Shop tested worm-drive circular saws

Our pro testers take a look at the power behind the worm-drive circular saw

By Steve Maxwell

Photo by Roger Yip

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Whether you’re building a deck or you just need compact cutting power in your workshop, a circular saw is the tool of choice. It boasts versatility and efficiency both indoors and out.

And while many workshoppers turn to cordless tools for their new purchases, it may be a mistake to ignore the great value offered by corded power. That’s why we decided to compare a selection of corded 71?4″ circular saws, both sidewinder and worm-drive styles.

Click here for the overall results of the circular saw test, both sidewinder and worm-drive styles

Meet our expert testers:

Canadian Home Workshop turned to three of our pros to test these corded circular saws: Steve Maxwell, our technical editor, who also produced the test by setting the parameters for this review; plus, long-time contributing editors Ryan Shervill and Gary Walchuk.

Each tool was tested on the following criteria:

  • Cutting power: a smooth and powerful cut will make or break the utility of these tools.
  • Blade change: arbor lock operation and wrench access can make this a convenient or painful process.
  • Blade guard: testers looked at how well the blade guard retracts on its own and with the thumb lever.
  • Sawdust control: how well a saw directs dust away from you makes a surprising difference.
  • Shoe quality: the material, size, shape and angle graduations were tested to find their pros and cons.
  • Following a line: how easily you can see a pencil line as you cut is key to a circ saw.
  • Handling quality: the weight and balance of each tool was rated for cutting comfort.
  • Cord: length, feel and durability was compared across all models.


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