Trim Saw vs Circular Saw
What is a Trim Saw?
Let’s start with the trim saw. Sometimes you will notice circular saws advertised as trim saws, which is understandably confusing, especially for beginners. A trim saw vs a circular saw is essentially the same thing, with one main difference — the trim saw is smaller and lighter.
Okay, so the trim saw is a small circular saw. Our testers have taken the next step to determine which materials the trim saw is effective against. In general, our professionals found the trim saw is best for trimming and not for directly cutting wood pieces down to size.
Also since they are much lighter, trim saws are much easier to maneuver around materials, making them excellent cordless models. Aside from trim work, trim saws are great for rip cuts on thin sheets of material, molding, paneling, and any job a circular saw is too big to carry out.
We know by now that one of the biggest advantages of the circular saw vs trim saw is the size. Being more lightweight and portable, trim saws are an excellent option for small but long jobs.
Another advantage our professional team appreciated was the price difference. When looking at trim saws vs circular saws, trim saws are the clear winner. They cost less than 100, including some of the high-quality options from more expensive brands. Not to mention, the smaller body also gives a more accurate route.
Since the trim saw is smaller than the circular saw, it also allows for a more steady hand and can support one-handed operation. Then there is the application fatigue that would come from a larger option but not from the smaller trim saw.
What is a Circular Saw
A circular saw such as the Rockwell Versacut is the one you would pick to cut wood pieces  down to size and for bigger jobs such as framing. Cordless circular saw units are also great for portability if you need the power. Our team members would recommend choosing the circular saw over the trim saw if you need a bigger cut.
Our professional testers would pick the circular saw as the more versatile power tool. It can make cross cuts, rip cuts, bevel cuts and more. You can essentially use a circular saw for everything if you just need straight lines for the most part. Experts with a steady hand can manage smaller tasks with a circular saw, but there are still advantages to adding a smaller version to your shop.
Full-sized circular saws vs trim saws have the advantage of power over their smaller counterparts, but with this you also see a faster battery drain on cordless options.
Differences Between the Two
Size and Weight
Like our professional team members mentioned, the size and weight are the major discrepancies between the trim saw vs circular saw. The trim saw is the smaller model and lighter in weight as well. The smaller tool with blades under 5-½ inches can cut thinner wood pieces such as rigid plywood and fit into smaller spaces to give a more intricate cut.
The full-sized circular saws have blades 6-inches and over and are the best tools for cutting large wood pieces down to size and handling thicker material that require a deeper cut. Circular saws are also compared to skilsaws in terms of deep cut capability.
Larger units are usually more powerful, and this rings true for the trim saw vs circular saw. The bigger circular saws possess more power, even in their corded models, but cordless circular saws will see a drain in battery life much faster.
Our team of testers say this is also why most circular saws have a cord and motor rather than a battery pack. On the other hand, it’s also the reason why the smaller trim saws can run without a motor and function fully on battery power, thanks to their smaller size.
The blades you see on both trim saws and circular saws are the same, with the only difference being the diameter inch. A trim saw features blades under 5 inches and circular saws blades have larger ones of 6 inches and over, suited for cutting larger material.
The trim saw is only recommended for smaller tasks such as trims. For long straight-line applications, our woodworking team suggests circular saws. The quality of the cut, the accuracy and the finish will be better than any trim saw on the market can produce.
Which is Better For You?
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