Why should you go for a compact saw? Well, firstly, the Best Compact Circular Saws are compact, which means they are often lightweight. One of the problems with most circular saws is that they are enormous and heavy, which tires the hands in no time. But with a compact saw, you can get the job done efficiently and still have some energy left in your hands to lift a spoon up to eat.
But on a serious note though, compact saws are more comfortable to maneuver because of their compact nature, which gives you better control while cutting through woods or whatever material you’re working on.
Getting a compact saw that would provide you with the best value for your money is another issue. And with the different marketing ploys of manufacturers in desperate attempts to sell, every manufacturer boasts about their product, which practically leaves you completely confused about what is what.
So, in this review, we’d take our time to break down each product we feel are the best Compact & mini circular saws for 2020 and how they perform with their pros and cons.
Overview of our Favorite Choices in 2020
Title & Features
Top 7 Best Compact & Mini Circular Saws 2020
1. Makita SH02R1 Lithium-ion Cordless Circular Saw Kit – Best Overall
The Makita SH02R1 is our best overall pick because it is a compact, affordable, and yet delivers enough power for its size to cut through the material quickly. It is a perfect solution for cutting through plywood, drywall, and more. The slide style lithium-ion battery and more compact size give you more comfort and more capacity to cut anyplace anytime.
This model comes with two 2 Ah batteries letting you cut for a more extended period, so if one battery gets low, you can easily slide the other one in.
But if you want more capacity, you could get the 4 Ah battery that will give you more run time for a store. For added comfort, it’s battery comes with an onboard LED charge level indicator.
The Makita SH021R1 is also equipped with a battery circuit protection that helps protect the battery from overload, over-discharge, and overheating. The efficient Makita built its motor of up to 1,500 RPM is engineered for faster cutting. The 3 ⅜ inch power blade has a maximum cutting depth of 1 inch at 90 degrees and ⅝ at 45 degrees.
It also comes with a tilting base with a bevel capacity of 0-45 degrees is perfect for bevel cuts—Theirs even a built-in dust blower for added comfort while cutting.
The compact size and ergonomic weight not more than 3.5 pounds and no longer than 12 ⅜ long, with a soft rubberized grip, means superior comfort.
- It’s lightweight
- Comes with 2Ah battery for longer run time
- Its motor runs at 1500 RPM which cuts pretty fast
- Comes with three years warranty
- It’s battery-powered which means constant charging for heavy-duty cutting
- It’s cutting depth is too small
2. Dremel SM20-02 120-Volt Saw-Max Tool Kit
The Dremel Saw-Max is another amazing versatile tool that gives you the comfort to easily maneuver cut through plywood, plastic pipes, drywall, and so on. It’s so easy to set the depth of cut on this tool.
And with its ergonomic design, you can quickly get an unparalleled view of the material you’re cutting. It’s powerful 6 amp motor is capable of cutting through glasses, granites, walls, and floor tiles.
But to fit through different materials, you would need to change the saw blade appropriately. The Dremel comes with four different saws – the SM600, SM540, SM510, and SM500.
The Dremel SM20 uses a 3-inch wide blade that doesn’t provide a deep cut as it’s max cutting depth is ⅜ inches. So, cutting through thicker materials like a 2 x 4 would require cutting one side, turning it over, and cutting the other hand; that’s why Dremel added a 2 x 4 curing guide attachment to make it easier.
To even make things more interesting, they also added a dust port adapter, which lets you keep your working space clean.
- lightweight and portable
- affordable and durable
- It comes with a different saw blade for cutting through various materials.
- Cannot by itself cut at an angle except with unique guides
- Its cutting depth is too limited
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3. Rockwell RK3441K 4-1/2” Compact Circular Saw
The Rockwell RK3441K is a left-handed small corded saw yet powerful enough to cut through materials fast and effectively.
It comes with a 10 ft power cable, which lets you move about with ease. It’s lightweight and weighs about 5 pounds, so it’s not going to take a lot of space in your workplace. And because of its compact and lightweight nature, you can use this saw conveniently with one hand.
It also provides just enough cut capacity to cut through everyday materials such as 2″ lumbers at 90 degrees. The RK3441K is powered by a 5 amp motor, which may sound a bit weak, but because it uses a thin curved blade, it has a no-load cutting speed of 3500 RPM.
The Rockwell RK3441K comes with all the right features you’d expect from a circular saw as the ability to adjust the cutting depth, and you can make bevel cuts up to 45 degrees. At 90 degrees, you can cut a maximum depth of 1 11/16 and at 45 degrees 1 ⅛ inch.
Although don’t expect to be able to use this 4 ½ inches saw blade to cut 2″ lumber at an angle because there wouldn’t be enough blade to cut all the way through.
It has a safety button you have to press to operate the trigger.
At the front of the saw, it has a dust ejection port, which does an excellent job of blowing dust out of the way and onto the right side of the saw.
- It’s compact has a lot of power for its size
- It is lightweight so you can use the saw one-handed
- It’s affordable
- It has a built-in dust blower and comes with a dust blower adapter to even suck up more dust
- It doesn’t offer a very deep cutting depth because it uses q small blade
4. Rockwell RK3440K Compact Circular Saw
The Versa cut by Rockwell is a compact circular saw with speed as it’s the middle name. It’s a multifunctional saw suitable for cutting metal, wood, ceramic tiles, and plastic, amongst others.
Rockwell RK3440K Compact Circular Saw comes with a 4 amp powerful saw that lets you cut through material at 3500 RPM no-load speed.
It is lightweight weighing about 4 pounds, which makes it the ideal choice to take with you on the go. Because it’s lightweight, it doesn’t tire your hand quickly, and you can even use the saw with one hand.
It’s a left-handed corded circular saw with 120 inches of power cable. It’s an ergonomic design with rubberized soft grip-enhancing your grip on the saw for better maneuvering.
This Rockwell model comes with laser light for a more accurate cut. So, if you’re trying to make a cut and the line to cut isn’t very clear, the laser light would be of tremendous help.
The RK3440K Versacut comes with three blades (24T, 44T, and diamond grit blade), which you can change easily with one hand and allows for cutting through different materials. Also, it’s 3 ⅜ inches blade can deliver a maximum depth cut of 1 1/16.
The control for changing the depth of a cut you want to make it right on the side of the saw.
- It has a built-in dust collector
- It also has an ergonomic compact design
- It’s lightweight and can be used one-handed
- It has an integrated laser guide for accurate cuts
- Not suitable for heavy-duty cutting
Related Post: Different Types of Saws
5. WORX WORXSAW WX429L 4-1/2″ Compact Circular Saw – Best Value
The WORXSAW is a compact 4 ½ inch circular saw. It’s suitable for DIY projects and even serious client projects. Inside the box, it comes with a nice long power cable, which is one of the first apparent things we loved about the saw.
It also comes with a 24 tooth carbide teeth blade. It also comes with a parallel guide, a vacuum adapter, an Allen screw for changing the blade, and a 3-year warranty.
The WORXSAW is a lightweight, portable handheld saw weighing less than 5 pounds, and very easy to maneuver.
The WX429L is a powerful saw with a 4 amp powerful motor with a no-load speed of 3500 RPM.
The 4 ½ inch thin blade of the WORXSAW WX429L saw is capable of delivering 2-inch cuts. This circular saw also features an easy-set depth gauge lever for quick adjustment of the depth of cut.
And with its 45 degrees bevel adjustment you make the bevel cut done quickly. The left-sided blade design of this circular saw increases the cut-line visibility.
It’s rubberized gripping handle with integrated safety trigger adds comfort and control to this saw.
- It’s lightweight and durable
- It’s compact and offers better maneuverability than the full-sized circular saw
- It has an integrated safety trigger that’s easy to access for your added safety
- It’s not suitable for heavy-duty cutting
- Right-handed people often struggle with the left-handed design of this saw.
6. TACKLIFE TCS115A Circular Saw
The TACKLIFE is an excellent small portable circular saw suitable for heavy-duty cuttings. This saw can cut tile, metal, wood, and drywall. It’s a great saw that comes with a metal handle with a soft rubberized grip, which gives you better maneuverability.
The TCS115A circular saw comes with three blades, two 24 tooth carbide teeth for cutting woods, one 60 teeth HSS blade for cutting soft metals and wood, and a grit diamond blade saw for cutting tiles.
It also comes with a built-in dust blower that you could connect as a vacuum adapter for a cleaning working space.
The cutting depth can be adjusted as well as bevel angle making this tool versatile. The bevel can be adjusted between 0 degrees to 45 degrees. At 45 degrees, you can make a cut of 1 ⅜ inch and 1 11/16 inches at 90 degrees.
The TCS115A comes with laser light for better accuracy while cutting, which makes it a preferred compact circular saw by many.
It also comes with a powerful 5.8 amp motor that can produce a no-load speed of up to 3500 RPM.
- It’s durable and built to last
- It is suitable for general heavy-duty cutting at home
- It’s compact and lightweight
- Its power cable is not very long
7. Genesis GCS545C Compact Circular Saw
The Genesis GCS545C is a powerful, lightweight, compact saw that lets you cut through materials easily with no stress. It is an entirely versatile saw that can be used to cut through perfectly drywall and subfloor, copper and aluminum, and wood, amongst others.
It’s lightweight, weighing about 6 pounds, and its ergonomic design makes it a perfect one handheld circular saw. Its design also provides a more unobstructed view of the line of cut, letting you cut more accurately.
It comes with a powerful 5.8 amp motor that has three gearboxes so you can adjust the speed of the saw accordingly. It has a maximum no-load speed of 3500 RPM, which is enough power to cut through thick materials in one pass.
On opening a box of GCS545C, you’d get one 24 teeth carbide saw blade, an Allen key, a 7 inch parallel guide, and a vacuum adapter. To cut, you can easily adjust the cutting depth to about 1 11/16 at 90 degrees.
The bevel angle is also adjustable between 0 and 45 degrees, and cutting at 45 degrees, and you get a maximum cut depth of 1 ⅛. It’s a built-in dust collector, and a vacuum adapter helps to keep your workspace clean even while cutting.
- It comes with a 2-year warranty
- It has a built-in dust blower which helps keep your workplace clean
- It’s not suitable for heavy-duty cutting
Buying Guide – What features should I find when buying my best circular saw?
# Pay attention to the blade
The blade of a circular saw is one of the essential components of a circular saw. When getting a circular saw, you need to know the type of blade the saw can use. This is because no one blade can do it all.
There are different types of the blade which you may have noticed from the product review. Some blades are designed for cutting tiles, some for woods, and others for metals.
So before getting a circular saw, ensure it makes use of a type of blade that can do what you need it for. And also provide the blade is big enough to cut through what you need. Saws come in different diameters.
Smaller saw blades might look pretty good, giving the circular saw a lightweight and compact look, but they can’t cut through thick materials, so take note.
# Pay attention to the ergonomics
It’s also important to pay attention to the ergonomic design of a circular saw for your added comfort while cutting. Just because you read online about the features, you feel it’s the perfect one.
We’d always advise you that if you can, test out the circular saw at the store before making a purchase. You need to have a good feeling you turn the saw on.
Also, ensure its lightweight, so you don’t strain your hand and, at the same time, powerful enough to get the job done.
# Which one should you go for corded or cordless?
This is also another all too well-asked question. But you see getting corded, or a cordless saw has, no difference in its performance. They both perform equally well only that a corded circular saw can be used to cut for a more extended period than a cordless saw. Also, maybe, in the long run, a corded circular saw may be better because the battery of a cordless circular saw deteriorates with time.
But apart from that, a cordless circular saw can be used anywhere provided you have a charged battery, but a cordless saw needs to have a power supply close by to work. So, you may want to keep a close eye on the features and choose the one that best does the job for you.
# How much power are you looking for?
The power of a saw determines the revolution per minute of the saw while cutting. If the power of the saw isn’t strong enough, you wouldn’t be able to use the saw to cut through thinker materials. Most handhelds saw power ranges between 5 to 10 amp.
For cutting through pipes, a 5 or 6 amp power motor would do for a circular saw. But for cutting through woods, metal, ceramic tiles, and so on.
You may want to aim higher for a more robust motor so that you can cut through conveniently without straining the motor.
# Additional factors to consider
There are other factors you need to consider when getting a circular saw like the cutting depth, bevel capacity, the material used to make the saw, if it has laser light, among others.
You can also keep an eye out for other accessories that come in the box like extra blades, Allen key, bevel support, parallel guide, and so on.
1. What is the best compact circular saw?
The Makita SH02R1 Cordless Circular Saw Kit is the best compact circular saw on our list. The SH02R1 is the most sought out the compact circular saw in-store today because not only is it affordable, but its performance is quite impressive. It comes with a lot of features worth taking a look at, and it’s also very lightweight.
How do I make a straight cut with compact saws?
Making straight cuts when you’re using a compact saw is very easy. But you need to have a good grip on how to maneuver the saw first. It also helps when you draw lines on the material you want to cut. And if you have a compact saw with laser light, it also helps big time.
2. How can I effectively cut through thick pieces of wood?
Firstly, is your saw blade long enough to cut it? If not, then you would need to get a parallel guide. Attach the parallel guide to your saw and cut both sides of the wood. And if you don’t have a parallel guide, you would just have to manage with drawing lines on both sides of the wood before making the curtain both sides.
3. Are cordless circular saws worth it?
Although cordless circular saws have their advantages of not needed electricity to function, they are not worth it when you can get corded circular saws. A corded circular saw can cut at the same power for hours, but the cordless circular saw can’t because the battery drains with time, which is a significant disadvantage.
4. Is a skill saw the same as a circular saw?
To be honest, there is no difference between a skill saw and a circular saw. They are the same thing with a circular saw. Besides, it’s not called a skill saw, but Skil saw. And Skil saw is not a type of saw but rather a brand of circular saws.
The compact saws we highlighted above are great saws for workshops and DIY at home. But if we’d have to recommend any, it would be the Makita SH02R1 Cordless Circular Saw Kit as our best overall. This Makita is kind of like the Slayer of other compact circular saws; it’s lightweight, durable, comfortable to use, well designed, and gives you precise cuts.
We would also go for the WORX WORXSAW WX429L 4-1/2″ Compact Circular Saw as our pick for the best value. However, this is our thoughts on these products, and they may not work best for you. So we’d like you to test out any compact saw before actually making a purchase.
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