Best Compact & Mini Circular Saws: Detailed Review & Buying Guide

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Not everyone wants to buy a full-sized circular saw. If you are a DIYer that needs to do small projects around the house then a small compact circular saw is a better choice.

The only problem is that there are a lot of compact circular saws available, so choosing one can be a difficult task. To make things easier for you, we have made a list that contains the best compact circular saws.

Hopefully, the list and the buying guide where we listed all the features you need to check before buying a mini circular saw, will help you to make a better & easier choice.

Best Compact Circular Saws


1. Makita SH02R1 – Best Mini Circular Saw

Makita SH02R1...

  • Cordless
  • Lightweight
  • Two Batteries

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

More detailed review ↴

If you are looking for a cordless compact circular saw that you can easily carry around then you should check the Makita SH02R1.

What I like most about this circular saw is that it comes with two batteries — 12V max CXT Lithium-Ion. Although this is a cordless model, the saw is still lightweight, approximately it weighs 3.5 pounds.

This cordless circular saw comes with a built-in dust blower that makes sure to keep the dust away while you are working. This helps you to make a more precise cut.  The ergonomically designed handle that comes with a soft grip helps you to work longer without fatigue and also makes the whole process more comfortable.

The Makita SH02R1 is pretty fast for a cordless compact circular saw, it has a blade speed of 1500 RPM. While this may be low if you compare it with a corded version, still this saw is able to cut materials fast thanks to the torque that is produced while working.

Pros:

  • Cordless – Easy to carry around and not limited by a power cord.
  • Protection Circuit – Prevents over-heating, over-discharging, and overloading.
  • Maximum Cut Depth – The 3-3/8″ blade delivers a maximum cup depth of 1″.
  • Lightweight – The saw weighs approximately 3.5 pounds.
  • Battery – It comes with two batteries.

Cons: 

  • Power – Since it’s a cordless version, this compact saw isn’t as powerful as the corded models.

2. Rockwell RK3440K – Best Small Electric Saw for Cutting Wood

Rockwell...

  • Adjustable Cut Depth
  • Laser Cutting Guide
  • Ergonomic Design

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

More detailed review ↴

If you are looking for a compact circular saw that is versatile then you should check the Rockwell RK3440K. 

This Rockwell compact circular saw can be used to cut different materials such as wood, plastic, metal, and much more. There’s no match to its versatility.

The tool approximately weighs 4 pounds which helps you easily hold the saw for a long time without fatigue. Thanks to the ergonomic design with a soft grip handle the working process is more comfortable.

What I like most is the laser cutting guide. Although this doesn’t affect the saw performance, it still helps you to make a more accurate cut.  On top of that, this saw comes with a powerful 4.0 amp motor that can deliver up to 3500 RPM. The motor is powerful enough to cut through almost every material.

On the downside, using the saw with two hands is kinda difficult, you can still do it, but it’s not comfortable. If the saw ever kickbacks you need two hands to prevent any damage.

  • Powerful – Features a 4.0 amp motor that delivers 3500 RPM.
  • Lightweight – The tool approximately weighs 4 pounds.
  • Adjustable Cut Depth – You can adjust the cut depth.
  • Laser Cutting Guide – A straight laser line shines at the material you are aiming.

Cons: 

  • Using the saw with two hands is difficult.

3. WORX WORXSAW WX429L – Best Small Rotary Saw

WORX WORXSAW...

  • 2×4’s Cuts
  • Angled Cuts
  • Lightweight

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

More detailed review ↴

If you are looking for a compact circular saw that is able to cut 2x4s’ in a single pass then you should check the WORX WORXSAW WX429L.

What I like most about this saw is that it can make angled cuts. You can adjust the bevel angle from 0-45 degrees. The angled cuts are smooth and very precise.

The saw is able to cut wood, metal, plastic and many other materials. It comes with a unique blade design that offers a visible cutting line that helps you make accurate cuts. It comes with an integrated safety trigger for better control, balance, and comfort.

The blade is thin which reduces the tool strain which helps for better cutting speed. The saw comes with a 4.0 amp motor that delivers up to 3500 RPM. Approximately the tool weighs 4.5 pounds.

On the downside, the tool bogs down a little with long cuts.

  • Powerful – Features a 4.0 amp motor that delivers 3500 RPM.
  • Blade Design – Left-sided blade gives you a better visible cutting line.
  • Lightweight – Approximately weighs 4.5 pounds.
  • Angled Cuts – You can adjust the bevel from 0-45 degrees.
  • You can make 2x4s’ cuts.

Cons: 

  • Bogs down a little with long cuts.

4. TACKLIFE TCS115A – Best Handheld Circular Saw

TACKLIFE...

  • Angled Cuts
  • Laser Cutting Guide
  • Rip Fence

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

More detailed review ↴

The TACKLIFE TCS115A is a great combination of power and portability that comes with a reasonable price. This tool proves that you don’t have to break the bank to start with your home-improvment projects.

It has a very powerful 5.8 Amp motor that delivers up to 3500 RPM. You can easily cut wood, plastic, tile, etc with ease.

What I like most about this saw are the angled cuts. You can adjust the bevel angle to 0-45 degrees. You can make 45-degrees and 90-degrees angled cuts. It also features a rip fence that helps you to make straight parallel cuts.

On top of that, the TACKLIFE TCS115A comes with a metal handle that helps you to reduce fatigue and makes the working process more comfortable. The level cutting guide also helps to make more precise cuts, especially if you are a beginner.

  • Powerful – Features a 5.8 Amp Motor that delivers 3500 RPM.
  • Angled Cuts – You can adjust the bevel angle to 0-45 and make 45-90-degree cuts.
  • Comfortable – Features a metal handle that allows one-hand working.
  • Rip Fence – Helps you to make parallel cuts.
  • Laser Cutting Guide – Shows a straight laser light on the material you are cutting.
  • Adjustable Cutting Depth
  • Double Protection Switch

Cons: 

  • Heavier than most compact circular saws.

5. Genesis GCS545C 

Genesis GCS545C...

  • 5.8 Amp Motor
  • Vacuum Adapter
  • Ergonomic Control Grip

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

More detailed review ↴

If you are looking for a powerful circular saw that can cut through hardwood,softwood and some different materials then you should check the Genesis GCS545C. This saw comes with a powerful 5.8 Amp motor that delivers up to 3500 RPM.

What I like most about this saw is that you can adjust the depth and the bevel. Moreover, it includes a rip fence that allows you to make straight cuts. And you can easily cut 2x material with only one pass.

The Genesis GCS545C comes with a vacuum and dust port. You can connect your vacuum to the mini saw and it will get rid of the dust that is produced while working.

On the downside, the blade that is included isn’t very good. If you are looking to make some big cuts then it’s probably a good idea to upgrade it.

  • Powerful – Features a 5.8 amp motor.
  • Fast  – It comes with a blade speed of 3500 RPM.
  • Adjustable – You can adjust the depth and bevel.
  • Vacuum Adapter – You can connect your vacuum to get rid of the dust.
  • It can easily cut through 2x materials with one pass.

Cons: 

  • Included blade isn’t very good.

Best Mini Circular Saws — Buying Guide

There are a few things that you need to consider before buying a compact circular saw. The first and most important thing that you need to know is the purpose. Why are you buying it? And what type of work do you plan on using it?

 Not everyone wants a full-sized circular saw. They are expensive, heavy, and are not very portable. That's why a lot of people, especially beginners go for the compact versions. Finding the best mini circular saws is hard, but we will try to make it easier for you with our list and buying guide.

If you know these answers then you will make a better choice. Let’s say you will use the compact circular to cut thick wood — then you need a compact circular saw that comes with a lot of power and has features that help you to deal with thick materials.

There are a lot of other things that you need to consider, here are a few of them:

Related Read — Best Circular Saws

Power

As we mentioned earlier — the motor is an important thing when it comes to circular saws. Now, don’t expect to see a powerful motor on mini circular saws like you are used seeing on table saws or any other big saw. These types of saws come with an average amp of 3-5.

The motor isn’t the only thing that determines the saw performance but it’s an important factor.

Corded or Cordless

Most of the saws come on two different modes — cordless and corded. Depending on your needs, you can choose one or the other. The cordless compact circular saws share the same pros and cons as the other cordless saws.

The battery-powered circular saws allow you to work wherever you want without worrying about having a power outlet near or the cord getting on your way. But, they will come with less power and battery life is still a big problem for most cordless models.

On the other hand, corded mini saws come with more power, they usually cost less, and you don’t have to worry about a battery. But, you are working-space is always limited. The choice is always yours.

Learn more: How Different Saws Work?

Cut Depth

The depth of cuts means how deep can the blade cut the material. Depending on your needs, you may need a saw that cuts deep. Typically, mini circular saws come with a 1-2 inch cut depth. Although,  some models come with a higher number.

Some mini saws can make bevel cuts — which means you can do an angled cut at the edge of the wood. This is a great feature because it makes your saw more versatile and it can help you use the same saw for different types of projects.

If the saw doesn’t allow you to make angled cuts then you are limited to only straight rip, cross, or miter cuts. The blade plays a big role when it comes to cut depth.  A 4-5 inch blade will do just fine.

Related Read — Best Beginners Table Saw

Ease Of Use & Safety

The ease of use is a combination of different features — weight, button positions, size, etc. If the ultra-compact circular saw is lightweight, has buttons that you can easily reach while working and its size is perfect for you then it’s easy to use it.

Different models come with different safety features — no safety feature will make you completely safe, so you will have to be always careful.

Extras

Although these extras are not a deal-breaker it’s still good to have them. Here are some of the extras that can help you:

  • Blade Replacement – It takes you one minute, eventually two to change a blade. Two minutes isn’t too much, but if you are working with different blades then you will have to spend two minutes every time you change it. That’s why the easier it’s to change the blade the better.
  • Laser Cutting Light This is a great addition if you are a beginner. There are some saws that come with a laser guide that shines a straight line into the material. The idea is to do make the cut where the light is shining. This can help you to make more accurate cuts.
  • LED Light – This will also help you a lot, especially if you are working in dark spaces. The LED lights will light up the area where you are working so you can see where to cut.
  • Case – Some of the circular saws come with a carrying case and some don’t. Although this doesn’t affect the performance it’s still good to have. It helps you to carry to saw easier, plus it’s always good to organize your tool into cases, it helps you to find them easier and faster.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Is a Mini-Circular Saw a replacement for a full-size one?
A. 
It all depends on the type of work you are going to do. If you have a small project that you need to complete then a mini circular saw is a better choice than the full one. If you have a large project, then you need a full-sized circular saw because the mini-circular doesn’t have enough power to deal with heavy-duty projects.

2. How to Choose an ultra-compact circular saw?
A. 
If you read our buying guide then you already know. The most important thing is to know the type of work you are going to do. Once you find that you, then the power, cut depth, and ease of use are the most important factors.

3. Should my mini circular saw have a laser cutting guide?
A. 
As we said before, the laser cutting guide isn’t necessary, but it’s a good thing to have especially for beginners. The laser will show a straight line at the material and therefore you will know where to cut.

Final Words

And this is all the pieces of information you ever need about mini circular saws. If you are looking to buy the best compact circular saws then checking our list is a great start. The buyer’s guide that we wrote, will help you a lot to make a better choice.

Always keep in mind that if you know the type of work that you are going to do then the choice will be easier.  And last but not least, saws are not toys, you need to always keep your focus on and be careful. Wearing safety gear is very recommended. 

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