What Is A Hypoid Drive Saw
A hypoid drive circular saw is similar to a worm drive saw in terms of how the motor is mounted. Worm drive and hypoid drive saws have a rear mounted motor that transfers torque to the blade. This is in contrast to the direct drive or sidewinder circular saws, in which the motors output shaft directly drives the motor. A sidewinder or direct drive saw is what most people think of when they see a circular saw in their minds eye. A hypoid drive gear saw is describing how the motion is transferred from the motor of the saw to the blade. A hypoid saw uses a hypoid gear, which is basically shaped like the ring and pinion gear in your vehicle. The pinion type gear comes from the motor of the saw and drives the ring style gear which drives the blade.
Benefits Of A Hypoid Drive Cicular Saw
Most hypoid drive saws like their worm drive saws cousins have the blade on the left which is another unique feature of these saws. Having the blade on the left will make it much easier to for right hand dominant users to be able to see their cut line.
Hypoid drive saws have blade speeds that are normally around 4,500 RPM where a direct drive saw is you could expect around 6,000 RPM. Even though you are giving up speed on these saws you are getting more torque to your blade. You get this extra torque from the gearing of the saws. This makes the saw well suited for plunge cuts, or for gang cutting (cutting multiple sheets of plywood).
The handles of worm drive saws are placed behind the motor, and since the motor is already placed behind the saw blade as opposed to next to it it will give you a longer reach. This will extend your reach when ripping large pieces of wood like a sheet of plywood. In addition to this it provides a more balanced tool.
The design of the saw gives it a more narrow profile which will be great when trying to cut in confined spaces.
Drawbacks of Hypoid Drive Saw
One of the largest drawbacks to the worm drive saws is the weight of the saw. Due to the gearing that drives the saw blade hypoid drive saws will be much heavier than their direct drive counterparts. This really would be a factor if you are having to hold the saw over your head for long periods of time. Heck, even if you were picking the saw up just to cross cut a 2×4 all day the weight will make a difference though it may be less prevalent. The other drawback to the hypoid drive saws is that their is only one tool manufacturer making them and that is Makita. Now Makita is no slouch when it comes to making power tools, and if you are a Makita person than this is obviously not drawback, but if you are loyal to another brand then you may want a worm drive saw made by your preferred manafacturer.
The Makita 5377MG is powered by a 15 amp motor, that features compressed windings to increase space savings. It features magnesium construction for weight savings, but still durable enough for the job site. Heat treated hypoid gears are bathed in oil and in a sealed case for years of maintenance free use. It also has an economically designed over-sized rubber handle that makes it feel at home in your hand. Increasing the ease of use is a 10 foot reinforced cord, providing more reach and durability to this saw. The saw will bevel to 51.5 degrees with positive stops at 51.5, 45, and 22.5 degrees. The saw will cut to a maximum depth of 2 3/8 inches.
Multiple consumers have discussed having oil leaking from the blade lock button, subsequently they would have to send the saw off to a Makita repair center. Some consumers had some different complaints about the shoe, whether it be how square the bevel was or the depth guide. None of these problems seem to be pervasive to the model overall.
The Bottom Line
Makita has garnered a reputation for making quality tools and their innovations never cease to amaze me. If you like Makita and are looking for a gear driven circular saw then Makita has the saw for you. If you are looking for a gear driven saw but not interested in the Makita brand I suggest you take a look at these worm drive saws.