Best Mini & Compact Circular Saws [Top Picks for 2020]

While the traditional 7-1/4 inch saw can weigh you down and cause a strain on your arm, a compact circular saw will offer you more flexibility and ultimate control allowing you to manage small and large tasks efficiently. Although the same principle applies in both genres, some mini circular saws are powered by a lithium-ion battery and come with a more extensive, more rooted teeth on the blade to cut more rapidly than their predecessor.

There are numerous compact circular saws that you can find in the market today. However, picking those that are worth acquiring are few and far between. The main strength found in a mini circular saw that makes it a favorite option is the ability to make precise cuts across the grain or parallel to it fast and in high precision.

best compact circular saws

In this review, we will look at various models available at different price tags from budget buys to expensive top-tier compact circular saws that will offer you excellent service to handle small jobs around the home and those that can manage large professional projects. Let’s dive right in.

Best Compact Circular Saw For 2019 - Top Picks

Model Performance Special Feature Editor’s Rating Price
Makita Cordless Circular Saw 1500 RMP built-in motor to deliver power and faster cutting speed for small works and tight spots Slide styled 12V max CXT Lithium-Ion 4.0 Ah battery for longer run time 4.8/5 Latest Price on Amazon
TECCPO TAMS24P Compact Circular Saw Powerful horsepower of 3500RMP and a 480W/4A pure copper motor and an adjustable cutting angle of 45 to 90 degrees A premium fine copper motor that enhances durability 4.6/5 Latest Price on Amazon
Rockwell RK344OK Versacut Circular Saw Versatile, handy tool with a load speed of 3500RPM that allows you to cut through a variety of materials Ergonomic design with a narrow grip that enhances grip and control for one hand use 4.5/5 Latest Price on Amazon
Genesis GCS545C Compact Circular Saw Packs a robust punch with 5.8 Amp motor to handle small works Depth and angle adjustment feature to reach tight areas easily 4.3/5 Latest Price on Amazon
Rockwell RK3441K Compact Circular Saw Unmatched performance at 3500RMP with 4-1/2 inch blade Left-handed blade design that gives you remarkable cut-line visibility. 4.2/5 Latest Price on Amazon
TACKLIFE TCS115A Mini Circular Saw The 3500RMP powerhouse that features an adjustable cutting angle of 90 to 45 degrees and a maximum cutting depth of 1-11/16 inches and 1-3/8 inches Cutting depth of 1-11/16 inches and 1-3/8 inches, for stable and well-balanced work. 4.2/5 Latest Price on Amazon
WORX WX429L Compact Circular Saw Portable, powerful 4-1/2 blade, a handy device for DIY projects Lightweight and portable 4/5 Latest Price on Amazon

1. Makita SH02R1 12V Max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Circular Saw

This is an ultra-compact lithium-ion industrial power tool from Makita factory. The 12V max CXT Lithium-ion features an adjustable cutting depth of 3-3/8 Inch sharp edge that offers a supreme cutting depth of 1 inch that allows you to handle a broad range of cutting applications for superior performance.

Makita SH02R1 Highlights

12V max CXT series features a 12 3/8 inch long compact design and a 1500 RMP built-in motor to deliver power and faster-cutting speed an excellent option for people looking for a robust cutting solution for small works and cutting material in tight spots.

In addition to this feature is the slide styled 12V max CXT Lithium-Ion 4.0 Ah battery for longer run time. Besides, there’s an integrated LED battery level charge indicator; there’s a battery protection circuit that protects the tool from overheating, overloading and over discharging for durability to serve you a long time to come.

makita cordless circular saw review
Editor's Rating
4.6/5

Main Features

  • Ultra-compact size
  • Ergonomically designed handle
  • Battery protection circuit
  • Convenient blade wrench
  • 1500 RMP built-in motor
  • 3-3/8 Inch Blade
  • 3.5 lbs

The 12V max CXT series notably features an ergonomically designed handgrip with a lax rubberized traction for greater comfort and an ultra-compact size that weighs 3.5 lbs for convenience and to minimize the operator’s fatigue.  

The Good

Although it might be one of the most expensive options here, the 12V max CXT series is a reliable, lightweight and powerful tool. And unlike most compact circular saws in this price range that feature pod styled batteries, Makita included a Lithium-Ion slide styled battery technology in the 12V max CXT series for faster-charging capabilities that allow it to run longer and have an extended life.

The Bad

It’s disappointing that the manufacturer did not consider the compatibility of the included lithium-ion battery with other Makita tools. Also, the handle is a little flimsy as compared to other devices in the category like Bosch and Rockwell; otherwise it’s an excellent tool for light work.

What we liked the most

  • Solid build construction
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Handy little saw for small works
  • The slide battery configuration allows faster charging

What we Didn’t like

  • If the blade were on the left side, it would be more convenient for most people
  • The handle is a little flimsy

2. TECCPO TAMS24P Compact Circular Saw

The TECCPO TAMS24P Compact Circular Saw is a powerful little tool that features one-hand operation design with a vivid laser guide from the TECCPO brand industrial tools for making straight and precise cuts quickly and efficiently.

TECCPO TAMS24P Highlights

The TECCPO TAMS24P series features a potent horsepower of 3500RMP and a 480W/4A pure copper motor and an adjustable cutting angle of 45 to 90 degrees for people looking to cut wood smoothly in a single pass and also for multi-angle.

Additionally, the premium fine copper motor increases the durability of the TECCPO TAMS24P Compact saw. Besides, the TECCPO TAMS24P series features a lightweight design at 5.13 lb drastically minimizing fatigue of one hand operation.  

Unlike the Makita 12V max CXT, this mini saw comes with a double safety switch that allows you to set up the saw while the guarded trigger offers comfort and control. While the included vacuum adapter sucking away all sawdust to keep you safe from flying debris.  

TECCPO TAMS24P Compact Circular Saw
Editor's Rating
4.5/5

Main Features

  • Ultra-compact one-hand operation design
  • 3500 RMP built-in motor
  • Adjustable cutting angle 90 to 45 degrees
  • Lightweight design
  • Vivid laser guide
  • 5.13 lb
  • 1-11/16 inches, 1-1/8 inches
  • 24T carbide tipped blade
  • 15.75 vacuum adapter

The Good

If you’re looking for quick, easy and smooth, precise cuts, the TECCPO TAMS24P power saw with a vivid laser guide, and scale ruler will allow you to make deep cuts for a full-size performance. It’s also lightweight and handy for overall home use.

The Bad

Unless you’re cutting 2×4 boards, you may need to replace the blades with a more robust option that can cut high cabinet grade ply.

What we liked the most

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Compact design
  • Adjustable blade

What we Didn’t like

  • The laser sight needs better quality control

3. Rockwell RK3440K Ultra-Compact Versacut

The RK3440K Ultra-Compact Versacut from the Rockwell brand is a rugged circular saw with a streamlined design that allows you to control intricate cuts with one hand. The robust handy tool ensures you cut through wood, floors, plastic, ceramic tile, and metal more precisely.

Rockwell RK3440K Highlights

The Rockwell RK3440K series is a versatile, handy tool with a load speed of 3500RPM that allows you to cut through a variety of materials going where no other regular circular saw can. Although it doesn’t have all the latest features, the saw can handle a  large professional performance even on the toughest projects and in the most demanding locations.

Rockwell RK3440K features an ergonomic design with a slim grip handle that enhances grip and control for one hand use and also ensures comfort when using long hours. Besides, Rockwell included a built-in laser guide technology in this model that allows you to make precise cuts for professional looking results.

The cut line visibility is an impressive feature designed with you in mind that comes with a lock-off switch to prevent accidental starting, something you can access with TECCPO TAMS24P power saw or the 12V max CXT series.

rockwell rk3440k compact circular saw review
Editor's Rating
4.4/5

Main Features

  • Powerful 4 AMP motor
  • Laser guide technology
  • Depth adjustment level
  • Lock-off switch
  • Sturdy metal inner and outer guard pattern
  • Dust extraction adapter
  • Slim body and ergonomic balance
  • Compact size

The Good

Rockwell RK3440K Ultra-compact circular saw is a powerful, multifunctional feature-packed and durable tool with a streamlined design to allow you to make precision cuts on a variety of materials with ease and excellent control.

The Bad

It’s disappointing that Rockwell did not include a battery saver on the LED guide. If you forget to turn off the laser guide, you may have to keep on replacing the batteries which are a little annoying.

What we liked the most

  • Excellent saw for professional projects
  • Accurate in tight areas
  • Lightweight design
  • Durable
  • Best selling compact circular saw

What we Didn’t like

  • No battery saver feature included on the laser guide

4. Genesis GCS545C 5.8 Amp 120 Volt 4-1/2 in. Compact Circular

This is a portable, powerful, compact circular saw from the Genesis brand. The GCS545C model features a robust 5.8 AMP motor that allows you to cut through hardwood, softwood, and composites. The cast aluminum upper box and upper blade guard gives it durability for long extended life.

Genesis GCS545C Highlights

The Genesis GCS545C series is a potent handy tool powerful enough to rip through 2×4 boards in one pass and with minimal effort. Like most circular saws in its category, the GCS545C model features a compact design that allows you to handle projects easily with reduced fatigue.

Unlike the Rockwell RK3440K series which can handle large professional projects, Genesis GCS545C model 4-1/2 inch control grip packs a robust punch with 5.8 Amp motor to handle small works. Genesis included a dust port and vacuum adapter that sucks up dust and debris as you work on the surface.

Additionally, there’s an easy to use depth and angle adjustment feature that allows you to cut hard to reach areas quickly and effortlessly.  

Genesis GCS545C review
Editor's Rating
4.3/5

Main Features

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Powerful 5.8 Amp motor
  • Adjustable depth and level controls
  • Dust collection adapter
  • Ergonomic control grip
  • 24T Carbide Tipped Blade
  • 60T high-speed steel blade

The Good

Genesis GCS545C circular saw may not handle large professional projects but its an incredibly potent tool with an optimal high-speed steel blade that allows you to cut through drywall and subfloor easily and precisely for small works.

The Bad

Assuming you’re holding the Genesis GCS545C saw with your right hand, you may have trouble to pull the guard if you’re left-handed which is cumbersome and a little disruptive.

What we liked the most

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Affordable
  • Adjustable depth and level controls
  • Dust collection adapter
  • Ergonomic control grip

What we Didn’t like

  • The retractable blade guard is stiff out of the box

5. Rockwell RK3441K 4-1/2” Compact Circular Saw

This is another small compact circular saw from the Rockwell brand with a powerful 5AMP electric motor and unmatched performance at 3500RMP not forgetting the left-handed blade design that gives you remarkable cut-line visibility.

Rockwell RK3441K Highlights

The RK3441K series is the latest generation model of the RK3440K series, and although it can’t handle large professional projects, the thin 4-1/2 blade is a powerhouse that will surprise you with its big performance that matches that of regular full-size saws.

The cut line visibility feature delivers excellent levels of detail with the left-handed cut design for exceptional visibility. Additionally, Rockwell included a slim design that offers superior comfort, balance, and control.

Rockwell RK3441K review
Editor's Rating
4.2/5

Main Features

  • Powerful 5.8 Amp motor
  • Cutting depth of 1-11/16 inches, 1-1/8 inches
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Slim inline grip design
  • Cut-line visibility
  • 4-1/2 inch blade
  • 3500RPM

The Good

Rockwell RK3441K 4-1/2 inch model is a great value option for people looking for compact circular saws that deliver the same performance as the regular 7-1/4 inch saws thanks to the small thin blade that’s more powerful and less strenuous on the motor.

The Bad

While the Rockwell RK3441K is an excellent saw for small jobs and more convenient than the traditional circular saw, the overall quality could be improved.

What we liked the most

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Powerful 4-1/2 inch saw
  • Slim inline grip design
  • Cut-line visibility

What we Didn’t like

  • The overall quality could be improved

6. TACKLIFE TCS115A Mini Circular Saw with Metal Handle

This is a compact circular saw with remarkable 5.8 power copper motor with a robust performance at 3500RMP. Like the Rockwell RK3441K model, TACKLIFE Circular Saw found favor among discerning users for the price range, compatibility, convenience and comfort that reduces fatigue for one hand working.  

TACKLIFE TCS115A Highlights

TACKLIFE Compact circular saw is a sturdy 3500RMP powerhouse that features an adjustable cutting angle of 90 to 45 degrees and a maximum cutting depth of 1-11/16 inches and 1-3/8 inches, definitely worth a look if you’re looking for stable and well-balanced work.

Unlike most tools in its category that we have seen here like the Rockwell models, TECCPO TAMS24P, and Genesis GCS545C model, TACKLIFE included six blades for cutting different materials allowing you to handle any surface effortlessly.

TACKLIFE Compact circular saw notably features a compact design construction that comes with a unique auxiliary metal handle for stronger clamping force and increased comfort for one hand working.

Editor's Rating
4.2/5

Main Features

  • Robust 5.8 Amp motor
  • Flexible bevel cutting of 1-11/16 inches, 1-3/8 inches
  • Six blades (2×24T TCT)
  • Safety protection design
  • Slim grip design
  • Cut-line visibility
  • Laser technology
  • 3500RPM

The Good

TACKLIFE Compact circular saw is a very versatile mid-end tool that gives you a full-size performance on wood and soft metals, making it an excellent choice for people looking for professional, precise cuts with great convenience.

The Bad

TACKLIFE have outdone themselves for including nice features in this model that you’d otherwise find in high-end tools. However, the device is somewhat, and the safety switch is in an awkward position; therefore not an ideal option for people with small hands.

What we liked the most

  • Well made
  • Easy to use and adjust
  • Perfect for home handyman tool collection
  • Spot on laser guide
  • Perfect for tight, detailed work

What we Didn’t like

  • A little cumbersome for female users
  • Overdesigned safety features

7. WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2" Compact Circular Saw – WX429L

This is a compact circular saw from Worx brands and ideal for people on a tight budget who want a tool that will allow them to handle numerous small freehand works around the home like cutting 2×4 boards easily and precisely.

WORX WORXSAW Highlights

WORXSAW WX429L compact saw is a handy, powerful device for small projects around the home and a perfect add on in your toolbox. The WORXSAW WX429L compact saw features a lightweight design and 4-1/2 inch blade that weighs less than the conventional 7-1/4 inch jigsaw.

There’s an additional safety feature that WORX included in the tool that gives you comfort and control although it’s awkwardly placed under the handle so it may take time to get used to putting your finger on the safety trigger comfortably.

Worx worxsaw review
Editor's Rating
4/5

Main Features

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Left-handed blade design
  • 4-1/2 inches bevel cutting
  • 0 to 45 degrees bevel cutting
  • Easy-set depth gauge level for quick adjustment
  • Integrated safety trigger
  • Load speed 3500RPM
  • 24T Carbide tipped blade

The Good

The WORXSAW compact circular saw is an impressive handy tool smaller than a fire extinguisher that offers portability and convenience for fixing small projects around the home. The machine can handle framing works and small detailed jobs but would not be an ideal option for long panel cuts such as plywood due to its compact size.  However, it’s also an excellent addition to a light toolkit for a sporadic handyman who travels for small fix jobs.

The Bad

With the rise of high-end competitive tools, It’s disappointing that WORX did not include a LED laser guide on this model which is also a little slower than 7-1/4 inch corded competitors even with a fine tooth blade. But these are compromises that you pay for.

What we liked the most

  • Compact design
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to handle, carry and park
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a rip fence for easier cuts with limited space

What we Didn’t like

  • Cut’s quite slowly

Buyer Guide to Best Compact Circular Saw

Compact circular saws are contemporary devices that make our tasks more manageable. Although each saw boasts of its own set of accessories and features, picking an ideal mini saw that will cater your needs can be a challenge and an overwhelming task.

If you’re still finding it hard to make a decision, read this buying guide that will help you further examine which pick is right for you.  

Corded or Cordless Saws?

The difference between a corded saw and a cordless one is that one uses electricity to power the tool while the other one uses lithium-ion batteries to power the saw. A cordless compact saw is far much convenient. However, the corded saw can run longer than the counterpart.

Besides, when it comes to performance, there isn’t much difference between a battery-operated saw and a corded one. Therefore, this should not be a reason to make you go for a costly option.

Performance

Unlike the traditional jigsaw that can take you 10 minutes to cut a long wooden panel, a compact circular saw takes seconds to rip through different surfaces according to the manufacturer’s specifications. The main difference here is power. Small saws receive their power from an electric current that allows the handy little tools to be more robust than the former.

Additionally, with a compact mini saw, you can cut through different surfaces easily and precisely within a short time saving you time and money. However, you should understand that small saws aren’t as powerful as regular saws and can’t make curved cuts like the way a compact saw can.

Other Factors to Consider

It’s essential that your pick facilitates easy blade replacement especially if you’ll be using your blade regularly. Also, ensure that your mini saw features a laser cutting guide that allows you to make precise cuts. Furthermore, make sure that your compact mini saw comes with a carrying case for portability and easy storage.

Final Words

To make an informed choice on what type of a compact saw will suit your needs, you must consider the kind of materials you’ll be cutting and whether you need it for home use or professional use.

However, given the choices we have discussed here, Makita 12V max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 3-3/8 Inch Circular Saw in our opinion is the best small circular saw that money can buy. This sturdy mini saw stands heads and shoulders above other models in its category and price range due to its robust features and ergonomic design. 

Makita paid extra attention to give this little handy tool grip, intricate performance thanks to the adjustable that helps the user make angled cuts. However, if you’re on a tight budget, Rockwell RK344OK Versacut Circular Saw will allow you to get straighter and accurate cuts although the safety feature is a little cumbersome to use.

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Best Compact Circular Saws For 2019
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Best Compact Circular Saws For 2019
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Looking for the best compact circular saw for your projects? We did the heavy lifting for you and reviewed the best compact circular saws for 2019
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