What is the difference between a sidewinder and a worm drive circular saw?

With different saws available in the market, it can be a bit hard to decide the type of saw that one needs to buy. Two types of saws that particularly put buyers in a predicament are the sidewinder and the worm drive circular saws. Which brings us to the question, what exactly is the difference between the two saws since both are hand held?

The first difference that one notes immediately upon looking at the two saws is in the structure. With a sidewinder, the blade can either be on the right hand side or on the left hand side hence the name. This difference allows left handed people and right handed people to use the saw with a lot of ease. The worm drive on the other hand, will mostly have the blade on the left side. It is worth noting that the side in which the blade is located may come with an advantage or disadvantage depending on the users line of view.

When the blade is located on the right side, as in the case of a sidewinder, the motor of the saw lies on the left side and hence most of the weight will lie on the left side. This is an advantage since most of the weight will end up on the opposite side of the cutout which means less effort lifting the saw while working. However, this is also a disadvantage since the line of view is usually blocked, making it a bit difficult to see what exactly one is cutting. So as to have an easier time during cutting, side winded saws that have blades on the left side of the motor are easier for right handed people to use. Left handed people, on the other hand, will find it easier to use blades that are on the right side of the motor.

The worm-drive term emanates from the spiral shaped internal drive system that can be found in the saw’s structure. In the case of the worm drive saw, the blade is oriented towards the left and hence most of the weight is on the right side. This orientation leaves the line of view; unblocked making it easier to see exactly where one is cutting. The setting of the blade also allows for a narrower and longer saw.

Another notable difference between the two types of saws is in the gears. The sidewinder saw uses a spur gear that calls for the motor to be in line with the blade of the saw. This configuration allows for a blade that is able to spin very fast as compared to a worm drive saw. This type of saw is also lighter compared to a worm-drive saw.

The worm drive saw has a worm gear that connects the motor to the blade and the motor is usually located at the rear of the saw. The power in the worm-drive saw is usually transmitted at a 90 degree angle and that is why the motor is placed at the back of the blade. Worm-drive saws tend to be slower compared to the sidewinder saw. The slow action is due to the gearing down action of the blade. Most standard worm- drive saws usually spin at a speed of about 4400 revolutions per minute which makes them more than 1000 revolutions per minute behind the side winder saw that have an outstanding 6000 RPM. This, therefore, means that the worm drive has more torque and can be able to handle hard work. It also tends to be more expensive and durable, especially for those doing a lot of heavy cutting. These are some of the notable differences between the sidewinder and the worm drive circular saws.

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