5 Best Compact Circular Saws (When You Need a Smaller Tool)

I feel that there may be times during a project when having a large and cumbersome tool is not the best approach. After all, you may find it too difficult to hold, or it’s too heavy, and that’s not conducive to completing your project.

A circular saw can be one of those tools, and if a circular saw is difficult to grasp, then you simply increase the chances of your cuts going off line and not getting the desired results.

However, there’s a solution, and it’s a great one.

You see, I also have a compact circular saw with my own full-size circular saw. These tools still come with a long list of capabilities, but they do so in a much smaller form.

But I know there’s a real problem when buying a compact circular saw, which comes down to the choice. 

You have so many options regarding compact circular saws that it’s challenging to even know where to begin when choosing one. So, thankfully I’m going to ensure you don’t have to worry about that part, as I plan on doing the hard work for you.

Below, you will find five of the best compact circular saws on the market today, and I think each one is the perfect tool to add to your collection. I’ve sought to cover all bases regarding these tools, so I know the ideal version will be there for you.

PRODUCT DETAILS
  • It offers a fantastic cutting depth for a compact saw
  • It’s ergonomically designed, so it sits well in your hand
  • It has a lot of power for such a small tool
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  • The left-aligned blade works well
  • You can change the blades in next to no time
  • It’s easy to make precise cuts with this model
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  • It has a lot of power behind the tool
  • It cuts through different materials with ease
  • The angle guides make life easier
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cutting metal with compact circular saw

But that’s not all I’ve done.

After checking out the tools, you can read over my tips on the key things you need to look out for when purchasing your new compact circular saw. By the end, I feel you will be in a much better position to go ahead and make that decision.

How I Made My List

So, you might wonder how I came up with this list, so let me explain. 

I have over 20 years of experience working with power tools, so I know a thing or two about them. But it wasn’t just my own personal experience that helped me create the list.

I also made sure each compact circular saw met specific criteria. Those criteria included things such as how easy the tool is to use, its power, the results you can achieve, and the reliability.

Basically, I covered everything you would want from this type of tool.

But I also ensured I checked out what other owners had to say about owning each compact circular saw. I wanted to know that these saws won’t simply break down and cut out after a short period. That would be terrible, and it’s something I want to avoid.

After all of that, I was then left with these five saws, and I feel confident you will love each one.

Best Corded Compact Circular Saw – Rockwell RK3441K

  • Power: 5 Amp
  • Speed: 3,500 RPM
  • Weight: 5lbs
  • Cutting Depth: 1 11/16”
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 degrees

If you prefer your power tool to come with a cord, then this model by Rockwell is certainly one I would recommend for a compact circular saw. 

First, I feel it has more than enough power for a tool of this size at 5 Amp, and it does throw out blade speeds of some 3,500 RPM. Talking of the blade, it measures some 4 ½”, so it does undoubtedly qualify as a compact circular saw.

However, even with this smaller blade, the cutting depth of this model is pretty impressive as it comes in just shy of 2”. That does mean this tool makes the most out of the blade, and I feel that it opens up this tool to be used with more and more projects.

But this model also comes with a laser guide, and that does increase the accuracy of your cuts. It also allows you to cut at a bevel angle of up to 45 degrees, and you get a reasonable cutting depth.

I feel this entire compact circular saw does come with an ergonomic design, and it sits comfortably in your hand. That should reduce the chances of fatigue with longer cuts, and don’t worry about this saw’s capabilities. I’m sure it will outperform your expectations.

Pros

  • It offers a fantastic cutting depth for a compact saw
  • It’s ergonomically designed, so it sits well in your hand
  • It has a lot of power for such a small tool
  • It can cut through 2 x 4 with ease
  • It’s corded, so there is no fear of running out of power

Cons

  • You need to be close to a power source
  • It offers a fantastic cutting depth for a compact saw
  • It’s ergonomically designed, so it sits well in your hand
  • It has a lot of power for such a small tool
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Best Lightweight Compact Circular Saw – WORX WX429L

  • Blade Size: 4 ½”
  • Power: 4 Amp
  • Weight: 4.4 lbs
  • Bevel Angle: 45 degrees
  • Speed: 3,500 RPM

I love this saw by WORX, not just because it weighs not much more than 4lbs. Instead, I appreciate the size and its capabilities with this 4 ½” blade capable of cutting through 2 x 4 and thin plywood with relative ease.

It does throw up speeds of 3,500 RPM, and that’s impressive because it only has a 4 Amp motor. Also, this model provides you with a bevel capacity of 45 degrees, and for a compact circular saw, that’s perfectly fine.

You should also find that this saw can cut through more than just wood. It can also do a decent job of cutting plastic and even tiles, so don’t think you are limited with this tool because that’s not true.

I do appreciate how the blade is aligned with this tool. It’s to the left, meaning you get a better view of the cutting line. However, that does mean you need to be right-handed to take full advantage of this, but it’s still a good idea.

With quick changing of blades and the ability to create those precise cuts, I feel this saw offers real value for money in both a monetary sense and what it can do for you.

Pros

  • The left-aligned blade works well
  • You can change the blades in next to no time
  • It’s easy to make precise cuts with this model
  • It’s very light and comfortable to hold
  • It still offers significant speed for smooth cuts

Cons

  • If you are left-handed, then the angle for those cuts may prove slightly difficult
  • The left-aligned blade works well
  • You can change the blades in next to no time
  • It’s easy to make precise cuts with this model
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Best Compact Circular Saw for Variability – Tacklife TCS115A Corded Compact Mini Saw

  • Blade Size: 4 ¾”
  • Speed: 3,500 RPM
  • Power: 5.8 Amp
  • Cutting Depth: 1 11/16” at 90 degrees

While this brand may not be the first one you think of, I believe that’s a huge mistake as this compact circular saw is one of the best around when it comes to versatility. 

First, you get a total of 6 blades with this model, which varies slightly in size, with the largest measuring 4 ¾”. However, the most significant variation is with the materials you can cut with the blades, so this tool is not restricted to only working on that 2 x 4.

You see, this model can cut through various types of wood along with plastic and also soft metals. I think that’s excellent, and it does make you think about everything that this saw is capable of doing.

I also feel that the cutting depth at 90 degrees is impressive as it’s close to 1 ¾” while it only drops to 1 ⅜” when you move the bevel angle to 45 degrees. Talking of the bevel angle, I find this model easy to operate, and everything locks into place, so you have nothing to worry about.

This ease of use is something I always appreciate with a tool, and that ease starts off with the overall design and build of this saw.

It comes with a metal handle, and it does a fantastic job of actually reducing the chances of fatigue when using the tool. Also, it comes across as well-made and comes with a left-aligned blade, making it easier to follow your line.

Add in a laser guide, a depth gauge lever, and strong clamps, and I see this saw as one of the best on the market for both size and price.

Pros

  • You get an impressive cutting depth
  • It’s ergonomically designed, leading to better grip and control
  • The laser guide makes for better cuts
  • The range of blades increases what you can do with this saw
  • Changing blades is straightforward

Cons

  • Being corded means it’s not as portable as some may prefer
  • You get an impressive cutting depth
  • It’s ergonomically designed, leading to better grip and control
  • The laser guide makes for better cuts
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Best Heavy-Duty Compact Circular Saw – TECCPO TAMS25P Compact Circular Saw

  • Blade Size: 4 ½”
  • Speed: 3,500 RPM
  • Cutting Depth: 1 11/16”
  • Weight: 5.07lbs

If you need more of a heavy-duty compact circular saw, then I suggest checking out this model by TECCPO. Sure it weighs slightly more than most on the market at just over 5lbs, but I don’t see this as a train smash.

This model still comes with a standard blade size of 4 ½” and offers a decent cutting depth of 1 11/16”, so I have no complaints. Also, the speed of 3,500 RPM should mean it makes quick work of most materials.

But that’s not the reason why I selected this tool.

Instead, it’s the construction of this tool that makes it stand out. This model comes with an iron base along with an aluminum cover. That does mean this tool can withstand a lot of punishment, and then there’s the motor.

The motor on this model is a copper-clad aluminum motor. It’s not going to burn out or break down as quickly as other options, so you feel you can push this saw harder than others and get the desired results.

Overall, the way it’s manufactured makes this saw one that needs to be on my list. It’s reliable, durable, and just incapable of letting you down.

Pros

  • The build quality is exceptional
  • The motor is reliable and consistent
  • It can cope with cutting through so many different materials
  • Changing blades is straightforward
  • It feels good in your hand

Cons

  • It is slightly heavier than most, but not to a crazy extent
  • The build quality is exceptional
  • The motor is reliable and consistent
  • It can cope with cutting through so many different materials
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Best Cordless Compact Circular Saw – Galax Pro 97630

  • Blade Size: 4 ½”
  • Power: 5.8 Amp
  • Speed: 3,400 RPM
  • Cutting Depth: 1 11/16”

Finally, if you prefer a cordless power tool, I suggest checking out this Galax Pro model. I know some people have perhaps not even heard of this brand, but this compact circular saw is a fantastic example of what’s possible with a cordless version.

With this model, you get a 4 ½” blade, and that’s the average size for this type of power tool. Also, it comes with a 5.8 Amp motor, and that’s one of the most powerful on the market for this type of compact circular saw.

But surprisingly, the motor only results in speeds of up to 3,400 RPM, slightly below what you may expect. However, I don’t see this as bad simply because you can still generate fantastic results.

I love this model, though, because it can easily cut through various materials. Even PVC piping stands no chance in resisting this particular tool as it makes short work of cutting through.

For cutting depth, you are looking at 1 11/16” at 90 degrees before it drops to 1 ⅛” when you change the bevel angle to 45 degrees.

Overall, this tool is fantastic. The laser guide works well, as do the angle guides, and the way it locks into place is an added bonus.

Pros

  • It has a lot of power behind the tool
  • It cuts through different materials with ease
  • The angle guides make life easier
  • You can use it one-handed, reducing the chance of fatigue
  • Changing blades is straightforward

Cons

  • It may be too powerful for people new to this type of tool
  • It has a lot of power behind the tool
  • It cuts through different materials with ease
  • The angle guides make life easier
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How to Choose the Right Compact Circular Saw

While I feel confident in you choosing any of the five compact circular saws listed above, I know you probably have some questions about the key components to consider when making your decision.

So, let’s address those points.

Power

Power is a big deal, but these compact circular saws have limitations in that department. Typically, you are looking at these tools having either 4 Amp or 5 Amp of power, and that’s more than enough for the capabilities of these tools.

I certainly would not drop below that 4 Amp figure, and you should find that these compact circular saws will not struggle too much aside from slightly harder wood.

Corded or Cordless

Consider whether you prefer corded or cordless, as both options are available when buying a compact circular saw. I prefer cordless as it means you can take the tool out on the site without worrying about finding a power source.

However, I understand that some people prefer the reliability of the corded version, so it just comes down to which one you prefer.

Blade Size

Blade size can also vary somewhat with a compact circular saw, but I feel something in the region of 4 ½” should suffice. That is still significantly smaller in size than you get with a regular circular saw, which makes a difference when it comes to what this saw can cut.

It makes sense that if you opt for a compact circular saw with a blade that falls under 4” in size, you reduce the thickness of the material you can cut. That is where thinking about your potential project and how you plan on using the saw will come into play.

Speed

Speed not only relates to the time the compact circular saw will take to cut through the material, but it also changes how smooth the end result will be. With a compact circular saw, I would want speeds of between 3,000 RPM and 4,000 RPM. 

I believe it gives you enough speed without possibly finding it difficult to control the saw in that range.

Cutting Depth

The cutting depth remains crucial when choosing a compact circular saw, but this measurement will clearly be less than you would have with the full-size version.

While it’s not always possible, I would still argue you should own a compact circular saw with a cutting depth of between 1 ½” and as close to 2” as you can get. This should be at a 90-degree angle with the understanding that a 45-degree angle results in it dropping closer to 1”.

Additional Features

I would also pay attention to any additional features that come with the model, and I feel a couple stand out.

First, look to see if it comes with a laser guide. If so, you can look forward to a more precise cut, but not every model has this option.

Another key feature is the weight. You want it to be around 4lbs in weight simply because I feel that strikes the right balance between enough weight to give the tool some solidity and not too heavy that it leads to fatigue.

Overall, I feel that a compact circular saw does not have too many features to be an effective tool. If you keep the above points in mind and the ranges I suggest, it should prove straightforward to locate the perfect compact circular saw for your needs.

Overall Conclusion

So those are my five top compact circular saws, and I feel each one represents real value for money and also provides you with a fantastic tool to work with. Any tool listed here can produce outstanding results, and they will do so easily.

But ultimately, it comes down to what you intend to do regarding your projects. What material will you use? How often will you work on those projects? 

Knowing your own individual needs makes a huge difference when it comes to selecting a tool. If you feel unsure, I recommend checking out my different tips and the key areas to focus on to make things clearer.

Ultimately, I feel a compact circular saw is a type of tool that any hobbyist or serious DIY’er needs to have in their arsenal. I know one of the five listed above can prove to be the perfect tool for you.

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Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.

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