Circular saws are among the most popular tools for all woodworkers, both professionals and amateurs. The popularity is probably the result of it’s versatility and usefulness. Plus, circular saws are solid back up option for the times when your table saw, or mitre saw break down. They can do almost everything other saws do. It might require some more effort and experienced woodworker, but it’s still very handy tool to have. For example, a few weeks back, my table saw had some problems and it couldn’t function. But i needed sheets of plywood to be cut. What did i do? I grabbed my circular saw and it did the job perfectly. Cuts were accurate, and the process was fairly convenient, despite the fact that it was supposed to be done by other kind of saw. According to this woodworking expert, most circular saws can also make cross cuts, and can easily stand-in for mitre saw. So if you don’t have money for table saw or mitre saw, circular saw should be your go-to tool.
But circular saws have advantages too. It’s learning curve is rather steep, so it takes a lot of time to have mastery over using it. I first got my circular saw two years ago, and i used to make so many silly mistakes. But i slowly improved, largely because of my friends who helped me. And due to a little research on my own, as well. They taught me to use guides to make clean cuts, and gave me many more useful tips. Two years later, now i never use guides, because i don’t need to. Not anymore. One more thing that made my life difficult, was that i was left handed. My model of circular saw was designed for right handed people, so learning how to make clean cuts was a little more difficult for me. Now, i know how to work with both – right handed, and tools for left handed people.
Worm drive saw is sort of subspecies of circular saw. It’s usually grouped in with circular saws, but i like them better. They’re usually larger and longer in size, compared to regular circular saws. Worm drive is also different in how it’s gears are attached to the motor. I am not aware of the details, but i do know that it’s custom gear arrangement makes it more powerful and effective than it’s regular alternative.
One disadvantage that worm drive has though, is the price. It costs almost twice as much as straight drive circular saw. For me personally, good worm drive saw is definitely worth the investment, even if i have to put in twice as much money. But for some people, especially beginners, it might not make economical sense. You don’t know ins and outs of woodworking yet, so i think the benefits of using worm drive saw will be most likely lost on beginners.
I should also mention that effectiveness of worm drive saw is widely discussed topic in DIY community. Even some of the pros don’t see any value in it. I don’t think that one kind of saw is superior to the other, i think their effectivity depends on the kind of work you do. Fortunately, modern logistics make it possible to buy thousands of different tools, so it’s easy for everyone to get their favorite.