10 Best Compact Circular Saws – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Compact Circular Saw

Nothing gets DIYers, hobbyists, and woodworkers more excited than a good power tool. And one of the most amazing power tools that you can add to your tool collection is a compact circular saw.

It should not come as a surprise that many tradesmen are always on the lookout for the best compact circular saw because it is a powerful tool that comes in a small and more affordable package.

These saws are designed to be a fraction of the weight and size of the traditional circular saw and they will also have a smaller blade.

With a compact circular saw, you get an easily maneuverable saw that minimizes hand fatigue and also helps to speed up the cuts. Also, these saws are easy to carry around from the workshop to a job site, and they are easy to store as they take up little space.

You will have plenty of options to choose from when shopping for a compact circular saw given their ever-increasing popularity. But to help you make a more informed choice, below we provide top 10 compact circular saw reviews and a handy buying guide.

10 Best Compact Circular Saws - Reviews

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​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

DeWalt DCS391B

1. DeWalt DCS391B

  • High strength magnesium shoe
  • High-speed motor, 5,150 RPM
  • Larger 6.5-inch carbide-tipped blade
  • Comfortable rubber overmold grip
Dremel SM20-03

2. Dremel SM20-03

  • Powerful (6-amp) and high speed (17,000 RPM) motor
  • Compact for one-handed operation
  • Superior sight line
Makita SH02Z

3. Makita SH02Z

  • Adjustable cutting depth
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Cuts a wide variety of materials
  • Built-in blade wrench
Worx WX429L

4. Worx WX429L

  • 4-amp motor with 3,500 RPM
  • Excellent cut line visibility
  • Easy and quick depth adjustment
  • Thin blade for less tool strain
Rockwell RK3440K

5. Rockwell RK3440K

  • Built-in laser guide
  • 4-amp motor with 3,500 RPM
  • Safe and easy plunge cuts
  • Efficient dust extraction
Rockwell RK3441K

6. Rockwell RK3441K

  • Powerful 5-amp motor with 3,500 RPM
  • Excellent cut line visibility
  • Smaller and thinner blade
  • Comfortable slim, inline grip
Genesis GCS545C

7. Genesis GCS545C

  • Powerful 5.8-amp motor
  • Easy depth/bevel adjustment
  • Effective dust collection system
  • Ergonomic control grip
Black & Decker BDCCS20B

8. Black & Decker BDCCS20B

  • High torque motor
  • Easy tool-free depth adjustment
  • Compact and easy to use
VonHaus 15/271

9. VonHaus 15/271

  • Laser-light cutting guide
  • Powerful 5.8-amp motor
  • Ergonomic slim grip handle
  • Easy-to-use and precise depth control
Porter-Cable PCE381K

10. Porter-Cable PCE381K

  • 5.5-amp motor with 3,500 RPM
  • Handy dust port with vacuum adapter
  • 0 to 45 degrees bevel

PRODUCT

1. DeWalt DCS391B

DeWalt DCS391B
  • High strength magnesium shoe
  • High-speed motor, 5,150 RPM
  • Larger 6.5-inch carbide-tipped blade
  • Comfortable rubber overmold grip

2. Dremel SM20-03

Dremel SM20-03
  • Powerful (6-amp) and high speed (17,000 RPM) motor
  • Compact for one-handed operation
  • Superior sight line

3. Makita SH02Z

Makita SH02Z
  • Adjustable cutting depth
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Cuts a wide variety of materials
  • Built-in blade wrench

4. Worx WX429L

Worx WX429L
  • 4-amp motor with 3,500 RPM
  • Excellent cut line visibility
  • Easy and quick depth adjustment
  • Thin blade for less tool strain

5. Rockwell RK3440K

Rockwell RK3440K
  • Built-in laser guide
  • 4-amp motor with 3,500 RPM
  • Safe and easy plunge cuts
  • Efficient dust extraction

6. Rockwell RK3441K

Rockwell RK3441K
  • Powerful 5-amp motor with 3,500 RPM
  • Excellent cut line visibility
  • Smaller and thinner blade
  • Comfortable slim, inline grip

7. Genesis GCS545C

Genesis GCS545C
  • Powerful 5.8-amp motor
  • Easy depth/bevel adjustment
  • Effective dust collection system
  • Ergonomic control grip

8. Black & Decker BDCCS20B

Black & Decker BDCCS20B
  • High torque motor
  • Easy tool-free depth adjustment
  • Compact and easy to use

9. VonHaus 15/271

VonHaus 15/271
  • Laser-light cutting guide
  • Powerful 5.8-amp motor
  • Ergonomic slim grip handle
  • Easy-to-use and precise depth control

10. Porter-Cable PCE381K

Porter-Cable PCE381K
  • 5.5-amp motor with 3,500 RPM
  • Handy dust port with vacuum adapter
  • 0 to 45 degrees bevel

1. DeWalt DCS391B – Best Overall

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

DeWalt DCS391B
  • Power: 5 Ah
  • Blade Diameter: 6-1/2 inches
  • Speed: 5,150 RPM
  • Weight: 7.1 pounds

With DeWalt, you can rightfully expect nothing short of the best power tools and their model DCS391 compact cordless circular saw lives up to the expectations

This top-rated compact circular saw is designed for portability as you can use it from anywhere provided the battery is charged. And it is also a powerful saw that generates up to 5,150 RPM to ensure it can handle the most demanding cuts.

Also, it is built to offer long service life as its design will include high strength and durable magnesium shoe that also ensures long-term cutting accuracy. And with the optimized overmold rubber grip, the circular saw will also be easier to control and comfortable to use.

You can also make deeper cuts and cut through thicker materials with this compact circular saw as it uses a durable 6.5-inch carbide-tipped blade.

When compared to other models on our list, the DeWalt DCS391B is relatively pricier, and this is even more so as it does not come with a battery or charger. However, for a top-notch quality battery-powered compact circular saw, it is still reasonably priced.

Pros:

  • Powerful and high-speed motor
  • Durable and lightweight magnesium shoe
  • Larger carbide-tipped blade
  • Comfortable rubber overmold grip

Cons:

  • Relatively pricier
  • Battery and charger not included

2. Dremel SM20-03 – Best Corded Compact Circular Saw

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Dremel SM20-03
  • Power: 6 Amp
  • Blade Diameter: 3 inches
  • Speed: 17,000 RPM
  • Weight: 4.45 pounds

With a powerful 6-amp motor that will generate up to an impressive 17,000 RPM, there is almost no task that will be too hard for the Dremel SM20-03 compact circular saw, and it will always ensure fast and efficient cutting.

Besides the high speed and power, this circular saw has also been designed to be more user-friendly and safe as its compact design makes one-handed operation easy and makes it simpler to maneuver.

Also, Dremel makes it for versatility as it can handle straight, flush and plunge cuts in different materials and it has been designed to always maintain a clear cut line sight for increased precision.

This Dremel circular saw seems to get quite hot and fast which can make it hard to handle especially when making long cuts for extended periods. But, this is a small issue that wearing a glove should fix.

Pros:

  • Powerful and high-speed motor
  • Provides a superior cut line
  • Easy to control and safe
  • Comfortable one-handed operation
  • Great for a variety of cuts

Cons:

  • Seems to get quite hot
  • Relatively smaller blade diameter

3. Makita SH02Z – Best Cordless Compact Circular Saw

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Makita SH02Z
  • Power: 4.0 Ah
  • Blade Diameter: 3-3/8 inches
  • Speed: 1,500 RPM
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds

Makita SH02Z is designed for woodworkers looking for something for use on the go. At just 3.5 pounds, it is quite lightweight, and if you also factor in its compact size, it will be super easy to carry

One of the things that make it one of the best cordless compact circular saws out there is that it allows for simple depth adjustment and it has a tilting base to allow for various cuts.

Also, this compact circular saw will easily cut through a variety of materials such as pegboard, plywood, MDF and many more which makes it quite handy to have around.

With its built-in dust blower, you can keep the cut line clear for more precise cuts, and it also has an ergonomically designed handle that includes a rubberized grip for comfortable operation. And many users will also love the built-in wrench that allows for fast and convenient blade changes.

The 1,500 RPM is the lowest on our list, and while it means that this circular saw might not cut as fast or efficiently as others on our list, for its size, it is still good enough and it also makes up for this with its versatility.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Fast and convenient blade changes
  • Handy built-in dust blower
  • Easily adjustable cutting depth
  • Comfortable, ergonomically designed handle

Cons:

  • Relatively lower RPM
  • Battery not included

4. Worx WX429L – Best Budget Compact Circular Saw

Editor's Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Worx WX429L
  • Power: 4 Amp
  • Blade Diameter: 4-1/2 inches
  • Speed: 3,500 RPM
  • Weight: 6 pounds

For a budget compact circular saw model, the Worx WX429L is as good as it can get, and despite being more affordable, it will still outperform many others that cost way much more.

It is also one of the smallest circular saws on our list, and its compact size will make it easy to pack and carry from one job site to the other.

This circular saw also uses a thinner 4-1/2-inch blade that ensures less tool strain, and it will also offer quick and easy adjustments thanks to the easy-set depth lever gauge.

You can also use this saw to cut various other materials besides wood such as metal, tile, and plastic, and it is also easy to operate thanks to the comfortable grip with an integrated safety switch. And you can be sure of more precise cutting as left-side blade ensures you maintain excellent cut-line visibility.

The 4-amp motor is a little underpowered at least when compared to many other models on our list, and so it might result in slower cuts. However, for such an affordable compact circular saw, it should still be good enough.

Pros:

  • Easy and quick depth adjustment
  • Thinner blade for less tool strain
  • Comfortable grip with safety trigger
  • Excellent cut line visibility
  • Relatively more affordable

Cons:

  • A little underpowered
  • Smaller base plate

5. Rockwell RK3440K – Best Compact Circular Saw under $100

Editor's Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Rockwell RK3440K
  • Power: 4 Amp
  • Blade Diameter: 3-3/8 inches
  • Speed: 3,500 RPM
  • Weight: 4 pounds

The Rockwell RK3440K is a top notch mini circular saw that comes in an ultra-compact design for easy portability and is designed to be a multifunctional tool that will be very useful around the workshop or home.

This under $100 circular saw runs on a 4-amp motor that delivers up to 3,500 RPM for great cutting efficiency and speed.

But, what makes it stand out is the built-in laser guide that will help you line up for the perfect cut, and many users will also love that besides wood, it can cut various other materials such as metal, plastic, tile, and flooring.

There is also a comfortable slim grip handle that will also make the tool easier to control and allow for extended use with minimal fatigue.

Other things like the efficient dust management system that ensures that you always maintain clear sight of the cut line and pivoting guard that allows for easy and safer plunge cuts also make this a fantastic circular saw.

While the 3-3/8-inch blade on this circular saw might be one of the smallest on our list, it will still be excellent for most DIY applications.

Pros:

  • Built-in laser guide
  • Cuts a wide variety of materials
  • Comfortable slim grip handle
  • Safe and easy plunge cuts
  • Efficient dust management

Cons:

  • Relatively smaller blade

6. Rockwell RK3441K – Small but Powerful

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Rockwell RK3441K
  • Power: 5 Amp
  • Blade Diameter: 4-1/2 inches
  • Speed: 3,500 RPM
  • Weight: 5 pounds

Small but powerful is the best way to describe the Rockwell RK3441K as it is small enough for easy portability but still powerful enough to handle a wide variety of cuts.

This mini circular saw runs on a 5-amp motor which is quite powerful for its size and delivers up to 3,500 RPM and only weighs 5 pounds.

With the left-handed blade design, the circular saw ensures that users always maintain great cut line visibility for more precise cuts. And it is also designed to be comfortable to operate and easy to controls thanks to the slim, inline grip which also makes it more maneuverable for overhead cuts.

Left-handed users might have some difficulties with this circular saw as the start/stop button can be awkward to use due to its location, but this should be a non-issue for most users once they get used to the saw.

Pros:

  • Compact and more maneuverable
  • Comfortable slim, inline grip
  • Excellent cut line visibility
  • Smaller and thinner blade

Cons:

  • Poor start/stop button location for left-handed users
  • Overall not very heavy-duty

7. Genesis GCS545C – Small, Inexpensive & High-Performing

Editor's Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Genesis GCS545C
  • Power: 5.8 Amp
  • Blade Diameter: 4-1/2 inches
  • Speed: 3,500 RPM
  • Weight: 6 pounds

The 5.8-amp motor on the Genesis GCS545C makes it a more powerful compact circular saw that provides maximum torque for fast and more efficient cuts while also allowing the saw to cut through 2x materials with ease.

Its construction is also designed for durability as the saw features triple gear reduction, heavy-duty steel gears, and a cast aluminum gearbox.

Both cutting depth and angle are super easy and quick to adjust for more user convenience, and there is also an ergonomically designed handle with a soft grip to ensure comfort and easy control.

The highly efficient dust collection will also ensure you maintain clear sight of the cut line by keeping the workpiece free of debris. And with the right blade, this inexpensive mini circular saw can also cut various other materials besides wood for increased versatility.

Since the plastic blade guard is plastic, it might not seem very durable, but the manufacturer makes it with heavy-duty plastic to ensure it will not crack or break easily.

Pros:

  • More powerful motor
  • Easy depth and angle adjustment
  • Efficient dust management system
  • Ergonomically designed handle
  • Simple one-handed operation

Cons:

  • Plastic blade guard
  • Rips fence guide is a little too lightweight

8. Black & Decker BDCCS20B – Cordless Convenience

Editor's Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Black & Decker BDCCS20B
  • Power: 4 Ah
  • Blade Diameter: 5-1/2 inches
  • Speed: 3,700 RPM
  • Weight: 6 pounds

Black & Decker makes their model BDCCS20B to offer the convenience of a cordless circular saw, and it is a highly portable saw that you can use from anywhere.

Its high torque motor is one of the key things that make this one of the best mini circular saws as it ensures you get a high blade speed for efficient cutting and to handle a variety of cuts.

Depth adjustment is also easy and you will not need any tool which further makes this a more convenient circular saw. And it will also allow for simple bevel adjustment with stops at the 45 and 90-degree marks.

Overall this is also a more comfortable circular saw to operate thanks to the soft rubberized grip that also helps to minimize user fatigue.

Most hobbyists and woodworkers dislike power tools with many plastic parts, and so the fact that this one has many of them can put off some potential buyers. But, the good news is that most of the plastic is heavy-duty to ensure that this is still a highly durable circular saw.

Pros:

  • High torque motor
  • Easy and tool-free depth adjustment
  • Smooth and fast cutting
  • Compact and easy to use

Cons:

  • Lots of plastic components
  • Blade change can be hectic

9. VonHaus 15/271 – Powerful & Precise

Editor's Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

VonHaus 15/271
  • Power: 5.8 Amp
  • Blade Diameter: 3-1/2 inches
  • Speed: 4,500 RPM
  • Weight: 9.81 pounds

The 5.8-amp motor on the VonHaus 15/271 makes it one of the most powerful models on our compact circular saw reviews, and it also has the speed to go with it as it will generate up to 4,500 RPM.

But besides being powerful, this circular saw is also designed to provide more precise cuts as it includes a built-in laser-light cutting guide to help make it easy to set up for a cut and to ensure maximum precision.

Depth adjustment is also simple and precise, and controlling it should also be easy and comfortable as it includes a slim grip handle which will also allow for one-handed operation.

When using this VonHause circular saw, you can also easily maintain a clean workpiece for clear cut line sight as it comes with an extra long dust extraction hose.

Weight is the most significant shortcoming with this compact circular saw given that it is the heaviest in our list. But, because it is still under 10 pounds, it should be easy enough to control and maneuver even for beginners.

Pros:

  • More powerful motor
  • Handy laser light guide
  • Simple and precise depth control
  • Comfortable one-handed operation
  • Extra long dust extraction hose

Cons:

  • Relatively heavier
  • Hand positioning and plunging require some getting used to

10. Porter-Cable PCE381K – Easy to Use & Convenient

Editor's Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Porter-Cable PCE381K
  • Power: 5.5 Amp
  • Blade Diameter: 4-1/2 inches
  • Speed: 3.500 RPM
  • Weight: 6 pounds

An easy-to-use compact circular saw like the Porter-Cable PCE381K will be a perfect choice for beginners. But, given that it is also a powerful 5.5-amp saw, it can still work for more experienced DIYers and woodworkers.

This compact mini circular saw is also quite convenient to use thanks to the lightweight and comfortable grip that makes it easy to control and maneuver.

There is also a highly useful dust port with vacuum adapter on the circular saw that will simplify dust management so that you always maintain clear sight of the cut line for more precision.

You can use this circular saw to cut 2x material in a single pass as it has a deep cutting depth, and it also offers a decent bevel capacity of 0 to 45 degrees for angled cuts and comes with a nice soft case for easy storage and transportation.

The included instructions are poor and not very detailed which can be a significant concern for beginners. But, there is more than enough material online to help you figure out the saw, and so this should not be the deal breaker.

Pros:

  • Relatively powerful and fast
  • Lightweight and easily maneuverable
  • Highly useful dust port included
  • Decent bevel capacity
  • Comes with a nice soft case

Cons:

  • Poor instructions

How to Buy the Best Compact Circular Saws

How to Buy the Best Compact Circular Saws

Our top 10 reviews above provide some top-notch recommendations for all DIYers, hobbyists, and woodworkers. However, you still need to pick between them, but this should also not be a tedious process as you will only need to look out for the following important things.

#1. Power

While the compact circular saw will not be as powerful as the standard size circular saw, the amount of power that you get from the model that you pick still matters a lot.

Power determines the materials that your small circular saw can cut through and how fast it will do it, and the more powerful the motor the thicker and larger the material you can cut.

Typically, most of these saws will have 3 to 5-amp motors but it is still possible to get 2-amp models and others with 6-amp or even more powerful motors.

What you intend to use the saw for should help you determine how much power you will need. Even a 2-amp saw can be ideal for recreational purpose but might not be enough for regular professional tasks.

#2. Corded or Cordless

You will also need to decide whether to go for something corded or cordless when shopping for the best mini circular saw.

The corded circular saws are the types that will require plugging-in to your mains power supply to work, and they are often more powerful and with a steadier power supply than the cordless types. However, these compact saws are not very portable as you cannot use them where there is no electricity, and the cord can also be annoying.

With the cordless compact circular saws, on the other hand, you get a battery-operated saw that is very convenient given that you can carry and use it even in the most remote locations provided the battery is charged. But, the inclusion of the battery makes these circulars saw relatively heavier and also leads to longer downtimes as you need to recharge the battery.

All in all, when it comes to picking between corded and cordless compact circular saws, your choice should be based on how portable you want the saw to be or where you will be using it from.

#3. Blade

Compact circular saw will come with different blade sizes and materials. It is important to consider what you get as it will determine what you can cut and the cutting efficiency.

Many models will come with a carbide-tipped blade that is a great all purpose blade for cutting wood, but there are still many other blade types out there. And the good news is that you can easily upgrade the blade on your circular saw with an aftermarket one such as the dado blade.

When it comes to the blade size you need to make sure that you get something with an appropriate diameter to cut the materials you deal with often. These compact saws will have blades that are anywhere between 3 and 7-1/2 inches, and so it is up to you to choose what is ideal for your projects.

#4. Cutting Depth

The cutting depth measures how deep you can sink the blade into the material, and the deeper the cut the better as it will speed up the job for you.

Most compact circular saws will provide a cutting depth of 1-inch, but the models with larger blades and more powerful motors can make cuts that are up to 2 inches deep.

If you plan to use your compact circular saw to cut thick materials, a model with a larger cutting depth will be more favorable as it will speed up the cuts for you. Also, a model with adjustable cutting depth is also great as it will be ideal for different material types and cuts.

#5. Weight

Weight should be a big concern when shopping for a compact circular saw because one of the main reasons why woodworkers go for these saws instead of the full-sized ones is because they want something more lightweight.

The lighter the compact circular saw the better as it will be more portable and will also allow you to use the tool for extended periods with minimal hand fatigue.

However, even as you go for the lightest model, it is important to note that it comes at a cost because the saw will be smaller and less powerful. To make sure you get the best model, you will need to strike a balance between weight and power.

#6. Safety

Safety is always a vital factor to consider when shopping for any power tool, and the compact circular saw is not an exception.

Different brands will use different features to make their tools safer to operate. But some of the things to watch out for when it comes to safety include a safety trigger lock, blade brake, blade guard and great blade visibility to ensure you always know where the blade is.

Conclusion

The compact circular saw is a highly useful tool both in the workshop and job site, and shopping for one should now be super easy as this piece highlights everything you need to know.

Choosing the best compact circular saw from the wide variety of options in the market will require you to watch out for important things like the power, blade, cutting depth and weight.

And whether you prefer a cordless or corded compact circular saw model, this piece has you covered as there is something for you in our top 10 reviews. All you need to do now is pick what suits your budget and preferences.