Canadian Contractor

Site Tips, Episode 8: Three ways to cut studs

Let us know if you prefer worm drive saws or sidewinders. We will pick one comment at random and send you a $50 gas card.

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August 29, 2018 by canadiancontractor

In this video, Canadian Contractor publisher Rob Koci takes us on a trip down Nostalgia Lane – to the time he was a rookie framer in the disco era (that’s the 1970s, kids) and was wielding the first worm-drive circ saw of his career (a 1975 model Skilsaw that Rob still uses).

First day on the job, Rob was taught 3 ways to cut studs. In this video, he repeats the lessons he learned (with a 2018 Skilsaw).

Which brings up an interesting point: In the U.S., there is a definite difference between the circ saw preferences of West Coasters versus East Coasters. Out West, framers just love their Skilsaws and other worm drives. In the Eastern part of the country, it’s sidewinders for sure. We are not sure if there is a Canadian regional preference for the two main types of circ saw configurations.

Rob likes the blade on the left side of the machine – as with a worm drive – so he can see the cut easier. But many people find sidewinders lighter and better balanced. It’s an endless debate.

Let us know whether you are a worm drive aficionado, a sidewinder contractor, or you use both equally. The comments field is down below.

NOTE: Power tool safety is a question of both knowledge and experience. Neither Canadian Contractor, Annex Business Media nor our sponsors assume any responsibility whatsoever for injuries sustained in attempting any of the cutting techniques shown. 

Canadian Contractor Site Tips are brought to you by Home Hardware.




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5 Comments » for Site Tips, Episode 8: Three ways to cut studs
  1. Rahim Abji says:


  2. I prefer the worm drive. I had one for 30 years and other than blades it never let me down. Used it over and over and over again. Now my original Skil is my back up. The weight is not an issue. The important issues for me is the performance and reliability of my Saw.

  3. Mark Bernier says:

    Use a sidewinder for a lot of small and easy stuff but for SERIOUS cutting the worm drive comes out as it will cut rings around the little saws. Mine is a little newer than Robs, 1980’s vintage.

    BTW when you are cutting a lot of dimensional lumber to the same size don’t take it off the pallet. Knock the pallet square and then chalk line top and sides to length. Cut the first layer, throw them to the gopher and then chalk between the side marks and cut again.

  4. Sean Mauws says:

    Sidewinders all the way!!

  5. Steve says:

    worm drive is the best. Its heavier and more balanced. your hand is behind the blade so you are pushing straight through. I find sidewinders have a tendency to turn because the blade is offset.