7 Best Compact Circular Saws of 2024 (Review & Buyer’s Guide)

Best compact circular saws

What’s the best compact mini circular saw you can buy today? Short answer: DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX Circular Saw is your best choice. Keep reading to find out why.

On Sale DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX* Circular Saw, 4-1/2-Inch,...

I spent years being unaware of how much labor and time the best mini circular saw features could save me. These power tools are meant to be easy to use and are often targeted towards DIY hobbyists and casual woodworkers. The problem, however, is that the market is flooded with products that promise you a lot of things that you simply cannot verify.

This buyer’s guide will take a closer look at the benefits and features of the best compact mini circular saws. I will then review six of the top-rated mini circular saw models available so that you can make a side-by-side comparison. Finally, I will give you my selection from that list and explain why I feel that particular product stands out when compared to the rest.

My Top Favorites Compared:

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Top Pick
DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX* Circular Saw, 4-1/2-Inch,...
The Runner-Up
Makita SH02R1 12V max CXT® Lithium-Ion Cordless...
Great Value
Worx WX429L 4 Amp WORXSAW 4.5" Electric Compact...
Max RPM
4,500
1,500
3,500
Blade size
4-1/2"
3-3/8"
4-1/2"
Warranty
3-yr limited, 1-yr free service, 90-day money back
3-year limited warranty on tool, battery and charger
Manufacturer’s 3-year warranty
Client rating
-
-
-
Prime
-
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Top Pick
Thumbnail
DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX* Circular Saw, 4-1/2-Inch,...
Max RPM
4,500
Blade size
4-1/2"
Warranty
3-yr limited, 1-yr free service, 90-day money back
Client rating
-
Prime
-
Learn more
The Runner-Up
Thumbnail
Makita SH02R1 12V max CXT® Lithium-Ion Cordless...
Max RPM
1,500
Blade size
3-3/8"
Warranty
3-year limited warranty on tool, battery and charger
Client rating
-
Prime
Amazon Prime
Learn more
Great Value
Thumbnail
Worx WX429L 4 Amp WORXSAW 4.5" Electric Compact...
Max RPM
3,500
Blade size
4-1/2"
Warranty
Manufacturer’s 3-year warranty
Client rating
-
Prime
Amazon Prime
Learn more

The 7 Best Compact Circular Saws:

1. DEWALT DCS571B Atomic Brushless Cordless Saw

On Sale
DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX* Circular Saw, 4-1/2-Inch,...
  • Brushless motor of DEWALT circular saw allows you to cut up to 369 linear feet of 3/4-inch OSB using DCB205 battery (sold separately)
  • The cordless circular saw has the removable auxiliary handle for increased control
  • The compact circular saw has a hang hook for increased convenience

OVERVIEW

DeWALT is a known brand name in power tools, and this cordless circular saw represents the company’s foray into the compact circular saw market. They are known for great customer support, from excellent documentation to service shops across North America. The extended warranty offered on this model is one of the better coverage plans on the market.

PROS

  • This product uses DeWALT’s20-volt max battery system. It provides you with a lot of power for extended periods of time, and you can swap batteries with other DeWALT products using the same system;
  • A brushless motor design makes it run more efficiently. It will also help to extend the life of the motor with fewer parts that could break down;
  • It includes handles with ergonomic grips. These will allow you to use both hands comfortably.

CONS

  • This product does not come with a battery included in your purchase. That means you will need to make an extra investment for a battery and charger on top of the cordless circular saw itself;
  • This product comes at a higher price point than most of the other products reviewed here. That is worth noting as the price does not include a battery or charger with purchase.

2. Makita SH02R1 Cordless Circular Saw Kit

Makita SH02R1 12V max CXT® Lithium-Ion Cordless...
  • Makita-built motor delivers 1,500 RPM for faster cutting
  • 3-3/8" blade delivers a maximum cutting depth of 1" for a wide range of cutting applications
  • Adjustable cutting depth from 1" at 90° and 5/8" at 45°

OVERVIEW

Makita offers a complete kit with your purchase, including multiple batteries. It comes with a protective case that can store the saw, batteries, as well as charger. That makes it convenient to haul around and also gives much-needed protection in the shop or back of your work vehicle.

PROS

  • The smaller motor and battery power help to keep the price point lower on this cordless model. That price is more impressive considering that it comes with two batteries in the box;
  • This product can be adjusted to make a bevel cut up to 45 degrees This feature is lacking in other models of this size and makes it more versatile;
  • You can feel a nice balance between the battery weight on one side of the handle and the saw housing on the other. This small design element helps to prevent fatigue as you work throughout the day making repeated cuts.

CONS

  • While it uses a 3 3/8-inch blade, the 12-volt batteries seem a bit underwhelming. An upgrade in voltage would improve performance greatly here;
  • It might be able to adjust for 45-degree bevel cuts, but the maximum cut depth is limited to 5/8 inches.

3. WORX WORXSAW WX429L

On Sale
Worx WX429L 4 Amp WORXSAW 4.5' Electric Compact...
  • [SMALL FOR A REASON] Quick, more efficient cuts and you can take it with you when you don’t want to lug a big saw around
  • [EZ-SET DEPTH GAUGE] The lever lets you go from 0-45 degree bevel settings with quick adjustment
  • [MADE FOR LUMBER] Excellent depth-of-cut for slicing up to 2" stock lumber. Cut 2x4s in a single pass. It also cuts metal, tile, and plastic

OVERVIEW

This compact circular saw from WORX will be great for beginners who have a small budget. Its 4.5-inch blade will rip and crosscut softwoods without bogging down. I had to add this compact circular saw to our list just due to the sheer volume of positive reviews it has on Amazon.

PROS

  • Its small profile and weight make it an ideal choice for DIY jobs in tight spaces and awkward positions.
  • Very low price tag compared to other tools on this list. This tool provides excellent value for money.
  • Easy to carry around and use with one hand

CONS

  • A low price tag means that the tool was built using lower-quality materials. This tool may not be the best choice for demanding professionals.
  • It just isn’t that powerful.

4. Rockwell RK3441K

Rockwell 4-1/2” Compact Circular Saw, 5 amps,...
  • [MORE MANEUVERABILITY] All the functionality of a full-size circular saw but in a compact design that’s easier to use, and easier to make quick cuts with
  • [REAR MOTOR] For a more balanced feel. With the motor in the handle, you control much of the weight of the saw with just the palm of your hand for smoother movements
  • [EASY DEPTH SETTING] The readily accessible adjustment lever lets you change the cut on the fly, and the bevel adjustment lever enables you to make cuts from 0-45°

OVERVIEW

Rockwell has designed a compact product that is lightweight and comes in at about five pounds. That is a consideration that will be noticed if you use this saw over an extended period of time, as you should not feel as fatigued as you would with a standard 7.25-inch circular saw.

PROS

  • A max cutting depth of 90 degrees of 1 11/16 inches. That should allow you to cut through a 2 x 4 in one pass with the saw;
  • A five-amp motor will generate a good amount of power for a 4.5-inch blade. This will allow you to cut through most wood with less bogging down than a smaller motor would;
  • The three-year limited warranty offered by Rockwell provides great coverage. The length of time covered should boost consumer confidence in the product.

CONS

  • The model reviewed here is just the saw itself. You can shop for a blade at the same time you purchase this compact circular saw, but it would be more convenient if a blade was included with the initial purchase;
  • Rockwell does not have the same distribution network as other manufacturers do. That should not affect customer service but it can take longer to get parts or to fix issues that can develop with use.

5. Rockwell RK3440K Versacut Ultra-Compact Saw

ROCKWELL / WORX Rockwell Versacut 4.0 Amp...
  • Powerful, 4.0 amp, multi-functional, ultra-compact circular saw
  • Cuts wide variety of materials such as tile, wood, sheet metal, plastics, flooring, and more
  • Ergonomic design with slim grip handle improves comfort and enhances grip and control – guide with just one hand

OVERVIEW

This second entry from Rockwell makes the list for its ultra-compact design. This product weighs only four pounds and has a profile small enough to fit into tight spaces or to be used easily overhead. Those features make it a good choice for DIY projects or construction areas that are awkward to access with larger circular saws.

PROS

  • It uses a simple design for the depth adjustment. This can be a handy feature when working with materials of different widths and helps to keep your workflow consistent;
  • Safety features on this model have been added, including a lock-off switch. This helps to negate accidental start-ups that could cause serious injuries or damage to your project surface;
  • While it lacks a bevel-cutting ability, the model accommodates thin blades. That should help to create more precision in your cuts through wood and other materials.

CONS

  • A two-year warranty stands out as shorter than what Rockwell offers on the other saw listed above. That could indicate that the product is not designed to last as long;
  • This compact circular saw has a maximum cut depth of 1 1/16 inches. This will not cut through a 2 x 4 with one pass and will limit its potential with some wood projects.

6. HYCHIKA MS-85C Mini Circular Saw

Mini Circular Saw, HYCHIKA Compact Circular Saw...
  • 【DURABLE AND POWERFUL MOTOR】: Our compact circular saw features a 4 Amps copper motor, enabling it to reach a high cutting speed of 4500RPM. This allows for easy cutting of tile, wood, plastics,...
  • 【3 BLADES AND COMPACT】: HYCHIKA mini power circular saw is equipped with 3 different blades – 1x30T HW for wood cuts, 1x36T HS for metal cuts, and 1 grit diamond blade for tile cuts. Its small...
  • 【PRECISE AND ADJUSTABLE CUTTING DEPTH】: The power circular saws features a scale ruler for keeping cutting on a straight line, and a parallel guide attachment for precise and quick cuts. The...

OVERVIEW

This compact design by HYCHIKA is a budget-friendly option. It is limited in depth of cut due to the 3 3/8-inch blade, but it can generate up to 4,500 RPMs with its motor. If you are looking for an entry-level saw to work on panels or lumber that is an inch or less in thickness, this power tool might be a good choice.

PROS

  • You will pay less for this item than you will for others on the list here. That can be important if you are limited in the funds you have available for a power tool;
  • It has a four-amp electric motor that uses a lot of copper throughout its design. This consideration will help to keep it running cooler and prevent overheating with longer sessions;
  • Your purchase will include a parallel guide that attaches to the saw. This item will improve the quality of your cut and help with your workflow.

CONS

  • The dust port attachment point is located too close to the base. This could cause problems with the hose getting in the way as you work;
  • You will notice that cheaper materials are used to keep the price point low for this model. That keeps the product low-cost, but it also means that it can wear out quicker than it would with stronger build materials.

7. FILPOW Mini Circular Saw Cordless 4-1/2

FIILPOW Mini Circular Saw Cordless 4-1/2', 20V...
  • 【Powerful and Efficient】Efficient brushless outer rotor motor provides 5500RPM no load speed, equipped with 3 kinds of saw blades, size 4-1/2 ", with Allen key for easy replacement: 24 TCT for...
  • 【Depth & Angle Adjustable】Angle adjusted freely at 0°- 45°; Depth adjusted freely from 0" to 1-1/2". Up to 1-1/2" at 90° and 1-1/16" at 45°. Angle and Depth adjustments help you make a variety...
  • 【Depth & Angle Adjustable】Angle adjusted freely at 0°- 45°; Depth adjusted freely from 0" to 1-1/2". Up to 1-1/2" at 90° and 1-1/16" at 45°. Angle and Depth adjustments help you make a variety...

OVERVIEW

A stand-out feature of this compact circular saw is the handle design, which FILPOW has spent considerable effort on. While it may feel a bit large for those with small hands, this contact point is shaped to give users a natural hold. It also has elements that provide a solid grip and cushioning.

PROS

  • It can accept blade sizes of 4.5 inches. This provides greater cutting depth, including bevel cuts, than smaller blades will produce;
  • An efficient brushless outer rotor motor provides 5500RPM no load speed.
  • This small circular saw is sold with three blades (24 TCT/80 HCS/60 DIAMOND). That will allow you to cut tile, soft metals, or wood straight out of the box.

CONS

  • A point of concern here will be the plastic levers, which seem less sturdy than the rest of the build. The levers will probably wear out sooner than other components and could break if accidentally dropped;
  • Lightweight saw.

Mini Circular Saw Buying Guide

Maximum RPMs

The trim saw is designed to provide clean cuts on the edges of your wood. They can do this consistently thanks to the thinner blades used with them. A thinner blade offers less resistance when making contact with the wood, allowing the blade to spin faster.

Keeping all of this in mind, you should look at a mini circular saw’s listed RPMs. Keep in mind that some manufacturers will list a top number that is produced under load, while others will advertise the max RPMs while cutting. More RPMs are one of the indicators you can use to determine a compact circular saw’s power.

Maximum cutting depth

Another critical bit of information will be the maximum cutting depth the mini circular saw is capable of. You want to shop for a saw capable of cutting through material widths that you normally work with.

Also, if the saw can be adjusted to an angle, you can make a bevel cut with it. A compact circular saw will not cut as deeply when angled for a bevel cut as it would when cutting at 90 degrees.

Ergonomics

This is worth looking at, even with a compact circular saw that you can operate with one hand. It might be even more critical due to the strain that a single hand and wrist encounters when the saw is on. Look for a handle that allows you to have a normal grasping hand position while cutting and offers a solid grip that will help prevent slipping.

Materials that aid with negating vibration are important if you will be making many cuts over a long period of time with your mini circular saw.

Cutting precision

Your focus here should be on design elements that keep the blade from slipping or falling out of alignment as it spins. Also, added visual aids like laser guides or LED lights can help you to stay on your mark as the saw cuts. Remember that thinner blades can cut more precisely, and they should also be considered at this stage of research.

Dust collection

You know how quickly dust builds up if you have ever used a circular blade before. This can be a real hassle with a more compact saw with less space around the blade and housing. Look for features that the manufacturer added on top of a standard hose connection, as this may allow one saw to stand out over similar designs.

Build materials

It should be obvious, but you would be surprised how often this is looked over. Any materials used that stand out will be highlighted by the manufacturer. It may cost you a bit more money and could add some weight to the saw, but strong materials used in the build will extend the life of your compact circular saw.

Read More: A Guide to Buying a Circular Saw in 2024

Further reading

These power tools use abrasive discs or circular blades to cut a variety of materials. Like other circular saw designs, power from the motor is transferred to the blade or disc, creating chips in the material as it rotates.

7-1/4-inch circular saws are pretty much the industry standard nowadays, with general-use models ranging from 6-1/4-inch designs up to 10-1/4 inches in the upper general-use range. The best mini circular saw designs are less than 6.25 inches and can offer you distinct advantages or disadvantages, depending upon the task at hand.

Why buy a small circular saw?

I discovered the trim saw (another name for these compact power tools) while shopping at a local store. Curiosity got the better of me, and the rest, as they say, is history! The absolute advantage this tool has is its size, which allows you to:

  • Use smaller diameter blades that require less power to cut effectively;
  • Operate a power tool with a smaller profile and less weight, giving you more control;
  • Work for longer periods of time without becoming fatigued;
  • Easily store the best compact circular saw models as well as its accessories.

These features will appeal to casual woodworkers, homeowners who work on DIY improvement projects, and those just starting to work with power tools. Features like this will be less important to serious woodworkers or professionals, but it does not mean that these mini circular saws will not be found in their shops or on the job site.

The advantage of size can also present some disadvantages as well, such as:

  • A smaller motor and gear system delivers less power to the blade needed on some cuts.
  • The smaller profile offers less contact on the surface, making long cuts more difficult.
  • These devices are often not designed for heavy-duty use or continuous operation without bogging down or overheating.
  • Smaller blades will limit the thickness of material that you can cut through.

The above-mentioned limitations will make these power tools less used in commercial manufacturing and construction settings. They can be found in the tool kits of professionals who need a specialty cutter, however, as they are quicker then most hand-powered tools while being almost as mobile.

Good first choice for beginners?

If you are starting out with woodworking, a compact circular saw might appeal to you. The best compact mini circular saw models will provide you with features that are found in standard designs. A smaller power tool can be easier to control and will not wear you down easily.

You will need to keep in mind the projects you plan on building. If you are going to work on wood paneling and construction timbers with a two-inch thickness (think 2 x 4 or 2 x 8), a small circular saw should work fine. Large projects with thicker lumber may not be ideal for these saws, forcing you to consider a more standard circular saw size.

Finally, think about safety. The larger blades on standard saws may intimidate you, and they can be dangerous.

Smaller blades might provide you with more confidence, but you don’t want to be cavalier and become careless, as mini circular saw blades can still cause serious injuries. These tools can be operated with one hand, which can present more danger than a larger saw that requires two-handed operation.

Using mini Circular Saws

Mini circular saws are great for making clean and straight crosscuts or rip cuts. You can cut through a variety of materials based on the type of disc or blade that you install in your power tool.

There are many tricks that can make operating mini circular saws easier. Some things you should keep in mind:

  •  Blade settings  – Set your blade depth before you cut and make sure it is not too deep;
  •  Supporting material  – Provide proper support as you cut, but allow the cutoff to fall freely;
  •  Use a guide  – Your hand can help along an edge, or you can clamp a guide for the saw to follow.
  •  Start over  – These tools cut straight, so start over if your cut line wanders off the mark;

More Cut With Less Footprint

On Sale
DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX* Circular Saw, 4-1/2-Inch,...
  • Brushless motor of DEWALT circular saw allows you to cut up to 369 linear feet of 3/4-inch OSB using DCB205 battery (sold separately)
  • The cordless circular saw has the removable auxiliary handle for increased control
  • The compact circular saw has a hang hook for increased convenience

All six products reviewed above are capable of making clean cuts, and they present features that will match most woodworker’s needs. With that being said, I do prefer the DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX Circular Saw and feel it represents the best mini circular saw reviewed here.

To start off with, it is a corded design. I may be biased here, but I prefer working with a tool without worrying about whether it is time to swap out the battery.

A 4-1/2-inch blade might sound too small, but the projects most beginning and intermediate woodworkers are working on will use paneling or lumber that is an inch or less in thickness.

It can make bevel cuts, something that ultra-compact models are not always designed to do. There is a nice balance to the saw, an added bonus to a cordless model that installs the battery in the handle base.

Finally, you get a 24-month warranty on a product with a friendly price point. These benefits, when taken together, make this a compact circular saw that should meet your basic woodworking needs!

Perhaps you need a bigger saw? Check out my best circular saw review as well!

Read Also: Best Cordless Circular Saws of 2024

About the author

Picture of Arthur Kudriavcev

Arthur Kudriavcev

I was introduced to woodworking by my grandfather when I was 11 years old. I spend most of my free time working on woodworking projects and writing for this blog. Apart from that, I also enjoy weightlifting and chess.

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