Best Compact Circular Saw

Full-sized saws are very helpful and versatile tools, but, for some tasks, they are just too big. When you don’t have the right tool for the job, it can take all the enthusiasm out of doing your DIY projects.

If you often work in confined spaces or like to take on small projects from time to time, a compact circular saw can help you get the job done more smoothly.

The best compact circular saws are portable, flexible, convenient, lightweight, and can be just as versatile as full-sized circular saws. Here is a list of the top 10 circular saws on the market.

Our Top Pick: Rockwell RK3441K

Features

  • 3,500 RPM
  • 5 lb
  • Corder, 5 amp
  • 4 ½˝ blade

Dremel SM20-02 120-Volt Saw-Max

Dremel SM20-02 120-Volt Saw-Max

Features

  • 2 cutting wheel positions
  • 6.4 lb
  • 4˝ blade
  • Corded, 6 amp

The Saw-Max is a heavy-duty mini saw that comes in a kit. This saw is perfect for making precise one-handed cuts.

Its 4˝ blade is powered by a 6 amp motor. This allows you to cut through a variety of different materials, including wood, tile, metal, plastic, and masonry.

What makes the Saw-Max so durable and powerful is its worm drive gear. It comes with 2 wheel positions, making it great for a variety of projects.

While it can’t do bevel cuts, you can use it to flush cut. It’s also great for straight and plunge cuts.

There’s also a lock-on button that allows you to use the saw comfortably for an extended period of time. Changing the cutting wheel is quick and easy.

The kit includes a 4˝ carbide-tipped blade, flush cut carbide wheel, tile diamond wheel, and a metal cut-off wheel. It also includes a dust port adapter and a carrying case.

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Versatile
  • User-friendly
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Not for bevel cuts

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Makita SH02R1 12V Max Cordless Circular Saw

Makita SH02R1 12V Max Cordless Circular Saw

Features

  • 3-3/8″ blade
  • 1,500 RPM
  • Cordless, 12V Li-Ion Battery
  • 3.5 lb

Including the battery, the Makita SH02R1 12V Max weighs just 3.5 lb. You can rest assured it won’t weigh you down, even after an extended period of use.

If hand fatigue is your main concern, this ultra-light cordless saw may be your best option.

Despite its compact size, it feels and looks like a full-sized circular saw. However, you can only use it with 3-3/8″ blades.

The best thing about the Makita is perhaps its unique design. The blade, the cutting guide, and the motor are located at the very front of the saw.

The handle rests behind the blade, but is positioned a bit higher. The weight of the saw is focused on the cutting area.

This compact saw can handle drywall, pegboard, melamine, plywood, MDF, and many more kinds of material.

Just like with most other cordless tools, the biggest drawback of the Makita SH02R1 is the fact that the battery and charger are sold separately.

So the most cost-efficient option is to buy the whole kit. The Makita cordless circular saw comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to handle
  • Quiet
  • Versatile

Cons

  • No sawdust collector

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Rockwell RK3441K

Rockwell RK3441K

Features

  • 3,500 RPM
  • 5 lb
  • Corder, 5 amp
  • 4 ½˝ blade

Despite its compact size, the Rockwell has the direct handle grip of a full-size circular saw. The left-hand blade design gives it exceptional maneuverability. Line visibility is excellent.

It’s a great tool for overhand cuts. The bevel angle adjustment ranges between 45° (1-1/8”) and 90° degrees (1-11/16”).

With its no-load 3,500 RPM blade speed and 5 Amp motor, the Rockwell cuts exceptionally smooth.

It’s especially great for freehand cuts as it offers a great balance of feel and control. It allows you to easily make cuts in tight spaces or overhead.

The kerf on the blade is thinner than average. This keeps the blade cooler and allows for easier cutting.

The arbor-lock button makes blade switches quick and easy. The depth gauge lever is also quite user-friendly.

To help you keep your cutting line cleaner, the Rockwell comes with a dust port that has a vacuum-hook up. This saw was truly made with maximum convenience in mind.

Pros

  • Great for freehand cuts
  • Very user-friendy
  • Versatile
  • Ergonomic design

Cons

  • Not the best choice for left-handed users

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BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Circular Saw

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Circular Saw

Features

  • 6 lb
  • 5.5˝ blade
  • Cordless, 20V Li-Ion Battery
  • 3,700 RPM

The Black+Decker cordless circular saw is a great tool for cutting drywall sections, plastic pipes, beams, or wooden planks. It’s compact size and affordable price have made it one of the most popular circular saws on the market.

Its powerful high torque 3,700 RPM motor will allow you to tackle most home projects. Since it weighs just 6 lb and comes with a 5.5˝ blade, it’s an ideal tool for quick and delicate cuts.

Thanks to the tool-free depth of cut features, making adjustments comes easy with the Black+Decker circular saw. Since the battery can last about 1 hour under heavy loads, it’s best suited for DIY work.

All in all, the Black+Decker cordless circular saw is an affordable and durable model that delivers on its promises. If you need a saw for home use, the Black+Decker cordless circular saw will give you more than a bang for your buck.

Pros

  • Cordless
  • Perfect for quick and easy cuts
  • Bevel adjustment
  • Tool-free depth of cut

Cons

  • Bare tool

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PORTER-CABLE PCE381K

PORTER-CABLE PCE381K

Features

  • Corded, 5.5 amp
  • 3,500 RPM
  • 0-45° bevel capacity
  • 4 1/2˝ blade

Excellent depth of cut and one-hand design make the Porter-Cable PCE381K a very handy and easy-to-use compact circular saw. Its 5.5 amp motor can deliver up to 3,5000 RPM, making it a great choice for most DIY and home projects.

It’s great for narrow spaces, thanks to its light and compact design. You can use it to cut 2-x materials in a single pass, as its depth of cut is 1-11/16″.

The PORTER-CABLE circular saw comes with a 0-45° bevel capacity that allows for versatile use and better accuracy. To make sure things don’t get too messy, the saw is equipped with a dust port and vacuum adapter.

This compact PORTER-CABLE circular saw can cut through tile, metal, plastic, and wood without much effort. The only real downside of this model is the fact it doesn’t come with any extra blades.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Vacuum adapter
  • Lightweight
  • Great for overhead work

Cons

  • No extra blades

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Tacklife TCS115A

Tacklife TCS115A

Features

  • 4-3/4″ and 4-1/2” blades
  • 3,500 RPM
  • Corded, 5.8 amp
  • 6 blades

Tacklife have made a name for themselves by manufacturing affordably priced tools that perform more than well. And their compact circular saw is no exception.

The Tacklife TCS115A is a great choice for cutting through soft metals. It’ll go through wood plastic, metal, and tile in just one pass. Considering its size and price, its power and amperage may be its biggest selling point.

The Tacklife circular saw is quite flexible as it comes with depth adjustment and 90° – 45° bevel capacity. The slim, inline grip is quite comfortable. The saw comes with 6 blades, 1 vacuum adapter, and 1 Allen wrench.

Pros

  • 6 extra blades
  • Comfortable grip
  • Laser guide
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • A bit heavy

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Rockwell RK3440K Versacut

Rockwell RK3440K Versacut

Features

  • 4 lb
  • 3,500 RPM
  • 3-3/8” blade
  • Corded, 4 amp

Ever since they entered the market, Rockwell have been offering exceptional tools at reasonable prices. The Versacut is an affordable compact circular saw that’s perfect for quick or precision work.

It’s powered by a 4 amp motor that allows you to cut through flooring, wood, sheet, plastic, metal, and other materials. You can use it with one hand almost all the time, except for plunge cuts, when it’s best to use both hands to avoid kickback.

It’s ergonomic design and 4 lb of weight allow for comfortable extended use. You can adjust the cutting depth to a maximum of 1 1/16˝.

The Versacut is truly a high-performance compact saw that is great for both home and professional use. It will accomplish most tasks with ease.

Aside from the laser guide and the dust extractor, the 10-feet cable is one of it’s best perks.

Pros

  • Laser guide
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Great for extended use

Cons

  • Limited depth of cut

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MasterMind 800344

MasterMind 800344

Features

  • 3.2 lb
  • Corded, 2.8 amp
  • 3˝ blade
  • 2,800 RPM

The MasterMind 800344 doesn’t look like your average compact circular saw. One wouldn’t be wrong to call it the Swiss Army knife of DIY tools.

It combines a few, one-of-a-kind features that allow you to perform a variety of tasks. The saw is especially great for one-handed use. Weighing just 3.2 lb, it’s the lightest model on the list.

The saw’s design makes it perfect for plunge cuts. It also comes with an easy to use depth adjustment lever (0 to 7/8″).

Moreover, to better match your position when you’re using the saw, you can rotate the handle of the tool by pressing the swivel headlock. This makes it great for switching from task to task.

The MasterMind compact circular saw comes with both an LED light and a laser guide. However, the downside is, you do have to rely on the laser as you can’t really see the blade from the blade guards.

Pons

  • 5-year warranty
  • Quick plunge
  • LED and laser guide
  • Ergonomic design

Cons

  • Blade guards obscure the blade

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Genesis GCS545C

Genesis GCS545C

Features

  • 3,500 RPM
  • 5.8 amp
  • 4 1/2˝
  • 45° bevel capacity

The Genesis is a small saw that performs big. It’s 5.8 amp motor, 3,500 RPM, and triple gear reduction allow you to cut through drywall, softwoods, hardwoods, aluminum, copper and other materials with relative ease.

The well-build, cast aluminum gearbox significantly increases the durability of the model. While it’s not the lightest model on the list, you should be able to use it comfortably with one hand as it weighs just 6 lb.

The saw is equipped with a rip guide that allows you to make longer cuts with better accuracy. The bevel and depth adjustment come pretty easily. The Genesis also comes with a dust collector adaptor.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Handy for awkward cuts
  • Durable
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Trigger positioned awkwardly

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Worx Worxsaw

Worx Worxsaw

Features

  • 4 ½˝ blade
  • Corded, 4 amp
  • 45° bevel capacity
  • 3,500 RPM

If you need a light-duty saw that doesn’t break the bank, the Worxsaw is one of your best choices. This saw is especially great for DIY novices.

It is quite versatile and offers excellent maneuverability, especially when it comes to overhead use. The tool allows for bevel angle adjustment (90° – 45°) and depth of cut adjustment.

However, due to the size of the blade, longer accurate panel cuts may be tricky.

When it comes to safety, the Worxsaw is equipped with an easy-to-reach trigger lock. Changing blades is very easy thanks to the lock button.

While it won’t replace a full-size circular saw, the Worxsaw has more than enough cutting power for its size. It can still cut through 2×4’s.

There is no laser guide, but the left-sided blade view makes up for it. The package includes an Allen wrench, a parallel guide, and a vacuum adapter.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great for novices
  • Bevel and depth of cut adjustments
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Not for professional use

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Things to Consider Before Buying a Compact Circular Saw

Compact circular saws have many uses, but not all of them perform the same when it comes to niche tasks. If you want to make sure you’ll get the best compact circular saw for your needs, pay attention to the following features.

Dept Adjustment

Depth adjustment can make your projects much easier. Essentially, depth adjustments translates to how deep the saw can cut without stalling or running into other issues.

Unless you plan on sticking to one cutting medium, dept adjustment can be key. If you’re looking to do some precision work, you should prioritize depth adjustability.

Angles

If a saw is able to make cut’s that range from 90° (0­°) to 45°, it has bevel cut capability. Many DIYers want to get a compact circular saw just to make bevel cuts, but not every saw has bevel capability.

The bevel capability allows for more versatile use. If you plan to do detail work or want your projects to have a cleaner and more finished look, look for a saw that has bevel capability.

Cordless or Corded (Less or More Power)

Cordless, battery-powered compact circular saws are typically more convenient. For starters, they are lighter. You can use them wherever you want without having to drag a cord and power source with you.

If you treasure convenience above everything else, a cordless model is perfect for you. However, you can hope to get one hour of work the most out of a corded model.

Also, do know that cordless models don’t pack as much power as corded models. More powerful saws are able to cut through more types of material and with greater ease.

But, compact circular saws that pack more power are usually heavier. If you plan on working with difficult materials, the trade-off is well worth it.

Extra Features

Higher-end models usually come with some extra features that make things go more smoothly. Extras like a laser guide or dust port are not must-haves but are big perks.

A laser guide is especially useful in dim conditions where even a left-side blade position isn’t enough to offer a good view.

Since sawdust can build-up quickly when you’re using a saw, a dust port can be a life-saver when you’re working in cramped conditions.

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Conclusion

Whether you’re looking to get some overhead work done or are just tired of hand fatigue, the right compact circular saw will help you do things easier and faster. Make sure to consider your own needs before purchasing a compact circular saw.

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