If you have been using a full-sized saw for quite some time now and have been facing issues, like the saw being heavy and cumbersome, causing strain on your arms, or simply being overkill for the jobs you handle, then it is about time that you start looking for the best compact circular saw.
These are basically mini circular saws that weigh considerably less than your standard saws and are really flexible and easy to handle as well. Furthermore, the best compact circular saw gives you excellent control, thus enabling you to make precise cuts at all times.
These saws are designed not just to be compact, but their ergonomic design also makes them comfortable to hold and use for a long time, as well as easy to maneuver. Not to forget, though these saws are highly compact and less in weight when compared to their big brothers, they still deliver the same level of functionality as that of the standard saws, just at a more compact and convenient size.
Of course, similar to any other power tool, compact circular saws are also available in different types and from different manufacturers, each claiming to be a better option than the other. Therefore, choosing a model that best suits your needs can be challenging. Here are the top saw models available in the market today:
Top 7 Best Compact Circular Saws 2020
1. Makita SH02R1 Cordless Compact Circular Saw
Makita is a brand long known to make excellent tools that have a reputation to last a lifetime. The SH02R1 is one of the top favorites among those who are looking for a compact tool to make fast and efficient cuts. This compact cordless circular saw comes as a combination of power, performance, and precision.
First of all, since this is a cordless model, you can easily move it around, within your workshop or between different worksites. This is a 3-3/8-inch circular saw that delivers an RPM of 1,500, which is a really low number when compared to the other saws on our list. It comes with a built-in dust blower, which helps keep your workspace free of debris, which in turn increases the accuracy of your cuts.
The saw’s handle is ergonomically designed, with a soft rubberized grip, to provide you with improved comfort when holding the saw, so you can work with it for an extended period of time. The machine weighs just 3.5 pounds, making it lightweight and easily portable, and furthermore, the inclusion of a slide-style battery rather than the usual pod-style makes the tool lighter and a lot more streamlined.
With the ability to make cuts at a maximum depth of 1 inch, this compact circular saw is capable of cutting through different materials, including particleboard and drywall. The kit is inclusive of a circular saw, a 2.0Ah battery, a Lithium-Ion charger, a saw blade, and the tool case. The unit comes with a 3-year warranty.
2. TACKLIFE TCS115A Compact Circular Saw
Tacklife is one of the few companies that cannot be overseen when it comes to purchasing quality power tools at revolutionary prices. With the TCS115A Compact Circular Saw, the brand has once again delivered top-notch equipment carrying an affordable price tag.
Designed to make the one-hand operation possible, this mini saw features a 5.8 Amp motor, which despite not being the most powerful motor around, delivers fast performance at 3,500 RPM, enabling you to make cuts easily and precisely. With such powerful configurations, the saw can be used to cut different materials, such as plasterboards, wood, plastic, tile, and also PVC.
The saw weighs 8.2 pounds, which makes it heavier than many other models on the market, and can be difficult to maneuver. The tool’s handle is made from metal, which is designed to be installed and removed easily and quickly, and it comes with a rubber grip to make handling comfortable.
There is also a laser guide, with red light, which enables you to make precise cuts without the need for any other tool. To make things easier for you, it comes with 6 blades: 2 x 24 teeth blades used to cut wood; 2 x 60 teeth blades to cut plasterboard, PVC pipe, soft metal, and plastics; and 2 x grit diamond blade for cutting tiles. The product comes with a 2-year warranty.
3. Dremel US40-03 Corded Compact Circular Saw
Dremel is an American company that has been producing tools required to tackle specialized tasks, and the quality of their products speaks for itself. While the brand is known for its tool Saw-Max, with the Ultra-Saw, they have managed to give a product that has all the qualities of the former, and a lot more.
First off, this saw comes with a 7.5 amp motor, which is powerful enough for a saw of this size, and could be just what you need for tough applications, and with a whopping 13,000 RPM, you can make amazingly faster cuts.
One of the highlights of this saw is that it comes as a 3-in-1 tool, meaning, you also get to use it for flush cutting and surface preparation applications, in addition to regular cutting. Weighing around 4.6 pounds, this is a fairly portable tool, but way more convenient to move than a traditional circular saw.
This is one of the few saws in the category that can be used to cut a wide range of materials, including masonry, tile, PVC, composites, metals, laminate flooring, and more. However, the saw is capable of making cuts at a depth of the only ¾”, which puts it behind many other compact circular saws. It has a limited 2 years warranty.
4. WORX WORXSAW WX429L Compact Circular Saw
If you are looking for a small circular saw to carry out some simple and light-duty tasks around your at-home workshop, then the WX429L from WORX could be the right model for you. This is a 4-1/2” circular saw with a 4.5-inch blade, 4 amp motor, and a no-load speed of 3,500 RPM.
As you would be aware, this is a relatively less powerful motor, which is why the tool is recommended for light-duty usage. The saw carries a smart grip design; while the whole grip is comfortable to handle, the fact that it comes equipped with a safety trigger gives you more control over the tool.
The saw weighs 5 pounds, which places it in the mid-range category in terms of compactness and portability. The blade is strategically located on the left side of the tool, which means you get proper visibility of the line of cut. It enables a cutting depth of up to 2 inches, which is one of the highest in the category and also making depth adjustments easy and quick. And with a bevel capacity of o to 45 degrees, it also allows you to make angled cuts. The WORXSAW comes with a 3-year manufacturer warranty.
5. Rockwell RK3441K Compact Circular Saw – Top Pick
Rockwell is a well-known manufacturer that has a great reputation for producing some of the best and high-quality compact saws, and the RK3441K is one such excellent offering from the brand. This compact circular saw features a 5 amp electric motor that can deliver a speed of 3,500 RPM. For a saw of this size, this speed is sufficient to perform a wide range of tasks.
Weighing 5 pounds, this is again a fairly portable model, and the left-handed blade gives you proper visibility of the cut-line. The inline grip design is slim and makes it comfortable for you to handle the saw, in addition to providing you with proper balance and control.
The saw has a 4 ½-inch blade, and the kerf it uses is thinner than that of many other saws. Since the blade is thinner, you get to make your cuts easily, while maintaining the blade cool. The saw can also be used to make bevel cuts, thanks for its ability to cut at angles up to 45 degrees. And, the RK3441K comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
6. VonHaus Mini Circular Saw
If you are looking for a comprehensive compact circular saw kit, this one from VonHaus could be ideal for your needs. This saw kit includes a power cord, an extraction hose, three different saw blades to cut different materials like plastic, tile, and wood, and the storage case.
The VonHaus saw features a 5.8 amp motor and can deliver speed up to 4,500 RPM, which gives it sufficient power to cut through metals, flooring, tiles, wood, and more such materials. The tool comes with a laser cutting guide, which is designed to help you make quick and easy setup as well as make precision cuts.
The motor, along with the 3.5-inch blade, makes the tool powerful enough to take a plunge and rip cuts. What you also get with the machine is an extra-long cable, 118 inches, which lets you work with more freedom rather than being confined to a smaller space.
There is also a dust extraction hose that measures just over 83 inches, which does a great job of keeping your line of cut dust-free. But, with this saw, you can reach to a cutting depth of only 1 1/8”, and it does not have a lot of safety features at your disposal.
7. Rockwell RK3440K Versacut Saw
Those of you looking for a multifunctional, ultra-compact circular saw may find the RK3440K from Rockwell a viable addition to your arsenal. With its 4 amp motor and 3-3/8-inch blade, the saw can deliver a no-load speed of 3,500 RPM, capable of cutting materials like wood, plastics, sheet metal, tile, and flooring.
Since the saw weighs 4 pounds, you should be able to handle it with one hand and maneuver it easily as well. Though the motor is as powerful as some of the bigger saws on the market, its cutting depth is limited to only 1-1/16 inches, which means its uses get limited to projects with thinner and smaller materials.
Again, the saw is ergonomically designed to provide you with increased comfort and decreased fatigue. There is a lock-off switch that prevents you from starting the saw accidentally. The dust extraction adaptor improves visibility by keeping your cut line clear. The product is backed by a 2-year limited warranty.
How to Buy a Compact Circular Saw: Guide
When it comes to purchasing a compact circular saw, you should be confident that you are indeed buying a model that will meet all your job-related requirements. Before anything, you will have to make sure that the saw will be useful to you in a lot of different projects that you undertake, rather than using it for just a single project or task at hand. As always, there are a few factors to be considered before you make your purchase.
Before moving on to the different factors you should consider before choosing a mini saw, you should be aware of: your purpose behind the saw – will you be using it for simple DIY jobs or some major professional carpentry projects? and the type of materials you will be cutting with the saw – tile, cement, metal, wood, PVC, etc. Just remember that if you are looking for a saw to carry out major tasks, the wise choice would be to go with a traditional-sized circular saw rather than a mini. That being said, here are the factors to look for in a proper compact circular saw:
Corded vs. Cordless
Similar to many other power tools, compact circular saws also come in cordless versions, and the choice between a corded and cordless saw basically depends on the power you need from the tool. As you would be aware, cordless saws are powered by rechargeable batteries and can run only for a specific time period on a full charge. Therefore, if you know that you will be using the saw for an extended period of time, then you may have to choose a corded model.
On the other hand, if you will be transporting the saw from one worksite to another, or even if your job involves a lot of movements within a worksite itself, you can eliminate being confined to a given distance cause by the power cord in a corded saw by using a cordless model. Cordless compact circular saws are also ideal for outdoor use.
In order for a compact circular saw to fit your hand properly and be easy and comfortable to use, it has to be ergonomically designed. For instance, the saw’s handle should fit your hand just right, without applying any pressure. It should also be light in weight to avoid strain to your muscles, so you get to work for extended durations.
Of course, power is another essential factor you should look at when purchasing a compact circular saw because it determines the rate at which the saw can cut through various materials. When it comes to power, keep in mind that no mini saw model will be as powerful as a proper regular-sized saw. In general, the power of these saws ranges between 3 and 6 AMPs. If you are a hobbyist and will be using the saw on small, less demanding projects, then you can choose a model with less power. On the other hand, if your projects involve cutting through thick materials, go for ones with more power.
In most cases, these saws come with a carbide-tipped circular saw blade of their own. Again, if your purpose for the saw is to cut through wood and other smaller tasks, you will do fine with the blade you receive with the machine. However, if you will be performing heavier tasks, and need to cut other materials like tile, metal, etc., you may have to upgrade the blade. Depending on the depth of cut you need, you should choose bigger blades with more teeth.
When it comes to blades, one of the most widely preferred designs is thinner blades. This is because thinner blades: are less expensive; reduce the size of the motor required, making the saw light in weight; provide a kerf that is about half the width of that from a standard-sized saw; and, apply less pressure and cause less strain on the motor.
Depth of Cut
In the case of compact circular saws, most models are capable of cutting at a maximum depth of 1 inch; only very few models can go up to 2 inches, but that is the maximum depth of cut you can receive from a mini saw. If you will be working on thick materials, choose a model with a higher depth of cut.
Some compact circular saws come with a feature called laser guides, the purpose of which is to help you make accurate cuts. This feature eliminates the need for a clamp in order to achieve straight, accurate cuts. Laser guides will be really helpful to those of you who have little experience working with a circular saw.
In addition to these factors, also make sure that the ability to change the saw’s blade is easy, especially if you will be using the saw regularly. A vacuum port, where you can attach a vacuum, will also be a useful addition to the saw. And of course, always look for the warranty you receive from the manufacturer.