Circular Saws for Woodworking and Baby Furniture

I often come across tips that will help you to with your woodworking projects, and I pass them along whenever I can. Here’s a great blurb about choosing a circular saw from the October issue of This Old House Magazine:

I’m ready to buy a new circular saw. What are the differences between the various types? –Diana Robinson, Lambertville, N.J.

There are really only two basic saw types: worm-drive saws and direct-drive, or “sidewinder,” saws. Both have circular blades, but their drive mechanisms are different. A worm-drive saw has a pair of gears between the motor and the blade, making it almost unstoppable. In a sidewinder, the motor turns the blade directly, so it will slow down if pushed too hard.

–Norm Abram, This Old House Master Carpenter

Worm-Drive Circular Saw


  • Powerful; cuts thick lumber without slowing down.
  • Rugged; withstands heavy use.
  • Left-mounted blade is easy for right-handers to see.


  • Heavy; 14 to 16 pounds.
  • Expensive; $130 to $270.
  • Handle mounted in back; one-handed cuts take strength and skill.
  • Gear case requires periodic oiling.

Sidewinder Circular Saw


  • Compact; useful in tight quarters.
  • Light; 9 to 12 pounds.
  • Less expensive; $40 to $170.
  • Balanced; Handle positioned above motor.


  • Right-mounted blade is a bit awkward for right-handers to see. (A few sidewinders now have left-mounted blades.)
  • Less powerful, not as durable.

I really like This Old House Magazine. Unfortunately there’s a lot more in it than I could ever type up. You can see my original review of This Old House magazine, just click here. While it’s not dedicated to building baby furniture, or even to woodworking in general, it’s a great deal for anyone interested in home improvement and DIY.

Sears has some great deals on circular saws for woodworking projects. You can even find 5-star saws for less than $100, but probably the best thing I like about Sears is that you can order online and just pick up your products in the store (guaranteed in-stock, little waiting). Take a look at the circular saw gallery here: Sears Circular Saws for Woodworking (affiliate link).

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