Hychika Mini Circular Saw Review (2024)

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When I was first informed that I would be receiving a Hychika mini circular saw, I was skeptical, to say the least. Honestly, I thought it was something for the wife to use in making crafts projects. 

I was in the construction industry a few decades ago and our attitude was “the bigger the better” when it came to circular saws. A “normal” 7-1/4” circular saw just didn’t stand up to the worm drive saws that some of the guys had.

In this article, I’ll discuss my experience with the Hychika Mini Circular Saw and how it fared in the workshop.

First Impressions

As I said, I initially thought that this mini circular saw would be better suited for crafts projects. Interestingly enough, both my wife and my mother said the same thing.

But then I had to take a step back and think about it. Hychika’s marketing isn’t focused on women who do arts and crafts projects. They’re marketing the saw as a serious tool, for serious DIY and professional use. Therefore, that’s the way I needed to think of it.

It took some doing to get my head around that idea, but once I did, I realized that there are a lot of places where the full depth of cut that a 7-1/4” circular saw isn’t needed. Granted, you couldn’t use the Hychika saw for framing a home, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot of other places it can be used.

Not only did I see a lot of other places where a smaller circular saw could be used; but once I worked with the saw a little, I came to realize that it was easier using the mini circular saw in many of those applications than using a full-sized circular saw. 

Cutting anything overhead with a full-sized circular saw is just plain dangerous; doing it with the Hychika is much, much safer.

The Saw Itself

The Hychika Mini Circular Saw itself weighs in at 4 lbs. 4 oz., which is about a third of the weight of my full-sized circular saw. That’s important when it comes to what is known in the industry as “operator fatigue.” Not only does the lighter weight help reduce fatigue, but it also makes it much easier to maneuver the saw, allowing for greater accuracy of cuts, especially in difficult-to-reach places.

It uses a 3-3/8” circular saw blade, giving it a maximum depth of cut of 25mm, or about an inch. That’s clearly not enough to cut through 2 x 4s, but it is enough to cut through ¾” plywood, PVC plumbing pipe, electrical conduit, tile, and a host of other building materials.

Cutting depth is built into the saw, with a clear, easy-to-see depth gauge, marked in centimeters. A flip-up lock allows adjustment of the depth of cut, which is really adjusting how far the blade guard and shoe move and how much of the saw blade they leave exposed to cut. Changing the depth of cut is quick and easy, allowing work to continue unimpeded.

Safety was obviously a major factor in the design of this saw. The blade guard fully encapsulates the blade and only moves when a trigger is pushed. That trigger, along with pressure on the saw’s foot, allows the saw to swivel up towards the vertical, exposing the blade at the point of cut. 

The trigger to start the motor is separate from this first trigger, mounted on the bottom of the “barrel” of the saw (the motor housing). It is designed with retainers for two fingers, reducing the risk of a finger slipping off the trigger. When the saw rotates up to the cutting position, the body is at about 30 degrees, making it ergonomic.

I will have to say that it takes a bit to get used to this rotating action to expose the saw blade. It is easier to handle if the workpiece is lower down, closer to the ground, like on sawhorses

I had it up on blocks, on top of my workbench. That gave my arm a poor angle for collapsing the shoe and exposing the blade. I was able to do it, but it would take me some time to become accustomed to that action.

The other thing I have to mention is that there are two slot tracks on the shoe with pins going through them. Putting a drop of oil in those tracks allows the movement of the saw from idle to cutting position to go much smoother.

Other than the two triggers and the depth of cut adjustment, the saw has a brake lock for changing the blade. With this lock, changing blades is easily accomplished with the Allen wrench that comes with the kit.

Overall, the saw is ruggedly made, with a heavy rubber overlay, giving a good grip during use. The shoe is stamped steel; but is heavy-gauge. Short of dropping it on concrete, where the saw lands on the corner of the shoe, I don’t see any way that the shoe could become bent or damaged in use, even when cutting difficult materials.

What’s in the Kit?

In addition to the saw itself, the kit comes with a total of three blades, one of which is installed in the saw. There’s also a fence for rip-cutting strips off of a piece of plywood, and the aforementioned Allen wrench. The entire package comes in a soft carry case, making it easy to take to a remote location for use.

The fence and its attachment to the saw shoe are well-designed and easy to use. Slots are provided on both sides of the shoe, allowing the fence to be used on either side of the saw. The guide is graduated, marked in centimeters, and is retained in the shoe with a simple, but effective thumbscrew.

Testing the Saw

The overall look, feel, and construction of the Hychika Mini Circular Saw gave me a favorable impression. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, or in this case, the proof of the saw is in the cutting. Hychika claims that this saw can be used on wood, plastic, metal, and even ceramic tile. 

They provide three separate blades, marked for the materials they are intended to be used on.

Since it is clear that the saw couldn’t cut through a 2 x 4, the first thing I tried cutting was a 2 x 6. I wasn’t expecting the saw to cut through it, but I wanted to see if it would bog down going through the wood. It didn’t. It cut rather cleanly, with only a slight reduction in blade speed.

As I think of the saw more as a plywood saw, than a 2 x 4 saw, I next tried making a 36” long cut in ¾” plywood. As plywood is harder to cut through than plain dimensional lumber, due to the rosin adhesive used to bond the layers of veneer together, I was curious to see if it would bog down. 

I attached the fence, setting it for a 2 cm cut. Other than my fingers slipping on the trigger, the saw did not bog down at all. The lighter weight made it easy to hold the fence up against the side of the plywood, making for a very clean and straight cut.

I then changed blades, putting in the high-speed steel blade to cut metal. Here I encountered a minor problem, as I didn’t realize at first that the retaining screw for the blade is reverse-threaded. You can forget “righty-tighty” on this saw; because it’s really lefty-tighty. 

Once I realized my error, blade change was extremely easy. The design of the saw allows the shoe to sit on the workbench while removing the old blade or tightening the new one. There’s no balancing act, like with larger circular saws and the blade lock makes it easy to loosen and tighten.

With the high-speed steel blade, I cut through both a 1” aluminum angle and a 2” aluminum tube with about a 3/32” wall. In both cases, the saw cut cleanly and easily. The edges would have to be deburred, but that’s to be expected.

Finally, I switched blades again, putting in the diamond one. With that, I cut through a ¼” thick 12” square floor tile, again using the fence. I have to admit that I was skeptical about this one, as the saw really isn’t a tile saw. 

There is no water being pumped onto the blade to keep it cool. Nevertheless, I was surprised how quickly the saw cut through the tile, without any problem whatsoever.

Conclusion

I was very favorably impressed with the Hychika Mini Circular Saw; allowing it to gain a permanent place in my workshop. The light weight and ease of maneuverability make it the best choice for anything which is located overhead or in any place that is hard to get to. The limitations of the smaller blade are more than overcome by its versatility.

While I doubt it will replace other tools that are already in my shop; I can see this saw being extremely useful for remodeling and repair jobs elsewhere in the house or at other people’s homes. The carrying case makes it easy to take with me for those repair jobs, something that has value all its own.

There is some learning curve involved in using the saw because the action of exposing the blade and starting the cut is not the same as for larger circular saws. But I don’t see that as a big problem. I had to learn how to use my 7-1/4” circular saw at one time, I’m sure that I will quickly become accustomed to working with this one too.

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Rich is a second-generation woodworker, having grown up in his dad’s workshop, “making sawdust.” Fifty years later, he’s still studying and working on improving his own woodworking skills, while also helping new woodworkers “catch the bug” for the smell of fresh sawdust. While Rich has done some custom woodworking projects, his greatest thrill is helping the next generation of woodworkers along, regardless of their age. His background as an engineer and a writer just adds to his ability to teach his true passion, woodworking.

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