DeWALT DWS535 Worm Drive Circular Saw Review Home Construction Improvement Expert Home Improvement Advice SearchNeed Help?
Later, I purchased the Porter Cable 743 and fell in love with it, primarily because of its light weight and blade position.
Finally, a few years ago the Festool ATF 55E became our primary panel cutting circular saw, due to its better dust collection, cleaner cut, and integrated guide rail system. The height and angle scales are easy to read, they're accurate, and offer excellent granularity. The shoe pivot is designed to keep the hand low and to the rear regardless of the height of the blade. The PC 743 is lighter, better balanced, and the left-mounted blade is great for right-handers. Both machines have more than adequate power, though I believe the DeWALT has slightly more. The PC 743 is considerably less expensive for similar or better performance in several key areas. I own or have owned a number of circular saws including a Craftsman, a Skil 5170, a DeWALT 364, the PC 743, and more recently, the Festool ATF. As a general purpose or framing saw, you can't go wrong with either the DeWALT 364 or the PC743. Especially for a jobsite saw, construction saw, or any application where the saw will end getting thrown around or abused.
Until lately, we used it almost daily for panel cutting and I can finish-cut large sheet goods without a problem. In fact the angled dust port shoots it right at you if you're using the saw from the right side.
The PC743 scale is difficult to read and the increments are too large to be totally useful. The DeWALT 364 is no slouch, but for my money, the PC 743 is the saw I would recommend without hesitation as a framing and general purpose saw.


On the basis that it is lighter and has the left-mounted blade, I do better free-hand work with the PC743. I replaced the CMT (moved it to the PC743) with a Forrest WWII, which surprisingly performs worse than the CMT on crosscuts in hardwood veneer plywoods. However, the design of the DW364 pivot keeps the handle in the same location (low and to the rear) through out the height adjustment.
The distance between the edges of the DW364 shoe and the blade don't fall on an even measurement. The stamped PC743 scale is easy enough to read, but does not have the range nor granularity of the DeWALT. It's lighter and the left-mounted blade is easier to use than standard right-mounted blade saws (for a right hander). But don't get me wrong, the DW364 is a great circular saw, and most anyone would be more than happy with it, especially left-handers. I replaced the standard blade with an aftermarket blade and worked very well with our shop-made guides and panel-cutting table. However, the Festool ATF beats both saws with its dust collection, guide system, ergonomics, light weight and balance, and finer cut. Professional framers have long been fans of worm drive circular saws for their higher torques and better balance. Our framing crews are no strangers to quality worm drive saws so the guys were eager to put this saw to the test. A quality worm drive saw is only second to a carpenters hammer when it comes to required tools.Power – The DWS535 has great torque and overall power for cutting through the toughest building materials including today’s demanding engineered lumber products. This saw definitely matches up to all the other worm drive circular saws we’ve used.Balance – One of the first things we noticed about the new DWS535 is the tools balance. Past experience with similar saws has always produced a lateral twist of the saw at start-up due to the torque (this can stress the wrist quite a bit). However, we were very pleased to see that the DWS535 has very little of the lateral twist due to the saws torque which is a very nice improvement.Weight – This saw feels as light if not slightly lighter than our other worm drive saw (red brand).


These are not light weight saws but the weight is necessary to balance the power and allow the user to cut accurate lines.
The magnesium shoe certainly helps keep this saws weight to a minimum.Toughcord™ – The Toughcord™ chord retention system is a huge bonus.
Almost every framer at one time or another lowers their saw down from a ladder by the chord.
The newly improved chord system is very strong and ready for some serious abuse.Rafter Hook – Rafter hooks are a great feature that’s showing up on most new tools.
We like the fact that it’s wide enough to handle all the engineered lumber products that we’re used to dealing with.Product Quality – It’s apparent that DeWALT built the DWS535 with professional framers in mind. Everything from the chord up to the levers are built with quality materials that are built to last.Overall ThoughtsDeWALT continues to do research in the field which is resulting in well built tools that professionals and home owners can rely on. It’s obviously to us that DeWALT spent considerable time listening to framing professionals needs when they designed this new saw.
I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions.
I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. Insulating basement walls in cold climates is a great way to keep your home warmer and drier.
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