Originally Posted by crazyjoe
I know a worm drive is geared instead of direct drive, but why is it called "worm" drive...
ALL these saws are geared. The "normal" ones use either spur, or spiral cut gears instead of a worm reduction.
As for your real question:
-The little extra reach noted above.
-Also you don't have the motor hanging off the right side to catch on "X". This doesn't matter much if you are just cutting sheets of plywood on sawhorses, but can occasionally matter when you are trimming things in-situ in a construction project.
-A "normal" saw has the cooling air intake for the motor located quite low, where it can suck up sawdust off the sheet you are cutting, The worm drive saw has the intake locate higher up.
As for the difference in price:
The worm drive saw is a little pricier to build. For consumer grade tools, this matters a lot. For "professional" grade tools, not so much. Thus all the worm drive saws are made for daily use by tradespeople. There are heavy duty "normal" saws, and they are much closer in price to the worm driven saws.
Occasionally Costco has the worm drive saws at well below the going rate. I've been tempted. but have not yet succumbed.