Skil 5280-01 Review — A Budget 15-Amp Circular Saw (2024)

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When it comes to power tools, finding the sweet spot between quality and affordability can be quite a challenge. Luckily, the Skil 5280-01 saw steps up to the plate, boasting solid performance without breaking the bank. But the real question is, does this saw align with your unique requirements, or will it end up being yet another regrettable purchase?

To save you from the woes of a potential letdown, read my comprehensive review of the Skil 5280-01. I’ve delved deep into its capabilities and limitations so that you can make an informed decision without the headache of a disappointing buy.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

Design, Build, and Weight

I tested out the Skil 5280-01 circular saw and were impressed by its heavy-duty performance and user-friendliness. The saw is compact and ergonomic, making it easy to handle and maneuver, and its sturdy construction ensures durability and long-lasting use.

The saw’s 15-Amp motor is powerful enough to handle various cutting tasks, even with dense wood. We tested it from cutting framing lumber and plywood sheets to more intricate cuts, and it performed really well. 

The saw’s aluminum housing and footplate provide stability and precision while protecting critical components from damage. 

The bevel scale and depth-of-cut indicators are easy to read and adjust, which helps us to achieve accurate and consistent cuts. 

Nevertheless, certain users find the weight of the saw, which is approximately 8.7 pounds, to be somewhat burdensome, particularly during prolonged periods of use.

Additionally, the corded design may be a consideration for users who need to work in areas without easy access to electrical outlets.

Features

Overview of Specifications

Cutting Depth and Blade Change

Having tested the Skil 5280-01 corded circular saw, I can confirm that it has an impressive quick-cut depth capacity of up to 2-3/8 inches at 90 degrees and up to 1-15/16 inches at 45 degrees. 

This feature enables making various cuts, ranging from basic crosscuts and rip cuts to intricate bevel cuts up to 51 degrees, with the added convenience of a positive stop at 45 degrees.

One of the standout features of this tool from other saws is its easy and convenient blade change mechanism. The saw has a spindle and wrench that make it effortless to change blades. 

Spindle Lock and Wrench

Changing to a different blade has never been easier. Thanks to its user-friendly features, spindle lock, and wrench, swapping out blades is a breeze. The spindle lock securely holds circular saw blades in place, eliminating the need for extra tools or equipment. 

Upon testing, I changed its blade quickly and effortlessly by engaging the spindle to secure the blade in place and using the on-tool wrench to loosen and remove the blade. To install a new blade, slide it onto the spindle, and use the wrench to tighten it in place.  

The result is a quick and hassle-free circular saw blade change that saves time and effort. Overall, the Skil circular saw is a game-changer for anyone who values efficiency and ease of use.

Laser Guide

The single-beam laser guide is a helpful feature that greatly improves cutting accuracy and precision. 

With its thin, red beam of light projecting onto the workpiece, you can easily see where the blade will contact and ensure that your cuts are straight and precise.

I especially appreciate the laser guides when making longer cuts, as it can be challenging to maintain a straight cut line without a guide. Another great thing about this laser guide is that it is powered by the saw’s battery, eliminating the need for separate batteries or recharging. 

Dust Blower

The Skil 5280-01 circular saw has a special feature that helps keep the cutting lines clear of sawdust and debris – an integrated dust blower. This small nozzle directs a stream of air onto the cutting line, effectively blowing away any sawdust or debris as the saw cuts.

With the dust blower in action, it’s easy to see the cutting line, an important aspect when maintaining accuracy and making straight cuts with circular saw

Based on a series of tests, the nozzle is easy to use, activated by a simple switch on the saw, which directs a powerful stream of air onto the cutting line. The blower is also strategically positioned close to the blade, ensuring that the air is directed exactly where it is required.

Electric Brake

One potential drawback I have found is the Skil 5280-01 circular saw does not feature an electronic brake. An electronic brake is a safety feature that quickly stops the saw blade from spinning when the guarded trigger is released, reducing the risk of accidents and injury.

Instead, the saw relies on a trigger release mechanism, which does not immediately stop the saw when it is turned off.

While the Skil 5280-01 circular saw does not have an electronic brake, it does have other safety features, such as a safety lock that prevents accidental start-ups and blade guards that protect you from the spinning blade.

Safety Features

One of the most important safety features is the blade guard, which covers the blade when it is not in use, preventing accidental contact with the sharp cutting edge. 

The blade guard is spring-loaded, which means it automatically retracts when the saw is in use, allowing the blade to make contact with the material being cut.

Another key safety feature is the safety lock, which prevents accidental start-ups. This feature requires the user to engage a safety button or lever before the trigger can be pulled, reducing the risk of the saw starting up unexpectedly.

Additionally, the Skil 5280-01 circular saw [1] includes a blower for dust, which helps keep the cutting line clear of sawdust and debris, reducing the risk of accidents caused by obscured vision.

Price and Value for Money

The price may vary depending on where you purchase it, but it is typically priced in the mid-range compared to other circular saws with similar features. 

But, the Skil 5280-01 circular saw is priced competitively for its features and performance, making it a good value-for-money option for both DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike. 

Compared to most circular saws in its class, the Skil 5280-01 offers a powerful 15-amp motor, a single-beam laser guide, and a dust blower, all of which can help improve accuracy and efficiency when cutting. 

While the Skil 5280-01 does not have some of the advanced features found on more expensive circular saws, such as an electronic brake or a soft start feature, it still offers a range of useful features at a more affordable price point.

Customer Reviews and Top Alternatives for the Skil 5280-01

Customer reviews of this power tool, Skil 5280-01 circular saw, are generally positive, with many users praising its good power, accuracy, good price, and ease of use.

However, some customers have mentioned that the absence of an electronic brake is a drawback, as it can take some time for the blade to come to a complete stop after the trigger is released, unlike other models.

There are many circular saws on the market that offer similar features and capabilities to the Skil 5280-01. Some top alternatives to consider are DeWalt DWE575 and Makita 5007MGA.  

These saws are also known for their powerful motor, laser guide, dust blower, lightweight design, and easy-to-use depth adjustment. 

The only differences are they feature an electric brake for improved safety and accuracy, and they are more expensive. 

My Review Conclusion: Skil 5280-01

After my thorough Skil 5280-01 review, I can confidently conclude that it is an excellent tool. It’s one of the best circular saw investments for anyone needing a reliable and powerful cutting tool for DIY projects and more. 

This saw truly packs a punch, delivering a winning blend of strength, precision, and cost-effectiveness. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a weekend warrior, this tool offers fantastic bang for your buck.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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