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What’s bigger than the Skil Multi-Cutter but smaller than a trim circular saw? If you answered the Craftsman Mini Circular Saw, well, you’re right. But Dremel now offers their own take on the tool, which looks like the 9-months-later result of a steamy night between the Craftsman and Skil. Lacking the Craftsman’s huge fence and chunky guard, the Dremel still looks a lot more versatile than the Skil.

On the surface, the Craftsman and the Dremel look pretty similar. But take a look at the specs and they diverge. Note, for example, that the Dremel spins at a whopping 17,000 RPM compared to the Craftsman’s 2,800. Really, the Dremel’s more like a, well, Dremel rotary tool with the blade mounted sideways and a fence on it than like a circ saw. You can really see the difference when you look at the accessories. The Dremel includes small abrasive (or soft-toothed) “blades,” whereas the Craftsman offers what appear to be miniaturized circ saw blades, offered in only two formats: wood and metal.

In the end, the comparison breaks down and it’s pretty clear that these are three entirely different tools, despite their shared-purpose heritage. The Skil seems destined for heavy-duty box cutting (and cutting open f*&$ing clamshell packaging). The Craftsman looks to me like the world’s smallest trim saw. And the Dremel is perfect for those situations you’d normally attack with your rotary tool, but for which you wish you had a fence.

Price-wise, they differ a lot, too. The Skil checks in at $50, while you’ll generally pay around $100 for the Craftsman and about $120 for the Dremel. Is it worth $120 for the sideways mount, guard, and accessories?

Saw-Max [Dremel]
Saw-Max Street Pricing [Google]
Saw-Max Via Amazon [What’s This?]
Craftsman Mini-Circ Saw [Sears]
Multi-Cutter [Skil]
Multi-Cutter Street Pricing [Google]
Multi-Cutter Via Amazon [What’s This?]


5 Responses to Dremel’s Mid-Sized Micro Circ

  1. jesse says:

    I haven’t checked out the other two, but I do like the Dremel Saw-Max: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDJVLNxwtXE

  2. browndog77 says:

    I have the Craftsman, and while it is pretty handy for close-quarter cutting, it can be tricky to work with. Partly because of the weird guard/shoe setup, but mostly because of its surprising torque, you need to be very careful with this tool.(not that you aren’t careful to begin with, but this thing is deceivingly powerful) Think of a corded 1/2″ holehawg binding while in use, but with a high-speed blade attached!
    ps: If the Dremel spins that fast, I hope they discourage the use of carbide blades.

  3. craig says:

    the skil is not so good on blister packs…blade dulls.

    however i use it a lot for light and mid-weight leather, canvas, sheet vinyls, etc.. not so much for light fabrics, if the blade isn’t totally sharp the cloth bunches and you end up with a real mess.

    i use shears for small jobs but this thing is great for “production” work or really large items.

  4. just me says:

    I looked at all the saws, actually purchased the Rockwell but sent it back after seeing how it worked (it also had a defect). I just purchased the Dremel becuase in the end with the baldes it offered and everything it could do it seemed to be the value in the market.

  5. DW says:

    I have a Saw Max. In the weeks I have had it I have used a bit. Cutting plastic mostly but I cut some 1/2 inch plywood. So far so good. I would recommend it. I don’t have a comparison to the other saws though…

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