7 Best Mini & Compact Circular Saws of 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

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best compact circular saw

Using a full-size circular saw can be strenuous and heavy sometimes. It’s worse—if you are a DIYer—that frequently does a lot of small constructions around the house. That’s where a saw which is compact, small, and flexible comes inIt saves you more energy and gives ultimate control with easier maneuverability.

Nonetheless, there are a lot of saws on the market that promise to deliver—but they end up working under par. Therefore, finding the perfect compact circular saw can be rocket science sometimes.

Looking for a PERFECT mini circular saw in your budget? You’ve come to the right place. We went on a mission and tried dozens of models in our tight workshop (a new one each week), and give you our honest opinion on this best saws on the market.

For instance, you’d have to know the type and size of the blade you need. You have to consider the ease of handling. Your budget is also essential, amongst other factors.

While searching for the best small circular saws on the market, we considered all these crucial factors and write an in-depth guide on compact circular saw reviews.

Comparison of our Favorite Picks

Model
Details
Ratings
#1. Makita SH02R1
Makita SH02R1
Editor's Choice

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    Power: 1500 RPM
    Weight: 3.5 lbs


4.9/5
#2. Rockwell Rk3440k

Rockwell Rk3440k

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    Power: 3500 RPM
    Weight: 3.4 lbs


4.7/5
#3. Rockwell RK3441K
Rockwell RK3441K
Value for Money

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    Power: 3500 RPM
    Weight: 5 lbs


4.5/5
#4. WORX WX429l

WORX WX429l

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    Power: 3500 RPM
    Weight: 5 lbs


4.1/5
#5. Genesis GCS545C

Genesis GCS545C

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    Power: 3500 RPM
    Weight: 6 lbs


3.9/5

7 Best Compact Circular Saws – 2020


1. Makita SH02R1 Compact Circular Saw – Editor’s Choice

Makita SH02R1

The Makita SH02R1 is a best small circular saw money can buy on our list—but what makes it different from the other cordless saw is its design—which has a unique feel that resembles a standard saw, even if it only uses a 3-3/8” blade.

This compact saw best-suits any home improvement construction, especially if you’re a DIYer—because of its comfortable and power design—which allows you to tackle anything without stress.

The saw can cut through drywall, MDF board, and other household materials. The cutting depth is adjustable to fit between 1” and 5/8”.

Also, with this saw, you can allow for bevel cuts and tailor the cuts between 0 and 45-degrees to your specific need.

In our opinion, the portability, lightweight, ease of use and mobility of the SH02R1 is what makes it the best option amongst the other saws mentioned on this list.

Pros
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • It does bevel cuts
  • Batteries charge fast
  • Powerful
Cons
  • There is no way to collect or control sawdust
  • The batteries aren’t compatible with other Makita brands

2. Rockwell Rk3440k Mini Circular Saw

Rockwell Versacut Rk3440k

If you’re looking for a compact circular saw with remarkable precision, the Rockwell Versacut Rk3440k might just fit the description.

The device boasts of a mobile ergonomic and compact design—plus you need only one hand to operate it.

Even though the saw is not so big when compared to others, it’s still able to cut wood—that is two or more inches dense—with its four inches blade.

The Rockwell Rk3440k comes with 3 blades—that enables it to cut through other types of material like ceramic tiles, aluminum, and sheet metal, amongst others—which makes it a multinational compact saw.

Here’s the icebreaker:

This small hand held saw produces more accurate and straighter cuts that most of the other saws on this list—because of its laser cutting guide.

Pros
  • 3 different blades
  • Safe to use
  • It comes with a laser cutting guide—which enables precision cuts
Cons
  • The safety feature on the device isn’t user-friendly
  • The laser guide can only work with battery
  • People with large hands could get frustrated using the device

3. Rockwell RK3441K Compact Circular Saw – Best for the Money

Rockwell RK3441K

In our opinion, the Rockwell RK3441K is 4.5-inch compact circular saw. By experience, we can agree to the fact that the device is worth the investment.

This compact mini saw is quite comfortable—thus, you can work for long hours with the device without getting exhausted. Grip and handling are two crucial things the manufacturer emphasized on the product. The saw gives you ultimate control while handling causing you to get more accurate results.

With its lock-off switch, the Rockwell RK3441K is less likely to put you in harm’s way.

What’s more?

It has a laser guide feature—which helps the saw to produce more angled and precise cuts. The device boasts of an outer guard and metal inner liner which protect it from external elements. That’s not all; it has an adjustable blade—which helps users to produce rip and plunge cuts.

Pros
  • Excellent safety measure in place—a lock-off switch
  • high maneuverability
  • laser guide technology helps you get well-précised cuts
Cons
  • The blade binds up sometimes—when the workload is heavy
  • It’s frustrating for left-hand users to use the saw without engaging the switch

4. Worx Worxsaw WX429L Mini Circular Saw

Worx Worxsaw WX429l

This is one the most pocket-friendly model on our list of compact circular saws. With a few dollars, you can get this device. It’s best suited for beginners—working with a lean budget.

The device boasts of convenience and comfortable grip—which enable its users to be in complete control during application, especially for newbies.

The Worxsaw WX429L compact mini saw is quite easy to maneuver, and it’s portable—because of its lightweight.

People with smaller hands, like women, will enjoy using this saw because it’s one of the most compact saws on this list.

What sets it apart?

It has a left-sided blade design—that enables you to have a better view of the blade and the material you’re cutting. Nonetheless, the design can get frustrating, sometimes, for left-handed users.

Pros
  • Left-side blade design
  • Easy to adjust cutting depth lever
  • The design of the saw makes it simple for the user to see the material they’re cutting and the blade
Cons
  • ideal for only small projects
  • The design could prove troublesome for left-handed people
  • It fens down sometimes with long cuts

5. Genesis GCS545C Compact Circular-Saw

Genesis GCS545C

The Genesis GCS545C works perfectly with diverse materials like wood, tile, metal, and many more materials. Out of all the saws listed here, it’s the one with the most versatile function.

This saw comprises a second wheel position—which makes flush cutting easy. It also comes with a worm drive gearing that boosts the sturdiness of the saw.

The saw has one dust extraction port—which makes your workplace tidy and neat every time.

What’s more?

The Dremel S20-03 also comes with a well-organized case—which is spacious enough to accommodate the device, power cord, few Allen wrenches and a dozen of saw blades.

Pros
  • Bevel Control
  • Adjustable depth gauge
  • Vacuum adapter
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Blade quality is not good
  • only for small jobs

6. Dremel SM20-03 Small Circular-Saw

Dremel SM20-03

Dremel SM20-03 is an easy to use saw made in the United States. With a 6 amp motor rated up to the top speed of 17000 rpm has a good amount of power to work on any project with less the weight of conventional circular saws.

Its compact & ergonomic design makes it easy for the user to use it with one hand. It can cut ¾¨ deep while making a variety of cuts such as straight, plunge, or flush cuts in a variety of materials including wood, plastic, metal, tile, masonry, and more.

The large carrying case is enough to accommodate the tool with the cord, & 2 blades. With this saw, it is very easy to follow the cut line due to the open left side hence you can make accurate cuts easily.

Overall, the saw is great but some parts like foot and height adjustment are made from plastic. Many users also stated that after extended periods of use it becomes hot. Other than that we didn’t find any other problem. 

In terms of the price range, it is one of the most powerful, compact circular saws around.

Pros
  • Cuts a lots of different materials
  • Worm drive gears deliver lots of torque
  • Easy to use with one hand
  • 6.5 ft. power cord
Cons
  • Sometimes becomes hot
  • Blade change locking mechanism is not good

7. TACKLIFE TCS115A Handheld Circular-Saw

TACKLIFE TCS115A

If someone said there is no powerful & small compact saw ever made, let them know you have TACKLIFE TCS115A. Yes with 5.8 amp at a speed of 3,500 rpm, it can cut various materials such as wood, plastics, plasterboard, PVC pipe, tile with ease. With this saw, you get 6 blades out of which 2 for wood, 2 for soft metal, and 2 diamond blades for tiles. 

We wanted a mini saw with a laser guide and cheap and this Tacklife handheld circular saw has all. You may face some problems while using it with the left hand. It is a heavy, well made, and very ergonomic saw. Also, this saw is not comfortable to use if you have small hands. Many users complained about the safety switch position. 

Overall this is a nice little saw with lots of good features and a fair price. If you are ok with its one or two flaws, this can turn out to be a good compact saw.

Pros
  • Enough amount of Power
  • Comes with 6 blades
  • Can cut various materials
  • Laser Guide
Cons
  • Safety Switch position is awkward
  • Not good for small hands

Buying Guide


Traditional circular saws are usually heavy—hence, it’s difficult to maneuver with them, especially if you’re not an experienced technician. As a result, it’s difficult for DIYers to handle home improvement constructions on their own. But, all that is a thing of the past—with the advent of compact circular saws.

A compact circular saw is lighter than the standard regular saw—which makes it a better option to produce quicker and accurate cuts. If you’re are not ripping through lengthwise 2×4 studs often, then getting a saw over a standard one is the best option for you.

Ergonomics & Ease Of Use

When you opt for a saw it means one thing: you don’t require the services of a professional. With that said, you have to consider two things before buying the tool: the ease of use and ergonomic feature.

Even though the handle of most compact circular saws looks similar but the main difference everyone experiences is by using it. Finding an ideal model that fits your hand can make a lot of difference in how you work on a project. 

Whichever model of compact circular saw you are trying to buy that must fit your hands. If you bought a heavier model that may strain your hand and arm muscle and stops you from working for longer periods. So always eye for a lightweight model unless you are a strong man or woman. 

In other words, a mini circular saw should be comfortable in your hands. It should also have features that are easy to adjust. Check out top 5 circular saw reviews

Power Efficiency Of The Motor

cutting with mini circular saw

It’s natural for people to assume that having a powerful motor is the solution to all cutting problems. However, this isn’t true. You may have a powerful engine and a wrong precision. You should also know that compact saws are less powerful than conventional large saws. Mostly, you will find compact saws with 3-5 amp motors but there are other saws with 6 amp too. For you to make the right choice of what motor power you need, you need to know what materials are you going to cut. 

What do you do then?

Ensure that your choice of the motor has the power that matches your activity. You can determine the power of a motor with three factors: torque, amps, and volts. The torque of a saw has different ratings—depending on the conditions it faces.

The volt of a motor is more like a horsepower. So, the higher the volt, the more power the motor has. The amp, on the other hand, shows you the amount of electricity the blade needs to work correctly.

The power efficiency of the motor lies in the balance of these three factors.

Blade Size And Cutting Depth

The depth of cut of a saw measures how deep it would cut into any material. Ideally, the depth of the cut of a saw should range from one to two inches. The cutting depth depends on what blade size you use and the capacity of the saw. On average a small rotary saw has a min depth cut of 1 inch. But if you buy more powerful and costly models then you can have more depth as high as 2 or more.

A compact circular saw can also make bevel cut or angle cuts to the edge of the wood. The feature makes it more versatile. Asides the bevel cut, the size of the circular saw blade is essential. The ideal diameter of a compact saw should be 4 inches or a bit less.

Should you go for Corded saws or Cordless ones?

As long as money isn’t an issue, a cordless circular saw is more convenient. A corded circular saw is also a good option if your work station has a power outlet that isn’t far from your workplace.

However, we don’t think there is much difference between cordless and corded saws when talking about performance. As nowadays batters are so powerful that they provide equal power as a power outlet does. You don’t need to spend on cordless circular saws if you’ve got a workstation where there are enough power outlets. You will get what you pay for.

You can buy a cordless compact circular saw with more power & durability than a corded one. If you ask any professional what they use, well most of them say cordless circular saws because it is easy to carry around and allows them to work freely on any job site. Also talking about drawbacks, cordless saws have limited power and depend on how much battery life they have left. 

Well, you can also look for corded circular saw as they don’t carry the weight of batteries hence lightweight. You don’t need to think much about the cord getting in between while you are working. 

Pocket-Friendly

Sometimes, it’s easy to jump at any saw that’s attractive until the price tag stares at you. The price tag could either make you scream, walk away, or happy.

Regardless of what the price tag may do to you, there’s a solution. The solution is: have a budget. A budget helps you cut down your options, and makes your choice easier. Depending on the quality of compact electric saw you require, a budget of around $60 – $99 should do the trick.

Additional Features to look for

A safety lock or electric brake option is crucial when it comes to buying a saw. It’s important because it helps you complete your task with ease without getting hurt. When you release the trigger this will stop the flow of current to the motor in return blade stops. This feature will stop blade on any saw under 3 seconds much faster than a saw without this feature.

Shaft Lock/Spindle: If you are working on different materials you need to use different blades to cut them. Hence for changing the blade so frequently, this feature helps you in easy blade replacement.

Laser cutting guide is one of the most important features you should look in a compact circular saw which helps you in cutting along the line. It shadows the beam of light on the workpiece and improves your cutting accuracy.

You can also look for a carrying case for your small hand power saws even though it isn’t as important.

FAQ‘s


Is it compulsory for my saw to have a laser cutting guide?

It’s not compulsory, but it’s necessary. The reason is simple: a laser cutting guide helps you produce a straight line on the material you plan to cut. As a result, you make straight and accurate cuts.

You can also opt for saws with an LED light feature. The LED light functions similarly to a laser cutting guide.

Is a Mini Circular Saw a “Replacement or Supplement” over a full-size?

If you have jobs that vary in technicality, then this mini rotary saw is a better supplement than an outright replacement.

The blades of these small saws are useful for specific jobs. However, when a job requires more power, versatility, and efficiency, the full-size saw comes in handy.

Conclusion

Even though we were rapt by all the compact and mini saws in this list, the Makita SH02R1 compact circular saw was, no doubt, our most preferred for a ton of reasons.

First of all, the design and lightweight of this small hand held power saw is fantastic—which makes it easy to carry about while working—not forgetting it’s cordless—a feature that makes it even better. The quick and accurate cuts it produces aren’t things you can forget so quickly. Hence it is our best compact circular saw of 2020.

The other saws mentioned in this guide are also excellent choices. But, it all balls down to what best fits your needs. So, which of them do you prefer?