Dremel Saw Max vs Ultra Saw [Comparison]
As a DIY nut, I consider only several brands to be ‘a must’ to have around. One of them is Dremel due to the consistent quality tools they come up with.
Sure – usually when people think Dremel, it’s all about their rotary gadgets. However, their compact circular saws absolutely rock too.
Wait, significant improvement?
Yeah, I know some people love comparing them. However, I don’t see why you wouldn’t get the Ultra Saw. A summarized list of reasons:
You get more power: 7.5 amps vs 6 amps with the Saw Max
Bigger blades for faster results: 4″ instead of the previous 3″
Ability to do surface prep: Saw Max doesn’t support that
More durable construction: Metal guard protects both the blades & yourself
Reasonable price: Costs only a few bucks more, actually
Of course, I want to provide you with an objective look at both tools. To do so, I’ll compare their features side by side across several factors that will impact your work with them.
Still, the only downside to the Ultra Saw for me is its heavier construction. Probably around a pound or so. In all other regards, it simply excels over the Saw Max.
Here’s an unboxing video of both before I move on to the details:
Dremel Ultra Saw vs Saw Max:
Body & Power
Let’s start from the construction. You want to see durability in a tool you invest a good sum of money in.
No arguing here: both tools are quite sturdy. They also share a similar design and ergonomics. At 13″, they aren’t too bulky so you have trouble working with them and switching your position while tinkering around.
Being corded, both tools also come with a 7″ cable. It might not sound much do you, but 6″ to 8″ of cords are the unspoken industry rule. In this sense, both Dremel saws fit right in. Plenty of freedom of movement here, guys.
However, the Ultra Saw features a very important improvement over its predecessor:
Its wheel guard is made of metal, compared to the plastic you’ll see in the Saw Max.
Obviously, this contributes to the increased weight on the Ultra Saw. At 10.1 lbs, it’s around 12% heavier. At the same time, though, a metal guard means increased durability and protection.
Especially if you work on more intense DIY projects!
Saw Max’s power clocks at 6 amps and 17000 RPM.
The Ultra Saw sees a 25% increase to 7.5 amps, and a decrease in the revolutions per minute at 13000 RPM.
That’s actually killing two birds with one stone. A decrease in RPM might sound bad to you, but it actually isn’t.
When it’s about raw power, you should mainly care about amps. Higher RPM can actually be detrimental – if the motor is powerful, too high of a speed risks ruining the surface you work on. Not to mention it increases the risk of work-related blunders.
Remember my article on the Dremel Fortiflex? Exactly the same situation – smaller rotary tools have higher RPM, but the Fortiflex lowers it. Why? Because otherwise you’d burn the wood!
- Ultra Saw 96% 96%
- Saw Max 81% 81%
Projects & Materials you can work on
Obviously, the general point of having a sawing tool is to cut and flush-cut through various materials. Plunge cuts, straight cuts; pick your technique and material and just chop away.
BUT…The Ultra Saw adds another function you can’t have with the older generation Saw Max:
This means that you can use it for a whole new world of DIY projects. Grinding various materials, removing rust, dealing with leftover paint or removing thinset are only a few examples.
Here’s an example video – the DIY job here involves dealing with some ceramic floor tiles:
This is what turns the Ultra Saw into a truly versatile tool.
Dremel refer to this as a 3-in-1 tool; I prefer to label this as your very own DIY treasure trove.
- Ultra Saw 98% 98%
- Saw Max 78% 78%
Cutting wheels & blade capacity
What use would power be, if you don’t tinker around with the cutting wheels’ output too?
Thankfully, Dremel have decided to do yet another upgrade in this regard too.
Ultra Saw takes Saw Max’s 3″ cutting wheels and bumps them with 33% to a respectable 4″ size. Bigger blades, more surface covered, more work done in less time.
Pair that with the increased motor amps…and there you are, your DIY projects will be done in no time.
Note: The only more modest increase is the metal cutting wheel.
Only this one is bumped to 3.5″ instead of 4″.
In other words, a full Ultra Saw kit will include these cutting wheels:
3.5″ metal cutting wheel
4″ wood cutting wheel (carbide construction)
4″ wood flushing blade
NEW: 4″ surface prep wheel (made of diamond abrasive)
The surface prep wheel seems to be made of the same material you’d see in Dremel’s higher end rotary tools. Cool stuff!
Sadly, what hasn’t improved is the maximum depth of the blade cuts. Both tools keep it to 3/4″ which might not be optimal, depending on what materials you plan to work on.
- Ultra Saw 93% 93%
- Saw Max 80% 80%
Any significant downsides to both Dremel saws?
There’s no perfect tool, and this applies to Dremel’s creations too. That said, I think for their price Dremel saws do a stellar performance.
As I mentioned, Ultra Saw’s main downside is the increased weight.
The bigger cutting wheels might also be a bit too steep for complete beginners. While the Saw Max covers less surface, smaller blades are also easier to work with.
In this sense, if you feel you’re a total rookie…3″ blades might be an easier way to learn the ropes. I do recommend challenging yourself, though.
The other three downsides I want to discuss apply to both tools, really. One of them is the 3/4″ cutting depth I mentioned. This means you can’t use them for thicker metal/wood surfaces.
Second, you can’t perform bevel cuts with neither of them. There are no bevel adjustment controls, it’s that simple.
And lastly, both Dremel saws are corded. While their ergonomics are pretty good, it’d be amazing if we could have some cord-free way to blaze through all of these materials.
That said, if Dremel made them corded…We’d also need to pay some cash for batteries and change them from time to time. So maybe it’s all for the better and keeping that juicy pricing point for both tools.
The Final Verdict
It’s Ultra Saw all the way, except if you feel intimidated by the bigger cutting wheels. Or, alternatively, you don’t plan on doing surface prep at all.
Feel free to pick the kit you prefer, but I’d advise you to grab the full package for both tools. These include all the accessories/wheel you need, plus a cozy kit bag to keep everything in one place.