5 Best Mini Circular Saws for 2019 – used & reviewed by trade pro’s

Why choose a Mini Circular Saw?

When buying any tool you must assess is your experience and ability.
Confidence will come but when using any cutting tool you need to keep your wits about you and be relatively competent from the outset.

Getting a mini circular saw could be an important entry point to build trust between you and working with a powerful cutting tool. its lighter than a circular saw, manageable and works efficiently for quicker cuts.
How often will you be ripping through lengthwise or cutting 2×4 studs? If the answer is not that often then I’d definitely opt for a mini over standard circular.

Replacement or Supplement?

I believe a mini circular saw would not be an outright replacement over a full size circular saw if you have varying jobs – you will need more power and larger blades for bigger cuts through thicker material.
Increasing power whilst reducing weight is the age old physical quest for efficiency and versatility. The ratios of mini circular saw will give you these attributes, within reason, allowing them to punch above their weight whilst delivering a cut akin to that of a traditional circular saw…but not without compromise – the smaller blade and lower powered motor will cope but not be as effective or efficient for certain jobs.

Key differences – Mini Circular Saws vs Circular Saws

Blade Diameter
 – Circular saw – from 160-230mm 
 – Mini Circular saw – from 65-120mm

Weight
 – Circular saw – from 4-5 kg on average
 – Mini Circular saw – from 2-3 kg on average

Cutting Depth
 – Circular saw – from 55-85mm
 – Mini Circular saw – from 16-45mm

Pro's and Cons of Mini Circular Saws

Pros

  • Cost less than full size circular saw
  • Battery life is less draining than full size circular saw
  • Precise cutting on finer material due to narrower blades
  • Weigh at least 4 pounds less on average
  • One-handed operation
  • Can be used comfortably by lefty’s
  • 0-45 degree bevel cutting 
  • Less intimidating for novice users.

Cons

  • Slower to finish the cut
  • Not as powerful
  • Smaller cutting depth

Cutting with Confidence

I was thrown in at the deep end when I started working in the joinery shop. I had a major jitters when asked to use the Altendorf Panel Saw. This was the chief amongst Indians for shaping nearly everything we cut. After practicing with offcuts and smaller jobs I got used to it. Used correctly the results are spot on. Thinking back it was probably the size of the machine rather that intimidated me as the blade itself.

The same can happen when needing to cut with a power saw. A circular saw is great though I’d always recommend starting off with something more manageable and lighter if you can if just to get used to the cutting motion, the balance, the grip, power and other nuances associated with the saw.

Always relax. Adjust your footing and get a good posture to cut. Make sure the material is secure and not hazards are around.
Check your measurements and the settings for the tool. And check them again.
Once you are happy and safe ensure its all straight then start cutting. Let the saw cut and you guide. Simple.
With more exposure you will feel better and your output will improve.

Best 5 Mini Circular Saws for 2019

Weight (lbs)

Power Source

Speed RPM (No Load)

WORX WORXSAW WX429L

5.0

mains corded

3500

Genesis GCS545C

6.0

Mains Corded

3500

VonHaus Saw Kit

9.8

Mains Corded

4500

Dremel SM20-02

6.75

Mains Corded

17500

Makita SH02R1

3.5

Cordless - 12V Battery Powered

1500

#1 WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2" WX429L

Why this saw?

Worx make pretty solid consumer grade tools and although my experience with their products is limited to a vacuum cleaner and workbench (both of which give no problems thus far). I’ve got friends and colleagues who own their power tools including a Worx cordless jigsaw. Again, no complaints so far. 
The construction and spec of this saw is what I’d expect based on their target market. Solidly built and ergonomic.
The parent company is Positec who also make Rockwell tools.

Pros
 – powerful 3500 RPM motor
 – value for money
 – 3-year manufactures warranty

Cons
 – no power lock-on button 

Key Features

  • No-Load Speed = 3500 RPM
  • 0-45-degree bevel setting
  • Weight – 5.0 lbs
  • One-handed operation

Whats in the box?

  • 1 x mini circular saw
  • instructions
  • 1 x Parallel Guide
  • 1 x  Vacuum Adapter
  • 1 x  Allen Key

Main Uses

Cutting smaller thickness material, 2″ and under. Will rip without issues but slower due to blade size.
Best all-round experience with smaller chops or crosscutting. 

Summary

The Worx WorxSaw is well made and will do exactly what its designed to. 3500 RPM is no slouch in this range. 
This saw has been positively reviewed from various sources with ergonomics and weight cited as the main positive features.
I’d seriously consider this for myself when the need arises though would prefer cordless for working outside.

#2 Genesis GCS545C

Why this saw?

Similar in size and shape to the Worx, the Genesis GCS545C boasts a triple reduction gearbox in their spec, meaning the speed of the rotor is reduced but torque increases so more power will be generated. Always a good thing.
Well constructed. Trigger position is nice and long too. Comes with a rip guide, dust extractor adapter and 2-year manufacturer warranty.

Pros
– powerful torque
– comes with rip fence & dust adapter
– corded

Cons

 -1.0 lb heaver than the Worx

Key Features

  • Power = 700W
  • 0-45-degree bevel setting
  • Weight – 6.0 lbs
  • One-handed operation
  • No Load speed = 3500 RPM

Whats in the box?

  • 1 x mini circular saw
  • instructions

Main Uses

Cutting smaller thickness material, 2″ and under. Will rip without issues but slower due to blade size. Rip guide will help keep things straight.
Best all-round experience with smaller chops or crosscutting. 

Summary

Its a well made saw and will do what you need. Its spec’d a pound heavier than the Worx but other than that, difficult to chose in terms of the saws themselves.
Worx has more in the box would so that should swing it for me.

#3 VonHaus 5.8 Amp Compact Circular Saw Kit

Why this saw?

The kit alone makes this the most attractive saw on this list but lets introduce the saw itself.
The Von Haus is powerful, has smaller blades and has a laser guide!
It comes in a good 3+ pounds heavier than the Worx and Genesis so puts in on par with a light circular saw however the cutting blades are only 3-1/2 inches. Driven by a 4500 RPM motor tells you enough.
This kicks.

Pros
 – powerful 4500 RPM motor – highest from the competition
 – longer dust cable
 – laser guide
 – extra blades 
 – corded

Cons
 – no bevel cut
 – cannot use 4-1/2 blades

 – max 1″ plunge cut
 – weighs 9.8 lbs – heavier than Genesis and Worx

Key Features

  • No-Load Speed = 4500 RPM
  • laser guide
  • Weight – 9.81 lbs
  • extra long 9’8″ power cord
  • One-handed operation

Whats in the box?

  • 1 x saw
  • 1 x dust hose
  • 3 x blades for wood/metal/tile
  •  1 x storage case

Main Uses

Cutting smaller thickness material, 1″ and under. Will rip material under 1′ with ease. 
Most powerful small saw, ideal for smaller chops or quicker crosscutting. No bevel option however.

Summary

Its a different beast to the other in this list.
Very powerful but not so flexible.
Less of an all-rounder, its more of an alternative to a circular saw. Its as powerful but shouldn’t be used as a traditional circular saw due to the smaller blades.
I’d use this for ripping and cross cutting various sheets of ply, MDF and wood. Not having a bevel doesn’t bother me personally as I rarely use this feature, if at all on my existing circular saw.
One to think about if your needs are more focused.

# 4 Dremel SM20-02

Why this saw?

Dremel have been making specialist tools for over 70 years and I’ve owned a number of their multi-tools for fine finishing and cutting.
When I hear Dremel I immediately think good quality smaller tools for tackling specific jobs.
This one has the attributes to keep their niche in tact.
Its a small mini saw that will have less versatility in terms of thickness of materials compared to the other saws on the list due to smaller blade diameter but is hugely powerful and comes with a good set of accessories.

Pros
 – powerful 17500 RPM motor – highest from the competition
 – longer dust cable
 – worm drive gearing
 – 2 wheel positions for flush cutting 

Cons
 – no bevel cut
 – cannot use 4-1/2 blades
 – max 3/4″ plunge cut
 – weighs 6.75 lbs compared to lighter, larger diameter bladed saws in this class

Key Features

  • No-Load Speed = 17500 RPM
  • flush cutting setting
  • Weight – 6.75 lbs
  • extra blades 
  • dust extraction adapter

Whats in the box?

  • 1 x saw
  • 1 x dust adapter
  • 3 x blades for wood/metal/tile
  • 1 x storage case
  • 1 x cutting guide
  • instructions

Main Uses

Cutting smaller thickness material, 3/4″ and under. Will rip material under 3/4′ with ease from very powerful motor.
Most powerful small saw in its class, ideal for smaller chops or quicker crosscutting. No bevel option.

Summary

Another alternative to the larger bladed saws. Very powerful but like the Von Haus, not so flexible.
Less of an all-rounder, more of an alternative to a circular saw that will be more comfortable, as powerful but can not be used as a traditional circular saw due to the smaller blades.
Will give cleaner more controlled cuts with smaller diameter blades so again, used for more specialist work however, if the material is less than 3/4 inch, can be used for ripping and cross-cutting.

#5 Makita SH02R1

Why this saw?

Another solid Makita product that has the exclusive privilege of being the ONLY cordless mini circular saw on this top 5 list. 
What it lacks in power (at 1500 RPM is the lowest speed MCS on this list) it makes up with low weight, portability, versatility and reliability. 
Its only 3.5 pounds and thats with the 12V battery.
I’ve used this saw and its slightly larger cordless circular saw on site making a number of modifications to worktops, ply and MDF. Not had any problems whatsoever.
The Makita range is designed to get rough treatment. And designed to cope with it.
The SH02R1 will deliver.

Our circular saw takes a beating and gets up for more

Pros
 – Cordless
 – Light weight – only 3.5 lbs with battery
 – bevel cuts

Cons
 – cannot use 4-1/2 blades
 – limited to 1″ plunge cut
 – lowest powered saw on the list
 – only uses 12V max CXT series, not 12v Pod batteries

Key Features

  • No-Load Speed = 1500 RPM
  • Weight – 3.5 lbs
  • cordless
  • blade size = 3-3/8″
  • 1″ max depth cut
  • bevel cut
  • built-in dust blower
  • 12v Li ion battery

Whats in the box?

  • 1 x saw
  • 1 x 12v Li ion battery
  • 1 x battery charger
  • 1 x 3-3/8″ blade
  • 1 x case
  • instructions

Main Uses

Cutting smaller thickness material, 1″ and under. Will rip material under 3/4′ accurately albeit slower with the lowers speed motor.
Lightest saw making it useful for smaller chops or quicker crosscutting. Bevel option gives more versatility. Hobbyists and professionals will make good use of this saw.

Summary

It makes the cut for me as its cordless, however will not be using this saw as my only mini version as it lacks power and versatility with only a 3-3/8″ blade. Its a small for saw that makes it a huge benefit for anyone wanting to make quick cuts or modifications.
Like all tools I’ve used by Makita, they are excellently made and very reliable.
Definitely worth considering if you only need a cordless mini saw for smaller jobs or as an addition to your arsenal when out and about.