Classic circular saws are certainly versatile, but they are also too heavy for some tasks. A small handheld circular saw comes in handy in this situation. With this tool, you can tackle various small tasks while remaining productive even if you are limited in space.
A portable circular saw performs the same functions as a standard circular saw but is much more flexible and portable. In this article, I’d like to share a detailed buyer’s guide (for those who aren’t sure whether they need a circular saw or not) as well as seven experience-based reviews of the best compact circular saw models available on Amazon.
Compact Circular Saw Types: Corded Versus Cordless
A portable, compact circular saw is handy. Still, I must say that they are significantly more hazardous due to the circumstances in which they have been used and the absence of supporting form factor elements. In a moment, I’ll share some stories about this, but first, let’s examine how portable circular saws operate and what makes them portable compared to standard models.
Some compact circular saws are corded, but cordless models are the norm. This indicates that they are battery-powered, like cordless drills and other cordless power tools. These battery packs are usually more or less identical to those other cordless tools used.
These are lithium-ion battery packs, the same type of battery system utilized by modern wireless peripherals and smartphones. Powering an electric motor against resistance requires a higher joule and ampere level than operating integrated circuits; there is a distinction in that they charge somewhat faster and have a different type of regulatory capacitor bank.
With a few exceptions, these batteries are generally interchangeable and relatively standardized. Choose carefully if you want additional battery packs from a third-party manufacturer. Perhaps I’ll discuss power tool battery packs and charging stations in greater detail one day. However, that’s it for power for now.
The most noticeable distinction is the form factor. Even though they typically have a compact guide plate, the blade diameter and overall size of these saws are smaller. As they are not stationary, they are rarely articulated for plunge action, as it would be counterintuitive and somewhat unnecessary.
They are lighter in weight than standard, corded circular saws, and, as a disadvantage, they are typically less powerful, making them unsuitable for more rigid materials or longer-duration tasks. Therefore, they are not replacing a standard circular saw for large-scale projects but rather an addition to your toolkit. This does not mean, however, that they are not valuable.
Why Should You Purchase a Mini Circular Saw?
I discovered the trim saw while shopping in a local store. I was overcome by curiosity, and the rest, as they say, is history! The most significant advantage of this tool is its compact size, which enables you to:
- Utilize blades with a smaller diameter that require less force to cut effectively;
- Utilize a power tool with a smaller profile and lighter weight, which affords you greater control;
- Work for longer stretches without becoming exhausted;
- Easily store the top models of compact circular saws and their accessories.
These features will appeal to amateur woodworkers, do-it-yourself home improvement enthusiasts, and those who are new to working with power tools. These features will be less critical to serious woodworkers and professionals, but that does not preclude the presence of these mini circular saws in their shops and on the job site.
The benefit of size can also bring about disadvantages, such as:
- A smaller motor and gear system provides less blade power for specific cuts.
- The smaller profile provides less surface contact, making long cuts more challenging.
- Frequently, these devices are not intended for heavy-duty or continuous use without bogging down or overheating.
- Smaller blades will restrict the maximum material thickness that can be cut.
These limitations will reduce the use of these power tools in commercial manufacturing and construction settings. However, they can be found in the tool kits of professionals who require a specialized cutter, as they are faster than most hand-powered tools and are nearly as portable.
10 Best Compact & Mini Circular Saw Reviews
The world’s smallest circular saw is only 0.3 x 0.4 x 0.3 inches, and we have no idea what it can cut. Small wood shingles? We wish to emphasize that even small saws are still dangerously sharp and pointy. How can you be sure that the correct device has been selected without testing? You’ve chosen the courageous woodcutting team for the task.
We spent many hours using all the most promising tools to determine the ten best compact circular saws, with the DEWALT DCS571B coming out on top. If you prefer to obtain quick results with minimal effort, we’ve selected a rapid model. We have chosen robust tools with powerful construction for woodworkers who must struggle with thicker materials. We will also show you budget-friendly alternatives that perform similarly to premium models. Continue to see them all!
1. Best Overall: 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
- On-board blade key storage for hassle free blade changes
- 1-1/2-inch finger trigger allows users to choke-up on tool if necessary for their application
- Bevel gear allows users to cut 2x material at 90 degrees with a 4-1/2-inch blade
- Electronic blade brake stops blade quickly for safety and productivity
- Narrow, compact design opens cutting in spaces a traditional circular saw won’t fit
- Cuts 2x material at 90º
- Dust collection port included
- Multiple grip positions
- Better as a supplement to standard circular saws than as a primary replacement
2. Makita SH02R1 Cordless Circular Saw Kit
- Weighs only 3.5 lbs. with battery for reduced operator fatigue
- Compact design at 12-3/8″ long
- Built-in dust blower helps keep the line of cut free of debris for increased accuracy
- Ergonomically designed handle with rubberized soft grip provides increased comfort
- Blade wrench is attached to saw for fast and convenient blade changing
- Battery Protection Circuit protects against overloading, over-discharging and over-heating
- 12V max CXT Lithium-Ion 2.0Ah battery BL1021B, features an integrated L.E.D. battery charge level indicator
- Incorporates tilted base for bevel cuts
- Built-in dust blower
- Weighs only 3.5 pounds
- High-performance battery
- Slow blade's function
- Cannot generate enough power
3. Best Value for Money: Genesis GCS445SE Compact Circular Saw
- 4.0 Amp Motor and 3500 RPM with 4-1/2 in. Blade and 3/8 in. Arbor
- Barrel Grip for One-Handed Operation – Save time and energy by using a lighter saw!
- Easy-To-Use Depth and Bevel Controls – make beveled cuts, plunge cuts, and cross cuts with ease!
- Cuts through 2x material – no need to switch to a larger saw
- Spindle lock for quick blade changes – safely and quickly change blades!
- CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65 WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm
- Vacuum adapter and built-in dust port for easy cleanup
- Powerful motor at 3,500 RPM
- Spindle lock for safe and quick blade changes
- Powerful yet lightweight circular saw
- Carbide-tipped blade
- Provides accuracy
- Barrel-grip for easy one hand operation
- 4 amp motor
- Affordable price
- 2-year warranty
- ETL tested and certified
- Adjustable depth and bevel cuts
- Only suited for straight cuts
- More suited for wood than other materials
4. Worx WX429L Electric Compact Circular Saw
- Compact size for excellent maneuverability and portability.
- Easy-set depth gauge lever & 0-45° bevel settings for quick adjustments.
- Grip with integrated safety trigger for comfort, balance, and control.
- Easily cuts 2″ stock lumber, metal, tile, and plastic.
- Left-sided blade design for excellent cut-line visibility.
- Dust port for vac hookup and a clean work environment.
- Very affordable.
- More durable than you think.
- Worx gets a bad rap – their tools are solid for budget offerings.
- It can be corded, or battery powered.
- Adjustable cutting depth
- Simple to use
- Precise straight line cuts
- Less power than other saws due to compact size
- Not very optimized for metal or tile
5. Rockwell RK3441K Compact Circular Saw with Accessory Kit
- Weight: 5lbs
- Power: Lithium-Ion battery providing 120v, 1500w.
- Measurements: Metric thank goodness.
- Guide Plate: No, just a basic track bar.
- Blade Guard: Partial blade guard. BE CAREFUL.
- Braking: Standard trigger release and that’s about it.
- Optional Cord: Oh there’s a cord, and it’s not optional with this one. And it’s why I wouldn’t personally have this saw.
- Batteries Included: No. It doesn’t even use them.
- Very affordable.
- More durable than you think.
- Pretty powerful for what it is, honestly.
- A lot of bang for your buck, when you examine it closely.
- Has a spiffy warranty.
- Adjustable cutting depth
- Built-in vacuum port
- Great for wood and lumber materials
- Less suited for left-handed users due to visibility
- Arbor size can be an issue
6. 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
- Built-in laser guide helps you align the perfect cut
- Pivoting metal guard accommodates safe and easy plunge cuts
- Dust extraction adapter keeps the cut line free of dust for improved visibility
- Lightweight but solid and well balanced
- Cuts a variety of materials, including tile
- Very easy to set up and use with easy depth adjustment
- 3 different blades for cutting wood, metal, and tile included
- A very nice solid case for storage
- Easy blade change
- Friendly and reliable Rockwell customer service
- Can’t do bevel cuts
- Maximum cutting depth is 1-1/16″ – can’t cut 2x4s
- The laser is battery operated
- Safety plunge design takes getting used to
7. HYCHIKA Compact Circular Saw
- HYCHIKA multifunction circular saw to ensure professional and precise cutting lines for cutting wood/plastic/metal/tile. With Laser guidance and scale ruler brings accuracy to your cutting and better working results.
- 4.0A pure copper motor delivers 4500RPM running power to the electric circular saw for efficient cutting performance.
- Double switch: Safe Switch + Start Switch, prevents accidents and robust lower blade guard ensures your safety.
- This mini circular saw allows you to adjust the cutting depth in any range from 0 to 1″ (25 mm), with a maximum cutting depth of 25 mm to accommodate cutting different materials.
- Comes with a dust-proof interface to keep your work area free from dust, allowing you to focus on your cutting tasks without interruption.
- Featured with a 4 amps copper motor that offers better productivity
- Can reach a high cutting speed of 4500RPM that makes cutting faster
- Features a soft rubber handle that reduces hand fatigue effectively
- Safety release is far away to reach
8. Best Budget- GALAX PRO GP766V Mini Circular Saw
- Powerful motor and application: A motor of 5.8 Amps delivers full-size performance at 3,500 rpm to cut wood, plastics, plaster board and PVC pipe in a single pass; Motor postposition separate the front and rear gravity, making the operation comfort
- Adjustable cutting depth: There is a bevel lever allows you to change your cutting angle up to 45 degrees. It’s the safe, stress free way to make accurate cuts. The max cutting depth is 1-11/16″ at 90°and max cutting depth is 1-1/8″ at 45°
- Compact and ergonomics design: Compact in structure, small in size and light in weight. It’s very lightweight to handle. Optimized ergonomic slim grip provides easy to one-handed operation and less fatigue
- Rip guide and dust extraction: The design making the cutting line straight but not curved. Dust extraction facility with build-in dust port and vacuum adaptor, which keeps clean area. The lower guard and upper guard greatly improve the safety of use
- What you get: 1* mini circular saw, 1* 24T tungsten-carbide-tipped wood/plastic blade,1* 40 T tungsten-carbide-tipped wood/plastic blade, 1* Allen key for saw change, 1* rip guide, 1* vacuum adapter, 1* user Manual, 1* warranty card
- Powerful 5.8 Amp motor
- Dust port
- 2 blades included
- Low price
- No laser
- Blades quality is not great
- Awkward safety/trigger operation
9. Ginour Mini Circular Saw
- Ginour mini circular saw to ensure professional and precise cutting lines for cutting wood/plastic/metal/tile. With six blades 6 Blades (2 pcs 5″ & 4 pcs 4-1/2″)
- 750 W/6.2A pure copper motor delivers 3500RPM running power to the electric circular saw for efficient cutting performance.
- Double switch, Self-locking Switch + Start Switch, prevents accidents and robust lower blade guard ensures your safety.
- Laser guidance brings accuracy to your cutting and better working results. Max Cutting Depth 1-7/8” (90°), 1-5/16” (45°)
- Powerful 6.2 Amp motor
- Sweatproof, ergonomic handle
- Aluminum blade guard
- Dust extraction
- Laser guide
- Lifetime warranty
- Awkward safety/trigger operation
- Poor quality of the included blades
- Not known brand
10. Black&Decker BDCCS20C Mini Circular Saw
- VERSATILE 5-1/2 IN. BLADE – Fast-cutting blade is ideal for a range of DIY tasks.
- VARIABLE-SPEED TRIGGER – For enhanced control over every job.
- ANGLED CUTS – Bevel detents at 45 and 90 degrees for angled cuts.
- TOOL-FREE DEPTH ADJUSTMENT – For quick and easy adjustments without extra tools.
- TOOL-FREE BLADE CHANGE – Swap out the blade without extra tools.
- PIVOTING SHOE – Provides additional control.
- POWERCONNECT BATTERY SYSTEM – Interchangeable battery system means you can use one battery for multiple different tools.
- INCLUDES – (1) circular saw, (1) 20V MAX* POWERCONNECT battery, (1) charger.
- 3700 RPM speed
- Dust port
- Impressive battery life
- Low price
- Comfortable grip
- No blade included
- No laser guide
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Compact & Mini Circular Saw
The trim saw is designed to make precise cuts along the wood’s edges. They can do so consistently due to the thinner blades utilized. A thinner blade provides less resistance when in contact with wood, allowing it to spin faster.
Keeping all of this in mind, you should examine the listed RPMs of a mini circular saw. Remember that some manufacturers list the maximum RPMs under load while others list the maximum RPMs during cutting. More RPMs are one indicator that can be used to determine the power of a compact circular saw.
Maximum Depth of Cut
The maximum cutting depth that the mini-circular saw is capable of will also be essential information. It would help if you shopped for a saw capable of slicing through the widths of the materials you typically work with.
In addition, if the saw can be adjusted to an angle, it can be used to make bevel cuts. When angled for a bevel cut, a compact circular saw will not cut as deeply as when cutting at 90 degrees.
This is worth examining even with a compact circular saw that can be operated with one hand. It may be even more critical due to the strain one hand and wrist experience when the saw is turned on. Look for a handle that allows you to maintain a natural hand position while cutting and provides a secure grip to prevent slipping.
If you make numerous cuts over an extended period with your mini circular saw, it is essential to use anti-vibration materials.
Focus on design elements that prevent the spinning blade from slipping or falling out of alignment. In addition, additional visual aids such as laser guides or LED lights can help you stay on target while sawing. Remember that thinner blades can cut with greater precision and should be considered at this research stage.
If you’ve ever used a circular blade, you know how quickly the dust accumulates. This can be a real pain with a more compact saw with less space around the edge and housing. Look for features that the manufacturer added in addition to the standard hose connection, as these may set one saw apart from others with similar designs.
It should be self-evident, but you would be surprised at how frequently this is overlooked. The manufacturer will highlight any particularly noteworthy materials. It may cost you a bit more money and increase the saw’s weight, but the use of durable materials will extend the life of your compact circular saw.
Using Your Compact Circular Saw Safely: Regulations, Advice, and Practice
Last time, I discussed how curves and large pieces of material could be difficult to place on a sawhorse/worktable and cut with a standard circular saw. I mentioned that I missed my hip open while attempting that. This was entire because I was impatient and foolish, and my compact saw was not charged.
This compels me to share some experiences with these and highlight some of their dangers.
When I ran an arcade – a job I held for nearly two decades until the owner passed away and the assets were liquidated – I first became aware of the dangers associated with these items. I had a small team of maintenance personnel – typically fewer than six (some were part-time), but I always had at least three on-site during business hours. It was a large arcade, and the prize games and pinball machines – things with more physical components and light cabinetry – were constantly breaking because children are horrible creatures that can destroy something simply by looking at it.
Once upon a time, I had a group who had this… I must bite my tongue to refrain from using profanity to describe it… The foolish practice of throwing tools across the maintenance area. These were not always small (but still damn dangerous) objects like screwdrivers and the like. I caught them throwing a compact circular saw at one another not once but twice. One day, one of them sliced their hand while attempting to see it because… This blade is still dangerous even if it is not spinning! True news flash, correct? When one of them asked me, of all people, to throw them a smaller tool, I stopped it. I charged a 20v capacitor and then discarded it. Not a lethal shock by any means, but comparable to touching a household electrical outlet. After that, they stopped this practice immediately.
Nonetheless, I believe the most extreme example of why cords can be a hazard involves something more precise. Yes, corded handheld circular saws exist; I once owned one (they were far less rare then). I was constructing a custom pinball machine for a pizza parlor in Los Angeles when I hit a weak spot in the wood, at which point it took off and crossed its cord. When a cord is severed, nothing exciting occurs; the device ceases to function, and a circuit breaker may or may not trip (usually does not).
This time, the situation resembled a movie. Sparks flew as the cord shattered, smoke filled the room, sawdust caught fire, three breakers in my box blew and burned out, and an aging transformer on a nearby pole exploded. Indeed, that was something that occurred. The transformer was destined to fail the next time there was a storm or small earthquake, but I hastened its demise. Cords are idiotic, and soon, portable cordless tools won’t require the power sacrifice they do now, so there will be no reason for anything to have a cord. I have no doubt whatsoever that Transformers will rejoice everywhere.
There are two methods for replacing the blade, although the specific method will depend on the type of saw you have. First, depress and hold the spindle lock button, typically a black square button located just above the blade guard. This will prevent the blade assembly from spinning when the blade is spun off its axis.
The second trick is that the blade bolt is typically left-handed, so spinning the blade tightens it on the bolt, which would be dangerous! When inserting the blade wrench onto the bolt with the spindle lock button still depressed, you should turn clockwise rather than counterclockwise, as you would in most other situations.
Carrying a compact circular saw in a hard-sided case or, more commonly, a carrying bag is optimal. Many compact circular saw manufacturers also produce bags. Milwaukee, for instance, manufactures a heavy-duty bag designed specifically for contractors to transport their saws. In contrast, DeWalt manufactures a giant bag with multiple pockets that can be used as a general-purpose tool bag and a saw carrying case.
Maintaining your compact circular saw regularly is essential for both safety and longevity. Every time you use your saw, you should perform a visual inspection of the power cord and exterior and ensure that all the moving parts are operating as they should without any loose rattles. Clean the exterior of the tool with a damp cloth every few uses to remove any sawdust that may have accumulated around the air vents. Remember to dry the instrument to prevent rust from forming. Additionally, you can extend the life of your blade by polishing it with pitch after each use.
A compact circular saw may be appealing if you are beginning to work with wood. The best models of compact mini circular saws will provide you with standard design features. A smaller power tool may be easier to manipulate and less tiring.
You must consider the projects you intend to construct. A small circular saw should be adequate for wood paneling and construction timbers with a two-inch thickness (think 2 x 4 or 2 x 8). Large projects with thicker wood may not be ideal for these saws, necessitating the consideration of a standard-sized circular saw.
Finally, consider safety. The larger blades on standard saws can be intimidating and hazardous.
Mini circular saw blades are still capable of causing severe injuries, even though their diminutive size may inspire greater confidence. These tools can be operated with one hand, which poses a greater risk than a larger saw that requires both hands.