Home » Best Mini Circular Saw [2020 Review]

Best Mini Circular Saw [2020 Review]

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If you handle small cutting jobs regularly, having the best Best mini circular saw will help you complete your jobs faster as you maneuver in small spaces with ease. A good mini circular saw is lightweight and you can use it with only one hand.

Our Top Mini Circular Saw Reviews

Below, we have compiled a list of the top mini circular saws in the market to help you make the right choice when looking for a saw to meet your needs. We have also included a detailed guide highlighting the features to look out for when shopping.

Brand
Best Overall
Makita SH02R1
Best for the Money
EnerTwist ET-CS-20C
Best Cheap Pick
Hychika MS-85C
Product
Makita SH02R1 12V Max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless...
EnerTwist 20V Max 4-1/2" Cordless Circular Saw...
Mini Circular Saw, HYCHIKA Compact Circular Saw...
Voltage
12 volts
20.00 volts
120 volts
Product Dimensions
14.5 x 8 x 10.2 inches
17.2 x 11.4 x 6.1 inches
16.9 x 15.4 x 11.6 inches
Rating
-
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
Makita SH02R1
Product
Makita SH02R1 12V Max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless...
Voltage
12 volts
Product Dimensions
14.5 x 8 x 10.2 inches
Rating
-
Best for the Money
Brand
EnerTwist ET-CS-20C
Product
EnerTwist 20V Max 4-1/2" Cordless Circular Saw...
Voltage
20.00 volts
Product Dimensions
17.2 x 11.4 x 6.1 inches
Rating
-
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Hychika MS-85C
Product
Mini Circular Saw, HYCHIKA Compact Circular Saw...
Voltage
120 volts
Product Dimensions
16.9 x 15.4 x 11.6 inches
Rating
-

Best Overall Mini Circular Saw: Makita SH02R1

Makita SH02R1 12V Max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless...

The Makita SH02R1 saw has taken the top spot for several reasons. First, it only weighs 3.5 pounds, which makes it easy to use. It also boasts of impressive performance since it comes with a robust motor that delivers up to 1,500 RPM to ensure you get clean cuts while cutting different materials.

Moreover, its shape handle will enable you to view your cut line clearly, while also offering a more comfortable and stable grip. Its compact design also makes the saw the perfect option for small jobs and maneuvering in tight spaces.

Additionally, the cordless mini circular saw comes with a charger and two batteries to ensure you have a spare battery you can use when the other one gets drained. This is great considering most cordless models require you to purchase the batteries separately.

Other notable features include height adjustment and locking functionality that you can set effortlessly and tighten in place. 

One good thing about the two features is that locking them down and tightening is a breeze. It’s amazing how accurate they are when you set them. Loosening them is also easy. 

One issue with the Makita mini circular saw is its limited cutting depth as it has one-inch maximum cutting depth. This can be an issue to you depending on the material you want to cut. However, this is a minor limitation considering the other great features you will be enjoying while using this model. 

What We Like 

  • Handle shape allows for better viewing of the cut line
  • Compact design for maneuvering in tight spaces
  • Height adjustment and locking functionality
  • Included charger and two batteries
  • Lightweight and easy to use

What We Don’t Like

  • Unsuitable for heavy-duty jobs
  • Unclear setup instructions 
  • Limited cutting depth
Makita SH02R1 12V Max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless...
  • Makita-built motor delivers 1,500 RPM for faster cutting
  • 3-3/8" blade delivers a maximum cutting depth of 1" for a wide range of cutting applications
  • Adjustable cutting depth from 1" at 90Degree and 5/8" at 45Degree

Best Mini Circular Saw for the Money: EnerTwist ET-CS-20C

EnerTwist 20V Max 4-1/2' Cordless Circular Saw...

The EnerTwist ET-CS-20C is another excellent cordless option that made it on our list. It is ideal for DIYers and professionals who want a compact circular saw that is powerful and also accurate. With 3,500 RPM no-load speed, this saw has enough power to handle a variety of materials with ease.

Although this model is slightly expensive, it does excellently everything a mini circular saw should do. When it comes to its functionality, you will enjoy a full bevel range that is between 0 to 45 degrees, thanks to its tilting base. 

In terms of the material it can handle, the EnerTwist mini circular saw can comfortably cut through melamine, MDF, plywood and more effortlessly. The blade alignment on this saw is also spot on, which makes it great for accurate cuts.

One good thing you may like about this saw is that you can take some measurements for bevel settings and cutting depth to test accuracy. This will allow you to keep adjusting the settings so that you get the results you desire when you start working on your workpieces. 

Using this model is also straightforward as it comes with an ergonomic handle that provides added comfort during use. Moreover, its left-sided blade design will ensure you enjoy a great view of the cut line so that you see the material you will be cutting.  

In turn, you will achieve straight cuts as you will be able to keep the saw cutting along the line. You won’t also feel fatigued while using this compact saw.

What We Like 

  • Ability to handle a variety of materials easily
  • Provides a great view of your cutline
  • Perfect for DIYers and professionals
  • Versatile and easy to use
  • 3,500 RPM no-load speed

What We Don’t Like

  • Comes with one battery
  • Short battery runtime
  • Some plastic parts
EnerTwist 20V Max 4-1/2" Cordless Circular Saw...
  • [OPTIMIZED FOR ONE-HANDED USE] Cut 2x4's in a single pass with an easily maneuverable cordless...
  • [POWERFUL & EFFICIENT] Blade size 4-1/2 inch, no load speed 3,500 RPM for faster multi-purpose cuts...
  • [PLUNGE & BEVEL CUTS] Adjustable cutting depth from 1-11/16"(43mm) at 90Degree and 1-1/8"(28.6mm) at...

Best Cheap Mini Circular Saw: Hychika MS-85C

Mini Circular Saw, HYCHIKA Compact Circular Saw...

The Hychika MS-85C mini circular saw comes with a high-performance 500 wattage motor that delivers a cutting speed of 4,500 RPM. The saw can cut both angled bevel and straight cuts and is ideal for cutting plastic, soft metal, tile and wood. 

Additionally, the model is lightweight enough and its ergonomic handle makes it comfortable to hold when cutting. Its compact design will also allow you to use it in places where full-sized circular saws won’t be able to fit. 

This mini circular saw comes with a scale ruler and laser indicator to ensure you get straight cuts. The saw also features three blades, making it a perfect choice for people that may want to cut a variety of materials.

The blades include a diamond blade for cutting tiles, a 36 tooth HS blade ideal for cutting metal, and a 30 tooth HW blade for wood cutting. There is also a laser guide that will help you cut along a straight line to improve accuracy.

Moreover, beginner woodworkers will find using the saw easy as it’s really simple to use. For instance, you can adjust the depth of cut effortlessly using the included depth gauge lever.

Overall, the MS-85C saw is versatile and powerful enough to ensure you get precise cuts across different materials. It is also compact as it only weighs 7.1 pounds. If you are looking for a mini saw that is easy to use with excellent power, consider getting this model.

What We Like 

  • Powerful motor that delivers 4,500 RPM cutting speed
  • Ideal for cutting both angled bevel and straight cuts
  • Included scale ruler and laser indicator
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Ergonomic handle

What We Don’t Like

  • Some parts are plastic 
  • Limited cutting depth
  • Batteries not included
Mini Circular Saw, HYCHIKA Compact Circular Saw...
  • 【DURABLE AND POWERFUL MOTOR】: Featured with a 4 Amps copper motor, the compact circular saw can...
  • 【3 BLADES AND COMPACT】: Comes with 1x30T HW for wood cuts/ 1x36T HS for metal cuts/ 1pcs grit...
  • 【PRECISE AND ADJUSTABLE CUTTING DEPTH】: With the laser guide, the mini circular saw keeps the...

Best Corded Mini Circular Saw: Avid Power ACSW199

Avid Power Circular Saw, 4-1/2' Compact Electric...

If you are searching for a corded mini circular saw to help you cut through a variety of materials, the Avid Power ACSW199 model is an excellent choice. This little, powerful machine comes with a robust 6.2 amperages motor that delivers up to 3,500 RPM blade speed.

You can use this model to make straight cuts, as well as, other complicated cuts such as a corner, vertical, and horizontal. The electric saw also comes with 6 blades to allow you to slice through a range of materials including plastic, wood, tile, and soft metal. 

A vacuum adapter also comes in the package to help you keep your working environment clean. You can connect the adapter to your shop vacuum to suck away debris in your woodshop. This is a great safety feature as it will prevent you from inhaling sawdust that can cause respiratory problems in the long run. 

Sometimes you may want to make more than one cut to complete your tasks. Fortunately, the Avid Power mini circular saw will allow you to achieve multiple cuts. Its bevel lever will help you adjust your cutting angle from 0 to 45 degrees.  

You can also adjust the saw’s cutting depth to allow you to achieve your versatile cutting needs. It has a maximum cutting depth of 1-1/8 inches at 45 degrees and 1-11/16 inches at 90 degrees. If you’re concerned about getting accurate and professional cuts, the included laser guide will ensure you achieve straight cuts.

If you want a mini saw to help you tackle small tasks at home, get the ACSW199 as it offers great value for money. Its lightweight, while its rubber-coated handle provides greater control and maximum comfort when using the saw.

What We Like 

  • Six blades for cutting different materials
  • Vacuum adapter for sucking sawdust
  • Powerful 6.2 amperages motor
  • 3,500 RPM blade speed
  • Adjustable cutting depth

What We Don’t Like

  • Unsuitable for heavy-duty applications
  • Short power cord
  • Small blade size
Avid Power Circular Saw, 4-1/2" Compact Electric...
  • POWERFUL MOTOR & COMPACT DESIGNED: Powerful 6.2A motor delivers 3,500 RPM for proven performance and...
  • FLEXIBLE BEVEL CUTTING (0-90°) & DEPTH GUIDE: Sometimes you need more than just a straight cut to...
  • LASER DESIGN & DUST EXTRACTION PORT: The laser guide ensures a professional and precise cutting...

Best High-Performance Mini Circular Saw: Porter-Cable PCE381K

PORTER-CABLE 4-1/2-Inch Circular Saw, Compact,...

Are you looking for a mini circular saw that can help you handle different household projects? Well, look no further than the Porter-Cable PCE381K model. The saw boasts of one-handed operation and is powerful enough to cut through 2 x 4 wood pieces effortlessly. 

Its 5.5 amperage motor will allow you to work on light to medium-duty tasks without too much hassle around your home. When it comes to performance, the powerful motor delivers a maximum of 3,500 RPM blade speed for fast cutting. 

The Porter-Cable mini circular saw also features a compact design to allow you to use it in narrow spaces. Moreover, its small size makes it easy to maneuver around. With 1-11/16 inches cutting depth, you can quickly slice through 2X workpieces in a single pass. 

One good thing about this mini circular saw is that it offers you two angles to choose from for a range of cuts: 45 and 90 degrees. However, it doesn’t come with a laser guide to further improve accuracy, which is a slight drawback considering that it runs smoothly during operation.

The model also boasts of a high rotation rate and features a vacuum adapter with a dust extraction port to keep your workshop clean. The dust port will also clear dust from the blade and cut line to enable you to view your material clearly while cutting. 

There is also a lower guard that will ensure the blades last longer without impacting the performance of the saw. Overall, the PCE381K mini circular saw is a great choice for people that want models with fast cutting speeds.

Its compact design combined with easy maneuverability also makes it worth the purchase. 

What We Like 

  • 3,500 RPM blade speed for fast cutting 
  • Easy to maneuver in narrow spaces
  • Ideal for light to medium-duty tasks
  • You can use it with one hand
  • Powerful 5.5 amperage motor

What We Don’t Like

  • Power button positioned awkwardly
  • Laser guide not included
  • Poor edge guide
PORTER-CABLE 4-1/2-Inch Circular Saw, Compact,...
  • 5.5 Amp compact circular saw, running at 3,500 PRM for power and fast cutting speeds
  • Lightweight and compact unit for easy maneuvering
  • 1-11/16" depth of cut, cuts 2x material in single pass

Mini Circular Saw Features and Considerations

Mini circular saws offer some advantage over full-size circular saws such as being lightweight and producing quicker cuts. However, before buying one, it’s important to figure out the features that suit your projects and the type of materials you will be cutting. 

These are the features you should pay attention to when looking for the best mini circular saw:

Power Rating

This is a huge deciding factor since a mini circular saw without adequate power can cause a lot of inconveniences while working. So, when buying your saw, check the specs carefully. Generally, their battery voltages determine the power rating for cordless mini circular saws.

Nowadays, most cordless saws use lithium-ion batteries as their power source. Thus, if you want a saw that can help you complete light to medium-duty tasks quickly; you should choose a model with at least an 18 voltages battery. 

More powerful 20 voltages cordless compact circular saws are also available for people that intend to work on heavy-duty projects. Apart from voltages, you will also find an ampere-hour rating listed. 

It indicates the duration you can use your saw before the cells get drained. It is important to note that the ampere-hour rating ranges from 5 to 9 hours. 

When it comes to corded mini circular saws, most people express the rating in amperage. As such, if you won’t be using your saw regularly, a model with 10 to 12 amperes will be appropriate. However, if you are a professional, a saw with a power rating of 15 amperes will be an excellent choice.

Bear in mind that if the amperage rating is high, the more cutting power you will enjoy from your saw. That said, the power rating that is ideal for you will depend on how often you plan to use the saw and the applications you will be carrying out. 

Type of Mini Circular Saw

There are two types of compact circular saws:

Sidewinder Mini Circular Saws

They are the most common type available and are easier to maneuver and handle. The blade is usually placed either on the left or right-hand side of the engine. The spur gear aids in transmitting power directly to the blade, while the handle is over the blade.

Sidewinders are usually preferred by both professionals and first-time woodworkers. They also rotate faster due to high blade speed. The only major issue with these saws is that they have less torque, which makes them less powerful. 

Worm Drive Mini Circular Saws

With these saws, the blade is on the left to make visibility easy for right-handed users, while the handle is behind the blade. The position of the handle enables users to resist hand kickbacks effectively without injuring themselves.

Unlike their sidewinder’s counterparts, they tend to be bulky because they have a worm gear that transmits power from the motor to the blade since the motor sits behind the blade. 

Due to this, using them for extended periods can be tiring and make you feel fatigued. However, worm drives are more powerful compared to sidewinders, which makes them efficient when cutting hardwood and perfect for contractors that handle heavy-duty work.

So, between sidewinder and worm drive mini circular saw, which type is perfect for handling your projects?

Both are great. However, it depends on your preferences and choice. A worm drive mini circular saw is ideal for long rips because it is more powerful. 

On the other hand, if you prefer a saw you can maneuver around easily, especially when handling overhead applications, you won’t go wrong with a sidewinder due to its lightweight design. 

Blade Size

This is a crucial feature you should also consider as it will determine the tasks your saw can handle. That said, many full-sized circular saws have 7.25 inches blades, which some tasks such as light-duty jobs may not require.

However, if you want a saw you can use at home to handle small cutting jobs, a model with a smaller blade size will be ideal. Thus, a mini circular saw with a 6.25 inches blade will provide smaller cut depths. 

Bear in mind that 7.25 inches blade is more common and affordable compared to compact circular saws with a 6.25 inches blade. The only difference between these two blade sizes is the cutting depth they provide when cutting bevels.

A larger blade size will help you finish your tasks quickly than smaller blades. Additionally, larger blades tend to cut through bigger wood pieces with ease and also provide deeper cuts compared to a smaller blade. Larger blades are also ideal for shaping and general cutting. 

However, beginner woodworkers may find smaller blades easier to use as they are lightweight and easy to handle. Small blades are also perfect for shaping more intricate work. The only issue with smaller blades is that you may have to make repeat cuts while cutting bevels.

Saw Blade Position

The position of the blade, whether left or right may not seem to be very important; however, it can make you be less satisfied with your saw, especially if you don’t know the difference. However, the position depends on your preference.

With a left blade saw, the blade is on the left-hand side of the saw to allow you to view the cut line while using the saw. The only disadvantage with this saw is that it will expel dust and other debris where you will be standing while creating a mess on your clothes.

Moreover, you are likely to be hit with kickback due to the way your body is positioned. This is because your body tends to be in-line with the saw as a result of moving the blade closer while cutting.

On the flip side, a right blade saw is the opposite of the left blade saw as you will be required to guide the saw blade by running the shoe notch along the cut line. Moreover, with a right blade saw, the chances of a kickback are reduced since your body will be positioned off to the side of your saw.

Blade Material

The material used to make your saw blade should also be given attention since it will play a key role when it comes to durability. Thus, it is important to note that saw blades are made using different material. However, common blade material includes:

  • Carbide-Tipped Blades: These blades are robust and are perfect for handling smaller tasks at home or your woodshop. You can also use them to cut wood.
  • High-Speed Blades: If you plan to use your saw blade in environments with high temperatures, get these blades. They are heat-resistant and durable.

Blade Replacement

At some point, you may want to cut a different material using your saw. So, you may have to change the blade and replace it with a blade that can cut your desired material. Moreover, the blade can also dull.

Due to this, replacing your saw blade should not be complicated. To ensure a smooth transition, go for mini circular saws that have a spindle lock button.

Accuracy

Accuracy is also important when dealing with mini circular saws. As such, the saw you choose should be able to make precise, straight cuts all the time. However, if you want to achieve accurate cuts, you should look for a model with a quality saw blade.

If after testing your saw upon arrival and you realize that it is not cutting as accurately as you would have wanted, you should consider getting a good blade. However, it is important to note that different blades are available for slicing through different materials. 

For example, you can’t use a blade designed to cut concrete to slice through wood. So, when looking for the blade, make sure it can cut the material you have. 

Bevel Capacity

This feature is essential on a mini circular saw as it will determine the size of an angle your saw can cut. This means a model with 45 degrees bevel capacity will only allow you to cut at 45 degrees and no more. That is why you should get a saw that will enable you to do more. 

For this reason, a good saw should come with a bevel capacity that is more than 45 degrees. This will allow for flexibility, especially if a need to make other cuts such as creating roof framing or cutting miters will arise. 

Laser Guide

This is another feature that is also important as it comes in handy for both DIY enthusiasts as well as professionals. However, it is only in modern mini circular saws. 

A laser guide provides a line that you can follow while cutting so that you end up with straight cuts. If you value accurate cuts, then consider investing in a saw with this feature. 

Extension Cord

Extension cords vary significantly depending on their amperage rating. For example, you will have to ensure you get a power cord capable of meeting the power needs of your mini circular saw if you opt for a corded model. 

If you get an extension cord with the wrong amperage rating this will shorten the lifespan of your saw. The saw may also not perform optimally. Generally, a 14-gauge extension cord will be an excellent choice since corded saws run on 15 amperes motors. 

Electric Brake

Another crucial feature you should not ignore while shopping for your mini circular saw is the electric brake. It will reverse the current in your saw after releasing the trigger and stop the blade from rotating. This feature is vital when it comes to safe handling of your saw as it makes the blade to stop rotating instantly. 

The electric brake is a safety feature that signals your saw to stop the flow of power to the blade. When the power supply is cut short, the blade will stop rotating to allow you to remove wood pieces and your hands from the saw.

Weight 

Weight matters a lot when dealing with handheld power tools such as mini circular saws. For instance, you will get tired quickly if you opt for heavy models. Due to this, try comparing the weight of different saws to see the one you can carry with one hand easily before purchasing. 

Generally, we recommend choosing a lightweight saw that you will feel comfortable using for a long period without wearing you down. It will also increase your productivity as you will be able to complete your tasks quickly.

Wrap Up

All the mini circular saws we have reviewed will help you do some basic cutting. However, before you make your final decision, go through the features once more. This will help you to pick a model that will meet your needs perfectly. Whichever saw you choose from our list, it will be an excellent choice.