For this review, two small-saw titans face off in a battle to see which is best in the intended role and which will be the best choice for you and the projects you have lined up. Dremel has a longer history than Rockwell, being founded in the early 1900s. Rockwell, not to be confused with the aerospace giant, hit the scene in the early 1990s. Both have reputations for producing quality tools at affordable prices, so this promises to be a fun matchup.
Small-saws are designed to work in situations where a full-size hand-held circular will not. These situations can occur where you are working in extremely tight spaces, are trying to cut and shape materials already installed, or want to handle a quick and dirty job without dragging out the big guns.
We are giving the nod to the VersaCut from Rockwell for a variety of reasons that we will detail as the review progresses. Given the total feature set and capabilities delivered by the Rockwell tool, it is the clear winner in our analysis.
You know the drill, or should that be “saw” in this case? We are going to compare the two products based on specific categories to see which tool excels in each area. Points are at stake, and the competitor with the most points at the end of the comparison will be crowned champion of the review.
The Ultra-Max takes the first point by delivering a 7.5 A motor, compared to the 5 A motor for the Rockwell contender.
When comparing the base offerings of each tool, the VersaCut is less expensive. Saving money is always a good thing.
The Ultra-Max ships with five blades for tackling a wide array of materials, plus a screw-in side handle for using the tool like a cut-off saw/grinder. The VersaCut comes with a 24-tooth carbide-tipped blade, a parallel (edge) guide, and a vacuum adapter. The Dremel saw cannot accept a parallel guide, and the vacuum adapter is extra.
The VersaCut comes with a very effective laser guide and a bevel capability, neither of which are available on the Dremel.
The Ultra-Saw appears almost to be purpose-designed to serve as a grinder, and a metal cutoff saw. To allow for that use, Dremel uses cast metal for the foot and guard so they can resist the heat and sparks of grinding and cutting tasks. The VersaCut has a cast metal guard and a stamped steel foot. Stamped steel is more durable than cast metal.
The VersaCut offers a 1-11/16” depth, compared to the 3/4″ of the Ultra-Saw. To be fair, Rockwell positions this tool as primarily for cutting 2-by dimensional stock, so a depth able to cut through in a single pass is required. Dremel, on the other hand, positions its saw as fulfilling a wider array of jobs, with a particular focus on working with metal.
Just a thought amid the competition: if you never work with lumber thicker than 2-by dimensional stock and don’t tackle major building projects, you can get by with the VersaCut as your primary saw.
Rockwell opted to use a 3/8” arbor, which is compatible with a larger range of third-party blades compared to the unique-sized arbor of the Dremel saw. Using a standard-sized arbor allows you to choose from a wider variety of blades regarding price, quality, and cutting ability.
Our recommendation in this competition, the VersaCut RK3441K, brings you:
Battered, but undaunted, the Ultra-Saw offers the following:
Comments from users of both tools reflect strong positive and negative reactions to both tools. In several areas, there is common ground, especially on the positive side of the equation. When it comes to the good, both tools receive praise for:
Users these days are rarely shy about letting the world know of poor experiences. In fact, research has shown over the years that, when people are dissatisfied with a product or service, they will tell ten people. Compare that to one or, at most, two when they are happy.
For users reporting negative experiences, we will break it down between the two tools.
Let’s look at the winning formula for Rockwell’s VersaCut RK3441K:
When a tool brings this kind of muscle to the contest, it isn’t a contest at all. We recommend the VersaCut for the versatility to cut and shape practically any material likely to be encountered in the home or DIY, and for many professional jobs. Buy the Rockwell, and you will not be disappointed.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!