Last Updated on August 19, 2019 by woodcutter
When I ask a woodworker to choose between the Worm Drive vs Direct Drive Circular Saw most of them find it confusing. That’s normal when you have been faced by such an option for the very first time.
Even so, it doesn’t have to be that tough always. When choosing between these two woodworking saws, it is important that you understand that they are just two different types of the circular saws.
Needless to say, what will separate these two circular saws will depend on the answer to the following question. What type of circular saw do you want/need?
But as you will notice, the answer to that question will also be influenced by several other factors such as:
- What are you going to use the saw for?
- How much sawing power do you need?
- Are you right-handed or a left-handed?
- How much energy do you have?
- What is your level of experience when it comes to using saws?
- What’s your personal budget?
Worm Drive vs Direct Drive Circular Saw
Before we look at which saw is best for your use, let us first understand a few things about these two saws. Take a look.
What is a Worm Drive Saw?
The best worm drive circular saws have their motor stationed at the rear. The saw also has its gears perfectly oriented at an angle of 45°.
The blade speed of the worm drive circular saw is often slower. However, to compensate for the slower blade, the torque of the saw is often improved. Because the worm drive circular saw is heavier and longer, it has the blade situated on the left side of the saw.
In addition to that, the center line of the worm drive circular saw motor is usually parallel to the saw blade’s plane. Because of this, it gives the worm drive circular saw a narrow profile. The arrow profile is even better for users who want to work in tight spaces.
The worm drive also has a longer distance between its handle and its blade. This distance extends your reach in case you want to make a cut. This is quite helpful for any woodworker who is looking at crosscutting sheets.
A worm drive saw has also the larger gear teeth. The gear teething has more load-carrying ability compared to that of the direct-drive circular saw. This means the worm drive will also have more power and weight.
In my research, I noticed that an average worm drive will weigh about 13-14 lbs.
What is a Direct Drive Saw?
The Direct Drive Saw is also called a Sidewinder. It has a blade that sits next to the saw’s motor. This type of setting creates a wider profile. However, it also gives the saw a shorter length in general.
And since the saw’s handle is also closer to its blade, the reach of the saw is often reduced. However, this is not entirely a disadvantage. It is best for learners and will also provide them with the much-needed control.
Now, because of their design, the direct drive saws are often lighter. The average direct drive saw weighs just about 9-10 lbs.
This makes the direct drive saw super cool for the less-demanding projects. It can, therefore, work best for any repetitive cutting needs.
Additional Tips You Should Know
In overall, the worm drive saw is designed to provide users with better torque. They are designed to make your work easy, efficient, and faster.
The worm-drive saw also turns its blade by using the threaded worm drive. The worm drive runs through to the saw’s shaft. The worm has a thread that ties up all the connected gears on the blade arbor and in front of its motor.
It is this threading technology that gives the blade additional torque and thus makes it easier to cut with. It can slice through knotted hardwood.
A sidewinder saw on the other side has a higher load speed-RPM than the worm drive. And while it gets its name from the fact its blade sits beside its motor, it turns the blade directly and not with gears.
Sidewinder saws don’t also have a cutting torque that measures to that of the worm-drive saw. Thanks to the lack of gears which makes the motor’s energy to get lost.
Which One to Choose?
For a pro or the hands-on guy, the direct-drive saw is very light. It is also much more compact. It is also easier to manage and that makes it an ideal for any type of project. Nonetheless, the pro-grade sidewinder also has plenty of power for various tasks.
Next, depending on the hand that you use, you can choose a saw that suits you. The truth is your handling side won’ affect the type of circular saw that you choose.
Just remember that the worm-drive’s blade is on the left side and that makes it easy for the right-handed operator to use. The opposite is true for the direct-dive saw.