What Are The Best Compact And Mini Circular Saws? - Reviewing The Top 10 Of 2020
Saws are very important in woodworking, almost as relevant as the wood itself. Circular saws, as tools, are versatile, hence, they are indispensable to a woodworker. It is a tool with makes woodworking very easy and attractive. Manufactured in various sizes, the miniature versions are quite successful and popular in various operations and it has become an essential tool to most woodworkers. It is quite handy and can be moved around easily while you go about showcasing your creativity.
The mini circular saws are mostly powered by some form of electricity, direct or alternating current. The description “circular” comes from the shape of the blade and its rotation. It cuts wood into various sizes and shapes using a toothed disc blade. The mini circular saws are not only handy, but it can also perform a large number of functions, although it is designed for smaller jobs.
If you are looking to buy a circular saw for a bigger job then you can check out our reviews of the best corded circular saws and if you are looking for mobility and power you can read about the best cordless circular saws.
While there are lots of mini circular saws, with different performance in the market, manufactured by different brands and packed with different features and specifications, one may start to worry about which product to buy. If you fall in that category or, perhaps, you are looking for an upgrade, this article should help you make the right decision as it will be reviewing the 10 best compact and mini circular saws.
Worx Worxsaw 4X429L compact circular saw
Rockwell RK3441K compact circular saw
Teccpo TAMS24P compact circular saw
A laser beam, scale ruler
Tacklife TCS115A compact circular saw
VonHaus 15/271 5.8 amp compact circular saw
Rockwell RK3440K compact circular saw
Galax Pro GP766V 5.8 amp compact circular saw
Teccpo TAMS25P compact circular saw
Porter-cable PCE381K compact circular saw
Dremel SM20-03 compact circular saw
1. Worx Worxsaw 4X429L compact circular saw
If you are looking for something that offers a better value for your money, the Worxsaw 4X429L is a great option. With this tool at your disposal, you can make perfect and accurate cuts with a minimum of fuss.
Features of Worx Worxsaw:
- It comes with a 24 tooth blade of about 4½ inches.
- The blade is positioned to the left side to enhance adequate visibility when cutting.
- Great grip and handle facilitating balance and proper control.
- Thin blades which cause less strain from using the tool.
- It is equipped with a depth gauge and bevel control.
Things we liked about Worx Worxsaw:
- It is lightweight and portable.
- The tool, which is lightweight and portable coupled with its nice handle, allows you to grip the tool perfectly.
- The structural design which enhances its user’s visibility while cutting, making it possible for you to create perfect cuts.
- The tool comes with a thin blade which allows any user to experience almost no strain during use.
- Due to its compactness and better grip, it is ideal for women.
- Its bevel settings can be set from 0 to 45 degrees.
Things we didn’t like about Worx Worxsaw:
- Due to the blade’s position, it may be difficult to handle for left-handed people.
- It may not be ideal for large projects.
- It overheats in some instances.
2. Rockwell RK3441K compact circular saw
While being fairly inexpensive, the Rockwell product is one of the most versatile mini circular saws in the market. Weighing about 5 pounds, it still packs a number of safety features, posing as a safe tool for even new woodworkers. It also boasts of other features to aid cutting precision. The Rockwell RK3441 uses an adjustable blade which is great for making precise cuts in various angles, even at 90 degrees for rip cuts.
Features of Rockwell RK3441K:
- Comes with a blade of 4½ inches which is relatively thinner than 7¼ blades.
- It uses laser technology to aid cutting precision.
- Safety features which include a lock-off switch.
- The blade is pushed towards the left to enhance cutting visibility.
- Can be used to cut woods at angles from 0 to 45 degrees.
- Smaller grip and handle to allow more control.
Things we liked about Rockwell RK3441K:
- It has a lock-off switch to provide more safety.
- The blade is left-sided to facilitate cutting visibility.
- It has a better grip, hence, it is very easy to handle.
- It is more compact and lightweight.
- It has a greater cutting depth even at 90 degrees.
Things we didn’t like about Rockwell RK3441K:
- There is a high possibility that the blade will come off during use. Quite a few users have reported this happening. It could be quite serious if proper precaution is not taken.
- The grip is small and may be difficult to handle by larger hands.
3. Teccpo TAMS24P compact circular saw
Yeah, “technology creates power”. Well, that’s the slogan of Teccpo, the product’s manufacturer. Truly, they have actualized this in the Teccpo TAMS24P. The mini circular saw is probably the most efficient tool on this list. It is equipped with a number of safety features and cutting precision guides. It is lightweight and its design allows operation by one hand.
Features of Teccpo TAMS24P:
- Fantastic and ergonomic design which permits one-hand control.
- Safety features which include double power-switch start-up to prevent inadvertent starts and a sawdust vacuum port.
- Blade size of 4½ inches.
- An adjustable knob for setting blade angles between 90 and 45 degrees.
- Soft anti-vibration rubber grip which can size the palm of an average operator and allow more control even when operating with sweat-laden palms.
- Laser guide and ruler for making perfect cuts easily and faster.
Things we liked about Teccpo TAMS24P:
- It has a port where you can connect a sawdust catcher which might have ended up in the eyes, noses, and clothes.
- It employs a ruler and laser technology as guides for ensuring faster and easy accurate cutting.
- It has impressive measure against inadvertent start-up.
- The rubber grip can accommodate most hands.
- Thanks to the soft rubber grip, you can effectively control the tool even with wet hands.
Things we didn’t like about Teccpo TAMS24P:
- Due to the blade’s left-side placement, left-handed users may experience difficulties using it.
4. Tacklife TCS115A compact circular saw
The Tacklife TCS115A compact circular saw is one of the most versatile saw in the market. This is made more obvious with the six powerful blades which come with the pack. The corded-electric saw also boasts of a powerful 5.8-amp motor. The tool allows you to work a wide range of wood materials.
Features of Tacklife TCS115A:
- It comes with a strong motor and six powerful blades.
- Ergonomic design for flexible one hand control.
- Laser technology fixed on it to ensure cutting precision.
- Double power-switch button for safety.
- Special curved port for collecting sawdust.
- An angle adjustment mechanism to allow bevel cutting at 90 and 45 degrees.
Things we liked about Tacklife TCS115A:
- It has a sturdy metal handle for easy handling and maneuverability. The design allows a user to operate with one hand.
- It employs laser technology as a guide for quick, precise and professional cutting.
- It has a port for connecting sawdust collector which facilitates a cleaner workspace and prevents dust from getting into the eyes, nose, and clothes.
- The double switch safety measure employed to prevent unintentional start-up.
- It is very efficient in bevel cutting at 90 and 45 degrees.
- It comes with six blade types, giving the operator a wide range of options to use.
Things we didn’t like about Tacklife TCS115A:
- It may appear bogged down during long cuts.
- Weighing more than 8 pounds, it is easy to have a strain when working.
5. VonHaus 15/271 5.8 amp compact circular saw
Looking for something powerful? The VonHaus 15/271 compact circular saw may be good for you. You can cut through wood with its powerful motor which spins at a very high speed of about 4,500 rpm. It is fitted with a laser guidance system to help you make accurate cuts at such high speeds. The saw comes with a storage case which also makes it appealing.
Features of VonHaus:
- It has a very powerful motor which runs at 4,500 rpm.
- Comes with three strong blades of 3½ diameters.
- Equipped with a laser guide.
- Comes with a kit.
- Equipped with a long sawdust removal hose.
- Corded device with an extra-long power cable.
Things we liked about VonHaus:
- The laser guide which facilitates accurate cuts.
- An extra-long cable to allow more freedom when working.
- Comes with three extra blades.
- The sawdust-catching system comes with a longer hose.
- The grip is slim, allowing more comfort during use.
- It can be operated with one hand.
Things we didn’t like about VonHaus:
- It is not equipped with an adjustable system, hence, it is not good for bevel cuts.
- It uses smaller blades of 3½ diameter and will not be able to make deeper cuts like those equipped with 4½ blades.
- The device weighs about 10 pounds.
6. Rockwell RK3440K compact circular saw
The Rockwell RK3440K is one of the finest circular saws in the market. Weighing just 3.4 pounds, it can be described an extra-compact saw. It is portable, with a design which allows more versatility and control. The sleek design enhances grip when working. It has an in-built laser system to help you achieve more precise cuts.
Features of Rockwell RK3440K:
- A laser guide and a lock-off switch.
- Comes with a 4.0-amp motor which spins at 3,500 rpm without any load.
- A sleek, ergonomic and extra-compact design.
- It is equipped with a dust extraction port.
- A corded tool with an extra-long power cable.
- A slim grip for more control when working.
Things we liked about Rockwell RK3440K:
- The tool is very portable and lightweight.
- Despite its weight, it performs a great job and reduced muscle fatigue.
- A lock-off switch to prevent inadvertent start-ups.
- It has an in-built laser guide for cutting precision.
- An extra-long power cable to allow more freedom when working.
- It offers better grip and maneuverability.
- Thanks to the pivoting metal guard, it can make plunge cuts easily and safely.
Things we didn’t like about Rockwell RK3440K:
- It is small-sized, hence, it uses a smaller blade which makes it unable to make deeper cuts.
- It may be difficult to make bevel cuts using the tool.
7. Galax Pro GP766V compact circular saw
One thing people look out for in a compact circular saw is power and safety. The Galax Pro GP766V compact circular saw doesn’t disappoint in these two aspects. While featuring the basics of a compact circular saw, it also performs cleaner jobs with adequate safety, thanks to the added guards and double power switches.
Features of Galaxy Pro GP766V:
- Comes with a 4-amp motor which can attain a no-load speed of 3,500 rpm.
- A blade guard which is quite transparent.
- Double power-switch system and a dust extraction port.
- Equipped with a powerful 24-tooth carbide-tipped blade of 4½ diameters
- Blade positioned to the left for increased visibility.
- The bevel can be set between 0 to 45 degrees.
Things we liked about Galaxy Pro GP766V:
- It has a nice cutting depth, 1-11/16 at angle 90 and 1-1/8 at angle 45.
- It uses a double power-switch system to prevent accidental starts.
- Increased visibility, courtesy of the left-sided blade position.
- It is designed with a dust extractor and vacuum port to facilitate cleaner work stations.
- Increased safety with the presence of upper and lower guards.
- Ergonomic design with better handling.
Things we didn’t like about Galaxy Pro GP766V:
- Left-handed operators often have handling issues with left-sided blades and this tool is no exception.
- It may be a little difficult to achieve perfect cuts since there is no laser guide attached to the device. However, it has a scale ruler.
8. Teccpo TAMS25P compact circular saw
Here is another Teccpo product on the list! It is able to cut through materials of more than 1.5 inches in a professional way. All thanks to the angle adjustment control, it can be used for many projects. The Teccpo TAMS25P is lightweight and compact enough to facilitate better control and grip.
Features of Teccpo TAM25P:
- Left-sided blade position.
- An angle adjustment control for making bevel cuts ranging from 45 to 90 degrees.
- A 4-amp copper motor with a no-load speed of 3,500 rpm.
- Comes with a 24-tooth carbide-tipped blade.
- Weighs 6 pounds and has an ergonomic design with a fantastic grip.
- Equipped with a vacuum adapter to extract sawdust and a 7-inch scale ruler.
Things we liked about Teccpo TAM25P:
- The ergonomic design and its slim grip make it a perfect choice for small hands.
- It can be operated using one hand due to its lightweight and portability.
- It uses a 4 ½ blade, hence, it can make deeper cuts.
- The decent 7-inch scale ruler.
- Reduced accidental starting, thanks to the double power-switch system.
- Cleaner workspace with the inclusion of a vacuum adapter.
Things we didn’t like about Teccpo TAM25P:
- It has no laser guide.
- Left-handed people might experience difficulties handling the device, courtesy of the blade position.
9. Porter-cable PCE381K compact circular saw
The Porter-cable PCE381K can help you make cuts in a more professional way. It features a 5.5-amp motor which is adequate for various jobs. It comes with a 4½-inch blade, which means you can make deeper cuts, and an angle adjustment control to allow various bevel cutting within 0 and 45 degrees. It also comes with a kit bag.
Features of Porter-Cable PCE381K:
- Powered by a 5.5-amp motor which can spin at about 3,500rpm.
- Equipped with a 24-tooth carbide-tipped 4½ blade.
- Comes with a kit bag.
- Capacity for bevel cutting at 0 to 45 degrees.
- Equipped with a vacuum adapter.
- Rip fence.
Things we liked about Porter-Cable PCE381K:
- It comes with a fantastic kit bag.
- It is lightweight and portable. Therefore, an operator should be able to handle the device perfectly.
- One can achieve various types of cuts, thanks to the angle adjustment control which allows one to make bevel cuts between 0 and 45 degrees.
- The vacuum adapter facilitates a cleaner workspace.
- It can make deeper cuts and also has a control for regulating cutting depth.
- It has a strong lower guard.
Things we didn’t like about Porter-Cable PCE381K:
- Accurate cuts may be difficult to achieve since the tool has no laser guide or scale ruler.
10. Dremel SM20-03 compact circular saw
The Dremel SM20-03 saw is a user-friendly tool. It uses a powerful 6-amp motor which enhances its efficiency in handling tough tasks. It is relatively lightweight and portable, hence, increased control. It can be used to make nice cuts including plunge cuts and flush cuts.
Features of Dremel SM20-03:
- A very powerful 6-amp motor.
- Comes with a carbide-tipped 3-inch blade.
- Ergonomic design with more compactness.
- Left-sided blade position.
- One-hand operation design.
Things we liked about Dremel SM20-03:
- It has a very powerful motor, making it ideal for very tough materials.
- It has a compact design which permits better handling, grip, and maneuverability.
- It can be operated using one hand.
- Better cutting visibility, thanks to the left-sided blade position.
- It is ideal for making accurate plunge cuts, flush cuts, and straight cuts.
Things we didn’t like about Dremel SM20-03:
- It has no laser guide or scale ruler, hence, it may be difficult to make accurate cuts easily and faster.
- It does not have a dust extraction system. Therefore, you may have sawdust around your work station and in clothes.
- In terms of cutting visibility, the left-sided blade position makes it difficult for left-handed individuals.
- With the small 3-inch blade, the cutting depth is small.
Buying Guide for Compact Circular Saws
A compact circular saw is one of those tools in the inventory of most woodworkers. Well, it is portable, versatile and easy to control. When compared to a standard circular saw, one would easily spot the difference in size, blade size, and weight. However, you should remember that they are designed for smaller jobs. This explains why it is one of the most preferred tools for DIYers asides its budget-friendliness.
Truly, the compact circular saws may not perform better than a standard circular saw, hence, you need to consider why and when you should buy them, what to look out for and when to give preference to which feature. The price of the product is important as it may also give you a clue about the quality of the product. There are many compact saws in the market with varying performance, prices, design and features. This means you have a large pool of options to pick when buying a compact saw. Hence, a buying guide won’t be a bad idea.
When and why you should buy?
Usually, just like when purchasing a piece of luggage, there is a motive behind a purchase. The same scenery applies here. Most reasons for purchasing a compact circular saw are bordered on its physical characteristics. If you need more portability, buying a compact circular saw is great. If you want something lighter, it is an ideal choice. Other factors like budget may spur you to buy a compact saw.
For small jobs like furniture repairs, this should be your first consideration. In most cases where the compact saw is the main tool, the device is used by DIYers and/or for mini repairs. It may not be a good main tool for professional woodworkers. This doesn’t insinuate that a professional woodworker cannot own one as it is capable of complementing bigger circular saws.
What you should look for?
Before purchasing a compact saw, there are a number of things to look out for. Although, your budget and choice matters here. However, you have to consider the features of the tool. Asides the essential features, there are some additional features you may also need to look out for. Below are some of the things you might want to look out for in a compact saw.
This is one of the most important parts of any saw. A saw won’t be a saw if it doesn’t have a part that cuts the wood, which in this case is a disc blade. The most common blades that come with most compact circular saws are the carbide tipped ones. Some saws can even support more than three different blades, such as the Tacklife compact circular saw, giving you more options of cutting different types of materials.
You should also check the diameter of the blade and the number of teeth it possesses. A cleaner cut is a function of the number of teeth the blade possesses, which may be 24 in most cases. Saw blades are grouped by their diameters. For a compact circular saw, the most common diameter is the 4½ inches, which has a cutting depth of about 2 inches. Cutting is the major function of a saw, therefore, you need to pay attention to the blade.
Circular saws exist in two types – the worm drive and sidewinder saws. The worm drive saws are known for their long handles positions behind the blade. The generate a better amount of torque but are usually heavy. The sidewinder saws, on the other hand, have their handles positioned above the blade. They are noticeably lighter than the worm drive saws. An average sidewinder is cheaper than a comparable worm drive saw. They also run at higher speeds.
A notable difference between the two saw styles is the positioning of their blades. Most worm drive saws have their blades pushed to the left while the Sidewinders have theirs positioned to the right. This makes the worm drive saws ideal for right-handed operators and the sidewinders for the left-handed, in terms of cutting visibility.
3. Ergonomics and Design
The design of the saw should also be considered. If you are looking for something convenient you should consider the design of the saw. This includes the weight, size, handles, and grips of the saw. The overall design of the saw determines the comfort you will derive during use.
Ensure you will handle it properly when cutting. Some saws have anti-sweat soft rubber grips which keep your grasp tight even with wet or sweating hands. Proper consideration should be given the weight of the saw to reduce fatigue during use.
4. Additional features
Apart from the basic features of a compact saw, you should check what the tool has to offer. Some saws possess some extra features attached to them. They may be to add more safety or to improve cutting precisions. Modern models of compact saws now employ laser technology and rulers to improve cutting precision. In terms of safety, manufacturers are now adding a port for connecting a vacuum which catches dust which would have rather entered the eyes, nose, and clothes. To prevent accidents from inadvertent start-ups, some models now use the double power switch system.