The Rockwell RK 3441K is obviously much different than the DeWalt above it in our guide, and obviously it’s different than many power circular saws.
This Rockwell is obviously a trim saw, and we think it’s one of the best ones if not the best one you can buy. When it comes to a trim saw, you’re looking for a small sized tool you can use to make quick and short cuts to things like (surprise!) trim pieces and edges. The Rockwell has a smaller and thinner blade as compared to the standard 7-and-a-quarter units, which is good obviously as it helps to keep the weight down. Luckily both the quality of the blade is high and the engine in the Rockwell is pretty powerful, so you don’t lose a lot of performance. The Rockwell literature claims that their miniature unit still has full-size circular saw performance and cutting speeds. While we wouldn’t go THAT far with the performance claims, it’s still a great tool and our favorite small saw. If you need to make quick and easy cuts, you could do worse than picking this tool.
Brand and Model History
Rockwell saws are part of Rockwell Tools, a company owned by a Chinese conglomerate called Positec. They work out of Charlotte, NC and make a full variety of gear. The funny thing is you’ve probably used Rockwell or Positec tools before…just under different names. Positec did all the R&D and built a lot of tools for brands like Black & Decker/DeWalt, and Rockwell is basically that company making those same tools for themselves to sell. The Positec/Rockwell a lot of credibility; if anything, we’d rather buy tools from the actual maker, vs. buying tools from a company who licenses their name to put on tools made by another company. The less middlemen, the better in our opinion.
- Small size makes it much easier to handle on long jobs than your standard-sized saw. This is pretty self-explanatory I guess, but it bears repeating; if you’re cutting baseboards and small trim pieces all day, there’s no need for a full sized circular saw. There’s another reason for this type of saw being so popular; most people don’t need the ability to cut large pieces of plywood or 2x4s all the time…but they need or want a saw around the house just to cut things. Depending on the blade used, this little wonder can actually handle a lot of jobs. People online seem to have stories about using this saw to cut things like PVC, metal, plastic, and wood. It also helps that it’s a smaller device if you aren’t the largest person in the world in terms of physical size. A smaller tool can be used by more people and is easier to handle.
- Thin but high quality blade. A lot of smaller saws kind of scrimp out on the quality of blade shipped with the tool. If you have a high-quality saw and a low-quality blade in place…something’s going to give. I don’t want to be behind you or in front of you when that ”thing” decides to give out. Basically, this blade is beefy and safe, which we like.
- Easy flip-lock mechanism on the side of the tool makes it a snap to adjust the blade. You know a design is good when you don’t really have to explain it to figure out how it works.
All people have to do is look at the flip-lock with its corresponding measurements right on the side and they figure it out. It’s simple and safe and works well; not a whole lot more really needs to be said here.
- Depth adjustments aren’t tough to do like on some trim saws. Lots of saws require reading the manual, unfolding a small ”map” of words in the box and going through it for a half hour or so just to adjust the device. Not in this case. Everything’s provided and all the knobs and holes are there for a reason and make sense.
- Plenty of power. Even after a lot of work this saw doesn’t really make you want more juice…even when compared to most standard size circular saws.
- 3 year warranty. Yes. For a company making tools in China, this is a serious plus. In the 80s, Japanese cars were considered inferior. So Honda offered an extended warranty, and built their cars to an almost-legendary reliability standard. In the 2000s, Hyundai did the same with Korean cars. Now Rockwell is doing this with their Chinese tools. No matter the country of origin or product, when a company throws a decent warranty into the deal of buying a product, it’s never a bad thing.
- Some reports of the blade bolt or blade breaking prematurely. This would be a bigger negative to us if we didn’t just go through all the positives of having an ironclad warranty. Literally, this would have pushed the Rockwell at least halfway down the list. But also with closer inspection, these problems seem to only be experienced by a small amount of users. We do recommend you check out the reviews online, and specifically if you buy this tool check out the blade and blade bolt when you take the tool home and start using it from the get-go.
- Some users have issues with the ergonomics of the handle and grip of the tool.
Basically this is something you’re going to have to see for yourself. So get yourself down to a Home Depot or Lowe’s and put your hands on the tools. Or know at least that if you buy via Amazon or online that you have a return window available for you if the handles and buttons just don’t fit your workflow. Again, we like that the company comes with a strong warranty here. It makes a lot of these judgement calls easier to make.
Do you need a smaller saw? If so, this one will probably be good for you. A lot of people buy this because they don’t really have a need to cut 1000s of 2x4s every week, but they want a saw around the house or in the garage for occasional use.
This is sort of like owning a small car for occasional use instead of, say, a Suburban or a Range Rover. It makes to have something small for occasional use.
Knowing that this ”small saw” isn’t low-quality at all helps. Guys who build staircases, fireplaces, railings, furniture, and trim swear by these smaller tools, and if you’re grabbing this to add to your arsenal on the jobsite you could do a lot worse. This is a big saw in a small package, and it’s warranty and reasonable price add to the total package.