Having the perfect saw is often a crucial aspect of working as a carpenter, either professionally or recreationally. If you need to process large amounts of wood, then having the right saw can make all the difference in the world. However, it’s not as simple as just using the first saw that you find. There are many factors to consider when looking for tools, and compact saws are no exception.
About Compact Circular Saws
The best compact circular saw for you should be able to cut through lots of different kinds of wood, as well as function well under different conditions. It should have enough power to process the materials you need to work with. If your saw doesn’t have enough power to cut through wet wood, for example, it might overheat and stop working. Not only is this frustrating, but it can also be dangerous. If the saw overheats, this can push it suddenly back towards the user while you’re cutting. This is why it’s crucial that you consider the conditions you’re going to be working in when you look for a compact circular saw.
There are different ways you can evaluate the performance and power of a compact circular saw. Some people look at the horsepower of the saw’s motor, but this isn’t always the best way to check how well it cuts. The horsepower of the saw only tells you how much electricity the motor draws.
In many respects, the price of the saw may actually be the best sign of its quality. The more expensive compact circular saws can be treated as an investment, and they should still have enough power to cut well decades down the line. Different compact circular saw types also have different features, and this is also reflected in the price.
Why Should I Buy a Small Circular Saw?
If you’re into carpentry or woodworking, you might be wondering if a small circular saw would be right for you, or if you could get some use out of it. For some, a compact saw lacks power and might not seem very useful. There are plenty of ways you can use a compact circular saw, and we think that lots of people would benefit from using them. This is especially true when it comes to cuts where a regular circular saw would be too big or powerful.
For example, if you’re cutting detail work, then a full-sized circular would actually be inappropriate to use. It’s not necessary to have the saw with the most power every time you’re cutting lumber. Also, smaller saws are much easier to maneuver, which is a great advantage if you need to make fine, precise cuts. Compact circular saws require less power to use, which makes them more efficient from an environmental standpoint. You can also use smaller saws for much longer without getting fatigued.
A small circular saw may also be the best option for amateur or beginner woodworkers, who are just getting into the hobby. Home Depot circular saws are a great option here, as well as rotary saws. You can use a smaller saw to see if you like woodworking without investing in a full-sized circular saw. If you need to, you can get a different type of circular saw further down the line. Another great advantage of smaller saws for beginners is that they’re light and easy to handle. Woodworking can be pretty tiring, especially if you’re working with larger tools all day. With a smaller saw, you can get used to the different techniques you use in woodworking without getting exhausted too quickly.
However, you still need to think about the kind of project you’re working on when you use smaller saws. Just because you’re a beginner doesn’t mean you are going to be working with small pieces of wood. If you want to make something larger, you might find that a small saw doesn’t have enough power for the type of ripping you need to do.
It’s also important that you always keep safety in mind. Smaller saws can also be very dangerous and have a lot of power. Just because the blade might not look intimidating, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get hurt if you aren’t careful. Make sure to follow the same safety protocols and guidelines when you use a smaller saw, and always keep your eye on the blade. If you’re not used to working with machinery and saws, try to get some kind of instruction or supervision when you first start. This is the best way to make sure you’re working safely, and that you’re not putting yourself at unnecessary risk.
Do Smaller Saws Have any Disadvantages?
There are some cons that come with using a smaller saw, though. Smaller saws naturally are much less powerful than larger ones, and you can’t use them to rip large pieces of timber. They’re also less likely to be able to process wet lumber, and you might find that they overheat quickly. This can be dangerous if you’re not careful. If you want a saw that you can use continuously for extended periods, then a smaller saw might not be appropriate. Smaller saws often overheat if you use them heavily for very long, so they can be a bit limited in this sense too.
As such, if you’re looking for a circular saw that you can use in construction or manufacturing, it’s unlikely that a smaller circular saw is going to be best unless you want to use it for details and finishing work. So, while you might find a smaller saw in the toolbox of a lot of professional carpenters, they’re largely going to use them for detail and finishing work. If you want a hardier or more versatile option, then consider looking for something bigger and more powerful.
Different types of circular saws have different features, which are important when you consider the type of circular saw you want. You should consider all of the aspects of the saw you’re looking at when you try to choose your new compact circular saw, especially the blade. Different features have different advantages, but they may also come with disadvantages.
The RPM that your saw has is an important part of its performance. The higher a saw’s RPM, the faster the blade can spin, and this means the blade cuts more cleanly through the wood. If you’re trying to determine the power of the saw you’re looking at, then maximum RPMs is one way to do so.
The design of the blade is a crucial feature. Think about the kind of work you want to do, and how the blade should function. For example, consider whether you can adjust the blade to make bevel cuts at 45 degrees, or other features you need for the type of cutting you are going to use the saw for. The saw should cut cleanly, and this is largely due to blade design. If you buy a cheaper saw, it might have a weaker blade, too.
It’s important that you think about the ergonomics of the saw you’re considering. For example, some saws are so light or easy to handle that you can use them with one hand. Others are bigger and more difficult to operate, which can make them tiring to use for longer periods. Depending on how strong you are, you should definitely consider the ergonomics of the model you’re looking at because a more ergonomic model is going to be easy to use when cutting.
Maximum Cutting Depth
Maximum cutting depth is another important feature of your saw. In addition to its power, the cutting depth of your saw determines how much wood you can cut with it, and the types of wood you can cut. Some smaller saws have a shallow cutting depth, and can only handle softwoods, for example. If you want to make cuts in harder woods or lumber, then you need to look for a saw with greater cutting depth.
When you make lots of cuts in lumber, you can build up a lot of sawdust, and this is generally something you want to avoid inhaling. It goes without saying that it’s not safe to inhale sawdust, especially if you’re going to be working for long periods or making lots of cuts in wood. This is why you should look at the dust collection system your saw has. A saw that has good dust collection should limit how much sawdust you inhale.
It’s important that you consider the type of shoe your saw has. You are basically guaranteed to drop your saw at some point, and some types of shoes are more protective than others. For example, a cast metal shoe is going to protect the saw more than a weaker metal. However, cast metal is heavy, and a cast metal shoe is going to make your saw heavier.
Ease of Adjustment
Certain saws are much easier to adjust than others. Having a saw that’s easy to adjust is crucial if you want to use your saw for lots of different types of working and application, and want to use the same saw for everything.
Compact Circular Saw Tips and Tricks
When you use your compact circular saw, there are some things you should keep in mind to get the most out of the saw, as well as being able to work as well as you can.
Safety is Crucial
Saws can be dangerous pieces of equipment, even if you use them correctly. When you work with a saw, it’s crucial that you use all of the necessary PPE, and that you work as carefully as you can. There are precautions you can take to make it much safer to work with a saw. However, you still can’t guarantee your safety. This is why it’s so important that you always watch what you’re doing and take frequent breaks. If you’re tired, it can be easy to lose track of what you’re doing, and this puts you at a much greater risk of injury.
Set it Up Properly
Setting up your workspace properly makes the saw easier to use, as well as making it safer to work with the saw. You should always use your saw on a bench, or with two sawhorses. Otherwise, you risk making your saw kickback when you use it, and this can be seriously dangerous. You should also set up whatever you’re cutting so that the excess hangs over the edge of the bench or sawhorse. Don’t try to break off the piece that you’re cutting- you should cut it completely instead. If you try to break off the piece, you might buckle or damage the saw blade, and this can also make the saw kickback.
Think About Cutting Depth
Make sure you set the cutting depth correctly before you start to work. Also, if you need to adjust the saw blade, you should always ensure that it is disconnected from the power source first.
Seven of the Best Compact Circular Saws
We’ve compiled a list of what we think are seven of the best compact circular saws out there on the market. This list is based on our own experience with the saws, as well as reviews from other users. We’ve considered different factors and features like price, ease of use, power, and safety.
1. DEWALT DCS571B Atomic Brushless Cordless Saw
DeWalt is one of the most versatile power tool manufacturers out there, and this circular saw mini option is a great offering from the company. It’s not always easy to find a cordless model when you’re looking for circular saws. Cordless circular saws are more convenient for a number of reasons, though. You don’t need to worry about working next to a power supply, and this makes these compact circular saws far more portable and practical if you’re going to do detail work. However, cordless saws are less powerful than corded ones, and mini circular saws are generally much less powerful than other types of compact circular saw.
The saw uses the DeWalt 20-volt max battery system. This is a great, efficient battery system, and the batteries last for extended periods of time. You can also swap the battery with other DeWalt products that use the same system, so this is a really great feature if you use lots of DeWalt products with the same battery system. These mini circular saws are also very ergonomic and easy to operate. You can use it easily with one hand or both hands. The handle has been designed to be easy to hold for long periods, and this is pretty obvious when you actually use the tool.
Something that is a bit frustrating with this tool is that it actually doesn’t come with a battery. Since it’s cordless, you have to buy a battery to be able to operate it. This seems a bit dishonest on the part of DeWalt, and it’s certainly inconvenient at the very least. If you do purchase this model, ensure that you buy a compatible battery at the same time, or you won’t be able to operate it! This is especially noteworthy because the saw is more expensive than a lot of similar models. You would expect that a saw at this price point would actually come with a battery and charger, since it requires them to operate.
2. Makita SH02R1 Cordless Circular Saw Kit
This model by Makita is somewhat more practical than the DeWalt. The kit comes with several batteries as well as a charger, and a case which you can use to store the saws and replacement parts. This kit makes the Makita very portable, cuts well, and is easy to work with- you just need to bring everything in the case with you. The Makita SH02R1 is cordless, which is another feature that makes it portable and practical.
The Makita SH02R1 is one of the cheaper models on this list. This is partially due to the smaller motor, and the fact that the model is cordless. The low price point is actually impressive when you consider that the saw comes with several batteries and a complete kit. The saw is also very comfortable to use for extended periods- it feels balanced in the hand, and cuts well. You can use it easily both with one or both hands. Also, it’s pretty easy to get replacement parts for Makita products, which is always useful.
Unfortunately, the 12 volt batteries in this saw just don’t feel very powerful. While you don’t expect a small, cordless circular saw to be a workhorse, this saw just feels less powerful than the others on this list. Also, the maximum cut depth of this saw is limited to 5/8-inch, which might be a bit restrictive for some woodworkers, though you can adjust it for making bevel cuts at 45 degrees. It might be best to think of this model as more of a budget option compared to some of the other saws on this list.
3. Worx Worxsaw WX429L
This saw has an impressive amount of positive reviews on Amazon, and is a great budget option for beginners, being one of the smallest saws on this list. You can use it easily to rip softwoods without it overheating or bogging down. The Worx Worxsaw is definitely a budget option, though. It’s not all that powerful, and the low price point might mean that it doesn’t hold up that well over time. This would be a good option for beginner or amateur woodworkers who want to give working with a circular saw a try.
The saw is light and easy to maneuver. It provides great value for money, and it’s so small that you can easily use it with one hand. You can use this saw in tight spaces where you simply wouldn’t be able to fit a bigger saw. Also, you can adjust the saw to make bevel cuts at 45 degrees.
Unfortunately, the Worx saw simply isn’t very powerful. While it might stand up to ripping and crosscutting softwood, it lacks the necessary power to do much more than these types of cuts. If you want a saw that you can use for detail work, or you just want to try working with a circular saw for the first time, then you can try this saw. However, it’s unlikely to hold up to much more than that, and probably isn’t suited to professional woodworking.
4. TACKLIFE TCS115A
The Tacklife model is one of the most powerful on the list. It cuts well and has a fantastic 5.8 amp motor. This powerful motor lets you perform cuts at lots of different angles and with ease. The mini circular saw has great features that make cutting easier, like a laser guide and interchangeable types of blade. In addition, the 1-inch handle makes it easy to use this mini circular saw left-handed.
It’s hard to find a more powerful motor on a mini circular saw this size than the Tacklife’s 5.8 amp motor. The 5.8 amp motor makes cutting large quantities of lumber effortless. Also, the laser guide lets you cut with precision. The fact that you can swap the blade on this model makes it very versatile. If you need to make different kinds of cuts, you can simply swap them out. You can cut all different kinds of materials with this model straight out of the box.
This compact circular saw comes with an attachable metal handle if you don’t want to use the saw with one hand. However, it seems that this handle is a bit unstable where it attaches to the saw, and it could potentially wear down with use, especially while you cut with it.
5. Rockwell RK3441K Compact Saw
The Rockwell RK3441K is super versatile and compact. Coming with a strong, carbide-tipped blade, this saw is a very durable and dependable choice. You can cut with it for extended periods without it overheating. It has a 5.8 amp motor, making it powerful, and it cuts cleanly. The saw has a 3500 RPM, making it one of the more powerful models on this list.
The 5.8 amp motor and carbide-tipped blade are very competitive features. You can adjust it for making bevel cuts, and it performs well for extended periods. The 5.8 amp motor means that the 4.5 inch blade should be more than enough power for cutting different materials, from wood to sheet metal. This compact saw should cut well for decades, but Rockwell does provide a three-year warranty, making the Rockwell RK3441K a safe choice. The 3500 RPM also provides a lot of power when you cut with this saw, and you can cut effortlessly with it without getting tired.
Strangely enough, this model does not actually come with the blade included. You need to purchase the blade separately if you want to cut anything with the compact saw. Also, Rockwell doesn’t as wide a distribution network as some of the other companies on this list. This can make it tricky to replace the blade or other parts.
6. Rockwell RK3440K Versacut Ultra-Compact Saw
This is a very compact saw, but it makes up for its size in power. This compact saw is capable of making long cuts and has an impressive cutting depth for being so small. A compact circular saw like this is great for DIY projects or performing smaller detail cut work. However, it might be difficult to cut hardwood with this compact circular saw, and you may also struggle to cut for longer periods of time without the saw overheating.
In addition to the cutting depth, this saw generates great power for such a small model. You can use it to cut in awkward angles and small spaces where a larger compact circular saw wouldn’t fit. Also, you can swap out the blade on this saw, and some of the blade options are very small. This is great for precise cuts, although the smaller blade choices don’t provide great cutting depth. It’s also easy to adjust cutting depth on this model.
While the cutting depth is impressive given the size of this compact circular saw, it is still quite limiting at 1 1/16 inches. This cutting depth is simply not enough for a lot of projects. As a very compact saw, it also lacks power compared to some of the larger models.
7. HYCHIKA MS-85C Mini Circular Saw
Rounding off our list is the compact Hychika MS-85C. This is a great budget option for a compact circular saw. The compact saw has a laser guide, making precise cutting effortless. Also, it’s very easy to use, either with one hand or with both. However, the cutting depth is a bit limited with the 3 3/8 inch blade. You can’t use this compact saw to cut hardwood or larger slabs of wood.
The laser guide on this compact saw is a really helpful feature. With the laser guide, you can cut very precisely, regardless of the material you’re working with. This compact saw also has a fairly powerful motor, making it a dependable and impressive power tool.
Unfortunately, the Hychika feels a bit cheaply made. While it’s easy to use and has great features, this compact power tool might not last as long as some of the other models on this list.
Are Mini Circular Saws Any Good?
You can find some great mini circular saws on the market if you know what to look for. A lot of people don’t need a full-sized circular saw, and this is when a mini circular saw is an appropriate option. If you want to find a mini circular saw that you know is good, you should make sure you consider all of the features it has, as well as looking at reviews.
By looking at feedback and features, you can get a comprehensive idea of the compact circular saws that you’re looking at. This way, you can guarantee that you get a great mini circular saw that suits you, cuts well, and is appropriate for the kind of work that you’re going to do with it.
What is the Best Circular Saw for Home Use?
The best small circular saw for you is going to depend on the type of work you do at home, and your preferences when it comes to saws. 5 attachable blades might not be necessary if you only do detail work, for example. If you mostly do detailed cutting, then any of the models in this buying guide should suffice. However, if you need a model with more power or cutting depth, or a larger blade, then you should choose the Tacklife or the DeWalt models.
What is the Best Compact Circular Saw?
It’s hard to say concretely which of the mini circular saw on this list is the best compact circular saw. When you evaluate a handheld circular saw, you need to weigh up many different factors. You should consider if you can use it left-handed, how much power it has, the cutting depth, if it cuts cleanly, how big the blade is, how powerful the blade is, and so on.
The best compact saw on this list is arguably the Tacklife TCS115A. Its laser guide and 1-inch handle make it easy to cut with, and it has plenty of power. Cutting with compact saws like these is effortless, even for long periods. The blade is strong, and you can easily adjust the cutting depth. If you’re going to cut for extended periods, then you want a versatile and ergonomic model. Based on how well it cuts, the cutting depth, the different types of cuts you can make, and how well it performs generally, we believe the Tacklife is the best saw on this list.