Best Compact & Mini Circular Saws 2018 – Reviews & Top Picks

a durable circular-saw in actionDoes your heavy, full-sized circular saw weigh you down and cause a strain on your arms when you use it? Perhaps, you should start looking for a saw that is more compact, flexible and easy for you. Compact circular saws give you ultimate control and are relatively easier to maneuver.

We are blessed to live in a contemporary world where there isn´t a dearth of products and machines that help make our tasks easier. If you are in the market for a new mini circular saw, you will notice that there are numerous different types of saws that promise to work better than the next. However, the ones worth acquiring are few and far between. Each saw boasts of its own set of accessories and features.  Hence, choosing the ideal small circular saw that caters to your needs and requirements can prove to be a challenging and overwhelming task.

However, fret not as we are here to help you. We have carefully evaluated some of the best circular saws on the market for your convenience. Without beating about the bush any further, here are 5 of the best small circular saws on the market.

Top 5 Mini Circular Saws of 2018

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
Rockwell RK3441K
Rockwell RK3441K
(Top Pick)

Check Price
5 lbs4.9/5
Rockwell RK3440K
Rockwell RK3440K

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4 lbs4.7/5
Worx Worxsaw WX429L
Worx Worxsaw WX429L
(Best for the Money)

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5 lbs4.5/5
Dremel SM20-03
Dremel SM20-03

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4 lbs4.2/5
Genesis GCS545C
Genesis GCS545C

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6 lbs3.9/5

5 Best Compact Circular Saws – Reviews

1. Rockwell RK3441K – Top Pick

Rockwell RK3441K

The Rockwell RK3441K, in our opinion, is the best small circular saw money can buy. The product manages to stand head and shoulders above other models particularly due to its ergonomic design. This comfortable and versatile product allows you to work for extended periods without feeling tired. The manufacturers have also paid attention to the grip of this product, giving users ultimate control of the saw for more accuracy and better results. In addition to that, the Rockwell RK3441K is also relatively safe to use because of its lock-off switch.

The product also fares well in the durability department; it boasts of a metal inner liner and an outer guard which keeps it well protected from the elements. What about its performance you ask? Well, its laser guide feature really helps this saw stay precise and accurate. We are also largely impressed by its adjustable blade that helps users make angled cuts; the adjustable blade can also be used at a 90 degree for plunge cuts and rip cuts.

Pros
  • Has a laser guide technology for precision cutting
  • Has a lock-off switch for safety
  • Ergonomically designed for complete maneuverability
Cons
  • Left-handed users often find it difficult to use the saw without engaging the switch
  • Blade can bind up with heavy work

2. Rockwell RK3440K

Rockwell RK3440K

The Rockwell RK3440K is placed second on our list and it is a saw that is truly worth its weight in gold. The product boasts of an ergonomic, compact and mobile design and can be fully operated with one hand. Although it is not exactly the biggest around, with its blade measuring around four inches, it is still efficient enough to cut wood two or more inches thick. In addition to cutting wood, as the product comes with 3 different blades, it also does an exceptional job of cutting other types of materials such as plastic, ceramic tiles, aluminum, and sheet metal etc.

We are also extremely happy with its laser cutting guide; it helps users get straighter and accurate cuts. However, we are not pleased with the fact that although the saw itself is powered by electricity, the guide can only be powered and operated with a battery. And, the battery does run out fairly quickly. This product could have easily taken the top spot on our list had it not been for the aforementioned flaw.

Is it safe to use? Well, in short, it is. However, the safety feature can be a tad bit cumbersome to use.

Pros
  • Versatile
  • It comes with 3 different blades
  • It features a laser cutting guide for precision cutting
  • Very safe to use
Cons
  • Uncomfortable for people with large hands
  • The safety feature can also be rather annoying
  • The laser guide can only be powered by a battery

3. Worx Worxsaw WX429L – Best for the Money

Worx Worxsaw WX429L

If you want a compact circular saw that is great value for money, you should look no further than the Worx Worxsaw WX429L. We can safely attest to the fact that the product is worth the investment. This product will serve you well for a wide range of woodworking applications. This particular product is easy to adjust and boasts of a comfortable and convenient grip, allowing users to be in complete control of the saw. Like all outstanding compact circular saws, the Worx Worxsaw WX429L is also portable, lightweight and easy to maneuver. In fact, to be precise, the Worx Worxsaw could very well be one of the most compact circular saws around, making it a wonderful saw for people with smaller hands including women. Hence, if you have a difficult time holding onto large power tools, you could benefit tremendously with this product in your arsenal.

The feature that sets this product apart from the rest is undoubtedly its left-sided blade design. The design facilitates a better view of the blade and the material you´re cutting, enabling users to get accurate, straight, and uniform cuts. However, this particular design could prove to be rather troublesome for left-handed people.

Pros
  • Has easily adjustable depth lever
  • Has left-sided blade design
  • The design makes it easy for the users to see the blade and the material they are cutting
Cons
  • It bogs down a little with long cuts
  • Ideal for small projects only
  • The left-sided design could prove to be rather troublesome for left-handed people too

4. Dremel SM20-03

Dremel SM20-03

The Dremel SM20-03 comes in a nicely made, well-organized case. The case is large enough to accommodate not only the product and its power cord, but also more than a dozen saw blades and a few Allen wrenches. The compact product can be used one-handed and it is capable of making plunge, straight, or flush cuts up to ¾¨ deep with minimum fuss. In addition to cutting wood, the Dremel SM20-03 is also capable of cutting other materials such as drywall, sheet metal, tile, plastic, and laminates etc. Hence, it would be an understatement to state that the Dremel SM20-03 is a versatile compact circular saw.  Powered by a 6 amp motor, the Dremel SM20-03 is one of the most powerful, compact circular saws around.

We also like the fact that the manufacturers of this product have integrated a lock-on button onto the product for comfort during extended use. The fact that its cutting wheel is quick and easy to change also adds to its charm.

Pros
  • Exemplary build quality
  • Strong and quiet motor
  • Versatile
Cons
  • It uses many abrasive blades in some applications

5. Genesis GCS545C

Genesis GCS545C

The Genesis GCS545C is at the bottom of our list for a reason. As far as we are concerned, you should avoid purchasing this product and instead opt to go for the aforementioned ones. However, it is not to say that this product doesn´t have wonderful features. It is just that its cons and disadvantages considerably outweigh its benefits. Before we talk about the reasons why we hate this product, let´s talk about its few good points. The Genesis GCS545C boasts of a relatively powerful motor and is fairly easy to use. Since it features an ergonomic comfortable handle, you can use this product for quite a long time. It also boasts of an easy to adjust depth.

Although you are provided with a Carbide tipped blade and a blade wrench with this tool, there will be a need for you to upgrade them. Hence, this product can´t exactly be called the most durable product. Many users have also complained that the saw operates intermittently after a few cuts.

Pros
  • Has adjustable depth gauge
  • It features bevel control
  • Has a vacuum adapter that helps keep the cutting line clear
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Low-quality blades
  • Only made for small jobs

Buying Guide

So, what are some of the things you should pay attention to when searching for a compact circular saw? How can you be certain that you are purchasing a model that meets your needs and requirements? Will you be using it indoors or outdoors? Do you intend to use the saw for a variety of projects or will you use it for just one job?

There isn´t a dearth of saws available for purchase on the market. Hence, choosing the right one can be a challenging task. Before you choose a compact circular saw, you should be well aware of your needs and requirements. You should know what you will be using the saw for and what materials you will be cutting the most. Well, you should particularly look for a model that is durable beyond belief and has the potential to stand the test of time. Other factors include;

Pay attention to the blades

Most of the compact circular saws come with their very own carbide-tipped wood cutting circular blade. Now, the factory blade will be good enough to perform small jobs and cut wood, but it won´t be able to perform well when used for heavier and bigger tasks. In addition to that, the factory blade may not even cut other types of materials such as metal, tile, and concrete etc. Hence, there might be a need for you to upgrade your blades. Therefore, if you are planning to use a circular saw for cleaner cuts, we would recommend you to choose a blade with more teeth. We would also advise you to pay attention to the size of the blade. The bigger the blade, the more depth of cut the saw has. On an average, a 4-inch circular saw is a standard size with some being just under that diameter.

Pay attention to the ergonomics

Most compact circular saws may look similar from a distance with the naked eye, but they will feel different when you use them. Although we are big fans of buying products online, we believe that it is better to test the saws at a local tool store before making the purchase. Doing so will help you find the ideal model fit for your hands. Ideally speaking, the compact circular saw you intend to acquire should fit your hand comfortably. It should also be lightweight; heavier saws can strain your muscles and prevent you from working for extended periods. Before making a purchase, it is also of paramount importance for you to ensure that you are comfortable with the saw´s adjustment components.

Should you go for corded saws or cordless ones?

Of course, if money is not an issue, we would suggest you splurge on a cordless circular saw as it is just far more convenient. However, performance-wise, there isn´t much difference between the cordless and corded saws. If your workstation boasts of a power outlet that isn´t far from your workplace, there is no need for you to splash the cash on a cordless circular saw. But, if we are to be entirely honest, you get what you pay for. And, if you splurge on a cordless circular saw, you will get a tool that is more powerful and durable than a corded circular saw. Most of the professionals prefer using cordless circular saws.

You won´t have to worry about a cord getting in the way when using a cordless saw. It also helps that cordless saws are easy to carry around. However, they do have a drawback as well. With cordless saws, you will always have to be aware of your battery life.

How much power are you looking for?

It is imperative for you to pay attention to the power of a saw. The power plays an instrumental role in determining how quickly the tool can cut through different materials. However, you should understand that compact saws aren´t as powerful as large saws. On an average, compact saws usually have an amp of about 3-5. However, there are saws on the market that have an amp of 6 too. In order to make an educated choice, you should know what you will be using the saw for and what materials you will be cutting the most.

Depth of cut

How deep would you like your saw to cut? Most of the compact circular saws available for purchase on the market have a depth of cut of a minimum 1 inch. However, there are higher-end models that can even go as high as two. Would you also like your saw to make an angled cut to the edge of the wood? If so, you should opt for a compact circular saw that is capable of doing bevel cuts.

Additional factors to consider

It is also in your best interest to ensure that the compact circular saw you intend to purchase facilitates easy blade replacement. If you are planning to use your saw on a regular basis, there will be a need for you to change the blades every now and then.

In addition to that, it is also of paramount importance for you to ensure that the compact circular saw has a laser cutting guide. A laser cutting guide emits a straight line onto the material you plan to cut, allowing you to make straight and accurate cuts. There are also compact circular saws that feature LED light; the LED light works similarly to a laser cutting guide, allowing you to cut better and straighter.

We would also recommend you to acquire a compact circular saw that comes with a carrying case. Although the carrying case isn´t exactly a necessity, it can prove to be quite convenient.

Conclusion

If we are to mention the best model, the Rockwell RK 3441K definitely takes the cake. It performs well in all the departments; it is versatile, well-designed, and comfortable to use. And, if you are someone who prefers getting bang for the buck, we would recommend the Worx Worxsaw WX429L. However, what works for us may not particularly fit well in your hands. Hence, you should try the tools yourself in the local tool stores before making a purchase. Hope we have made your compact circular saw hunt a lot easier!

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Best Compact & Mini Circular Saws 2018 – Reviews & Top Picks
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