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Thread: What's the Advantage of Worm Drive Saws??

  1. #1
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    Default What's the Advantage of Worm Drive Saws??

    I was looking through the HD flyer and I noticed this Ridgid "worm drive" saw:


    Sure, it looks cool, but I'm trying to figure out what the big deal is?

    I noticed the blade is on the left side, of course, as opposed to most circular saws which have it on the right.

    The handle is set back from the saw, that's different.

    But is that all the differences? What does "worm drive" mean?

    Any thoughts?

    thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: What's the Advantage of Worm Drive Saws??

    It has a worm gear drive, instead of direct drive, very powerful saw. Framers like them. Great for leaning out and trimming off roof rafters, etc. Always wanted one !

    hobby woodworking since 1972

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What's the Advantage of Worm Drive Saws??

    As Bryan says their use seems mostly for framers and even that seems a regional thing. Some parts of the country that is all they use but around SW Ontario I haven't seen that many of them. One of the few tools that Skil makes that still seem to be quality.
    Brian
    " It is nice to be important but more important to be nice"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What's the Advantage of Worm Drive Saws??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan @ Woodstock View Post
    It has a worm gear drive, instead of direct drive, very powerful saw. Framers like them. Great for leaning out and trimming off roof rafters, etc. Always wanted one !

    Thanks! So.... what exactly is a worm gear drive? Is that some sort of belt driven scenario? I'm just wondering what it is about the worm gear drive that makes it more powerful than a direct drive?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What's the Advantage of Worm Drive Saws??

    Hi Callee,

    Most circular saws have the blade mounted directly to the motor shaft and the motor sticks out sideways. The worm gear drive saw you'll notice the motor is actually turned 90 degrees to the blade and has a worm gear on the end of it's shaft. The worm gear drives a helical spur gear on the blade shaft, therefore there is a gearbox full of oil. As Bryan says, these saws are powerful but they are also a lot heavier. There are no belts in this saw. The drive gears give the motor a mechanical advantage and therefore produces more power at the blade. I would think this would reduce the speed of the blade but I may be wrong.

    Regards,

    Rick
    Last edited by Rick in Oromocto; 07-01-2008 at 01:11 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What's the Advantage of Worm Drive Saws??

    That makes sense, thanks!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What's the Advantage of Worm Drive Saws??

    Here is an example of a worm gear (the bottom one). This one is mated with a pinion gear rather than a helical gear but you get the picture.
    541px-Worm_Gear_and_Pinion.jpg
    If you count the teeth, there are just about 5 teeth on the worm gear engaged with the pinion. That means the worm has to turn 5 times to move the pinion 5 teeth. Or approx 3:1 ratio. That will give the pinion 3 time the torque of the motor but it turns 3 times slower. I believe the motors in worm drive saws are higher speed to make up for that.
    Naturally the ratio can be changed by the pitch of the worm screw and the size of the pinion.
    Also note the change in direction from the drive (worm gear) shaft to the driven (pinion) shaft.
    Hope that explains it.
    J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
    Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


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  8. #8
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    Default Re: What's the Advantage of Worm Drive Saws??

    Quote Originally Posted by J.P. Rap View Post
    Hope that explains it.
    wow, that really does - what a great post, thanks for that good explanation. Too bad I don't have the $200, cause actually knowing how this works, well it sounds like such a better way of doing it, now I want one!! Look out JP, my SWMBO is going to be looking to kill you now!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What's the Advantage of Worm Drive Saws??

    If I recall correctly, this type of mechanism is actually better/longer lasting than a direct drive saw. There is also more torque. One of the advantages is the ability to see the cut rather than have to lean over to see where you're going. The saw is also better designed for one hand use.
    Kevin

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What's the Advantage of Worm Drive Saws??

    After I tried using a worm drive saw, I went out and bought one and haven't used anything since. When I am planning out my material for projects, I usually take the rough lumber outside and rip it to size to save the dust from floating around inside. There have been a number of occasions when I have been using 6/4 hard maple and my bosch worm drive is awesome for ripping it. I am sure that you could rip it with a sidewinder but the worm drive just has that much more torque. Kind of like a contractor saw versus a cabinet saw.

    Skil invented the worm drive saw years ago and it is still the most used worm drive on the construction site today. Like Brian said earlier, this is one tool made by skil that has not been cheapened over the years. You cannot go wrong with one of these saws. I own the Bosch saw (Bosch owns Skil) and it is the identical saw (motor wise) as the skil with some upgraded features.

    This is my saw

    http://boschtools.com/Products/Tools...?pid=1677MD-XC

    This is the skil saw

    http://www.skiltools.com/en/AllTools...id=HD77&cid=45
    SPCHT

    Proud member since Oct '06

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What's the Advantage of Worm Drive Saws??

    Just to add to the discussion, there are also the hypoid saws by Makita and Dewalt - similar to worm gears but touted as an improvement. Seems that the main difference is the hypoid drive is a sealed gear system while the worm drive has an oil reservoir that needs to be checked often.

    From:
    http://www.toolsofthetradeonline.net...ticleID=501127

    Lots of good info here

    glenn

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