wide. The machine incorporates the Toughcord Cord Protection System and this help to guard against the cord jerking and keeps it stable.

The footplate is tough and made out of magnesium that has been double-cast. The top spindle lock is optimally placed to make it simple to change out blades as and when necessary.

This is a 7 and 1/4-inch saw with a carbide-tipped blade. It is tough, strong and capable of tearing through even the toughest projects.

The no-load speed is 4 800 rpm, and you can cut up to 2 and 7/16-inches at a 90-degree angle. You can also cut up to 1 and 7/8 inches at a 45-degree angle. Bevel detents have been placed so that you can easily and quickly identify the more common angles.

  • Built well
  • Strong
  • High top speed
  • Great cutting depth
  • Specially designed for ease of use
  • Weighs 13.8 pounds
  • Not the cheapest, but still fairly priced
  • The plug doesn’t plug into a regular outlet


This model comes second in place. It is an excellent saw as well, but it just does not match up in terms of raw power. It is more suited for lighter use and would battle if it had to stand up to constant heavy use.

On the plus side, it is a very light machine – the lightest of all our top models. It has a 15-Amp motor and will stay cool, even after a lot of use. It will work on soft, engineered or hardwood types.

The maximum cutting capacity is 2 and 3/8 inches at a 90-degree angle. It does allow for beveling with positive stops 0 degrees and 45 degrees.

The Cut-Ready system makes it possible to cut to the correct depth with complete accuracy. The lower guard is anti-snag so that you can use this for small offcuts as well.

It does also come in at a better price than our top model, and you get 180 days to test it out.

  • Lightweight at just over 11 pounds
  • Simple to use
  • Really good if you need to do a lot of work overhead
  • Good price
  • 180 days to try it out
  • Not as powerful as we’d like
  • Better for more occasional projects than constant use

3. Makita Wormdrive Saw – Best Value

Makita 5477NB

Our third option gives a whole new meaning to the phrase power tool. In this case, though, this is because you need to be pretty powerful to hold it.

Don’t get us wrong; it is an impressive machine and, if they could have done something about the weight, it would have been our top pick. The other thing that pushed it out of the top spot was that your trial period is only 30 days and the limited-warranty is only for a year.

Still, it does come in tops when we consider value for money. Its performance mimics those of our top models, at a fraction of the price.

The company spent a lot of time building a high-quality product. The gears are made out of heat-treated steel to ensure that they last longer. They are also hyoid gears to ensure a more constant power supply.

With a 15-amp motor, this saw cuts like a hot knife through butter. It has a maximum cutting depth of 2 and 3/8 inches at a 90-degree angle, and 1 and ¾ inches at a 45-degree angle. It has a maximum bevel capacity of between 0 degrees and 51 degrees.

  • You can’t beat the price
  • Excellent quality
  • Works really well
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Hyoid gears made from steel
  • Heavier than the others at 14.3 pounds.
  • Shorter trial period

4. DEWALT DCS577B Worm-Drive Saw


This option snuck in on our list despite not technically being a framing saw. We allowed it in because it performs many of the same functions. It came in fourth on our list because it does it is very heavy once the battery has been inserted – around 17 pounds.

You get DeWalt’s standard 3-year limited warranty. The blade cuts to a depth of 2 and 7/16 inches at a 90-degree angle and 1 and 7/8 at a 45-degree angle. It has four bevel stops – at 0, 22.5, 45 and 53.

Power-wise it has a good capacity and can reach up to 5 800 RPM. You can store the wrench to change blades on board, and the blade does have a set of electric brakes to stop it efficiently.

It would have been better, though, if DeWalt could have made blade changing easier. The DeWalt that we chose as our first pick, for example, had a spindle lock to make changing blades a breeze.

  • Good quality
  • DeWalt’s standard guarantee
  • Powerful
  • Price is a bit higher
  • Very heavy
  • No tool-free blade changing
  • Not able to cut quite as deep

5. Milwaukee 6477-20 Worm Drive Circular Saw

Milwaukee 6477-20

Our first clue that this model was a bad choice should have been the term “composite shoe.” Good luck finding out what it is composed of, but it looks and feels cheap. The lower guard was actually loose, so it would be really annoying if you were working on a long project.

We could just envision the hassle of having to stop and start work to get the guard back into position. It cuts okay, but we don’t have high hopes for it lasting much beyond the guarantee period if the slapdash work on the outside is anything to go by.

There is a year-long limited warranty, but we are not comfortable recommending this model, especially since it cost pretty much the same as the others anyway. If you want to save a buck, buy the Makita.

Unfortunately, it looks as though Milwaukee has really taken the cheapest possible route with this model and you can see the difference immediately.

  • 1-year warranty
  • It cuts
  • Shoddy workmanship
  • Cheap materials
  • Over-priced for what you are getting
  • Not likely to last long

Buying Guide

Finding the right worm drive saw for your needs means having some kind of idea of what to look for. Here is what you should consider:

Cutting Line Visibility

How well you can see the cutting line when you are working is extremely important. Badly designed options often miss the mark on this point, making it hard to see where you are cutting next. This not only makes getting accurate results harder, but it also makes operating the saw a bit more dangerous.


You need to have a wider range when it comes to beveling so that you have more freedom when it comes to cutting things at an angle. Having bevel stops at commonly-used angles is an extremely useful feature because it makes things simpler for you. This is important when you have a lot of work to do.

The Saw’s Housing

Find out ahead of time what the saw is housed in because this is one factor that will have a huge impact on how heavy the saw is and how well it holds up to extended use.

Magnesium housing is your best bet here because it is both strong and light. Be wary of cheaper versions where the saw is essentially housed in plastic. These housings will not last very long.

Dust Blower

This is a nice-to-have. It is not essential, but it does help to keep the cutting line clear of dust and debris. If your saw has one, it will be built into the front of the machine.

Change the Blades

Over time, the blade of the saw will blunt and need to be replaced. How often this will be will depend entirely on how heavily you use the saw. If it is just for occasional use, then needing to use a tool to replace the blade is not that much of an issue.

If, on the other hand, you will be using the saw a lot, or for more dense woods, you will need to change the blade more often. Some machines come with a simple lock that is opened so that you can get the blade out and change it short order.

You will need to decide which option is better for you and your level of use.

The Maximum Cutting Depth

Again, whether or not this is really important to you will depend on what kinds of projects you were mostly going to take on. And, let’s be honest here, if you were just cutting the odd bit of plywood, this would not really matter.

If you are going to the expense of getting this type of tool, though, you no doubt want to be able to take on thicker projects as well. Check how deeply the wood can be cut both if it is at a 90-degree angle to the wood and also when it is at a slanted angle.


That is about all of our reviews of worm drive saws. You’ll never go wrong with your money if you choose the DeWalt DWS535. It is a quality brand with an excellent warranty, and you have the opportunity to test it out for 180 days – more than ample time to see how you like it.

It is the only option that we reviewed that features tool-free blade changes.

If your budget won’t quite stretch that far, the Makita 5477NB offers you excellent value and a great product at a truly unbelievable price.

We hope that these reviews have given you something to think about and that you will find it easier to make your decision now.