Best Compact & Mini Circular Saws 2019 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best-Compact-Circular-saw

Compact saws are easier to maneuver, giving you better control during operation. This simplifies woodworking tasks and allows you to accomplish a lot in a relatively short period of time.

You have a lot of options when it comes to finding the best mini circular saw, which makes the selection process difficult. Worry not, because I have evaluated different models and found different saws that are worth considering.

Let’s now head to the compact circular saw reviews section to find the best tool for your workshop.




10 Best Compact & Mini Circular Saw - Reviews


 1. Makita SH02R1 - Lithium-ion Cordless Circular Saw

Makita SH02R1 12V Max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Circular Saw Kit, 3-3/8"
Price: $124.58
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The Makita SH02R1 is a great model that combines power and precision. What impresses me the most is its cordless design that makes it easy for users to move about the workshop when they are using the tool.

Without a cord getting in the way, your chances of tripping are minimal, and this makes the Makita SH02R1 one of the safest circular saws around.

The ability to move around freely with a saw is important for those who work on large projects, and as such, this circular saw is ideal for woodworking contractors.

It also packs enough power for complex jobs with its 1,500 rpm motor.

It has a cutting depth of 1 inch, which is ideal for a variety of cutting applications. This cutting depth, however, is less than other circular saws can offer.

If you make a lot of bevel cuts, then you should definitely consider this circular saw. It has a tilting base that allows you to change the cutting angle up to 45 degrees for your bevel cuts.

This cordless mini circular saw also comes with a built-in dust blower that keeps debris away from the line of cut. This increases accuracy and greatly improves the quality of your finished products.

What we liked

  • It is easy to use it in your workshop, as it doesn’t have a cord.
  • Powerful motor makes it easy to accomplish complex operations. 
  • It is lightweight and portable.

What we didn’t like

  • The cutting depth is limited.
  • stop
    The saw Requires constant charging for complex jobs.

 2. Dremel SM20-02 120V Compact Circular Saw

The Dremel SM20-02 is a high-quality saw that can be used for both professional and DIY use. It comes in a compact design that makes it easy to control with just one hand. It is about one-third the size of other circular cutting saws, which makes it ideal for use in tight spaces.

Despite its size, the SM20-02 does not compromise on power. Its worm-driven motor system is powerful enough for complex applications and optimal control. It has a cord, which makes it better for long projects than cordless models that run on stored battery power.   

Your reach, however, is limited by the length of the cord, and if you prefer free reign when working with tools, then you should opt for a cordless compact mini saw like the one we highlighted above.

The Dremel SM20-02 cuts perfect straight lines on long boards, which makes it a great addition to your workshop if you desire such cuts when working on wood.

Other than wood, it can cut through other surfaces such as plastic, tile and metal. This makes it a great tool for a professional contractor who works with different materials. You should be warned, however, that the Dremel SM20-02 is not as effective on these surfaces as it is on wood. Therefore, you should get cutting tools that are designed for those surfaces if you want the best results.

This saw has a dust extraction port that clears dust from the surface you are working on for better visibility and cutting accuracy.

What we liked

  • The dust extraction system keeps the workshop clean.
  • Compact design for one-hand use.
  • Makes precise cuts.

What we didn’t like

  • Limited cutting depth.
  • stop
    Short cord limits movement.

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

Rockwell RK3441K 4-1/2" Compact Circular Saw, 5 amps, 3500 rpm with Dust Port and Accessory Kit
Price: $64.05
Was: $129.00
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The Rockwell RK3441K is a good option if you work on complex wood surfaces. It runs on a 5-amp electric motor that delivers 3,500 revolutions per minute, which is quite high compared to what similar models offer. With this amount of power, you can cut through different wood surfaces with ease, which will greatly enhance your woodworking experience.

It comes in a compact design that allows you to use the tool for an extended period without getting tired. It is comfortable on the hands thanks to its ergonomic design, which gives you ultimate control when working on wood surfaces.

The tools that you have in your workshop should be safe to use, and the Rockwell RK3441K is as safe as a circular saw can get. It has a lock-off switch that disengages the blade when it is not in use.

With a maximum cutting depth of 2 inches, the Rockwell RK3441K is ideal for professional contractors who work on thick pieces of lumber. The blade of this circular cutting saw can be tilted up to an angle of 45 degrees, which will allow you to make bevel and other specialty cuts on your wood surfaces.

If you want to make quality cuts, the compact saw that you are using should provide you with better visibility. The Rockwell RK3441K has a left-handed blade design that makes it easy to see the cutting line for greater accuracy and impressive results.

This compact circular blade weighs just 5 pounds, which makes it easy to transport and maneuver. If you often work on overhead surfaces, you will appreciate its lightweight nature, as you will not strain your arms when using the tool.

What we liked

  • The powerful motor is suited for complex jobs.
  • Its compact design makes it easy to handle.  
  • Good cutting depth for thick pieces of lumber.  

What we didn’t like

  • Blade binds with heavy work.
  • stop
    Cord limits movement.

 4. WORX Worxsaw 4-1/2” Compact Saw

WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2" Compact Circular Saw - WX429L
Price: $49.99
Was: $69.00
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The Worxsaw WX429L is a safe, compact saw that comes with an integrated safety trigger. It has a thin blade, which reduces the tool’s strain as you are cutting. It also boosts the cutting speed of the machine, which will allow you to accomplish a lot of work in a short period of time.

With a full-load speed of 3,500 rpm, the Worxsaw WX429L is quite powerful for its compact size. It has a maximum cutting depth of 2 inches, making it the ideal compact mini saw for contractors who work on thick structures.

Adjusting the saw to make bevel cuts is easy, and this will simplify your cutting processes further. It will take you less time to make specialty cuts, and you will be able to finish your projects in a timely manner.

The saw has been inclined to the left, which makes for better visibility. You will be able to cut through your wood surfaces with greater accuracy, and this will improve the quality of your output.

The Worxsaw WX429L also has an ergonomic design that reduces the pressure on your arm as you are using the saw. Therefore, you will have greater control, which will result in better outcomes.

What we liked

  • The motor is strong enough for complex jobs.
  • It has an ergonomic handle that increases your comfort while working.
  • Left-handed design for better visibility.

What we didn’t like

  • Struggles with long cuts.
  • stop
    Left-handed people struggle with the left-handed blade design.

 5. Genesis GCS545C Small Handheld Saw

The Genesis GCS545C is another compact saw that will come in handy if you are fed up with the full-sized saws that strain your arms. At just 6 pounds, this handheld device is very light, which will make it easy for you to use for your woodworking adventures.

It comes with an ergonomic handle that reduces the pressure on your arm while you are using the tool. You can effectively use the saw with just one hand, which leaves the other one free for holding and supporting the surface you are working on for better stability.

It packs a powerful 5.8 amp motor that delivers 3,500 revolutions per minute. This is enough power for any complex job you might have to accomplish.

It also utilizes a triple gear reduction mechanism that increases the tool’s torque for an enhanced cutting capacity. This mechanism helps reduce the stress on the gears, which builds up the saw’s durability.

You will, therefore, be able to use the tool for long periods of time. This makes the Genesis GCS545C one of the best value for the money compact mini saws on the market.  

It has a cutting depth of 2 inches, which makes it ideal for a variety of woodworking applications. You can adjust the blade to make bevel cuts, which makes this compact cutting saw ideal for users who make specialty cuts.

What we liked

  • The customer service is excellent.
  • Its triple gear reduction mechanism enhances the cutting capacity.
  • The cutting depth of 2 inches is ideal for thick lumber.

What we didn’t like

  • Assembling the saw is difficult.
  • stop
    The blades are of poor quality.

 6. Rockwell RK3440K - Ultra-Compact Circular Saw

Rockwell RK3440K Versacut 4.0 Amp Ultra-Compact Circular Saw with Laser Guide and 3-Blade Kit with Carry Case
Price: $86.20
Was: $92.50
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Rockwell produces amazing woodworking tools, and the Rockwell RK3440K is a perfect example. If you have small hands and find full-sized saws difficult to maneuver, then you should consider this ultra-compact circular saw with an ergonomic design.

It has a slim grip handle design that improves grip and handling comfort for proper use. Due to its small size, you can operate this mini circular saw with one hand and still perform the job effectively. This frees up the other hand for other operations such as holding the surface that you are working on in place for better stability.

Its compact design does not allow the Rockwell RK3440K to pack enough power for complex applications, but you can still get around 3,500 revolutions per minute when the motor is running at full load. This is enough power for a variety of small woodworking applications, which makes the RK3440K ideal for casual hobbyists who are not working on complex projects.

If your intention is to make accurate cuts, then a laser guide is one of the things that you look for in the compact mini saws that you buy. The Rockwell RK3440K has a built-in laser guide that illuminates the cutting surface for greater cutting accuracy and precision.

The Rockwell RK3440K has a 4-inch blade that can cut through a variety of surfaces. You can use it to effectively cut through pieces of metal sheets, tiles, plastics and flooring. This versatility makes it a great tool if you often work on multiple surfaces. You should, however, be warned that the blade fades when it is used on surfaces other than wood.

What we liked

  • Compact design.
  • Built-in laser guide for cutting accuracy.
  • Dust extraction system.

What we didn’t like

  • Not comfortable for large hands.
  • stop
    Not ideal for complex projects.

 7. Genesis GPCS535CK Mini Circular Saw 

Genesis GPCS535CK 5.8 Amp, 3-1/2" Control Grip Plunge Compact Circular Saw Kit with Laser, Miter Base, 3 Assorted Blades, Vacuum Adapter Hose, Rip Guide & Carrying Bag
Price: $97.99
Was: $99.99
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If you are often cutting through thick wood surfaces, then you need more power from a compact circular saw. In that case, the Genesis GPCS5335CK is a great option for you. With a 5.8 amp motor that runs at 4,500 rpm when fully loaded, the Genesis GPCS5335CK mini circular saw will cut through anything you throw its way.

The Genesis GPCS5335CK also cuts with great accuracy, which will come in handy if you want the pieces you are working on to look amazing. This mini circular saw has a built-in laser guide that shines a light on the surface you are working on for greater cutting accuracy.

It has also been designed to fit perfectly into your arm for better control and one-handed use, freeing up your other hand.

The cutting capacity of this saw is 1-1/8 inches, which is ideal for certain cutting applications. It will cut through sizeable pieces of lumber, but it will struggle with thicker ones.

The downside of this saw is that it is quite heavy for a compact mini saw. At 12 pounds, the Genesis GPCS5335CK is a little bit heavier than the other models that we have highlighted above, which weigh between 5 and 6 pounds. Therefore, it may be a struggle to use this saw for an extended period of time.

What we liked

  • Powerful motor.
  • Built-in laser guide for better cutting quality.
  • Comes with different blades for different surfaces.

What we didn’t like

  • It is heavy and bulky, which makes it difficult to use.
  • stop
    The cutting depth is not ideal for thick wood surfaces.

 8. MasterMind 800344 - 3-inch Circular Saw

MasterMind makes quality craft tools, and the MasterMind 800344 is no exception. It is a great compact circular saw for your cutting operations. It is easy to use due to its ergonomic three-position handle.

This feature allows you to change the position of the handle as you change your working position so you can be comfortable at all times. Its trigger paddle is strategically located, which makes starting it very easy.

The trigger paddle is secured by a switch that you have to release to use this mini saw. The chances of engaging the blade accidentally are minimal, which makes it one of the safest mini saws around.

The saw will guide you appropriately as you are making cuts through surfaces. It incorporates an LED light and a laser guide that will help you make precise cuts on the surfaces that you are working on. You will not be able to use both of them at the same time, so I recommend that you choose the LED light because it is more effective.

The blade is just 3 inches, which is relatively small compared to the mini saw models that I highlighted earlier in this article. It has a cutting depth of 7/8 inches, which further limits its range of applications. You will, therefore, not be able to use it on thick lumber and other hard surfaces like tile and metal sheets.

What we liked

  • The trigger paddle is secure, which reduces accidents.
  • Three-point ergonomic handle makes operating it easy.  
  • It uses an LED light and laser guide for greater cutting accuracy.  

What we didn’t like

  • The motor is not powerful enough for extensive use.
  • The cutting depth is limited.

 9. BLACK + DECKER BDCCS20B - Circular Saw

BLACK + DECKER is known for its quality products, and here is another tool from its impressive collection. The BLACK + DECKER BDCCS20B is a powerful saw that will make it easy for you to cut through different surfaces.

It weighs just 6 pounds, which makes transporting and using this compact mini saw easy. Those with small hands will not struggle when using this tool, even when they have to perform complex tasks for long periods of time.

The manufacturer builds its power tools to be safe to use, and that is the case with this saw. It has a safety cover for the blade that secures it when it is not in use. You and others in the working area will not come into contact with the blade, which reduces accidents and injuries.

If you move around your workshop often when working on different surfaces, then a cordless design is one of the things that you need in a compact mini saw. This saw runs on an internal 20V battery that delivers the power you need to cut through wood and other surfaces.

The battery, however, drains too quickly to sustain complex woodworking operations, and that is why this compact saw is not among my top picks. You will also have to buy the battery and the charger separately, which increases your expenditure if you opt for this compact mini saw.

What we liked

  • The cordless design simplifies operations at the workshop.
  • It is lightweight, which makes transportation and operation seamless.  
  • It is safe to use due to its protective case.  

What we didn’t like

  • The battery drains too quickly.  
  • The whole package is expensive.

 10. VonHaus 5.8 Amp Compact Circular Saw 

VonHaus 5.8 Amp Compact Circular Saw Kit with Laser Guide, 4,500 RPM, Plunge Function, 9.8ft Power Cord, Extraction Hose, Storage Case and 3x Saw Blades for Wood, Metal, Tile and Plastic Cutting
Price: $59.95
Was: $74.95
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The VonHaus 5.8 amp compact saw kit with laser guide is a decent tool, but it struggles in many aspects. The handle of this tool is a little bit bulky, and that makes holding onto it very difficult, especially for those with small hands.

You will have to connect it to a power socket to operate it, and the cord is quite short. This makes moving around the workshop a challenge, and you can even trip on it and injure yourself.

It comes with a built-in laser guide to help you cut through surfaces with greater accuracy, but most users complain that the laser guide has been misaligned. Therefore, it doesn’t make accurate cuts, and as such, your work output will be poor.

If you can overlook these issues, then there are a few things you can enjoy when you get the VonHaus 5.8 amp compact circular saw for your craft work. You get to use a powerful motor that delivers enough power for complex jobs.

This tool is also quite versatile, and you can use it for different jobs other than cutting through wood. You can use it on metal, plastic and tile surfaces, and the kit comes with different blades for these jobs.

It has a cutting depth of 1 – 1/8 inches, which is ideal for certain cutting applications. However, this cutting depth is minimal compared to some of the products that I have reviewed before, which can cut up to a depth of 2 inches.

What we liked

  • The motor delivers enough power for plenty of jobs.
  • The cutting depth is good for certain applications.
  • It can be used to cut different materials.

What we didn’t like

  • The power cord is very short.
  • The customer service is poor.

    Guide – How To Buy The compact circular saws


    A compact circular saw is one of the most important tools in any workshop. Therefore, you need to be careful when selecting one. Below are some of the things that you need to look at before making your decision.

    1. Corded vs. Cordless Compact Circular Saws


    This decision will be based on the amount of power you desire from the saw and the nature of the job that you want to perform.

    Cordless saws use the power stored in the battery, and if you will need to use the saw for extended periods of time, then a cordless circular saw will not be ideal for you. This is because you will have to stop what you are doing to charge the saw, and this can be quite frustrating.

    However, a cordless circular saw is ideal if you often move around while working. If that is the case, you don’t want to be restricted by the length of the power cord. They are also ideal if you work outdoors where you cannot access a power outlet.

    2. Power


    The power of the saw is another factor when you are choosing a compact circular saw for your craft needs. If you are working on thick materials, get a saw with more power so you can cut through the materials with ease.

    If you intend to use the saw just for recreational purposes, then a compact power saw with little power will do.

    3. Ergonomic Design


    The compact circular saw that you choose should have an ergonomic design to make operating it easy.

    The handle should fit properly in your hand, and you should not feel any pressure when holding it. This will ensure that you don’t strain too much, so you will be able to get more work done.

    4. The Depth of Cut 


    The depth of a blade is the measure of how deep it can cut through a material. Most blades have a maximum depth cut of 1 inch, but for some, it can be as much as 2 inches.

    If you work on thick surfaces or materials, then you need a compact circular saw with a larger depth of cut.  

    Best Compact Circular Saw Brands


    Here are some of the top brands that manufacture compact mini saws.

    Makita is a Japanese firm that was established in 1915. It specializes in power tools for professional and DIY use.

    Dremel Tools is an American company that makes power tools. It was established in 1932 and is headquartered in Racine, Wisconsin.

    Rockwell Tools are manufactured and distributed by the Positec Tool Corporation. The company is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina and was founded in 2005.

    WORX is a line of gardening and power tools that is distributed by the Positec Tool Corporation. The company has distribution centers in America, Asia and Europe.

    Genesis Power Tools are made by Rich Power Industries, Inc. The company has been in operation since 2003.

    MasterMind manufactures power tools and handheld equipment for craft work. It provides tools for metalworking and woodworking.

    BLACK + DECKER manufactures power tools, hardware, accessories and home improvement technologies from its Towson, Maryland headquarters. It was founded in 1910 and has been in operation for more than a century.

    VonHaus is a European company that manufactures tools and power equipment for professional and recreational use. It is headquartered in Manchester, England, but has distributor warehouses in different parts of the world.

    FAQs


    How do I make straight cuts with a mini saw?

    Making straight cuts on the surface is not difficult, but you will need some time to figure out how to do it. The best way to do this is by using the built-in laser guide that shows you the line that you should follow to make straight cuts.

    How can I effectively cut through thick pieces of wood?

    If you are working on thick pieces of lumber, start off on the small sections and progress to the heavy part. Make sure that the blade is sharp, but if you are still having challenges with thick sections, then you may need to get a more powerful saw.

    How do I adjust the depth of the circular saw?

    Adjusting the depth helps you make accurate cuts. To do this, use the bevel adjustment to set the cutting degree that you want. After doing this, the depth of the mini saw will change as well.

    What is causing the blade to vibrate?

    The blade is vibrating because it has not been fixed properly. Check the arbor and the collar to see if they are fixed properly, and if they aren’t, fix them right away.

    Conclusion


    The compact mini saws highlighted above are all good tools for your workshop, but if I had to choose one, I would go for the Makita SH02R1.

    It is not only powerful, but it comes in a cordless design that allows you free reign as you work on surfaces in your workshop.

    The best value pick is the Dremel SM20-02, which delivers lots of power and makes accurate cuts, even though it is cheaper than most of the other models that I reviewed.

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