Best Compact Circular Saw 2018 Reviews and Comparisons

If you need a compact circular saw to help you get a lot of jobs done, take a look at the list of products found below. We believe that there are some impressive compact circular saws on the market right now, but we have chosen 5 of the very best so that you can compare them. If you don’t want to spend the money on a regular saw, or you simply don’t have enough room for one, check out the saws below, so you can get the job done for less, without compromising on quality.

So, What are the products on offer?

At Number One...

Makita SH01ZW

The Makita SH01ZW has a 3-3/8 inch blade and the ability to make up to 70 cuts of plywood that are ½ an inch by 12 inches, helping you to get a lot of work done, without you having to stop and charge the battery very often. With 1,400 RPM, the blade allows you to cut a lot faster, meaning you can get the job done a lot quicker.  

Weighing just 1.5 pounds, the Makita SH01ZW is quite light, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t capable of getting the job done. If you don’t want or need a heavy circular saw, the SH01ZW could be ideal. Measuring 12 x 8 x 8 inches, the Makita is ideal if you don’t have a lot of workspace, but you need to get a job done well.






20.4 Pounds


12 Volts

With a blower function that keeps your line of sight clear, so you can see exactly where you’re cutting, and with a soft grip handle, this model can make cutting wood so much easier. Potential buyers should be aware that the Makita SH01ZW does not come with a battery or charger, so they will need to be purchased separately. With a cutting depth of 1 inch at 90 degrees, and 5/8 of an inch at 45 degrees and sold for approximately $75-$125, this model is ideal for a wide range of jobs.

Number Two...


The PORTER-CABLE PCE381K has a 4 ½ inch blade, which is slightly bigger than the Makita model, meaning it could help you to cut those thicker blocks of wood. With 3,500 RPM, and a cutting depth of 1 11/16 inches, again this model is capable of offering you a little more. Priced at approximately $130, and with a dust port that helps to keep your bench clean, this 5.5 amp saw is worth considering.






6 Pounds


5.5 amp

Measuring 17 x 5 x 6 inches, the PORTER-CABLE circular saw is not the biggest on the market, but weighing in a 6 pounds, it isn’t the lightest either. Offering users the chance to make a variety of cuts thanks to its 0-45 degree bevel capacity, the PCE381K comes with a saw, rip fence, a kit bag, and a 24 tooth blade.   Small enough to fit on a bench even in the smallest of work areas, and light enough so you can move it around should you need to, the PORTER-CABLE PCE381K has an attractive gray/black finish meaning it shouldn’t look out of place in any garage or workshop.

Number Three...

Rockwell RK3441K

The Rockwell RK3441K circular saw is a tough-looking piece of equipment that comes with a 4 ½ inch saw, and the ability to work at 3,500 RPM. Sold for approximately $82, this model is a lot cheaper than some circular saws, but this does not mean that the quality has been compromised.

Weighing just 5 pounds, and measuring 18.2 x 4.2 x 6.9 inches, the Rockwell RK3441K is slightly longer than some models, but it still feels quite compact.






5 Pounds


120 Volts

With the ability to cut materials that are less than 2 inches thick, and with a comfortable handle, users can hold the wood with one hand, and easily control the saw with the other. Even though this saw has a thinner and smaller blade than some conventional saws that come with a 7 ¼ inch blade, it can deliver exactly the same, without straining the motor, or making the job harder than it needs to be.

Number Four...

Genesis GCS545C

The Genesis GCS545C circular saw has a modern finish, and a 4 ½ inch saw that comes with a carbide tipped blade. Weighing 5 pounds and measuring 16 x 4.2 x 8 inches, the saw comes with a 5.8 amp motor, and steel gears, meaning it can get to work for you with ease. 

With the ability to cut through 2x wood, and other materials in one go, the Genesis circular saw is set to impress. With a lightweight design and a comfortable handle, users should have very little difficulty getting the job done.






5 Pounds


5.8 amp

Sold for approximately $55, this particular circular saw is thought to be one of the cheapest on the market right now, but this does not mean it’s not worth considering. With triple gear reduction, so you benefit from maximum torque, and a dust port that helps to keep surfaces free of dust, if you’re looking for a reliable low-cost circular saw, you may wish to consider this one.

Number Five...


The WORX WORXSAW that offers 3,500 RPM gives the impression that it has been made to tackle tough jobs with ease. Weighing in at 6 pounds, and measuring 15.1 x 4.2 x 5.8 inches, the saw is a little shorter than some, but it’s still quite mighty. With a thin blade that strains the motor a little less than many other saws, the WORXSAW comes with a 4 ½ inch blade, and cut-line visibility, ensuring the users can see where they’re cutting at all times.

This particular saw can be used by those with small hands, as the handle is not too wide, making it ideal for those who often struggle to find a saw that doesn’t have a bulky handle.






6 Pounds


3,500 RPM

With 0-45 degree bevel setting, and a comfortable grip, this circular saw in well worth considering. Sold for approximately $70, and with an easy-to-set depth gauge lever, this compact circular saw could potentially be one of the very best on the market.

Buying Guide…

What size blade should I get?

The size of the blade you buy will be determined by the type of saw that you buy. You may be looking to buy a large blade so you can undertake work that involves cutting thick pieces of wood, but it may not fit into your saw. Consult the users manual for more information about the size of the blades you can use in your circular saw. If you buy a blade that’s too big, you might not be able to secure it in place, which could potentially be very dangerous. If you buy a blade that’s too small, chances are you won’t be able to secure it or cut your wood, this ultimately means that you’ll need a saw that’s just right.

Compact circular saw blades are typically 4 ½ inches in diameter, so you should opt for one of this size. If you’re not sure what size saw you should buy, please consult the users manual. Some manufacturers offer a ‘One size ( 4 ½ inches) fits all’ saw, whereas others do not, so please determine what makes and models are suitable for your compact circular saw.

How much power should you get?

Ideally, you should look for a compact circular saw that comes with a good amount of RPM. When choosing from a range of saws, try not to worry too much about the amount of amps, rather you should concentrate on the RPM. This is because the more revolutions per minute the saw offers, the more control that you have while you’re cutting.

The better the control, the more accurate your cut will be, meaning the finished product will be so much better. Another benefit of using a circular saw with a high RPM is that you’ll get jobs done a little quicker than you would using a saw with a low RPM. Try to opt for the highest amount of RPM for your money, so you have more control, and you get the job done quickly.

Should I buy a cordless circular saw?

Cordless circular saws are typically more expensive than their corded counterparts, however, they can give you a lot of freedom to move from place to place, and they can even make the saw’s maneuverability a little better.

If you’re working in an area that does not have many outlets, or all of them are being used, you may want to opt for a cordless model. Bear in mind that you will need to charge the battery before you use your new saw, but you should be able to do that just about anywhere. For example, if you’re planning on using your circular saw in your garage, and all your outlets are full, charge the battery somewhere in your home, where it’s not going to be disturbed.

Lastly, if you simply do not like having many leads around you, a cordless circular saw is the best option. Less hazardous, while allowing you to move around your workshop with ease, a cordless circular saw could make your work area a lot safer.

Questions We Are Frequently Asked…

How much smaller is a compact circular saw?

A compact circular saw is typically a few inches shorter and smaller than a regular circular saw. There may be occasions when you simply don’t need to use a regular sized circular saw, especially if you’re planning to cut up small pieces of wood.

Alternatively, you may be short on work space, so having a compact model means you can still get the job done, but you don’t have to struggle to find enough room.

Compact circular saws can be ideal if you don’t have a fixed office. Carrying a large circular saw around can be quite difficult, especially as they’re not always very light. A compact circular saw can fit into a toolbox or bag, and as they typically weigh less than 7 pounds, they can usually be taken from place to place with relative ease.

Do the Blades differ from a normal circular saw?

Yes, the blades that you find in a compact circular saw are typically a lot smaller than they are in a regular saw. The larger saws often come with blades that measure 7 ¼ inches, which can be as much as 3 inches bigger than those found on their compact counterparts. The blades found in normal circular saws are usually ideal for those larger jobs that need to be finished quickly.

Smaller circular saws typically come with blades that measure 4 ½ inches, which are a lot smaller, and are therefore ideal for those occasions when a larger circular saw is not needed. Consult the users manual for more information about the size of the blades you can use in your circular saw.

In getting a compact circular saw, do you lose power?

Compact circular saws typically have about 15 amps of power, whereas a compact circular saw may only have 5.8 amps. In this respect, you will lose a little bit of power, but this should not be too noticeable. However, if you are planning on using a compact saw to do a regular saw’s job, this is where you will notice the difference. Compact saws have been made to tackle smaller jobs, and therefore should only be used in these circumstances.

The amount of amps used is indicative of the amount needed for you to carry out particular jobs. Therefore, if you want to cut a lot of wood, and you want to do it quickly, you should opt for a larger saw. If you have a compact saw, you should only use it for smaller jobs, as the model you’re using would have been manufactured to tackle smaller jobs.

If you do undertake work that requires a lot more power, you should consider using a  larger circular saw. However, if you also undertake work that requires a lot less power, here is where a compact circular saw can come in handy.

How to use a compact circular saw?

When you buy a compact circular saw, chances are you will have to attach the blade. Instructions will be provided, but all you will need to do is remove the bolt in the center of the saw, where the blade will be. Attach the blade, making sure the bolt is secured.

Adjust the depth and the angle of the blade if you need to. Depending on the brand of saw that you buy, there may be one or two triggers located on the handle, pressing the triggers will get the blade moving.

Cut into your piece of wood, ensuring that you keep the line that you have drawn within the very first notch on the ruler that is attached to the saw.

Guide your saw so that it cuts the wood in a straight line, ensuring that you keep holding onto any pieces of wood that need to be kept steady.

In Conclusion…

The right compact circular saw for you will depend on your budget, how often you plan to use the saw, and how much control you think you will need. There are a lot of different compact circular saws on the market, but we are confident that you will find the right saw for you in the above list.

If you have any other questions or worries please contact us, or if you have any comments or improvements please leave a comment at the bottom of the page.


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