It doesn’t take very long for anyone interested in do-it-yourself woodworking jobs to realize that a portable circular saw is a must-have tool.
With a circular saw, you will be able to do your cutting job a lot faster with considerably less effort than ever before. And there is no better brand of circular saws to consider than Dremel.
Dremel Saw Max vs Ultra Saw, which is better? That’s right, you’ve got two great models from the same brand to choose from, if you’re really looking for the best of the best in circular saws.
I am going to pit the two models side by side, and find out once and for all, the model that stands out as the better option for your do-it-yourself projects.
- Main Differences Between Dremel Saw-Max vs Ultra-Saw
- Dremel Ultra Saw vs Saw Max Comparison
- How To Pick The Right Portable Circular Saw
- Dremel Saw Max vs Ultra Saw: Other Differences
- Final Thoughts
Main Differences Between Dremel Saw-Max vs Ultra-Saw
Both the Saw-Max and Ultra Saw are mini versions of the larger traditional circular saws, but the similarities end there. The main differences between the Dremel Saw-Max vs Ultra-Saw are:
- The Dremel Saw-Max has a 3-inch blade diameter, which is recommended for cutting thin sheets, whereas the Ultra-Saw has a 4-inch blade diameter for making deeper cuts.
- The Dremel Saw Max is driven by a 6-AMP motor, which can handle slightly less demanding cutting tasks, whereas the Ultra-Saw comes with a more powerful motor of 7.5-AMP suitable for more demanding jobs.
- On construction, the Dremel Saw-Max has more plastic components that can be a hindrance when cutting hard materials over a long time, whereas the Ultra-Saw is designed primarily with metal and is pretty durable.
The Dremel Saw-Max is a great tool for small cutting and finishing tasks that do not require a lot, but Dremel Ultra-Saw will be a better option when you need more power. For example, if you need to complete prep work on a large area faster, the Ultra Saw will be a perfect pick because the surface area of the blade is bigger, and the motor is more powerful than the Saw-Max.
We talk a little bit more about these differences further down on this article.
Dremel Ultra Saw vs Saw Max Comparison
|1. Dremel Ultra Saw||Check Current Price|
|2. Dremel Saw Max||Check Current Price|
1. Dremel Saw Max – Easiest Model to Use
The Dremel Saw Max is a good quality tool system that gives you the ability to make all your common cuts with confidence. It can easily cut through everyday materials, such as wood, plastic, drywall, plywood, and more.
- Powered by a 6-amp motor
- Rated speed of 17000 RPM
- 3” blade diameter and 3/4″ cut depth
- Adjustable depth control
- Clear line of sight and precision
- Two cutting wheel positions
The Saw Motor
The Dremel Saw Max is a popular handheld 3-inch circular saw running on a 6-AMP electric motor. With a no-load speed of 17,000 RPM (revolutions per minute), this saw is a powerhouse that will deliver more than you ask. We found the saw pretty strong and will rip through most of the materials you throw at it.
When you order the Saw Max, it comes with four blades, one for metal cutting, and another for wood cutting, and the last two for flush cutting and surface prepping, respectively.
The Cutting Depth Capability
When using the Max Saw, the maximum cutting depth is ¾ of an inch, which we found pretty okay for most cutting tasks. For example, most plywood and metal sheets rarely exceed ¼ of an inch. However, it is possible to make deeper cuts using the Max Saw. Simply flip the sheet material over and rip along the same line to rip boards up to 1-inch thick.
An Ergonomic Design
One of the most obvious things about the Dremel Saw Max is its unique design that feels natural when you are ripping materials with it. Although the saw is small, the handle is large enough, allowing you to work with one hand as you rip materials with the saw. Furthermore, you can also hold it using both hands for greater controllability. You can also add another handle near the front end, so that one hand grabs the main handle, while the other holds the removable handle.
Switch System and Controllability
One area where Dremel did a great job with the Saw Max is controllability. Like many ultra-modern power tools, the Saw Max comes with an easy to use activation switch and an additional one that you must always hold to keep the machine running. We liked the design because you only run the machine when cutting your materials.
Another awesome switch is the lock-on button that is positioned on the rear. The lock is an important safety feature that allows you to keep the blade locked when not in use, ensuring that it does not get activated accidentally. You will also like the positioning in the rear because it does not get on your way when working.
Light and Compact Construction
Because the Saw-Max is designed as a handheld tool, it is pretty compact and light. Weighing only 3.85 pounds, you can use the saw for a long time without getting fatigued. It also makes it easy to work on tight areas, which are difficult to reach when using other circular saws.
- Delivers super-fast cutting speed for a compact model
- Provides exceptional one-handed operation
- Guiding the blade manually is extremely easy
- Features a convenient trigger switch for added safety
- Two cutting wheel positions for straight, plunge, and flush cuts
- Non-standard saw blades wear out too fast
- It gets too hot when used continuously
The Dremel Saw Max is engineered to be a go-to tool for making all of your small-scale do-it-yourself cuts on a regular basis.
Overall Rating – 4.5
2. Dremel Ultra Saw – Expanded Versatility
The Dremel Ultra Saw is a 3-in-1 power tool that is engineered for rip cutting, flush cutting, plunge cutting, and surface prepping. This great tool is powered by a heavy-duty 7.5-amp motor to tackle the toughest applications.
- Powered by a 7.5-amp motor
- Rated speed of 13000 RPM
- Two cutting wheel positions
- 4” blade diameter and 3/4” cut depth
- Dust port for connecting a dust port adapter
- Metal front end / guard
A Powerful 7.5-AMP Motor
The Dremel Ultra Saw is a versatile hand tool designed with a powerful 7.5-AMP motor, which is an improvement of 1.5 AMP over the Saw-Max. Note that although the motor is more powerful, it has a lower top speed of 13,000 RPM, compared to Saw Max. However, this is a good thing because it means Ultra Saw delivers more torque, making it a great option for handling tougher cutting and finishing jobs.
As we mentioned earlier, the Ultra Saw is an improvement of the Saw-Max, and this improvement is partly evident in the ergonomic design. Although it is more advanced and powerful, it weighs only 4.62 pounds, which makes it lighter than the Saw-Max with about 2.13 pounds. This implies that you can work for a longer period without getting fatigued.
The weight of the Ultra Saw is pretty balanced, allowing you to work comfortably for better results. Particularly, you will notice that the motor is positioned near the front end, meaning that you will not need to put a lot of pressure to keep the saw in position when working.
If you have a lot of work or need greater control, especially when cutting straight lines, the saw also comes with an additional side handle. Simply snap it into position and hold it with one hand, while the other grabs the main handle. When we tried this, it felt pretty natural, allowing you to complete all the cutting tasks faster and professionally.
When it comes to cutting, Dremel engineers did excellently but ensuring you can easily adjust the blade for different tasks. Ultra Saw has two-wheel positions that allow you to easily make rip cuts, plunge cuts, flush cuts, and material removal.
The saw cuts a maximum depth of ¾ of an inch, which makes it a perfect option for cutting sheets of wood, metal, and ceramics. Note that although the Saw Max still has the same cutting capacity, the Ultra Saw is more powerful, meaning it can cut tough materials, such as metal, effectively.
When you purchase the Ultra Saw, it comes with multiple blades that allow you to use it straight away from the box. The blades in the box include 3-1/2 inch metal cutting blade, 4-inch flush cutting blade, 4-inch abrasive blade for surface prepping, and 4-inch carbide wood cutting blade.
All Metallic Construction
One of the primary reasons Dremel decided to create the Ultra Saw was that the Saw Max had limited durability. In the Saw Max, the shoe and the blade guard are made of plastic, which makes them get distorted easily after working over a long period. To address this, Saw Ultra has an all metallic construction, except a few sections. Particularly, the saw’s shoe and guard are metallic, and you will not need to worry about them melting after working over a long period.
Switches and Controls
To make controlling the saw easy and fun, the switches are all carefully positioned at different points. Like the Saw Max, the Ultra Saw comes with an activation switch that you must use to power or cut off the motor from power. To keep the saw running, it contains another larger switch that you must press continuously to keep the tool running.
Another crucial switch is the lock button, which is carefully tucked behind the tool, to help lock the blade when the saw is in power but not in use. Finally, the saw allows you to adjust the cut’s depth, making it easy to work on different projects.
- Three-in-one design offers extended versatility
- Powerful motor generates first cutting speed
- Two cutting wheel positions for added flexibility
- Adjustable depth guide improves control over cuts
- Provides a clear line of sight for greater precision
- Some models may come with a chipped soleplate
- Doesn’t come with a dust port adapter
The Dremel Ultra Saw was engineered for users who want more from a circular saw in terms of advanced features, superior versatility, unmatched performance, and long-lasting durability.
Overall Rating – 4.6
How To Pick The Right Portable Circular Saw
Here are the main things that you have to take into account when picking the right product:
There are two types of circular saws you will come across on the market with respect to the position of the motor: sidewinders and worm drives.
The motor armature on a sidewinder spins parallel to the blade arbor, and the motor is mounted off to the side.
By nature of the gear of a sidewinder, the motor is usually in line with the spinning saw blade. This automatically means the blade spins fast.
In this type of circular saw, the motor’s driveshaft is at right angle to the blade arbor. Worm drive gears transmit the power from the motor to the blade.
The worm drive design is one of the most powerful one in the circular saw family. It can rip through anything you throw at it.
The durability and high torque of the worm drive mechanism has earned this type of circular saw a bulletproof reputation among woodworkers.
The fact that the blade is mounted to the left side of the motor, makes the blade and the cut line more visible when you’re using the saw.
Like running a standard transmission engine in a low gear, the saw trades speed for power. With higher torque, the worm drive design can cut through thicker and harder materials.
The benefit of torque is the ability to keep the blade going through the hardest of materials, such as metal, without going dull too fast.
Cut Line Indicator and Blade Visibility
Another important consideration is the cut line indicator. This feature will help you line up the blade to the cut line, which is important when making precision cuts.
A great marker will precisely define both sides of your saw’s blade curve. This allows you to cut either to the left or right side of your line.
Blade Diameter and Depth of Cut
Circular saws are generally described by their size. For example, 3-inch, 4-inch, 7-inch and the like. This size represents the maximum blade diameter that the saw will accommodate.
Thus, a 4-inch saw will accept blades of a diameter up to and including 4 inches. This specific size is generally considered most desirable by most do-it-yourselfers.
Larger diameter circular saws that are more expensive are available, but they are intended for larger projects, such as construction.
The depth of cut is also related to the blade size or diameter of the blade. With each 1/2-inch of blade diameter, only 1/8-inch of cutting depth is gained.
So, it is important you know what thickness the saw will be able to cut, both at a 90° angle and 45° angles. Also, an adjustable depth control feature is a great asset.
Dremel Saw Max vs Ultra Saw: Other Differences
These two products are siblings, but one is an improvement of the other. Let’s find out which one of the two stands out as the better option for your do-it-yourself projects.
Here are the most important comparison factors:
Amperage of the Motor
A better representation of power when comparing Dremel Saw Max vs Ultra Saw is the amperage rating.
Amperage, as you may know, is the current produced by an electromotive force of one volt acting through a resistance of one ohm.
I compared the Saw Max to the Ultra Saw on the basis of amperage required at low and high speed. The Ultra Saw has a higher amperage, which means more cutting power.
Blade Diameter and Depth of Cut
The Dremel Saw Max has a blade diameter of 3 inches, while the Dremel Ultra Saw has a blade diameter of 4 inches.
The large blade size of the Ultra Saw allows you to use it with a blade guard without affecting the cutting capacity. Both saws have a depth of cut of 3/4-inch.
You should know that the larger blade diameter of the Ultra Saw will allow you to effectively make deep cuts compared to that of the Saw Max.
The Ultra Saw all-metal design makes it slightly heavier in weight at 6.75 pounds, while the Saw Max weighs 6.4 pounds.
The shoe and the guard of the Ultra Max are all metal, but the Saw Max has plastic guard and shoe. This clearly tells you that the Ultra Saw is the better option for cutting metal.
But you will clearly notice that the adjustable foot of the Saw Max is black in color and that of the Ultra Saw is silver in color. This distinction is important because it affects your visibility of the cut line.
Both the Saw Max and Ultra Saw can do straight, plunge, and flush cuts on the following materials: soft and hard wood, laminate flooring, composite, plywood, tile, plastic, PVC, drywall, and masonry.
But only the Dremel Ultra Saw can do surface prepping (metal, tile, masonry and concrete) in addition to plunge, straight, and flush cuts. This feature allows you to remove rust and corrosion from metal.
Kits & Accessories
You have various purchase options in terms of kits and accessories for each model.
Dremel Saw Max
The available purchase options for this model are:
- SM20-03: This tool kit contains the Dremel Saw Max, a wood and plastic blade, and a metal cutting blade.
- SM20-02: This tool kit includes the Dremel Saw Max, a hard carrying case, a blade guide, a vacuum suction accessory, a flush cut blade, a metal cutoff wheel, a tile blade, and a wood & plastic blade.
Dremel Ultra Saw
The available purchase options for this model are:
- US40-01: With this kit, you get the Dremel Ultra Saw, a diamond surface prepping grinding wheel, a flush wood cutting blade, a metal cutoff blade, a wood cutting blade, an auxiliary handle attachment, and a storage bag.
- US40-03: With this kit, you get the Dremel Ultra Saw, a masonry blade, a metal cutoff wheel, a wood flush cut blade, a wood cutting blade, an auxiliary handle attachment, and a storage bag.
Dremel Ultra-Saw wins hands down in this battle of miniature saws because it is, indeed, an improvement to the Saw-Max. The saw rocks next-generation features that make it deliver more than one would expect from a saw this small. Although Saw-Max delivers higher revolutions per minute (RPM) with just 6 AMP, which is pretty good for faster cutting, especially on soft materials, the Ultra Saw delivers more torque, which makes it a great option for both light and tougher cutting tasks.
But, as far as compact circular saws are concerned, the Saw Max is lighter, more compact and portable with an exceptional one-handed operation.
The Dremel Ultra Saw wins hands in the versatility of Dremel portable circular saws for do-it-yourself projects. But the inclusion of a dust port adapter of the Dremel Saw Max wins in ensuring a dust-free workspace.