Wormdrive vs sidewinder circular saw?

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Forum topic by Beginningwoodworker posted 02-07-2013 11:07 PM 6911 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13345 posts in 3911 days

02-07-2013 11:07 PM

Looking at getting a use USA made Skil HD5825 6-1/2’’ wormdrive circular saw or a use USA Porter Cable 743 7-1/4’’ Circular Saw. I am wondering getting the wormdrive be a better choice? I am going to using the circular saw for carpentry work.

24 replies so far

View cutmantom's profile


407 posts in 3273 days

#1 posted 02-07-2013 11:19 PM

i would go with the worm drive,i think though that 6-1/2 blades might be harder to find than 7-1/4, i like the blade on the left for visibility but you should consider your own personal preference, if possible you should try each one if you can

View SamuraiSaw's profile


515 posts in 2203 days

#2 posted 02-07-2013 11:19 PM

Worm drive saws are HEAVY!

Unless you’re going into full time framing, I wouldn’t recommend one. The PC is a better saw for general carpentry use. I’ve had one for several years and it is a solid saw.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View exelectrician's profile


2328 posts in 2665 days

#3 posted 02-07-2013 11:20 PM

Gave my worm drive to my son-in-law at 15 pounds plus the cord it just got too heavy for me to put anywhere I wanted it to go.
Very happy now with a l-ion powerd Bosch sidewinder at just over half the weight and no cord to boot. My 2 cents.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11156 posts in 3667 days

#4 posted 02-07-2013 11:26 PM

I absolutely love my Skil 77 worm drive. But, I only use it on horizontal work! I’d absolutely hate to lug that monster around a framing job.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3911 days

#5 posted 02-07-2013 11:26 PM

I will frame houses from time to time.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3089 days

#6 posted 02-07-2013 11:37 PM

Because of some gyroscopicisms, the worm drive will cut straighter. Generally they are longer lived. Those are the benefits; the drawbacks are as noted—weight. Heaviness. Mass.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View jack1's profile


2117 posts in 4265 days

#7 posted 02-07-2013 11:39 PM

Get a Makita. Bedda…

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View kdc68's profile


2692 posts in 2515 days

#8 posted 02-07-2013 11:39 PM

Not familiar with the sidewinder. But I am with the Skil wormdrive. Many,many,many years ago as an apprentice, I remember that was the saw. To me it was ergonomically well proportioned and balanced. It was a feel good in your hand kind of tool. Agreed with the comments that it was a bit heavy, but it was well balanced. I had no issues using it all day long framing. But I was young and could walk walls 2 stories high setting trusses in the hottest part of the day all day. Geez couldn’t do that now.

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Woodwrecker's profile


4211 posts in 3814 days

#9 posted 02-08-2013 01:25 AM

I’m with Jack1. Makita’s are pretty tough to beat.
Plus, worm drives are pretty heavy Charles.

View SamuraiSaw's profile


515 posts in 2203 days

#10 posted 02-08-2013 01:34 AM

I’ve got the Makita and the PC. Both are solid saws, but I like shoe on the PC better. The Makita shoe will bend if you accidentally drop it while the PC’s corrugated shoe seems to take more abuse.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2815 days

#11 posted 02-08-2013 01:46 AM

Makita’s a hypoid saw and it rocks.

Skilsaw’s a worm drive and works all day and all year.

Has any one added oil to their skil saw? I haven’t and it still works.
It really is amazing. 20 years and still working.

View Bill1225's profile


125 posts in 2637 days

#12 posted 02-08-2013 01:57 AM

If the budget is there get both my go to combo is skil mag77 for framing and free hand plywood crosscuts ( extra reach) marathon bulk blades and a rigid feugo 6 1/2 ” for out of position and finer cuts frued 24t and 40t . I also work full time as a carpenter and honestly would be lost without the 2 saw plan . If I was a homeowner/ seriouse hoobiest that did occasional framing the rigid 6 1/2 ” would do the truck and ask for more

View GEOwen's profile


7 posts in 2175 days

#13 posted 02-08-2013 02:09 AM

If you go with wormdrive, there’s a slight improvement in accuracy and a really significant improvement in durability. If that sounds good to you, might as well go for a huge improvement in durability by doing an oil change every couple of years and once (the most important one) after its first half hour or so when it’s brand new to get rid of any nasty bits left over from the manufacturing processes. Me? I can’t force myself to possibly abusing a new tool by failing to change oil on day one. After that, I get sloppy and do it mostly when heavy use is ahead and it’s been a couple of years.

The stuff is fairly expensive but worth it. Back when motor oil was 39 cents a quart, I thought 2 bucks was outrageous for this small amount of product. I recently paid 7 something and it’s a whopping 8.49 at Ace Hardware:

Amazon has it at 4.36:

Here’s advice from Skil/ Bosch website:
Skil or Bosch Worm Drive Oil part #80111 or WD7LUB is specially designed for our worm drive tools.
Gear box must be filled up to the bottom of the oil plug threads. Please make sure that the tool is in horizontal position on leveled surface when refilling this gear box.

Final thought: The Skil and Bosch saws have become more and more similar ever since Bosch took over. Same magnesium frame, etc. Only difference I can see other than red/ blue is 15 amp motor in Bosch versus 13 amp in Skil. There may be other differences I can’t see but for what it’s worth you can find Bosch 1677 for same or less money.,default,pd.html?ref=pricegrabber1677MD&zmam=31282435&zmas=47&zmac=41&zmap=1677MD

-- “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville

View jumbojack's profile


1685 posts in 2862 days

#14 posted 02-08-2013 02:13 AM

I lugged my Skil wormdrive around for 15 years. Never let me down, it will go through a 2×6 even with a dull blade. Now that Im not bustin x4s, I use it for breaking ply. Yeah it is a little heavy, but the blade on the left makes it worth the extra little bit of weight.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View runswithscissors's profile


2927 posts in 2263 days

#15 posted 02-08-2013 02:37 AM

The first time I ever used a worm drive (Skil 77), I was impressed with how much easier it was to rip a long two-by with the blade out in front rather than off to the side. Easier steering, I mean. With the blade off to one side (and there are sidewinders with blade on left), you’re always fighting the torque of the off-axis blade (not on the same axis as the force of your pushing).

Framing carpenters often hang the 2X over their toe, and cut vertically, with the saw hanging straight down. That way you aren’t fighting the weight. If you cut your lumber on sawhorses, however, the lighter weight sidewinder might be better. I have both, but one of my favorites is Skil’s little 5 1/2” sidewinder, because it’s so light. It cuts just deep enough to do a 2X4. You have to understand, I’m old and weak, so I have to look for every advantage I can.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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