Best Circular Saw And Mini Saw Review

You can’t talk about the compact circular saw without giving credit to its bigger brother the circular saw. The circular saw reinvented the game as far as wood cutting and carpentry is concerned. The origins of this machine date as far back as the 1700s. The device has gone through a lot of improvements over the years. In fact, one of the upgrades for the circular saw is a smaller version of it, the mini circular saw.

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The circular saw at the time of its invention reduced the amount of space needed to operate a saw. On top of that, it also reduced the amount of time required to cut through wood. Suffice to say, it’s still doing that to do this day and even more. We took our time to evaluate the range of both circular saws and mini circular saws in the market to bring you the best of the bunch. Let’s have a look:

There are many brands and types of both circular saws and compact circular saws. We took our time and chose what we consider the best 10 of each type of saw.

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Best Compact Circular Saws

This compact circular saw was designed with DIYers in mind. It’s a corded circular saw that employs simplicity and functionality that is to be admired. The saw is both lightweight and easy to use. 

On top of that, it has an ergonomic handle that helps you get a tight grip on the device as you use it. You get interchangeable blades with the product. You can use the different blades to cut various materials.

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The pointer is also fantastic as it increases the accuracy of your cuts. A carrying bag is also included to make it easier for you to move with the saw. Safety is not forgotten as the saw comes with brakes. It can be triggered by the release of the switch that causes the blades to stop within 3 seconds.


PROS

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    It’s lightweight, thus can be used for more extended periods of time
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    It’s durable and has low maintenance costs
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    It has powerful blades that can cut through any material

CONS

  • It doesn’t have a dust collection system, so it can get messy when used indoors

This mini circular saw is light enough and yet strong enough to handle any job. It’s made by Worx, a reliable company that balances price and durability perfectly.

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With the WorxSaw, you’re getting a machine at a reasonable price range with proven durability. The saw is equipped with a guard that is made out of hardened plastic. Don’t let the plastic fool you as it’s quite hard to break.

The ergonomic handle of this saw makes it easy to fit/be held in your hands comfortably. The device is also light when compared to other saws, so you can use it for longer without feeling strained/tired.


PROS

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    It’s durable
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    Lighter than most saws
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    The Depth gauge lever is conveniently positioned

CONS

  • You need to replace the blade for better performance and reduced noise.

With 3500 RPMs on its blade and a 5.8-amp motor, you are dealing with a powerful machine. For a compact circular saw, this one does sit on the heavy side due to the die-cast aluminum case.

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The bevel control and adjustable depth gauge make it great for different types of jobs including repair jobs. The vacuum adapter is useful as it keeps the cutting line clear. The saw has a rubberized grip and a narrow handle making it smoothly fit in your hands as you work.


PROS

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    The vacuum adapter makes it easier to work with indoors
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    The design allows for one-handed use
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    The blade is sturdy enough to cut through different material

CONS

  • It’s a bit heavy when compared to other mini saws

This is a saw made to be versatile. This is a 3 in 1 tool that can be used for flush cutting, plunge cutting, and surface preparation. The variety of jobs that it can perform is made possible because of the multiple attachments that come with the device.

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 The motor is also pretty sturdy. The 7.5-amp motor together with the blades ensures that you can get a cutting depth of about ¾ inches.


PROS

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    Comes with useful accessories that add more functionality to the saw
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    It’s durable due to the die-cast aluminum gearbox and guard
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    It’s comfortable to use thanks to the control grip handle

CONS

  • The die-cast aluminum makes the saw heavy, especially when compared to other mini saws

This saw is different from the Rockwell RK3440K. In fact, this one is an improved version of it.

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It employs thinner blades, so the cutting is faster and more comfortable. While we’re on the blades, this saw is equipped with a hex key to help make it easier to switch blades.

You can use this saw for long periods of time without getting too tired, thanks to its lightweight. The grip is also well designed and is meant to provide comfort, control, and balance. If you’re into bevel cuts, then you’ve found the right saw as it can make angled cuts of up to 45 degrees.


PROS

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    Singlehanded use is possible with this saw due to its weight and size
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    You can cut materials faster due to the thin blades
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    A carrying bag is included to help with transportation of the saw

CONS

  • It’s not designed for singlehanded use for left-handed people. The buttons are positioned in a manner easy to use for right-handed people.

Porter Cable is a brand known for making quality and durable saws, there have done just that. This saw is powered by a 5.5 Amp motor that turn the blade at 3,500 RPMs. The RPMs aren’t the best on the list, but it can still offer fast cutting speeds. The unit is also compact and lightweight.

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This makes it easy to maneuver and move around. Plus, you get a bag with the purchase of the unit. You can easily move with it for the different projects. If you’re interested to keep your work area clean, then you can utilize the dust port with vacuum adapter that the device has.


PROS

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    It’s lightweight and size makes it great for overhead work
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    The tool bag that comes with the purchase makes it easier to organize and pack the tool
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    The Vacuum hose and adapter helps keep the work area clean

CONS

  • The safety button you have to push before trigger on switch isn’t positioned in an easy to reach area.

This is a battery powered circular saw, so it’s lighter than many of the other contenders on this list. It uses Lithium-ion batteries to powered the device. It comes with two batteries to help make sure that you’re continuously working until the job is done. Make sure to charge one as you use the other.

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This helps make sure your work doesn’t get interrupted for too long. The Makita compact circular saw has lower RPMs than many other saws because its battery powered. With that said, it can still pack a punch with a cutting depth of 1 inch at 90 degrees. This cutting depth does get up to 5-8 inches when inclined at a 45-degree angle.


PROS

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    A carrying case is included to help make it easier to move the saw
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    It’s great for tight or high places as it’s battery powered
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    It’s lightweight

CONS

  • Fewer RPMs compared to other saws, thus doesn’t pack much of punch
  • Some people have reported that the batteries are harder to remove.

The Mastermind 800344 is made for floor and tile work. The design of the machine makes it great for plunge cutting. The saw’s position naturally lifts the blade above the cutting surface when using the tool. It can cut wood and other material with a thickness of up to 7/8 inches. It can also cut tiles with a thickness of up to 3/8 inches.

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The tool has a lot of features that will be useful for you. It has a trigger, SmartTrack LED, laser switch and a depth locking lever, all features that can make the cutting process easier for you. What we love best is that the important levers are in orange plastic that are easily accessible. This makes them stand out and thus easier to access.


PROS

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    A laser cutting guide for accurate cuts
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    Simple and quick adjustment features
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    Lightweight and easy to use with one hand

CONS

  • The design of the saw makes sight lines a bit hard/troublesome.

The VonHaus Mini Circular saw is made with safety as a priority. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because it keeps you safe. It’s bad because some people find it a bit complicated.

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You need to deal with so many buttons just to make the machine work. With that said, the tool is powerful and can cut through a variety of materials. The plug is waterproof and long with a length of 6 feet and 6 inches.


PROS

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    It has an adjustable cutting depth of up to 1”
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    The replacement blades are quite affordable
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    Safety is a priority with this device

CONS

  • The extra safety features make the machine complex to use for some users. Too many buttons to press and slide to get the machine to start.

The design of this saw definitely catches the eye. It has a compact design that makes it easy to use. A high torque motor joins the design to offer a fast cutting blade that you can use for different types of cuts.

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You can make bevel cuts with this saw by using the bevel adjustments. There are detents for 45 and 90 degrees for you to use.


PROS

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    The saw works great and has a powerful motor
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    It’s at a great price point for what it offers
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    It’s cordless, so you can use it in tight or hard to reach areas.

CONS

  • The battery is sold separately. You need to get a 4-amp battery for optimal performance

Best Circular Saw

Here we have a saw that is light, powerful and ranks quite well in terms of safety. It has an electric brake that makes sure that the saw stops when the trigger is released. The Dewalt Circular saw is light and powerful.

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It can reach up to 5100 RPMs with a cutting depth of 2.55 inches at 90 degrees and 1.9 inches at 45 degrees. This saw has a built-in dust blower that clears your work area from dust and debris. You also have durability on your side as the shoe is made of high grade stamped aluminum.


PROS

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    It has a built-in dust blower to keep your cut line visible
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    It has safety as a priority with the use of an electric brake
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    It’s lightweight and compact

CONS

  • Some complaints about a slight wobble in the saw that makes precise cutting difficult

Milwaukee is known for making a top of the line products, and they haven’t let us down with this circular saw. It’s a cordless saw with a seven ¼ inch blade. The battery on this device powers an 18-volt motor that and carries enough charge to make over 300 cuts.

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The motor can produce up to 5000 RPMs, which is just about enough for any homeowner. The tool is lightweight weighing only 9 pounds with the battery included. The magnesium in the blade guard and shoe help keep the weight low without compromising on durability.


PROS

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    The saw is quite powerful when compared to other cordless saws
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    The LED lights help keep the work area illuminated
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    It’s easy to use. The marks for cut depth and angle cuts are easy to see

CONS

  • A powerful battery is needed. A 2.0-amp battery is not enough for heavy-duty work. Get a 5.0 or 6.0-amp battery to be on the safer side.

Hitachi got most things right with this saw. It has a powerful 15-amp motor that can generate a blade speed of 6,000 RPMs. With that kind of speed, you can be sure of quick and smooth cuts. You also get a soft grip handle that is made to reduce vibration and ensure comfort as you use the device.

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User experience was clearly something they were looking at when making this device. There is a dust blower with the tool. This helps make sure that your work area is clean and that you have a clear line of sight. On top of that, you can use the dust chute. It helps remove dust and debris as a result of your work.


PROS

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    It’s lightweight
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    It has excellent blade speed for quick and smooth cuts
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    It’s at an affordable price range

CONS

  • Safety features like the brakes have been ignored in this model

The blade speed on this model is not the fastest on this list at 5300 RPMs, but it’s fast enough to get the job done. The tool is at an affordable price point and is an excellent option for those looking for a powerful tool. It can accommodate either one of an arbor blade or a standard sized blade.

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This makes it great for use to cut through thick wood. It weighs 8.7 pounds, so it’s not heavy when compared to other models. Blade changes aren’t so bad on this tool. You can use a spindle lock to keep the shaft in place while you use a single hex wrench to remove the blade. The laser guide on this saw makes it easier to get clean and straight cuts.


PROS

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    A great dust removal system
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    It has a laser guide to help keep your cuts straight and smooth
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    It’s easy to change blades thanks to the spindle lock and hex key

CONS

  • The electric cord on this device is short at just 6 feet
  • No electric brake on this tool.

This circular saw is made for those looking for an affordable option that can get the job done. It’s cordless and is powered by a battery. It weighs 5 pounds without installation of the battery.

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With the price that this tool goes for, don’t be surprised at the lack of frills. It doesn’t offer much in extra features. What you’re getting is a saw with a cutting power of 4,700 RPM and a left side blade for easier view of the cutting line. It’s also equipped with a 6 ½ inch blade that can cut at a depth of up to 2 inches at 90 degrees and 1 ½ at 45 degrees. The device can also bevel up to 56 degrees.


PROS

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    It’s lightweight but powerful
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    It’s quick and easy to set up and use
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    It’s affordable

CONS

  • You need safety glasses and a shield as it sprays dust in your face when in use

This has to be the best pick for us when it comes to circular saws, you’ll see why. This saw is battery powered. Don’t let that misguide you; it’s quite heavy duty. It has a brushless motor that is capable of up to 5800 RPMs. On top of that, the blade used is a carbide tipped blade that measures at 7 1/4 inches.

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The blade can easily cut through 2 inches or more of wood/lumber. You can also use this device for beveled/angled cuts. The tilt of the blade can be adjusted by up to 57 degrees. The beauty of this saw comes with its compatibility. Sadly, it’s only compatible with other Dewalt power tools. You need not worry about safety as the device has an electric brake that will stop the blade within 2 seconds.


PROS

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    It’s a powerful saw that can go through thick materials
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    A great safety feature that stops the blade immediately
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    The battery lasts for quite some time

CONS

  • Some complaints about the saw being for left-handed people than right-handed people.

The 15-amp motor provides enough power for the saw to cut a 3/4 “plywood and other materials with ease. The Bosch CS5 incorporates a left blade design. With this design, you get a clear line of sight for more accurate cutting. Blade changing is made easier and faster on this tool thanks to the use of the spindle lock.

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You can expect durability from a tool from Bosch. They maintain this here as the upper and lower guard use aluminum. The blade has a tilt angle of up to 56 degrees for when you want to do beveled cuts. The soft grip handle on the tool helps to tighten your grip and prevent slipping as you use the device.


PROS

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    It has amazing build quality
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    A good cutting depth
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    It’s easy to switch blades on this tool

CONS

  • No blade brakes, so you need to be careful while using the tool

This saw is made to go with the times incorporating innovative technology in its design. The premium saw from Makita has plenty of features such as LED work lights, an electric brake, a dust blower and a battery charge indicator to name a few. With that said, it can definitely get the work done.

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It has a brushless motor that can produce up to 5000 RPMs. On top of that, it can also bevel up to 50 degrees. A feature that truly stands out on this device is the Automatic Speed Change. This feature adjusts the torque and the speed of the blade depending on the needs of the saw at the time.


PROS

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    It’s lightweight due to the use of aluminum in the shoe, upper and lower guard.
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    It has a ton of useful features that make it convenient and easy to use
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    Easy to cut and use in different angles

CONS

  • The base plate does wobble slightly which might affect the accuracy of your cuts

With a 15-amp motor that produces 5,500 RPMs, you can expect speed as you cut through different materials. It employs a magnesium shoe while the upper and lower guards are metal. This provides durability to the tool.

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The saw can bevel to an angle of 55 degrees with adjustments to 22.5 degrees and 45 degrees for easy use. The device sits at 9 pounds which makes it light and comfortable to use. Sadly, no blade brakes can be found with this model, so use with caution.


PROS

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    It’s lightweight and durable
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    It’s comfortable to use thanks to the nicely contoured and rubber coated handle
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    It has plenty of power for use for simple at home repairs

CONS

  • No blade brakes
  • The plastic housing makes it not great for professional use.

Overall, this circular saw has a great design. It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver and hold. It also has a powerful 15amp motor that turns the blade up to 5800 RPMs. This makes it great for sharp, clean cuts.

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The tool also has a spindle lock and a blade wrench. You can use these 2 to change your blade quickly and safely. The 2 LED lights on the Makita saw help keep your cut line illuminated as you use the tool. On top of that, there is a dust chute that you can use to keep your work area clean and free of sawdust.


PROS

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    It’s compatible with standard and arbor blades
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    Great for sharp and clean cuts
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    Easy to maneuver for angled cuts

CONS

  • The lack of a laser guide is a drawback for some.

Types of Circular Saws

There are three main types of circular saws whose names will make you think you’re in a zoology class. When buying a circular saw, you’re buying one of these 3. Let’s have a look at each one of them:

Side Winder/In-Line Circular Saw

Here we have a compact saw with the motor mounted on the side of the saw. This type of saw is best for overhead cuts because they weigh less than the other types of saws.

The motor on Sidewinder saws are mounted on the right side, so they tend to rest on the workpiece. This alleviates part of the load on your hands, thus making them a bit lighter. You can get more RPMs with these types of saws because the motor is in line with the blade.

Worm Drive Saw

When compared to the previous type of saw, the worm drive requires more maintenance and has reduced blade speed. The reduction in blade speed is as a result of the design of the machine. These types of saws tend to have gears located at 90-degree angles of each other.

On top of that, the motor can be found at the back of the tool. A plus with this type of saw is that it’s narrower and longer making it great for plunge cutting. Besides, you can get more torque thanks to the gear configuration.

Hypoid Circular Saw

You can get these confused with worm drive saws, and we won’t blame you. They also have the motor located behind the blade (on the left side of the motor). Also, it also has higher torque similar to worm drives. With that said, they are very different. For starters, they use a hypoid gear.

Hypoid saws tend to have better blade contact, efficiency, and power. You can also find that the saws have reduced motor size and noise. They also employ a sealed motor system, thus doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. These saw types tend to be heavier than sidewinders.

How Do Mini Circular Saws Work

A mini circular saw is the smaller brother to the circular saw. It’s meant to do the same thing as the circular saw, but be smaller in size. This type of saw can cut a range of materials such as wood, stone, plastic, and metal using its flat, circular blade.

Many of these saws are equipped with blade guards to help prevent unwanted injuries to the user. The operation of a compact circular saw is similar to that of a standard worm drive saw. Why worm drive? Because this type of drive allows for the motor to be behind the blade (which is the design for mini circular saws).

You’ll also notice that these saws have three main components; a motor, drive, and blade. The motor is responsible for generating the power, and the drive is responsible for transferring the power to the blade.

This transfer of power is what causes the blade to turn. We could go deeper, but that would take too much of your time. The worm drive is more preferred for handheld circular saws as it improves the torque as well as the durability of the device.

Things to consider before buying a compact circular saw

Blades

Different blades can be used with compact circular saws. The blade that you’ll ultimately decide to use will depend on the material being cut and the type of cut. Most mini circular saws come with a carbide tipped wood cutting circular blade.

It’s great for cutting wood. You’ll probably need another blade if you’re planning to cut materials other than wood. On top of that, you might need a blade with more teeth if you’re looking for cleaner cuts.

Design

These devices might all look the same, but they’re far from it. Each saw is different in terms of designs, thus will feel different in your arms. With machines like these, we’d advise you to go to the store to have a feel of what they’re like when held.

You could also just get it online if you feel like you can handle any type of mini circular saw. It’s important to realize that you’re going to be holding one for quite some time as you work. A circular saw that fits your hands best is perfect as it won’t strain you much while you work.

Power mode

Corded or cordless? This is one question that many people have to contend with when deciding what device/machine to buy. Unlike what many people might think, cordless saws are just as powerful as their corded compatriots.

They are made with durability and power in mind. A cordless saw is preferable if you’re working in an environment without a lot of extensions or power outlets. Whichever you pick, rest assured you’re getting the best.

Tips for safe use of a compact circular saw

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1

Know your Saw

You need to know the type of saw you’re using. There are different types of circular saws on the market. Each type has its strengths, weaknesses, and functions. This is also not considering which type you’ll be more comfortable operating.

Your selection ranges from a Worm Drive to a Sidewinder. Knowing the type of saw you’re using will help you know the best practices for operating it.

2

Inspect the saw before use

It’s always good to check the saw before using it. You should check the blade to see if all the teeth are good and sharp. A broken tooth will reduce the effectiveness of the device. You should also inspect the electric cable if you’re using a corded saw. Make sure that there are no loose connections or exposed wires on the cable.

A loose connection/exposed wire might leave you at risk of being electrocuted, so if found, fix as soon as possible. As part of the inspection process, have a look at the blade guard. Make sure it is properly installed as it acts as a buffer between you and the saw. Believe us, you need it when you experience kickback when cutting the wood.

3

Always use ear and eye protection

It’s always good to check the saw before using it. You should check the blade to see if all the teeth are good and sharp. A broken tooth will reduce the effectiveness of the device. You should also inspect the electric cable if you’re using a corded saw. Make sure that there are no loose connections or exposed wires on the cable.

A loose connection/exposed wire might leave you at risk of being electrocuted, so if found, fix as soon as possible. As part of the inspection process, have a look at the blade guard. Make sure it is properly installed as it acts as a buffer between you and the saw. Believe us, you need it when you experience kickback when cutting the wood.

4

Unplug the saw before making any adjustments

You should not make any adjustments if you have no ideas what you’re doing. You could cause injuries to yourself and others as a worst-case scenario. The best case scenario is you damaging the device beyond repair.

On top of that, you shouldn’t make any adjustments to the saw while it’s still plugged. This might cause serious harm to you and others around you. Always make sure that the device is off and unplugged.

How to Select the Best Circular saw

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Let’s start by saying that all this is simply a matter of preference. There are normally two styles of circular saws in use. The Sidewinder and the worm drive. The worm drive tends to be heavier with the motor lining up with the blade. They are considered commercial quality saws.

On the other hand, there are sidewinders. They are lightweight and inexpensive. The in-line motor sits on the left side of the blade. When cutting, the motor sits on the material being cut. With sidewinders, the weight of the motor doesn’t rest on your hands. The style you like will depend on your preference, the job being done and here are some more things to consider:

Price

Price should never be a factor that you use to gauge the quality of the product. With that said, there is a reason people correlate quality with price. The higher priced circular saws tend to have more features and reliable motors.

On top of that, they tend to have more power as well. The same can’t be said about circular saws on the lower end. They tend to have less power and worse less reliable motors. Not the type of saw you want for regular use.

motor power

To determine the motor power of your saw, you need to have a look at the amps and the RPMs (Revolution Per Minute). The RPM will help you determine the amount of power that gets to the blade for the cut. A suitable RPM level will depend on the job that you’re doing at the time. We can comfortably tell you that a good circular saw should have at least 15 amps in the motor.

extra features offered

When we talk about extra features, we’re looking at things like the beveled cuts, scales, work lights, and lasers. A saw that can make beveled cuts makes it quite useful for all kinds of jobs including specific cutting projects.

More points for the device if it has a lever for quick adjustments and scales that are easy to read.  The work lasers and lights are also a great addition to have. They work best for people that work inside or have difficulty seeing inside. Lasers are not of much use outside.

safety features

A blade guard, riving knife, and brakes are just a few of the safety features you need to think about. Many of the top end circular saws tend to have electric brakes. These brakes work by reversing the electric flow as soon as the trigger is let go.

This makes the blade stop faster when compared to the other types of brakes like the magnetic brakes. A blade guard and riving knife are also great to have as they protect you from kickbacks during the cutting process.

Who is it Good for?

You don’t need to be a commercial user to get a circular saw or a compact circular saw. They are both machines for people who do repairs around the house. It’s an essential tool that can make your job a whole lot easier.

A circular saw can cut bricks, metal, and wood, of course, this does depend on the type of blade that you use. If you have a drill in your house, then get a mini circular saw as well. It’s handheld, not expensive and easy to store. A great tool to have in any house.

Conclusion

Circular Saws and their mini counterparts are essential tools for at home repairs or even professional repairs. We feel that the Dewalt DCS 575B Flexvolt Circular Saw is the best circular on our list. It’s the perfect mix of durability and functionality.

On the other hand, the Rockwell VersaCut RK3440K takes the winner’s spot for compact circular saws. It’s made with DIYers in mind. It’s lightweight, durable and low maintenance. Perfect for at home users.

drluan
 

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