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Best Compact Circular Saw [2020 Review]

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Working on your woodworking projects using a full-size circular saw can be tedious, especially if you are a DIY enthusiast that frequently handles a lot of small tasks in your home. That is where the best compact circular saw comes in handy as they are flexible and compact. 

Our Top Compact Circular Saw Reviews

Compact circular saws provide exceptional control while saving you energy. However, with lots of saws available, finding the perfect model that meets your needs can be time-consuming. We have reviewed the top products available in the market to help you choose the right saw.

Brand
Best Overall
Dremel SM20-02
Best for the Money
Rockwell RK3440
Best Cheap Pick
Worx WX429L
Product
Dremel SM20-02 120-Volt Saw-Max Tool Kit
Rockwell RK3440K Versacut 4.0 Amp Ultra-Compact...
WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2" Compact Circular Saw –...
Motor
6.0 amp
4.0 amp
4.0 amp
Product Dimensions
17.5 x 4.25 x 9.25 inches
17.40 x 8.70 x 4.50 Inches
15.08 x 4.17 x 5.79 inches
Rating
-
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
Dremel SM20-02
Product
Dremel SM20-02 120-Volt Saw-Max Tool Kit
Motor
6.0 amp
Product Dimensions
17.5 x 4.25 x 9.25 inches
Rating
-
Best for the Money
Brand
Rockwell RK3440
Product
Rockwell RK3440K Versacut 4.0 Amp Ultra-Compact...
Motor
4.0 amp
Product Dimensions
17.40 x 8.70 x 4.50 Inches
Rating
-
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Worx WX429L
Product
WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2" Compact Circular Saw –...
Motor
4.0 amp
Product Dimensions
15.08 x 4.17 x 5.79 inches
Rating
-

Best Overall Compact Circular Saw: Dremel SM20-02

Dremel SM20-02 120-Volt Saw-Max Tool Kit

If you are looking for an efficient and lightweight circular saw that can help you make accurate cuts, then the Dremel SM20-02 model is an excellent option you should consider purchasing. Moreover, its ergonomic and compact design makes it easy to use with one hand. 

The saw can make a variety of cuts including flush, plunge, and straight cuts in different materials such as tile, plastic, wood, and more. Additionally, its 6 amperage motor delivers adequate power to enable you to work on a range of tasks with less the weight of full-size circular saws.

The Dremel saw can cut ¾ inches deep while its two-wheel positions will allow you to finish more tasks quickly. The first wheel position will allow you to make plunge and straight cuts, while you can create flush cuts with the second wheel position.

The saw also boasts of worm drive gear design that enables it to produce a powerful motor. So, you don’t have to worry about not being able to work on complex projects. With this saw, following the cut line is also a breeze, which is crucial to making precise cuts.

Its one-hand design and compact profile will ensure you maximize visibility so that you make straight cuts. One good thing about the Dremel kit is that it also comes with a cutting guide to help you make accurate cuts.

Although the SM20-02 saw is a great choice, it also has some minor flaws that you should be aware of. First, some parts such as the height adjustment and foot are built using plastic. It also overheats after a long period of use. 

Despite the flaws, this is an excellent saw for DIY and professional use. If you’re looking for a powerful, compact saw you can use in tight spots, get this model.

What We Like 

  • Ability to make accurate cuts using one hand
  • Ergonomic and compact design
  • Makes a variety of cuts
  • Cuts ¾ inches deep
  • 6 amperage motor

What We Don’t Like

  • Overheats after a long period of use
  • Some plastics parts
  • Blade wears quickly
Dremel SM20-02 120-Volt Saw-Max Tool Kit
  • Versatile cutting system for a variety of materials (wood, plastic, metal, tile, masonry)
  • Powerful 6-amp motor for tough applications
  • Worm drive gearing for durability and power
  • Dust extraction port for keeping the work place clean

Best Compact Circular Saw for the Money: Rockwell RK3440K

Rockwell RK3440K Versacut 4.0 Amp Ultra-Compact...

Are you searching for a versatile, ultra-compact saw with multiple uses? Well, look no further than the Rockwell RK3440K model. With this saw, you can cut metal, wood, plastic, and more. It also features a 4 amperage motor that produces 3,500 RPM blade speed.

This gives it enough power to rotate the blade, making it easier for you to slice through different materials. The saw also comes with a laser guide to enable you to make precise cuts. 

Moreover, it is portable and lightweight as it only weighs 4 pounds. However, it’s powerful enough to cut through any material.

One remarkable feature about this model you may appreciate is its slim grip that ensures it fits easily into tight areas. Additionally, its ergonomic design makes it comfortable on your hands and arms as it enhances grip and control. This means you can use it for a long period without feeling fatigued.

Its streamlined design will also allow you to use it with one hand. The Rockwell saw comes with a long 12 inches power cord to allow you to move freely in your woodshop while working on your projects. The model’s pivoting metal guard will ensure you make plunge cuts safely and easily.

One major downside of the RK3440K compact saw is that you may struggle to make bevel cuts using it. Moreover, the model has1-11/16 inches maximum cutting depth, which some people may find to be shallow. However, its dust extraction adapter will ensure you enjoy improved visibility while cutting.

Overall, this saw is ideal for woodworkers looking for a mini saw they can use to execute small projects quickly. If you also struggle to use bulky power tools, you should consider getting this saw.

What We Like 

  • Comes with a laser guide to aid in making accurate cuts 
  • Versatile, ultra-compact saw with multiple uses
  • The slim grip that allows it to fit into tight areas easily
  • 3,500 RPM blade speed
  • Portable and lightweight

What We Don’t Like

  • Unsuitable for people with big hands 
  • Not great to make bevel cuts
  • Difficult for complex tasks
Sale
Rockwell RK3440K Versacut 4.0 Amp Ultra-Compact...
  • Powerful, 4.0 amp, multi-functional, ultra-compact circular saw
  • Cuts wide variety of materials such as tile, wood, sheet metal, plastics, flooring, and more....
  • Ergonomic design with slim grip handle improves comfort and enhances grip and control – guide with...
  • Built-in laser guide helps you align the perfect cut;120 inches cord

Best Cheap Compact Circular Saw: Worx WX429L

WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2' Compact Circular Saw –...

The Worx WX429L compact saw is an excellent option for people on a tight budget. However, it doesn’t mean it is of low-quality because you will still be able to finish your tasks quickly. The saw comes with a thin yet robust 4½ inches blade that will allow you to make quick cuts professionally.

The thinner blade minimizes the strain on the tool while offering the power and speed of a full-size saw. Weighing just 4 pounds, DIYers will find this model enjoyable to use as it is comfortable to handle and lightweight. 

The good thing is that you can use it to make cuts on materials such as wood, metal, and plastic effortlessly. Although it may not be powerful enough as the Dremel saw, it still gets the job done. 

It comes with a parallel guide to enable you to make accurate cuts, while its grip has a safety trigger for enhanced comfort and control. Plus, you can adjust the depth of cut to 2 inches, making it perfect for woodworkers that cut thin material. 

Another great thing is that you can adjust it up to 45 degrees to make bevel cuts. Moreover, the compact size of the Worx mini saw makes it easy to maneuver when making cuts. 

The saw also inclines to the left to improve visibility, which will enable you to cut through your material with greater accuracy. To further improve visibility, the model features a vacuum adapter that clears dust from the cut line. 

Additionally, the WX429L boasts of an ergonomic design that minimizes pressure on your hands while using the saw. This means the quality of your outcomes will be improved due to having complete control over the saw. 

What We Like 

  • Suitable for cuts on a variety of materials
  • Safety trigger for enhanced comfort and control 
  • Parallel guide for making accurate cuts 
  • Robust 4½ inches blade
  • Comfortable to use 

What We Don’t Like

  • Only produces 0.6 horsepower
  • Not ideal for long cuts
  • Comes with one blade
Sale
WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2" Compact Circular Saw –...
  • [SMALL FOR A REASON] Quick, more efficient cuts and you can take it with you when you don’t want...
  • [EZ-SET DEPTH GAUGE] The lever lets you go from 0-45 degree bevel settings with quick adjustment
  • [MADE FOR LUMBER] Excellent depth-of-cut for slicing up to 2" stock lumber. Cut 2x4s in a single...
  • [SEE THE CUT] Left-sided blade optimization gives you a clear line of sight on anything you’re...

Best Handheld Compact Circular Saw: Genesis GCS545C

Genesis GCS545C 5.8 Amp 120 Volt 4-1/2 in. Control...

If you don’t like using the full-size saws that cause your hands to fatigue, you may find the Genesis GCS545C compact saw a better alternative. At only 6 pounds, this handheld tool is very lightweight, which makes it easy to use while working on your projects. 

The saw features an ergonomic handle that minimizes strain on your hands while using it. This model also has a great grip that enhances control to ensure you get accurate cuts. Surprisingly, its 4.5 inches diameter blades will allow you to make a deep cut easily. 

Additionally, its 5.8 amperage motor contributes to the adequate power that this saw produces, while rotating the blade at 3,500 RPM. Apart from the powerful motor, the Genesis saw also comes with a triple reduction gearbox that improves power to allow you to handle the toughest cutting jobs. 

So, you won’t have to worry about making precise cuts on a range of materials. Its 2 inches cutting depth makes it perfect for different woodworking applications. Moreover, the package comes with a high-speed steel blade and a carbide-tipped blade. The blades have angle and adjustable depth controls.

If you make specialty cuts, you will find this saw an ideal option as you will be able to adjust the blades and make bevel cuts. You can also use this model effectively with one hand. This will enhance stability as the other hand will be free to support and hold the material you will be cutting. 

There is also a vacuum adapter and built-in dust port that will help you remove the dust effectively from the cut line. Additionally, the GCS545C mini saw comes with rip guides to ensure all the cuts are straight since they make the alignment easy. The package also comes with a blade wrench to make changing the blades a breeze.

What We Like 

  • Triple reduction gearbox that improves power 
  • Ergonomic handle that minimizes fatigue
  • A great grip that enhances control
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • 5.8 amperage motor

What We Don’t Like

  • The blade guard is plastic
  • Low-quality blades
  • Short guide bar
Genesis GCS545C 5.8 Amp 120 Volt 4-1/2 in. Control...
  • Add the powerful, compact, and lightweight control grip 4-1/2 in. Compact circular saw to your tool...
  • Powerful - 5. 8 amp motor and 3500 RPM uses triple‐gear reduction for maximum torque | Cut through...
  • Convenient - quickly cuts through all 2x material with included tungsten-carbide-tipped blade | with...
  • Clean - built‐in dust port and vacuum adaptor keeps cutting area Clear of debris | connect to your...

Best High-Performance Compact Circular Saw: Rockwell RK3441K

Rockwell RK3441K 4-1/2” Compact Circular Saw, 5...

Woodworkers that want a replacement for their over-sized circular saws should check out the Rockwell RK3441K compact saw. It’s also an excellent choice for people that work on complex wood surfaces as it boasts of a durable and tough compact design. Moreover, it’s comfortable on your hands due to its ergonomic design. 

This will give you control over the saw while cutting different materials. The saw also features a 5 amperage motor that delivers 3,500 RPM, which is high compare to mini compact saws within its price range. That is not all; it also has a laser guide to help you make accurate and angled cuts.

This running power will enable you to cut a variety of materials with ease, while its compact design will allow you to use it for an extended period without feeling fatigued. Additionally, its left-hand blade design is easy to control and gives it unmatched maneuverability that allows you to make overhand cuts effortlessly. 

The design will also allow you to make quality cuts as you will be able to view the cut line for impressive outcomes and greater accuracy. Unlike the Rockwell RK3440K compact saw, this model boasts of a bevel angle adjustment, which ranges from 45 to 90 degrees. 

The RK3441K saw also provides a variable cutting depth of 1-1/8 inches at 45 degrees and 1-11/16 at 90 degrees. This will allow you to work on a variety of tasks ranging from small to large. When it comes to safety, this model has a lock-off button that disengages the saw blade when not in use. 

It also provides 2 inches cutting depth, which makes it ideal for professionals that work on thick wood. Additionally, you may like its lightweight design, especially if you work regularly on overhead surfaces as it won’t put pressure on your arms while using it. 

What We Like 

  • 5 amperage motor that delivers 3,500 RPM 
  • Easy to control left-hand blade design
  • Durable and tough compact design
  • Perfect for complex wood surfaces
  • Bevel angle adjustment

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavy-duty work causes the blade to bind
  • Its power cord limits movement
  • Tends to kick a little
Sale
Rockwell RK3441K 4-1/2” Compact Circular Saw, 5...
  • [MOREMANEUVERABILITY]Allthefunctionalityofafull-sizecircularsawbutinacompactdesignthat’seasiertouse...
  • [REARMOTOR]Foramorebalancedfeel.Withthemotorinthehandle,youcontrolmuchoftheweightofthesawwithjustthep...
  • [EASYDEPTHSETTING]Thereadilyaccessibleadjustmentleverletsyouchangethecutonthefly,andthebeveladjustmen...
  • [SPINDLELOCKBUTTON]Forquickandsafebladechanges.Justgrabtheincludedbladekeyandswitchoutanybrand’s4-1...

Compact Circular Saw Features and Considerations

Finding the right circular saw that meets all your woodworking needs can be difficult, especially if you are a first-time woodworker. A good saw should offer you enough power to enable you to cut through different types of material. 

These are the factors you need to consider when looking for the best compact circular saw:

Cordless vs. Corded

This is a crucial factor to consider as it can impact your cutting experience. However, your decision will depend on the projects you intend to work on and the amount of power the saw can deliver.

That said, it’s important to mention that there are two types of circular saws available: cordless and corded. 

Cordless

Cordless circular saws are more convenient as they are easy to use and transport to different job sites. This will allow you to work outdoors on any project because your movement won’t be restricted by power cord length. These saws are also a good option if you will be working on a site with no power outlets. 

However, they require regular recharge after continuous use since they use batteries. Moreover, cordless saws are bulky and have limited power. If you will be using your saw on small cuts or won’t be using it frequently, a cordless saw will be an ideal choice.

Corded

Corded circular saws are a great option if your project site has a power outlet. This makes them ideal if you plan to work for extended periods as you won’t have to worry about stopping in between your projects to recharge the battery as it is their cordless counterparts.

Corded saws are also lightweight and have more power to allow you to work on heavy-duty tasks. They also require low maintenance, unlike cordless saws. The only major issue with these saws is that they are difficult to use.

Motor Power

Choosing a compact circular saw with enough power for your cutting jobs is essential as it will make your work easier. That said, most people usually think that a saw with a powerful motor will help them complete cutting faster.

However, that isn’t true because you may end up with inaccurate cuts. Compact saws tend to be less powerful compared to large saws. That’s why you need to know the type of materials you will be cutting so that you pick a saw with adequate motor power.

While shopping, you may come across compact saws with 3 to 5 amperage motors. However, you may also find saws with 6 amperages. So, what should you do? Ensure the saw you choose has a motor with enough power to handle your tasks.

If you want to know whether your motor is powerful or not, check out these three factors: voltages, amperages, and torque. The torque ratings can differ depending on the conditions you expose your saw to.

The amperages will let you know the amount of electricity your saw blade needs to cut precisely. On the other hand, if the voltages are higher, your motor will be more powerful. Finding the right balance of these factors is critical as they will help you determine the power efficiency of your motor.

Blade

This is an important part of a mini circular saw that you should also check while shopping. Most saws usually feature standard carbide-tipped blades, which you can use to cut wood. You can also use it to handle small jobs.

However, this can impact its performance when used for heavy-duty jobs. Moreover, you might struggle to cut through materials such as concrete, metal, and tile while using them. The best thing to do would be to upgrade the blade or get a saw that is compatible with different types of blades.

It’s also crucial to buy a blade with many teeth if you want a saw that will help you make clean cuts. Another important thing you should consider is the size of your blade. If the blade is large, you will have more depth of cut and vice versa.

That said, it is worth mentioning that most mini circular saws come with 4 inches blade size. Some of the blades may be a bit lower or higher. The good news is that most of the saws we have reviewed come with 4½ inches blade. This is an excellent blade size for different cuts and applications. 

Cutting Depth

This is another crucial factor you should pay attention to because it will determine how deep the blade can cut through your workpiece. Generally, the cutting depth of your saw should range from 1 to 2 inches. 

However, cutting depth depends on the capacity of your saw and blade size. That said, most blades have 1-inch minimum cutting depth, while more powerful saws have 2 inches or more depth of cut. 

If you plan to cut thick materials, a mini saw with a larger depth of cut would be an excellent option. 

Versatility

Compact saws are usually the tools that most woodworkers prefer to use to tackle quick jobs. Due to this, it is important to choose a versatile saw that will help you accomplish several tasks. So, you should go for a saw with a slim profile to allow you to access tight spots effortlessly.

Saws with adjustable bevels and cutting depth should also be considered. For instance, a compact circular saw should enable you to make angle or bevel cuts to the edge of the material you are cutting.

Apart from the bevel cut, your saw blade size is also essential. This means you will have to look for saws with less than 5 inches blade size. The ideal size should be 4 inches or even a bit less.

Ease of Use

When looking for your mini saw, we recommend going for a straight forward saw without requiring the help of a professional. However, this can only be possible if you buy a saw that is lightweight, easy to use, and one with a short learning curve.

Additionally, you should consider the ergonomics of the saw you want to buy. Thus, finding a saw that fits your hands perfectly can make a big difference when working on your projects. 

Generally, the saw you intend to buy should fit your hands. So, if you have large hands, choose bulky saws, while those with smaller hands will find lightweight saws more comfortable to use. 

However, avoid selecting the heaviest saw as it can fatigue your hands and make it difficult to saw for extended periods. Moreover, if you will be changing regularly the depth of cut or bevel, make sure your new saw is easy to adjust.

Safety

This is another important factor you need to consider while shopping. Thus, the saw you intend to buy should have safety features to make it safe to use. It should have features like blade guard and safety keys to prevent injuries while using it. 

The features will also ensure your saw is safe when left unattended. If you have children in your home, getting a mini saw with safety features will be ideal because you won’t have to worry about their safety if they end up using the saw accidentally.

Precision

Accurate cuts are crucial in woodworking since you won’t have to spend a lot of time trying to get the cuts you desire. Due to this, you should go for saws that are highly rated when it comes to delivering accurate cuts. 

Clear visibility is important while cutting as it will ensure you get precise cuts. That is why you should look for compact circular saws with dust collection systems, laser guides, low vibration, and physical guides.

Blade Replacement

Easy blade change is also important as it will save you time. You will also save money since you won’t have to look for a professional to help you make the replacement. As such, a saw that requires you to spend more time to replace the blade should be avoided.

If you plan to use your compact saw more often to cut a variety of materials, then a saw with an easy to change blade will be ideal because you may have to change it regularly.

Accessories

Some compact circular saws come with extra features to enhance your cutting experience. For this reason, it will be important to decide which features matter to you before buying your saw. Some essential features include:

  • Dust Blower: This is a must-have feature as it will help you clear the line of cut and ensure you don’t have issues with visibility. In turn, you will get accurate cuts. You should also ensure the blower has an integrated dust collection port to keep your woodshop clean.
  • A Safety Lock: It will help you finish your projects without injuring yourself. It will stop current flow to the motor every time you release the trigger and make the blade to stop rotating.
  • Laser Cutting Guide: This is another crucial feature that will help you get accurate cuts. The laser light will illuminate a straight line on your workpiece to enable you to cut along the line and improve your cutting accuracy.
  • Spindle Lock: If you plan to work on a variety of materials, you may find this feature essential. Since you may have to use different blades, a spindle lock will help you change the blades effortlessly. 
  • Led Lights: These lights will also help you make precise cuts. Unlike the laser cutting guide that uses a line, this feature lights up the surface around your saw blade to enable you to make straight cuts. 

Wrap Up

Every compact saw on our list will help you complete your woodcutting projects with ease. However, the right saw will depend on your needs and the features that matter to you. 

So, when looking for a saw to help you execute your tasks, bear in mind the factors we have highlighted in the buying guide and you won’t go wrong.

Raised with a fix-it and improvement mindset, my wife and I completely restored our Craftsman-style home. Learning how to DIY a variety of home improvement projects, I started SawsHub with my father. He's the fine woodworker, I'm the DIYer!