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.
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.
Top-rated compact & mini circular saws compared:
Choosing The Best Compact Mini Circular Saw
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 is 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 max 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.
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 is important if you will be making many cuts over a long period of time with your mini circular saw.
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.
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.
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.
7 Best Compact Circular Saws: The Reviews
DEWALT DCS571B Atomic Brushless Cordless Saw
- 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
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 that ranges 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.
Makita SH02R1 Cordless Circular Saw Kit
- 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 Degree and 5/8" at 45 Degree
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.
WORX WORXSAW WX429L
- [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
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.
- [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°
Rockwell has designed a compact product that is lightweight, coming 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.
Rockwell RK3440K Versacut Ultra-Compact Saw
- 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
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.
HYCHIKA MS-85C Mini Circular Saw
- 【DURABLE AND POWERFUL MOTOR】: Featured with a 4 Amps copper motor, the compact circular saw can reach a high cutting speed of 4500RPM to cut tile, wood, plastics, plaster board, PVC with ease....
- 【3 BLADES AND COMPACT】: Comes with 1x30T HW for wood cuts/ 1x36T HS for metal cuts/ 1pcs grit diamond blade for tile cuts, small size and weight also make it a good addition to your toolkit, great...
- 【PRECISE AND ADJUSTABLE CUTTING DEPTH】: With the laser guide, the mini circular saw keeps the cutting on a straight line. Also the parallel guide attachment allows you to make a precise and quick...
This compact design by HYCHIKA is an option that is budget-friendly. It is limited in depth of cut due to the 3 3/8-inch blade, but it can generate up 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.
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A stand-out feature on this compact circular saw is the handle design, which TACKLIFE has obviously spent considerable effort in making. While it may feel a bit large for those with small hands, this contact point is shaped to provide users with a natural hold. It also has elements that provide a solid grip a well as cushioning.
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 that creates 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 the 6-1/4-inch designs up to 10-1/4-inches on 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:
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:
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 just 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 on 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
All six products reviewed above are capable of making clean cuts, and they present features that will match up to 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 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!