What Is the Purpose of a Worm Drive Saw?

November 4, 2021 10:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A worm drive saw is a unique type of circular saw that features a motor attached at the rear, which provides some additional power. The power is delivered via a pair of gears set at 90 degrees, resulting in greater torque but fewer revolutions per minute (RPM).

Whether you opt for a worm drive saw or a standard circular saw depends on the kind of job you have, what you need to accomplish and your own personal preferences.

Asking yourself, “What is the difference between a worm drive saw and a circular saw?”

There are a few key differences to be aware of when comparing worm drive saws to circular saws. Let’s take a look.

Blade orientation

Standard direct drive saws have blades on the right side (also known as being blade-right). Worm drive saws, on the other hand, have blades on the left.

While this might seem like a very minor or unimportant difference, it can actually have a significant effect on the visibility of the slice line. If you’re a left-handed user, you’ll get much greater visibility when working with blade-left worm drive saws, which are also longer and narrower. Blade-right circular saws in their standard format provide more visibility on the cut line to right-handed users.


As previously mentioned, worm drive saws provide much more power; this is due to their larger teeth that have a greater loading capacity. As a result, worm drive saws can handle tougher projects and loads with higher shock than can circular saws.


Worm drive saws have a lower spinning rate and rpm than standard circular saws because of their construction. With a standard circular saw, you can usually expect an rpm of 6,000 or more, while worm drive saws will generally max out at around 4,500 rpm. For this reason, worm drive saws provide more torque and circular saws provide more rotational speed.


Regular circular saws are typically lighter than their worm drive saw counterparts. This makes circular saws a bit more portable, which is why they’re such common fixtures at construction and jobsites. Conversely, the heavier weight of worm drive saws makes them ideal for performing long cuts in a descending direction.

A lot of times, contractors will use both saws—circular saws for crosscutting and worm drive saws for long-distance ripping—but both types of saws can be used for both purposes.

So, which is the better option between the two? It really depends on your personal taste. Worm drive saws will typically be more expensive, larger and a bit more difficult to maneuver in tighter environments. Circular saws lack the same power as worm drive saws but are more user-friendly, portable and likely to fit within a budget.

The choice is ultimately yours, but if you’re looking for further assistance in making your decision about a worm drive saw or circular saw, feel free to contact us at Superior Products, Inc. with any questions you have about cutting blades and the best saws to use for certain types of jobs.

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