Rockwell offers a pair of alternatives to the full-size circular saw in their VersaCut RK3340K and Compact Circular RK3441K saws. Don’t consider either as a replacement for larger circular saws. Instead, view them as specialty tools for situations where the size of the traditional circular saw makes it difficult or impossible to use.
Each saw has a particular niche. The VersaCut RK3440K is an ideal go-to saw for quick projects, working with thin stock, and working on installed material. The Compact Circular RK3441K is well suited for cutting stock that is thicker than the VersaCut can handle and where beveling the material is part of the job.
Users will naturally gravitate to the saw that best suits their needs and complements their existing toolkit. For users with light duty, around-the-house tasks, the VersaCut may be the best choice. For users who routinely tackle projects involving stock 2” thick and up, the Compact Circular will serve them better. Aside from a few features and stock cutting capabilities, either saw is a good choice.
Let’s see who wins in a little side-by-side competition between these two saws.
Both saws generate a no-load speed of 3500 RPM. The Compact Circular saw’s five amps is a nod towards its intended use on 2” thick stock. The 4-amp motor in the VersaCut is no slouch, providing more than enough muscle to handle a wide range of materials. Both saws use blades significantly thinner than those of a standard circular saw so that they can get by with a comparatively less powerful motor.
If you are a user who tackles projects involving bevels on a regular basis, the Compact Circular is the better choice. The VersaCut does not have that capability, so there’s no contest for this point.
Rockwell outfits purchasers of their VersaCut quite nicely, thank you. The saw comes with three blades (grit for tile, carbide tipped for metal/wood, and HSS for wood), two hex wrenches, an edge guide, and a contractor carrying bag. Contrast this with the rather barebones Compact Circular that comes with a single carbide-tipped blade for wood, an edge guide, and a hex wrench.
This may be a bit of an unfair comparison, but it is clear Rockwell encourages users to tackle tile, metal, and wood with the VersaCut. They also make it a point to focus the use of the Compact Circular on wood. The VersaCut only earns a 1/2 point in this category because Rockwell sells blades for the Compact Circular for cutting tile and metal. They just don’t promote the capability in the same way.
Both the VersaCut and the Compact Circular saws feature rugged builds. They are quite similar in appearance and handling, and both use durable materials to provide for a long-lasting tool. The fit and finish also reflect an attention to detail you might not expect to see in tools at this price point.
Now that the family bickering is out of the way, what are some specific plusses and minuses of the VersaCut?
Next up, we’ll take a look and the good and bad aspects of the Compact Circular.
Where do users of each saw stand when commenting on what they like, and dislike, about their selection?
Users frequently comment on the ease of using both saws. They handle well because of their light weight and perform consistently and reliably. Users also routinely praise the quality of their saws. There is an oft-reported issue with the Compact Circular that we cover in the in the “negativity” section below. Users with less demanding projects love their VersaCut and users who tackle dimensional stock love that they can leave their full size saw behind.
On the negative side, users comment that the thinness of the blades for both saws can lead to inaccurate cuts as the blades heat up in use and “wander.” Some users report dislike for the force needed to use the plunge cut feature of the VersaCut. Concerning the Compact Circular, the bolt that secures the blade to the arbor scan shear off, creating a potential safety hazard. It’s not only unsafe, but it’s also very unsettling. And the last negative comment users often raise is the difficulty seeing the blade when using the VersaCut, impacting accuracy.
Let’s recap the game and see who comes out on top. The VersaCut RK3440K is agile and versatile, maneuvers quickly, and is fully equipped to tackle metal, tile, and wood. This little saw is perfect for homeowners with limited space and constrained tool funding who want as much flexibility as possible from a single tool. The Compact Circular RK3441K is beefier and able to tackle the type of building materials users facing complicated projects need to cut. It the job is all about 2-by dimensional lumber, this saw makes short work of it.
So, here it is:
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!