Circular saws are the best tools for cutting on flat surfaces, and even excel in some above-head tasks. However, circular saws are notoriously large and relatively heavy. There are, however, many small circular saw products available that are significantly lighter and more convenient. Sometimes, they even match the heavy-duty models in terms of motor power and capabilities.
In this guide, we’ll help you choose your best small circular saw, whether you’re a newbie in this field, or a seasoned cutter who needs a smaller, more precise tool for their projects.
Here’s the list of the best small circular saws of 2021, along with a guide that will teach you what to look for when buying a small circular saw.
Best Small Circular Saw Reviews
Tacklife Circular Saw
This is a small sidewinder circular saw that excels at precision and stability. It has a powerful motor and packs six blades.
Right off the bat, you’ll be surprised by the low price tag that the Tacklife offers. It features a 710 W motor and the blades can spin at as much as 3,500 RPM – which is no joke. The extremely practical laser guide that’s built-in is capable of giving you very precise cuts.
The Tacklife features three sets of blades, a pair of 60 teeth blades, a pair of 24s, and two diamond blades. This makes the Tacklife very versatile.
Safety-wise, Tacklife is more than satisfactory. The manufacturer has employed a system that doesn’t allow you to start the saw until you’ve pressed the two safety buttons at the same time.
Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to Tacklife. With three pairs of very different blades, this model can tackle wood, tiles, plastic, and various other materials. Safety is also high on the agenda. The two-button system and aluminum alloy blade guard bring even more protection to the table. Add its great specs, and you have one solid circular saw.
They say that you can’t overthink safety. Well, Tacklife came very close to overdoing it with safety here. Amazing as the two-button safety system is, it still means that you’re going to have to press the two buttons simultaneously in order to run the saw. Some people find this incredibly annoying. Then again, better to be safe than sorry.
- Six various blades
- Well-designed aluminum blade guard
- Works on a variety of materials
Safety features a bit over the top
Worx Worxsaw WX429L
The WX429L is a lightweight, portable, easily operable small sidewinder circular saw. If you’re looking for a compact circular saw that packs a much bigger punch than meets the eye, check out the Worx Worxsaw WX429L.
Although it’s rather small and compact, you’d be amazed by the WX429L’s versatility. Some of the much bigger circular saws can only cut through wooden materials, and maybe plastic. This model cuts through brick, ceramic, some metals, and plasterboard, and many other materials with ease.
Moreover, the WX429L is very easy to operate, which makes this tool perfect for your home DIY projects, but also more advanced work. This is because the gauge level is very quick to set and can go up to 45 degrees. This means that all you need to do is set the depth you need and start cutting.
Oh, and it comes with a plethora of accessories. You get a vacuum adapter, an Allen key, a parallel guide, a carbide blade. Plus, you get three years of warranty.
Light and compact as it is, you wouldn’t expect 3,500 RPM from a saw the size of the WX429L. And yet, 3,500 RPM is this saw’s maximum rotation speed. It’s light, but powerful enough to cut through as much as 5mm-thick metal. With a bevel range of 0-45 degrees, making angle cuts is as easy as it is on the traditional circular saw. It’s also safe to use and versatile.
One of the biggest downsides of the WX529L is a solidly thick handle. People with smaller hands might not find using this tool the comfiest experience ever. However, small handles don’t work well with people with large hands, so it’s just a matter of physique. Sure, the handle could’ve been thinner, but this won’t deter anyone from buying Worx Worxsaw WX 429L.
- 0-45 degrees of bevel cutting
Handle a bit too thick
Rockwell VersaCut RK3440K
This is an ideal small sidewinder circular saw for those who haven’t had too much experience with this type of tool in the past. Rockwell VersaCut RK3440K provides you with everything you need to get into the world of circular saw cutting.
One of the best aspects of the RK3440K is that you’ll get everything you need to get started, right off the bat. There are three blades for wood, metal, and tile, accordingly. Although long cuts are almost second nature for seasoned circular saw users, they may turn a bit problematic for newbies. This is why the RK3440K comes with an edge guide,
This Rockwell model also has plunge cut capability. If you aren’t familiar with plunge cuts, you’ll be happy to learn more about them. Plunge cutting is brilliant for center-of-stock cutting and cutting previously installed material. With the RK3440K, it’s as simple as setting the cut depth, placing it on the material that needs plunge cutting, and turning the safety on. Then, all you need to do is press down and push forward.
You may think that advertising the tool’s power cord length is unnecessary or irrelevant, but it’s actually a very good point. For some reason, most circular saws, especially the small ones, come with significantly shorter cords. This means that you may set everything up, only to realize that your circular saw can’t reach the cutting surface. With the RK3440K, there’s no frustration in this department.
Rockwell VersaCut RK3440K is one of the best beginner’s small circular saws. It’s ready for use, as soon as you skim the manual and plug it in. The plunge cutting capability isn’t something you’ll find on many beginner’s models, especially not at this price. The 10-foot power cord may sound like overkill, but it’s actually very refreshing to see a small circular saw with a solid cord length. Oh, and the laser and edge guides are very important for beginners.
For a beginner, this price tag may seem like too much. Granted, you’ll find cheaper small circular saws out there. However, you won’t find one that does this good a job and is this simple to use. So, yes, the price tag might not be the lowest one, but you certainly get a lot for the money.
- Edge guide
- Laser guide
- 10-foot power cord
- Plunge cutting
- Excellent for beginners
Not the cheapest in its category
SKILSAW SPT77W-01 is quite a heavy-hitter in terms of features, but still remains light and user-friendly. This worm-drive saw specializes in woodwork but can tackle many other tasks.
The first thing that we should mention here is that the SPT77W-01 does feature the renowned SKILSAW worm drive. The 15 amps from the Dual Field motor manage to give this circular saw an HP of 3.25, which is solid for much larger circular saws than this one.
One of the coolest things about this motor, and the SPT77W-01, in general, is the fact that it can stay cool after long hours of heavy loads. This is thanks to its dual-copper windings.
All this, and a 24-tooth SKILSAW blade is packed inside a 14lb. tool that makes for a brilliant choice for beginners and veterans alike. If you have a DIY project, you can rest assured that the SPT77W-01 can handle it.
Although the safety standards meet all the required standards and more, SKILSAW SPT77W-01 won’t take you by the hand and treat you lightly. It remains a dangerous tool if not handled correctly. However, if you do things slowly and follow all the guidelines, you’ll have nothing to worry about, even as a total newbie.
Although the SPT77W-01 is packed with brilliant features that make the tool very unique, one of the best features aboard this circular saw is the motor casing. It’s lined with dual copper windings, which increases the saw’s surface area by as much as 40%.
This means cooler temperatures during long hours of hard work. Overheating is a well-known concern with most circular saws, especially if they’re small. SKILSAW SPT77W-01 doesn’t have any worries in this department.
The blade guards on the SPT77W-01 are more than functional. However, they could be better. Additionally, there have been some concerns about the tool’s lack of power. You have to bear in mind, however, that using the right extension cords is as important as it is underestimated.
The 8 ft. cord should be more than enough for you. If not, get an extension cord that’s capable of handling 15 amps. If you do all this, you shouldn’t experience any power issues.
- SKILSAW 15-amp dual field motor
- Dual copper winding for temperature control
- 24-tooth SKILSAW blade
- CUT READY system for range and precision
- Blade guards not perfect
The Genesis GCS4545C doesn’t specialize in a particular type of cutting work. It’s a multi-functional sidewinder tool that cuts through plastics, woods, metals, cement blocks, bricks, fiber glass, you name it. Versatility is the name of the game here.
With versatility being so prominent with the GCS545C saw, versatile blades pretty much go without saying. This Genesis model comes with two blade types, tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) and high-speed steel (HSS) blades. The TCT blades are the ones used for cutting through a variety of materials. They may not do an ideal job like a material-specific blade, but they perform more than decently in most situations. The HSS blades are great for cutting copper and aluminum.
The GCS545C also features quite a powerful motor, at 5.8 amps. This motor is capable of producing a decent speed that tops at 3,000 RPM. This RPM count isn’t the most impressive ever, but it’s capable of tackling most cutting tasks fairly quickly.
The Genesis GCS545C is also very comfortable and durable. Its ergonomic design will make your cutting experience very enjoyable. This model has a brilliant bevel, which makes meeting cut requirements very easy.
The two blade types are more than decent for the vast majority of cutting tasks. Use HSS blades for metals and TCT for other materials for best results. Despite the fact that these blades are so versatile, they actually do a brilliant job on most materials. This is all thanks to the 3,000 RPM cutting speed, which works perfectly in combination with two blade types.
One major downside of using Genesis GCS545C is that you won’t make your neighbors happy. It has been known to produce excess noise. But your work area is supposed to be loud, so you probably won’t mind some excess noise too much.
- Versatile cutting abilities
- Easy to handle
- Powerful motor
Can cause excess noise
When looking for a circular saw, no matter how big or small, you need to know what you’ll be using it for. With this knowledge and the factors provided below, you’ll be able to make the perfect choice. Here are some of the most important things that you need to focus on when choosing a circular saw.
There are two main circular saw types: sidewinder and worm-drive. The two saw types do look different, but it’s not only down to aesthetics. The position of the gearing and the motor are the main difference between them.
Sidewinder saws feature a motor located on the side of the user’s arms when cutting. Worm-drive saws feature the motor in the rear part of the tool, while the actual saw is located underneath it.
Sidewinders feature the blade on the right side, with the weight of the tool on the left. This makes it more difficult to see the cutline. However, sidewinders are lighter than worm-drives, making above-head work both easier and safer.
Worm-drive saws are easy to use with precision but are generally heavier and more difficult to manipulate.
Power is an important factor in choosing a circular saw, although you don’t have to think too hard about it. Essentially, a 15-amp saw will handle every heavy project. Ten- or 12-amp tools will handle more casual use. The more powerful the amp, the more expensive it is. Therefore, you really need to know what projects you’ll be using them on, in advance. If money isn’t an issue, a 15-amp is a no-brainer choice.
Speed and Control
Some circular saws have speeds that go to as much as 6,000 RPM. This speed brings more precision and efficiency to the table. However, you may not need to work at these speeds. As a rule of thumb, a max RPM of 3,000-3,500 is more than decent for a small circular saw.
With that said, the bigger the number of RPM, the more control you’ll have over your cutting projects.
Blade capacity on circular saws refers to the max cut depth that a tool can achieve. It’s simple, really – the larger the blade is, the deeper the cut will be. Small circular saws don’t go overboard in terms of blade size, so don’t expect incredible depths.
The upshot to using a saw with a smaller blade capacity is that these tools tend to be smaller, lighter, and significantly easier to maneuver. With the most common diameter of circular saw blades being 7¼”, you’re looking for a smaller capacity than this model when browsing small circular saws.
If you’re looking for a saw to make simple, straight cuts, you don’t have to worry too much about its bevel capacity. However, if you want to get more precise, making bevel cuts goes without saying. Bevel capacity refers to a saw’s ability to tilt its foot plate to make more precise bevel cuts.
Small circular saws with a solid bevel capacity will make the most precise cuts.
As a rule of thumb, you won’t find too many no-name brands when it comes to circular saws. Even if you do, you should steer clear of them, as circular saws are potentially dangerous tools. Stick to the big brands like the ones mentioned in the list above. They’re all reliable and have met the required safety standards.
Small Circular Saw FAQs
How do you make straight cuts with a circular saw?
The best small circular saw makes it easy to make relatively straight cuts. If you’re looking for cutting perfection, you’re probably going to have to get an additional tool. If you want to make great straight cuts with your circular saw, get a fence or a cutting guide. You can also use a speed square if you need to make short, straight cuts.
How do you cut plexiglass with a circular saw?
You can use a plexiglass knife or a jigsaw to cut plexiglass. However, a circular saw, especially a smaller one, will yield better results. Controlling the speed is essential here, as plexiglass is sensitive to high temperatures. Teeth-wise, you should go with as many as you have on your blades. Ideally, 80 teeth are perfect for handling plexiglass, but 60 will also suffice.
How to choose a circular saw
It all depends on your needs. If you don’t have a lot of experience with circular saws, getting a small one that’s on the cheaper side might be the way to go. That way, you get a small circular saw for above-head cutting tasks and those that require a more detailed approach. Even if you buy a large circular saw at some point, you’ll still be using the small one you’ve first bought.
How do you cut thick wood with circular saw?
Cutting thick wood with a small circular saw might not be the easiest thing to do. Start by measuring the thickness of the wood that you want to cut and checking your saw’s blade capacity. If the capacity isn’t at least half in size in comparison to the wood thickness, you should find another way to cut it. Still, if the wood is thicker than the blade capacity, you’re going to have to cut both sides of the wood. Even if you measure everything precisely, you may not do a perfect job.
When cutting thick wood, it’s all about the blade capacity.
How to adjust circular saw depth
Ideally, the blade’s teeth should just barely protrude below your workplace’s bottom side. This, however, varies. It all depends on your current project. To make a compromise, set the blade so it goes about quarter of an inch below the workpiece’s thickest point.
There’s a lot to learn when it comes to adjusting the saw depth. Mostly, you’ll learn from your mistakes. So, at the beginning, make sure that you’re cutting as much as possible, not for particular projects, but just for practice.
The SKILSAW SPT77W-01 might be the only circular saw on the list that features a worm-drive, but this is what makes it so special. When it comes to large circular saws, those with a worm-drive are often too heavy and their use is limited.
With small circular saws, such as the SPT77W-01, worm-drive works like a charm. It also features a 15 amps dual field motor, which is pretty much good enough for any cutting endeavor. It isn’t too expensive for what it has to offer and it’s definitely worth the money.
The Rockwell RK3440K is slightly less expensive and brings a ton of precision to the table, along with a convenient 10-foot cord. When it comes to sidewinders, the Rockwell takes the cake. However, the SKILSAW still remains the top choice.