The Skil 5280-01 circular saw is an affordable 7-1/4 inch saw with a laser sight. This saw has plenty of cutting power but also a couple drawbacks that some people find frustrating. Let’s take a closer look.
Cutting Power & Motor
This circular saw has a good amount of cutting power, especially considering it’s lower price point. It’s powered by a 15 amp, 120 volt motor that can spin the blade at no-load speeds of 5300 RPM. There is no soft-start features specified on this model, and you can feel the torque when it fires up.
One negative in terms of cutting power and motor is the noise that saw generates. It is a loud saw, and hearing protection is a really good idea for this one.
For the most part, people find that the cutting power is the best part about this saw. This saw cuts through materials like 2x4s with ease and it can also handle some harder materials. It’s got plenty of power for the types of jobs that people will throw at it.
This saw uses a 7-1/4 inch blade with a 5/8 inch arbor. The included 24T carbide blade is pretty good but you will benefit from a blade upgrade if you are trying to squeeze the maximum amount of cutting power out of this saw.
Blade changes are pretty easy with this saw which is good. There is a spindle lock which is used to lock the blade in place during changes or maintenance. There are also a wrench included for blade changes that is stored on-tool so it’s not as easily lost.
Cut Depth & Bevel
This saw has a maximum cut depth of 2-7/16 inches at 90 degrees and 1-15/16 inches at 45 degrees. If you bevel all the way to 51 degrees the cut depth is 1-11/16 inches. The cut depth is enough to handle 2x4s at both 90 and 45 degrees which is good.
For bevel cuts, the blade can be tilted to the right up to a maximum of 51 degrees. There is a bevel scale and a wingnut located on the front of this saw. To change the bevel you simply loosen the wingnut and adjust to desired bevel, then tighten the wingnut again to lock into place. There are bevel stops at both 45 and 90 degrees for quick angle changes.
This saws cutting depth can be adjusted up to 2-7/16 inches at 90 degrees. The depth adjustment lever and scale are towards the rear of the saw between the handle the blade guard. The depth adjustment lever seems to be one of the weak point issues with this saw and people find that it’s easy to break it off or damage it. It’s best to be careful when operating the depth adjustment since it is know for problems on this model.
Overall, the bevel adjustment works better than the depth adjustment on this saw due to the weakness issues with the depth stop lever.
Laser Line & Guide Notches
This saw includes a laser cut line which is nice for a cheaper saw. The laser can be turned on or off. The laser line is set at the factory and matches the kerf on the included blade. Most people find that the laser is right on out of the box. There is a small adjuster at the back of the laser that can be used to calibrate the laser if needed, it requires a 3/32 allen key to use.
In addition to the laser, this saw also has guide notches on the foot plate for both 90 and 45 degree cutting angles. These options should give you plenty of ways to guide the saw precisely through any cut.
This saw doesn’t have any dust collection port or method for connecting to a dust collection system. There is a feature though for blowing dust off the cutting path and out of the way of the blade, which works well to keep the cutting line clear.
This saw has some built in safety features to make it more safe to use.
There is a safety switch release for the power trigger that must be pressed before you can power on. The location of the safety switch is awkward for some people, and they find it hard to use.
The power indicator light helps you know if the saw is powered or not, which can help with safe operation.
The upper guard and the lower blade guard work well on this saw and people don’t really have any issues with it. They keep the blade well covered when not in use and they make it hard to accidentally touch the blade.
The build quality on this saw is decent for the price. There is a typical amount of plastic used for switches and levers. This saw actually feels a bit heavy at close to 9 lbs, which makes it feel solid in hand. The power switch and bevel adjustments feel like good quality stuff. The depth adjustment knob being prone to breaking easily is a negative. Overall the build quality is decent but with some shortcomings.
This saw comes with a few accessories, pretty much what you’d expect to see. The version we looked at included a blade, wrench and carrying bag. There’s not really much else that you’ll need to get the most out of this saw.
Setup & Assembly
This is a pretty easy tool to get up and running. The manual does a decent job of showing you how to change the blade if needed and there’s not really much else to setup. You will probably be using this tool within a half hour of unboxing.
Skil offers a 1 year warranty that covers defects in workmanship or materials for their corded power tools. This should be enough to work out any defects from new units. If you run into parts breaking after a certain period of use, you will be expected to pay for replacement parts from their support.
- Good cutting power
- On-board wrench storage
- Laser cut line
- Sawdust clearing blower
- Depth adjustment lever known to break
- Safety release button can be awkward to use
51 degrees right
6.370 in x 8.750 in 10.750 in
The Skil 5280-01 circular saw is a decent affordable saw that has good cutting power. It’s issues with the depth adjustment lever is a negative. This saw will be a good option for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money that need something for some periodic work such as cutting 2x4s for home projects.