Rockwell RK3440K vs RK3441K: Compact Circular Saw Comparison
The compact circular saw is a must-have power tool that every serious construction worker hangs on his or her belt. This tool is the perfect substitution for a traditional circular saw that can’t fit in tight spaces. Or perhaps you need a reliable cutting tool but just aren’t ready to spend a sizable chunk of your savings on a circular saw. The compact version can be maneuvered with one hand and provides enough cutting power for light- and medium-duty tasks.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at two of Rockwell’s most popular compact circular saw models – the RK3440K and the RK3441K Compact Circular Saw. There are hardly any shared specs between the two models so customers need to invest time in researching which of them would better suit their needs. To help with your research, scroll down and read our comparison of these two Rockwell compact circular saw models. Let’s get to it.
Motor and Blade
The motor of a compact circular saw determines how quickly the blade spins, though the size of the blade also plays a role in total RPM. The RK3440K features a 4.0 amp blade which spins the 3-3/8-inch blade at speeds of up to 3,500 RPM. Depending on what sort of project you’re attempting at home, you might not need a bigger blade, but for the most part, bigger blades offer more versatility.
This compact circular saw sports a 5.0 amp motor that, similar to the RK3440K, delivers up to 3,500 RPM. However, the blade that fits into this unit is a larger 4-1/2-inch blade that offers deeper cuts. Due to the larger circumference of the blade, it requires a more powerful motor to operate at adequate, clean-cutting speeds.
Conclusion: The most important thing to take away from this is the size of the blade since they both operate at speeds of up to 3,500 RPM. Typically, you don’t want to pay for unused potential, and depending on how deep of a cut you need (more on this later), the RK3440K might be the perfect compact circular saw for you. However, if you need to work with thicker pieces of wood, then the RK3441K would be the better option since it can do what the RK3440K can do and more.
Cut Depths and Bevel
For obvious reasons, how deep the mini circular saw cuts is an important point to take into account. If you work with thick pieces of wood, a larger blade with deep-cutting capabilities is preferable, though you can simply turn the wood board over (if possible) to finish cuts. The RK3440K is limited to only up to 1-1/16-inch deep cuts which, for the most part, is sufficient for a number of home DIY projects. However, this unit doesn’t come with a beveling mechanism so you’re stuck with cutting at straight 90° angles.
Due to the larger blade, the RK3441K can cut as deep as 1-11/16 inches, though you’re free to adjust the blade to deliver cuts more shallow than that. This means you can cut through 2×4 boards with a single sweep. Unlike the other model, the blade of this one can bevel up to 45° and cut as deep as 1-1/8 inches.
Conclusion: The clear winner here is the RK3441K. The deeper-cutting capacity coupled with the beveling mechanism makes this unit the better choice. You might not feel the need to make beveled cuts with a mini circular saw, but when the need arises, you won’t need to hold the unit at an awkward angle, nor will you have to take the board to a miter saw (limited to 45°).
Compact circular saws are designed to be operated with a single hand so it’s important to find a model that’s lightweight or at least comfortable to handle without causing fatigue or cramping in the wrist. The RK3440K is a perfect example of a lightweight mini circular saw – it weighs in at only 4 pounds so in the odd chance you’re working overhead, you won’t have any trouble lifting it above eye-level.
The larger motor and blade size add an additional pound to the unit’s overall weight, making it 5 pounds in total. However, we personally feel despite it weighing 25% more than the RK3440K, it comes with a more generous power-to-weight ratio. In addition, a 5-pound power tool shouldn’t cause you to strain your back or pull a muscle when using, even at or above eye-level.
Conclusion: Between the two Rockwell models, weight-wise, we prefer the RK3441K. The tradeoff of extra poundage for a more powerful motor, bigger blade, and beveling mechanism is definitely worth it. Even with that, it’s still an extremely lightweight circular saw, and the extra weight does nothing significant to hamper its portability and maneuverability.
Recently, laser guides are being built into a wide range of power tools, including mini circular saws. The RK3440K features a laser guide which, we found, offers an extremely accurate guide for making straight cuts. However, in our experience, it’s not wise to rely 100% on the laser guide so making measuring at least twice before cutting is still needed for complete precision.
Unfortunately, the RK3441K doesn’t come with a laser guide. This is a shame since this model was released more recently than the RK3440K.
Conclusion: The RK3440K wins by default since the RK3441K doesn’t come with a built-in laser to guide straight cuts. However, it’s not the end of the world without one, and users from the caveman days have been going through life without lasers to guide them. With that out of the way, we commend the RK3440K for featuring a laser guide – it makes life a little bit easier.
Rockwell RK3440K vs RK3441K: Bottom Line
Between the two models, in our humble opinion, we would choose the RK3441K every time. The logic is simple: it does everything the RK3440K can do and more. Although it doesn’t come with a laser guide to help guide users with cutting straight, we feel that users hardly every put 100% reliance on the lasers and end up manually measuring and making marks before putting a blade to the board.
In addition, the RK3441K is a much more versatile tool, thanks to its bigger blades which produce deeper cuts, lightweight build, and beveling mechanism so you don’t need to run to your miter saw to make beveled cuts. Between these two models, you can’t go wrong with the RK3441K.