Rockwell has recently come out with a new compact circular saw, model RK3441K, that can cut through standard 2x material in a single pass without having to flip the work over.
You might have already heard of Rockwell’s Versacut compact circular saw, and if so, their new saw should look familiar. But there is one significant difference – the Versacut has a 3-3/8″ blade while the new circular saw has a 4-1/2″ blade. This gives the new saw a maximum cutting depth of 1-11/16″ at 90°.
- 4-1/2″ thin-kerf blade is less than half the thickness of standard 7-1/4″ blades
- 5A 3500 rpm motor
- Cutting performance is comparable to that of full-size saws
- Lighter and less bulky alternative to full-size circular saws
- Left-handed blade design for greater cut line visibility
- 0-45° bevel cutting capacity
- Push-button arbor lock for blade changes
- 10-foot power cord
- 3/8″ arbor size
- 1-11/16″ cutting capacity at 90°, 1-1/8″ at 45°
- Dust extraction port and 1-1/4″ hose adapter
- Kit comes with 4-1/2″ 24-tooth carbide-tipped blade, vacuum adapter, parallel guide, hex key for blade changes
- 3-year warranty
Suggested Price: $99.99
Buy Now(via Amazon)
Buy Now(via Lowes)
The street price of the new compact circular saw looks to be $129 (at Lowes), while the original Versacut is ~$109 via Amazon.
I initially wondered why Rockwell didn’t just call this the Versacut 2. But although the two saws are close in price and have some of the same on-paper features, they look like completely different tools. This model looks more like a true circular saw and less like a miniature circular saw adaptation.
My only hesitation with this saw is its 4-1/2″ blade size and the possibility that replacement or specialty blades might be hard to find. There are a couple of suitable blade options available on Amazon, but hardware selections might be scarce.
It looks like this could be a good option for anyone looking for a smaller and lighter alternative to a full-size circular saw.
I’ve never taken the time to check out the VersaCut, as I never thought a saw that couldn’t cut a standard 2x was anything for me, but this is a bit intriguing. Am I wrong in assuming it is along the lines of a worm drive saw, just shrunk down some? It looks like it could be useful on a roof or anywhere being lightweight and compact would e an advantage. If it proves durable, the biggest negative I can see, would be the small shoe might make it harder to make precise cuts. Then again, if it handles well, and is balanced well, one might have enough control, it wouldn’t be a big issue.
It does look to have a worm drive motor and gearing configuration, but to call it a worm drive saw might give the false impression of its power.
Even though the Versacut cannot handle 2x materials, it should still be handy for sheet goods, trim, and other not-so-thick materials. This model looks like it could be a Versacut Pro model of sorts, with added all-around versatility.
I would be hesitant to think of this as a circular saw replacement, not only because of the small shoe, but because of the ergonomics and blade availability. Power is possibly an issue as well, but Rockwell says that it can cut a 2×12 in the same time as a larger circular saw (6 seconds).
Perhaps I’m the odd one out here, but I never thought that a full-size circular saw was too unwieldy. Perhaps this makes sense if all you’re doing is cutting sheathing all day long. But if you need to make even the slightest bevel cut in a 2X, then you’ll have to get out the bigger saw anyhow. Otherwise I agree on the concern about the blades. I had a Craftsman cordless circular saw and had enough trouble finding 5-3/8″ blades for that, let alone a 4-1/2″. Just my two cents.
As a DIY-er with a limited budget, need, and room for tools, owning a full size circular saw is a must. For a mini saw to be jusified for me, it has to be cordless. That’s why I would buy a M12 version in a heartbeat.
I like this. Why carry something bigger and heavier if you don’t need to if the thickest material you will be cutting is 2x thickness
A similar example is with my 12v and 18v tools. I hardly ever use my 18v tools because most of the time the 12v does the job just fine without the added weight.
The only con I can think of for this saw is that the smaller blades might need to be replaced way sooner. I remember when I was considering that skil flooring saw and all the reviews pointed to extremely short blade life.
I agree with James C that they should make a m12 circular saw. Make it a fuel
Something like this seems to have a limited appeal, but for a pro, I can see benefits. The light weight makes overhead work easier over a traditional saw, the limited cutting depth is not a problem for cutting in registers and ductwork in tight spaces, and it can be helpful with trim and cabinet work. For the homeowner this would not be a first choice for general handyman work, but the small size makes it easier for crafts and art, especially for women.
Ages ago I got the first 14.4V DeWalt circular saw and used the hell out of it for small stuff all the way to building garages and home additions. It still works fine to this day, though the batteries are shot. It was my first really viable cordless circ saw and proved smaller saws, as long as they can deal with 2x material can be great companion tools for the bigger stuff.
I really like the new M18 Fuel saw. That sucker has some compact power!
I decided to buy one from Lowes. It cuts well and has good power. I have medium size hands and one concern is the safety button that you have to press before you can press down the start trigger is in an position that makes it hard to do both with one hand unless you have big hands. Other wise I like the saw.
I’m looking for a saw to have around the house as a multi-purpose for small jobs… mainly fixer upper kind of stuff and maybe some small projects such as shelving. The price and small form factor are a plus for me. Would you recommend this saw for this purpose or is there something better I should be looking at?
Thanks in advance
It might be worth a try. My only hesitation with this model is how it seems 4.5″ blades are far less available than 3-3/8″ blades. Something like the Dremel SawMax might be suitable, but it only has a 3/4″ maximum capacity. You can cut thicker materials with the Saw Max, but would have to make the cut from both sides.
Thanks Stuart! I think I’ll give the Rockwell a try. Hopefully I won’t have problems finding the different blades online.
No way would I ever give a $100.00 for that little saw.
So my kids get me this 4 1/2 inch saw because it would be lighter for me to handle.This has been my experience #1 I didn’t even get through
a 2×4 before the bolt that holds the blade on breaks. So I call the company I have to pay 12.65 for them to ship me another saw it will take 7-10 days. I receive the #2 saw I saw through about 18 inches of cheap particle board shelving material and the bolt that hold the blade on breaks. I call the company I am now waiting for the #3 saw I did not pay shipping for this one and if this one does the same I expect my money back so I can get something that will get the job done. Would there not be a simple solution for this problem like just getting a better quality bolt?