The circular saw is one of the most common power tools in both the DIY and Professional’s power tool arsenal. So, what’s uncommon these days? It’s compact circular saws, such as Rockwell’s VersaCut, so we at GCLG present you one of the best Rockwell VersaCut reviews so that you can see why this tool is so handy.
I’ve used, and owned, numerous circular saws over the years, and for the most part they’ve always done the job. There have been a few times that my circular saw was just too big and clumsy for the job, so I’d bust out the saber saw, but not any longer. Nope, not with Rockwell’s VersaCuts available.
This small saw is compact enough to get into tight spots, but powerful enough to crosscut a 2 by 4. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Yep. So, let’s take a look at one of Rockwell’s VersaCuts, the RK3441K
About the Rockwell VersaCut RK3441K
As mentioned above, the RK3441K is a compact saw. It shares numerous features with other compact saws, but we feel that it’s definitely worth highlighting. Why? Read on and you’ll find out.
4 1/2” diameter blade – The small blade size allows for a smaller base plate, as well as making tighter internal cuts. It also allow for an overall smaller tool, which is great for those smaller projects, as well as benefiting workers with smaller hands and arm strength.
Small base plate – The small base plate allows for cutting in tighter spaces than a standard circular saw will allow.
5-amp motor – Although not as stout as most standard circular saws, the 5-amp motor still provides enough oomph to cut through 2 by 4’s.
No-load speed of 3,500 rpm – Other saws have a lower rpm, which means slower blade speeds, which means slower cutting.
Blade is on the left side – This may not seem like a big deal, unless you’ve had to lean over a circular saw to see how the blade is tracking. This is an awesome feature.
Dust collection port – Dust collection? Yep. This allows you to use it in an area that you wouldn’t normally, such as inside a house with carpet. The dust collector port also helps keep the shop cleaner.
Capable of making beveled cuts – Some compact saws do not allow for bevel cuts. The RK3341K’s bevel capabilities allows for making miter cuts in molding.
Max. depth of cut at 90 degrees: 1 11/16” – This saw is capable of cutting through a 2 by 4, which other saws cannot do. With that depth of cut it can also cut through two layers of 3/4” material, such as a double panel counter top.
Max. depth of cut at 45 degrees: 1 1/8” – You can easily make beveled cuts in ¾” thick stock, as well as 4/4 stock.
10′ power cord – No need to drag out an extension cord if you’re within 10′ of an outlet. A number of other saws have shorter cords, requiring an extension cord.
Rockwell RK33441K – In-depth review
Now that we’ve covered the features of the RK33441K, let’s take a more in depth look at this “Little Saw That Can.” I’m pretty sure that you’re going to be impressed.
The RK3441K can be purchased for easily around $100.00, so it’s easy on most any craftsman’s wallet. It’s awesome to get a quality tool for a good price. Who would argue with that?
A 5.0 amp motor powers the RK3341K. Okay, that’s not as much power as a standard circular saw, but this saw isn’t designed to compete with standard circular saws. Nope, this saw is in a field of its own and 5.0 amps does the job.
None included, as this saw uses 120 volts AC. You have to plug in, but with that, you’re never going to run out of juice. Well, unless you pop the breaker or forget to pay the power bill.
Of course, there are times when a cordless tool comes in handy. If you need to go cordless, then you’ll have to look for another option.
At 4 1/2” inches you’re not going to be cutting through 4 by 4’s, but you can still cut through 2 by 4’s. Being smaller than the usual 7 1/4” circular saw blade, the 4 1/2” blade is thinner, thus providing a thinner kerf and using less power. That’s why the 5.0 amp motor works so well.
The shoe, or base, is made from stamped steal. The base is set for depth of cut using a locking lever to loosen and lock the base. The angle of cut adjustment is made by loosening the bevel adjusting lever, then tilting the saw to the desired angle. The maximum angle of cut is 45 degrees. The depth of cut is quite impressive at 1 11/16” at 90 degrees and 1 1/8” at 45 degrees.
Of course, it won’t cut as deep as a standard circular saw will, but if you need the deeper cuts, grab the other saw.
Most modern day power tools are made primarily of polymer casings and metal structures. The Rockwell RK3441K also utilizes this construction format. Polymer parts help keep the weight down, without sacrificing quality.
Both the fixed and retractable blade guards are made from cast aluminum. The retractable guard does so automatically when advancing into a cut, but also has a lever to lift it for plunge cuts and changing the blade.
Most standard circular saws use a perpendicular motor. The RK3441K uses an inline motor that is part of the handle. This allows for a narrow saw and puts the motor weight in the user’s hand, instead of cantilevered out from the user’s grip. This is much easier on the wrist and provides for less fatigue inducing work.
Some users have reported that the switches are hard to reach, but using two hands makes it all doable.
Ease of Use
Being lighter than conventional circular saws, the RK3441K is easy on the hands and arms. With the blade on the left side the user can easily sight where the blade is cutting, without having to look over the saw. This makes for more accurate cuts.
The RK3441K is a stout saw and will hold up well for many hours of use. Rockwell knows so, as they have a 3-year warranty on the saw. That’s pretty darn good these days.
The RK3441K features a built in dust collector port, allowing for keeping things neat when cutting in a finished house, or in your shop. There’s not many saws that offer this feature.
Although many saws now have an LED alignment light, the RK3341K does not. I’ve never used a tool with the LED light, so I don’t miss it.
Using the RK3441K
Who should use the RK3441K? – This is an easy question to answer; anybody who wants to cut wood, metal, plastic, and tile should use the RK3441K.
Really, this saw is for the novice, the experienced, the craftsman, the DIY’er, and the crafter. The left hand blade and the light weight make it easy to use.
Uses for the RK3441K
This small saw can do a bunch. Mount the carbide tipped wood blade and cut hardwoods, softwoods, medium density fiber board, ply-wood, siding, molding, and on and on.
Mount a fine tooth metal cutting blade and cut both metals and plastics. Mount the tile blade and cut tiles. It’s your choice.
The RK3441K is also capable of making plunge cuts, same as a standard circular saw.
Remember, you’re not limited to perpendicular cuts with the RK3441K. Nope, you can set it to cut at a bevel, too; anywhere from 90 degrees to 45 degrees.
Motor and Blade Location Makes for Ease of Use
Most circular saws use a motor that is perpendicular to the blade, directly driving it. This makes the saw wide, with the motor projecting out in the way of some guides and clamps.
The RK3441K’s inline design makes for a narrow width allowing the saw to slide past clamps and other obstructions when cutting. The motor is housing is the handle, putting the weight within the user’s grasp.
The RK3341K’s blade is mounted on the lift, which allows for ease in aligning your cuts, and in keeping the blade in alignment with your cut line. All without having to look over the saw.
Toss in a Tool Bag and Go
Being a compact saw, the RK3341K is easy to haul around. Toss it in a tool bag and get going. It won’t take up much room and is light enough to easily haul it where you need to work.
For the Budget Minded?
Not necessarily so, but the cost sure puts the RK3341K within reach of most everybody. You can spend more money, but you don’t have to with all that this saw can do.
Pros and Cons
Everything has its ups and downs and the RD3341K is no exception. You’ll notice that the pros well outweigh the cons. Even with that, the cons aren’t that severe.
- Compact in size means for light weight and cutting in tight locations
- Will cut through 2 by 4’s
- Can make bevel cuts
- Powerful motor for its size, 5.0 amp, 120 volt
- Dust collector port
- Can cut wood, plastic, metal, tile, and other materials, depending upon blade choice
- Blade is on left side allowing for easy viewing of cuts
- Grip has enough girth that small hands might not easily grip it
- No LED cut alignment light
- Not storage/carry case
Stacking the RK3341K up against competition
Rockwell’s RK3341K is not the only compact circular saw out there. There’s actually a handful, including the RK3340K VersaCut. So, how does it compare to other saws? Let’s take a look.
The RK3340K has less amperage then the RK3341K and cannot bevel. The depth of cut is also less than that of the RK3341K. The RK3340K does have an LED cut alignment light. The RK3340K also has a retractable blade, instead of a retractable blade guard. The RK3340K costs more than the RK3341K.
Dremel US40 Ultra Saw
The Dremel US40 has more amperage than the RK3341K, at 7.5 amps, with a maximum rpm of 13,000. The increased power and rpm could provide for faster cuts than the RK3341K, not not necessarily so. Blades have a lot to do with cuts.
The US40 uses 4” diameter blades instead of the 4 1/2” that the RK3341K uses. The smaller blade results in less depth of cut than the RK33411K. The RK3341K is a fair amount less expensive than the Dremel US40.
4-1/2″ WORXSAW COMPACT CIRCULAR SAW
In a nutshell, the Worxsaw is almost a clone of the RK3341K. Key word is ALMOST. The big difference is the 4.0 motor of the Worxsaw and the 5.0 motor of the RK3341K. Other than that, everything is pretty much the same. Oh, wait. Worx is not as recognized a name as Rockwell. I guess that’s why the Worxsaw is less expensive. If I was really tight on cash I’d go for the Worxsaw, but if not, it would be the Rockwell RK3314K.
Makita 12V max Lithium-Ion Cordless 3-3/8″ Circular Saw
The Makita 12V is a 12 Volt cordless compact saw. It’s hard to compare 12v motors with 120v motors, but we can compare blade size. The Makita uses a 3 3/8” blade, where the RK3341K uses a 4 1/2” blade. The Makita also has a speed of 1400 rpm. That’s almost half of the RK3341K. That could mean slower cutting speeds. If you’re looking for cordless, small saw capabilities then the Makita would be a good choice, but the RK33411K offers a fair amount for the money. The Makita saw, alone, is almost $100.00 and you have to buy a battery.
Wrapping it up
There you have it. The low down on Rockwell’s VersaCut RK3341K compact circular saw. It may not be big and powerful, but it’s a great tool for your tool collection. Really, how many saws can cut in such tight locations, in wood, metal, tile, and plastic? I don’t know of many.
Final verdict: If you spend the bucks on Rockwell’s “Little Saw that Can, “ then you’ll be spending money wisely.
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